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Copyright discussions

This page hosts discussions on works that may violate Wikisource's copyright policy. All arguments should be based entirely on U.S. copyright law. You may join any current discussion or start a new one.

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Quick reference to copyright term

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The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:

Deleted the index, File:Civil Rights Movement EL Text.pdf, Page:Civil Rights Movement EL Text.pdf/1 to Page:Civil Rights Movement EL Text.pdf/25 for no clear evidence of licensing. Please request undeletion with evidence of licensing.--Jusjih (talk) 01:38, 2 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

2014 work that has been sitting tagged as having insufficient licensing information since 2016. The issue was raised with the uploader at the time, and an alleged email from the author was provided on their talk page, but the OTRS procedure was not apparently followed. The work as such is clearly in copyright, both by the author and by other contributors (cover design etc.), so the question is whether we consider the (unverified) emailed statement on the contributor's talk page sufficient.

e-mail from John Duley to Willl Loew-Blosser 10/9/2014

"Will: Thanks so much for following up on this. The answer to your two questions at the end of your email is yes--​ I would be pleased to have it widely circulated so do not intend to copyright it and would be willing to have it published as you suggest. John"

e-mail to John Duley from Will Loew-Blosser 10/4/2014

"Hi John,

Leslie and I have were very pleased to learn so much of East Lansing history from your monograph. As we mentioned at breakfast I’m looking into putting your monograph entitled "The Civil Rights Movement in East Lansing and Edgewood Village” onto wikipedia. There is a section of wikipedia called wikiSource that holds original works that may be then used in the encyclopedia articles as a source material.


The first question is about copyright. WikiSource does not accept copyrighted works. You do not have a copyright notice on the title page but there is no explicit permission to reproduce or republish either.

My view is that iff we were to accept this as a valid {{CC0}} {{PD-author-release}} dedication, which we would then move to Commons, the chances of it avoiding deletion there would be slim. We need proper verification through OTRS for these cases, not least in order to ensure that the copyright owner understands all the consequences of PD dedication or free licensing. --Xover (talk) 12:21, 1 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I think that the release into PD is clear, and the work could be tagged {{PD-author-release}}. I do not think {{CC0}} can be used because the copyright holder did not explicitly link the work to the Creative Commons Zero deed and legal document. I would perhaps have accepted the notice on the talk page if the editor who posted the notice was themselves the copyright holder. However this is not the case and I am inclined to disallow it without proper OTRS. Is it at all possible to contact Duley directly? —Beleg Tâl (talk) 12:46, 1 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    In 2014 the situation was that The author is in his late 90's, quite poor health, and has stopped using e-mail. so I hold that unlikely. And if no followup was forthcoming in 2016, I would tend to think that for internet people to now intrude on an old man with copyright questions would border on being immoral. At least my take is that we have to decide this issue based on the information we already have. --Xover (talk) 12:58, 1 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  •  Keep I also understand it as a clear release into the public domain. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 20:11, 6 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Jan Kameníček: If this document was tagged {{PD-author-release}} it would be eligible to be moved to Commons. Pragmatically, how do you rate its chances of surviving a deletion discussion there? --Xover (talk) 06:10, 9 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Xover: I have almost no experience with deletion discussions there, but if we are afraid that it will not survive there for some reasons, we can keep it here. Or, if we move it and they decide they do not want it, we can move it back here then. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 09:20, 9 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Jan.Kamenicek: The question was meant to probe the logic behind your conclusion, specifically in terms of the standard of evidence we apply. If we are confident that the available evidence is sufficient to conclude it has been released into the public domain, then we should also be confident that it will survive a deletion discussion at Commons. Since I am not confident that is the case absent confirmation through the OTRS process (and neither is Beleg Tâl based on their comment above), I wanted to check whether you deliberately wanted to apply a different (lower) standard of evidence or whether there was some confusion behind it.
    In practice, in these circumstances, if the consensus is to keep this as {{PD-author-release}}, I would not personally transfer this to Commons because I believe it would be against policy there and would be deleted. But another user very well might move it to Commons at any time, unless we used {{do not move to Commons}} to mark it to keep local. But if we do that we are essentially saying that we do not believe this is properly licensed (i.e. that our {{PD-author-release}} tag is a lie). This is unlike the typical situations where a file is PD in the US but not in its home country: in that case there is a genuine difference in policy between Commons and enWS. In the case at hand the policy is ostensibly the same on enWS and Commons, but we are (I suspect) applying a different standard of evidence.
    And if we are doing that then we should be very conscious and clear about that fact. It sets precedent for future such cases, and it impacts the risk to our reusers, so it is something we should approach with deliberation and eyes open. --Xover (talk) 10:10, 9 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Well, neither our nor Commons discussions are legally binding, they are in fact both just lay opinions and it is no wonder that our lay opinion can be different from their lay opinion. As written above, I have almost zero experience with these discussions in Commons, but often heard others saying that they are sometimes trying to be more Catholic than the Pope... So by not moving it we are not saying that we are lying about the license, we are simply saying that our lay opinions about some border cases are different than theirs. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 10:26, 9 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Ah. Thanks! --Xover (talk) 10:50, 9 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
yeah, i would keep it as PD-author-release, here. commons would view failure to follow OTRS as a deletion rationale. i.e. [1]; [2]; [3]. Slowking4Rama's revenge 16:29, 3 December 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Kerry vs. Pickens[edit]

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:

Deleted both for unclear licensing and source. Please request undeletion with better evidence.--Jusjih (talk) 21:26, 19 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

These are by a sitting Senator, but the whole swiftboat thing with Pickens and the SBVT are hardly obvious parts of his official duties. Kerry was at this time a candidate for the Democratic nomination (he hadn't yet dropped out and endorsed Obama), and the SBVT attacks targeted Kerry personally, so these are pretty obviously him acting as a candidate and not a Senator.

On the other hand, we've traditionally given waaaay wide latitude to what we consider to fall within the scope of a Senator's duties (way too much, and I think we should tighten that up going forward).

In this specific case I'd be comfortable with deleting under the former rationale, or tagging them as {{PD-USGov}} under the latter, but I'd like to hear where the community sits on this. Xover (talk) 13:00, 27 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Delete I'd definitely agree that these letters were not within (or even remotely discussing) his official duties... they are completely irrelevant to, and don't even discuss the topic of, any legislation that was under consideration at the time. The SBVT thing was purely political theatre, on both sides. Given that I see no way in which these letters would be any different if Kerry had been a candidate who was not in office at the time, it seems obvious that it's not exempt. Jarnsax (talk) 17:25, 28 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The whole SBVT thing was asking about his service in Vietnam which was part of his official duties as a Navy Officer. If it were written at the time as an officer it would count no? If he were an admiral coming up for senate confirmation would we reach the same conclusion it wasn't part of his official duties? MarkLSteadman (talk) 21:26, 28 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@MarkLSteadman: The exemption is specifically for "works of the United States Government...prepared by an officer or part of his official duties." This implies a 'work for hire' (it's a corporate author), so we can also pull in "a work prepared as an employee as part of his employment."
  • Kerry was no longer a serving officer at the time, and thus had no "official duty" to comment about his previous service. While he was still serving, the work would still have to be explicitly "part of his official duties," so something that he was actually obligated to prepare.
  • An officer seeking confirmation from, or testifying before, Congress, would do so only under direction from the Commander in Chief, so it's part of their duty. As the law currently stands (getting into untested ground a bit, here, but as it seems to stand in the US) an Officer of the United States (and thus part of the Executive Branch) they cannot be compelled by the Legislative to testify when it relates to their official duties, as when carrying out those duties they are using "a portion of the Sovereign Power of the United States" delegated to them by the President and are thus eligible for qualified immunity from contempt of Congress for refusal to testify.
  • There is no exemption under statute law for works of Members of Congress.. they are neither officers nor employees of the United States Government (specifically prohibited from being so by the Ineligibility Clause of the US Constitution)
  • The relevant exemption for Congress is instead from the common law, is for "edicts of government, broadly construed" and dates back to an 1830s court case, but was addressed quite recently by the Supreme Court

    For purposes of the Copyright Act, judges cannot be the “author[s]” of “whatever work they perform in their capacity” as lawmakers. Because legislators, like judges, have the authority to make law, it follows that they, too, cannot be “authors.” And, as with judges, the doctrine applies to whatever work legislators perform in their capacity as legislators, including explanatory and procedural materials they create in the discharge of their legislative duties.

    —Georgia et al. v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc. (2020)

  • The definition of "law" in this case in extremely broad (this is a principle of the common, not statute law).... "non-statute" materials prepared by Members in the course of drafting legislation, that could be used by judges to construct the meaning and sense of Congress behind the words actually enacted, are "law" in the sense intended, as is the 'administrative law' in the Code of Federal Regulations. The concept is that "actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea" - essentially that you have to be able to know what the law is to commit a crime. Jarnsax (talk) 15:58, 29 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. My main question was thinking through this in a more rigorous way given that it all seemed a bit wishy-washy. My inclination was that it didn't apply and I was pushing to nail down why it doesn't apply. For example, that {{PD-US-Gov}} is not for legislators. MarkLSteadman (talk) 17:05, 29 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, I kinda took it as a request to try to really explain the reasoning behind it... it's why the Constitution starts "We the People" though we know what specific people actually wrote it: because our representatives, when acting as the legislative, are essentially us, we (as a people) are the collective authors of the works it creates, that we give our implicit consent to when electing congresscritters. WE are the swamp, lol. Jarnsax (talk) 17:57, 29 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Jarnsax: “There is no exemption under statute law for works of Members of Congress”—actually, that’s not true. “Copyright protection under the Copyright Act is not available for ‘any work of the United States Government.’ … This includes works created by the President; Congress; the federal judiciary; federal departments, agencies, boards, bureaus, or commissions; or any other officer or employee of the U.S. federal government while acting within the course of his or her official duties.” (From the Compendium.) TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 02:30, 8 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@TE(æ)A,ea. You're arguing with the Supreme Court (see quote above, or look up the case). What you are missing is that Congressmen are not Officers (or employees) of the Unites States Government. First sentence of w:Officer of the United States... "a functionary of the executive or judicial branches of the federal government of the United States..." I mentioned above, the Ineligibility Clause... "no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office." They are not "employees" because they are not hired or fired, it's an elective office not a 'job'. The reasoning goes way off into too much depth for here, but 'law' is ineligible for copyright due to a lack of authorship as defined by the Copyright Act. In the specific case, the Georgia Legislature is denied copyright in 'non binding annotations' that were published along with the actual statute. Jarnsax (talk) 02:53, 8 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Jarnsax: This work was published after Public.Resource.Org was decided; it references that case in the paragraph I quoted. Here is the full quote:
  • “[T]he bar on copyright protection for federal works … applies to works created by all federal ‘officer[s] or employee[s],’ without regard for the nature of their position or scope of their authority.” Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., 140 S. Ct. 1498, 1509–10 (2020). This includes works created by the President; Congress; the federal judiciary; federal departments, agencies, boards, bureaus, or commissions; or any other officer or employee of the U.S. federal government while acting within the course of his or her official duties. It also includes works prepared by an officer or employee of the government of the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the organized territories under the jurisdiction of the federal government.
  • You can read the rest here (p. 36, § 313.6(C)(1)). TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 03:04, 8 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@TE(æ)A,ea. Now read the very next section of the Compendium regarding government edicts, 313.6(C)(2). It tells you the same thing I just did. Jarnsax (talk) 03:24, 8 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To explain a bit more, when it mentions "Congress" in (C)(1) it is referring to Officers and employees of the legislative branch (i.e. Congress) like the w:Architect of the Capitol, who are not Members of COngress and have no legislative authority. Jarnsax (talk) 03:32, 8 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since this is probably going to go here anyhow, actual "laws" (passed by both houses, and signed by the president) are edicts of Government, as are "rules" (i.e. administrative law) written by agencies with rulemaking authority delegated by statute (like the EPA). That they are not copyrightable is a "principle", it's not written in the statutes, it's common law (England does copyright laws, but they actually passed a law post-revolution to make it that way). Congress can also (and does) create "works of the United States Government" when they do things like pass a simple resolution in the House to express condolences after a former member dies, and those are not copyrightable under (C)(1), but they are also not legislation. Jarnsax (talk) 04:50, 8 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jarnsax: This discussion is interesting, and can have far-reaching consequences for how we treat works by congressmen on the project. I have always been unclear on what exactly the copyright situation for these are.
The executive branch are fairly clear as {{PD-USGov}}, and the judiciary are usually fairly clear as {{PD-EdictGov}}. And Congress as such is normally also producing works that fall under EdictGov, especially after PRO.
But we get a lot of works by individual congressmen that can be anything from speeches on the floor, to press releases, speeches to the electorate, town halls and Q&A sessions with constituents. We have historically given wide latitude to keeping these under the theory that PD-USGov was in effect, and a congressman's "official duties" includes various kinds of schmoozing with constituents. But if there is no PD-USGov exemption for congressmen, that means only PD-EdictGov controls the issue; and EdictGov (even after PRO) will only apply in those narrow circumstances where whatever work somehow bears on a law or other edict of the government. That would eliminate a wide swathe of texts that we currently host.
In other words, this is an issue I believe it is worthwhile spending some time and effort to get right. Xover (talk) 07:56, 8 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Xover Yeah, "employees" is obvious, and it's fairly easy to define an "Officer of the United States"... nominated by President, confirmed by Senate, has a physical paper commission, swears an oath to the Constitution.
What's kind of odd is the case to watch right now [4] isn't actually a copyright case, but probably will go towards the point here... if a congressman speaking at Trump's Jan 6th rally was 'acting in the scope of his duties' by addressing the public at a political event. There have been other, similar cases (like Murtha), but I think they are generally more about the Westfall Act (tort law) which has it's own definition of 'employee' that is much broader.
All the copyright compendium really says about "edicts of government" is citing cases where courts have agreed that since the Copyright Act doesn't explicitly create a copyright in them (doesn't mention them at all) then there isn't one (and people have been calling BS on Georgia for years). We're just left with that it should be 'broadly construed' in the public interest. Jarnsax (talk) 09:33, 8 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So, after some more digging around, I tracked down the 11th Circuit's decision in Georgia v. PRO here. [5] What's interesting about it is they get to the same place starting from first principles, and essentially create a three part test:

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

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

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

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

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

General interest (not about a specific file)[edit]

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

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

The ransom note by Leopold and Loeb (1924)[edit]

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

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

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

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

Some of the notes by the Author:Zodiac Killer were uploaded under {{PD-Disavowed}}. Not sure this template applies here (or even if we want to encourage use it on enWS) but could be worth knowing about? —Beleg Tâl (talk) 14:48, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Beleg Tâl: I placed the template on the transcription of the ransom note. However, I agree something else should preferably be used. Would you say that enforcing a copyright on a work that was made illegally in the first place is virtually impossible? If so, we might want a template like Template:PD-illegal-act which explains the ginormous unlikelihood of a work made as a criminal act having any copyright enforced on it. (It might be appropriate to have this be a proposal in the Scriptorium because I feel like it's a discussion with a lot of legal nuance.) PseudoSkull (talk) 18:27, 3 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not sure that illegal acts are not copyrightable, see Eldar Haber’s treatise published by Yale Law School. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 22:11, 3 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed. The copyright could conceivably be confiscated, as could any actual proceeds, by a court; but there is no general copyright exemption for a work based on its legality or lack thereof (unless we get into terrorism and national security: there are… special cases to consider there). And {{PD-Disavowed}} is nonsense in legal terms, and should not be used except in extremely exceptional circumstances (and I can't think of a good valid example off hand). That a suspected author has disavowed a work simply makes it anonymous, and follows the copyright rules for anonymous works; and if they have acknowledged authorship then they are the author and needs to make a legally valid and binding dedication to the public domain or release the work with a compatible license. {{PD-Disavowed}} tries to pretend that the mere assertion that someone is the author is sufficient to make it so, and that their denial ("disavowal") of authorship is the same as a valid dedication to the public domain.
Oh, and enforcing a copyright on a work that was "made illegally" (I presume we mean "produced in the commission of a crime" or "which is evidence of a crime") is neither impossible nor even particularly difficult. If the crime was notorious you may have trouble because fair use reduces the market for your copyrights, but otherwise all you have to do is sue infringers or enter into licensing contracts. Typically after you get out of jail, but that's unrelated to the validity or enforceability of the copyright. Xover (talk) 13:09, 4 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Has it ever seen publication authorised by the authors? If not then it is unpublished (newspapers get fair use exemptions, and public records are accessible, but none of that affects copyright). That it was published under a pseudonym isn't really relevant since the real authors are known and have been since shortly after it was written. Xover (talk) 15:16, 30 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Specifically, publication occurs when one or more copies or phonorecords are distributed to a member of the public who is not subject to any express or implied restrictions concerning the disclosure of the content of that work." Copyright Compendium III, 1905.1 Distribution to the Public. There was no restrictions included in that note regarding its disclosure, nor is it reasonable to read implied restrictions into something like a ransom note. Having it published is a normal reaction, and if Leopold or Loeb wanted to use the force of the law to stop that, I'd think they were obliged to say so.
Also, cf. "DANJAQ LLC MGM UA v. Kevin O'Conovan McClory". They've had 95 years to object to the continuing exploitation of this note, and we are at great disadvantage due to what agreements Leopold or Loeb may have made, informally or formally.
Finally, we're putting in a lot of argument for something that's been published for a long time, that has no economic worth, and de minimis non curat lex.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:03, 1 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Much as I hate to disagree with you on matters like this… While you can make an argument based on level of risk versus amount of effort expended, claiming de minimis specifically here is stretching the concept when we're using all of the work and not as an incidental part of our own creative contribution. And why in the world would we assume any more "intent to publish" for a ransom note—documenting a criminal act—than any normal letter? The doctrine of laches is an affirmative defence, so the mere assertion of it presupposes and admits both the existence of a copyright and our infringement of it. Planning in advance to make use of a laches defence thus makes the infringement wilful, and unclean hands is a bar to a valid laches defence even if it would otherwise meet the criteria. Which this wouldn't, because the clock doesn't start until the owners of the copyright become aware of the infringement, which, barring a lawsuit I'm unaware of, has not yet happened. There is also no reasonable argument to be made that the owner's delay prejudices us in any measurable way, neither evidentially nor economically. But even worse is that, as an affirmative defence, much like fair use, latches would protect us but not our re-users. Even in Danjaq v. McClory there is no question as to latches invalidating or otherwise affecting the copyright itself, only McClury's ability to gain equitable relief for the alleged infringement of it, for the specific alleged instances of infringement by the specific named parties. Xover (talk) 12:47, 4 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not about intent to publish. It's about "distributed to a member of the public who is not subject to any express or implied restrictions concerning the disclosure of the content of that work." The receiver of the note was under no express restrictions about disclosure, and notices like this are regularly published, putting to doubt any claims about implied restrictions. I'd feel that any demand or threat to a hostile party would lack that "implicit restriction", and certainly one which public policy would against prohibiting the publication of. That's not a full-throated PD-Illegal; just that if you get a note about an illegal act, the implication should be that you should publish it, not hide it, and the copyright law read at the time that if there was no implication the receiver should not further distribute it, it was published.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:48, 4 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Laches may not apply to us, but note that Danjaq v. McClory was clearly not limited to past infringements; laches were applied to the 1999 movie The World Is Not Enough, for which this litigation, started in 1997-1998, was clearly timely. That ruling didn't leave any door open for McClory to sue Danjaq for future infringements.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:48, 4 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would expect that while sending the letter doesn't convey copyright ownership, it does convey an implicit license to publish it since there is no expectation of privacy in this context as would affect a personal letter. It would seem similar to me as sending to a newspaper editor or magazine, we wouldn't say that a letter written in 1910 to a newspaper wasn't published because we can't find a written agreement conveying the right to publication. So Leopold and Loeb gave an implicit right to publication and the copyright would then have expired without the registration / renewal after it was published. MarkLSteadman (talk) 23:36, 3 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Basically, I agree with the analysis above. Mailing a note to members of the public causes publication because no implicit restrictions (such as a pre-existing relationship), and unlike other examples, such a mailing a manuscript to a publisher covered by "limited distribution": "to a definitely selected group and for a limited purpose", any purpose here is criminal and not a valid purpose and therefore ineligible for limited distribution protection. MarkLSteadman (talk) 17:39, 4 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My opinion on this now is that because it was published in so many other sources later (in PD years like 1925 and 1926), this became effectively published material and therefore public domain. There would have been no way for Leopold or Lobe to really object to this happening, nor did they. I think we should give this the benefit of the doubt, and close the discussion. PseudoSkull (talk) 17:35, 23 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Amazing Stories v15n10 and v16n11[edit]

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

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

Transcriptions added by user:Johnson.Xia[edit]

Most of the works uploaded by Johnson.Xia (talkcontribs) appear to be copyright violations. They are not with license templates and many are copy and pastes from a Chinese Government website that clearly states that the pages are copyright. So even if the Chinese language pages are in the public domain, there is no certainty that the translations are in the public domain. Unless this can be quickly demonstrated to not be the case I think that we just have to delete the uploads. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:44, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would like to cite Article 5 of Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China that most of my works published are either 0"official translations" of "documents of administrative nature" or "mere information about facts or happenings". Also, considering copyright regulations for official websites of governments around the world, I believe that works from Chinese Government are in public domain as well. Johnson.Xia (talk) 15:17, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Speaking of .gov websites, I wonder if documents on are in public domain. Johnson.Xia (talk) 21:21, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Johnson.Xia: Are you claiming that the works are classified as {{PD-ROC-exempt}}? If yes, then they need to be applied to the work, and you have to explain/demonstrate that is the case on the talk page of each work. Use the notes field in the pertinent talk page template. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:00, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Billinghurst: I think you mean {{PD-PRC-exempt}} in this case. Shells-shells (talk) 18:51, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please specify which works are questioned. Even if Chinese Wikisource considers anything absolute acceptable, the translation here requires verifiable source and license. If Chinese Wikisource considers anything a copyvio, then the matching work here must go.--Jusjih (talk) 18:27, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I note multiple issues with lack of licensing, questionable copyright status, improper sourcing (zhWS cannot be a source for a text on enWS), and what appears to be undeclared user translations in violation of WS:T. I am unable to trawl through all their contributions just now, but a quick spot check indicates there is a lot of cleanup to do (large parts may need to be deleted) and Johnson.Xia appears to need guidance on our policies and practices. @Johnson.Xia: please familiarise yourself with enWS policies (you'll find pertinent links in the welcome message on your talk page) before adding any further texts, and ask for help or guidance (at WS:S/H or from an admin) if there's anything that is unclear. Xover (talk) 07:05, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"improper sourcing (zhWS cannot be a source for a text on enWS)", "undeclared user translations in violation of WS:T", please specify it. unsigned comment by Johnson.Xia (talk) 19:05, 24 September 2022‎ (UTC).Reply[reply]
You were clearly able to find it yourself without much trouble. Xover (talk) 18:06, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:

Deleted. May be restored with proof of licensing.--Jusjih (talk) 21:06, 3 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fight song for Georgetown University athletics teams. Info at w:There Goes Old Georgetown (from where this was cut&pasted in 2009). It is apparently an amalgamation (derivative work) of three earlier songs, one of which has an unknown author and is dated 1930. As such it would still be in copyright until 2026. Xover (talk) 11:35, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Keep. Georgetown University being a U.S. institution, and the songs being published at or around the school, U.S. copyright law likely applies. In such a case, there is a presumption against copyright if there is no license given; and as there is no precautionary principle here, this work should not be deleted without an affirmative indication (such as a notice) which may show a firmer claim to copyright. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:25, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The absence of a c:COM:PRP here does not mean we can assume absence of copyright, it just means we don't have a hard default of delete in the face of imperfect or incomplete evidence (which would make my life a heck of a lot simpler). In the complete absence of information about authorship and first publication we're still going to have to assume copyright, and then inch our way towards concluding public domain if sufficient evidence of that probability amasses. Xover (talk) 08:24, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Xover: For a normal work, I would tend to assume copyright first. However, these are all songs made for the university, and were likely published around that time in small college publications. Thus, I find it unlikely that any copyright subsists. If there was any copyright, it would likely be enforced against Georgetown, and would be listed. For the above reasons, I believe it would be unwise to be precautious. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:23, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article, or possibly a speech, by Emma Goldman. The text here gives English version published by Vintage Books, 1972, originally published ~1935. Online text source from RevoltLib, which in turn is from Anarchy Archives.. RevoltLib gives no further info, but claims it was published in Mother Earth in 1916. Mother Earth being a monthly published by Goldman herself (with contributions from many luminaries). However, I dug up the 1916 issues on HathiTrust (they have multiple copies) and can find no trace of it there. The 1935 original publication is entirely unattested. So the first actual publication I find is the 1972 Vintage Books publication. Unless the claimed 1916 publication, or a 1935 publication without a copyright notice, is located this would seem to be a copyvio.

Incidentally, if anyone is at all interested in this area, systematically proofreading Mother Earth from the first issue looks like it would be a worthwhile project. Let me know if you would like help making DjVus out of the HathiTrust scans. Xover (talk) 14:43, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • The “c. 1935” is not a publication date, but an authorship date. Red Emma Speaks gives the following as the source:
    “The Social Importance of the Modern School” (and fragment on sex education), unpublished typescripts, Emma Goldman Papers, New York Public Library, Manuscript Division (n.d.).
This would seem to indicate that the first publication was in Red Emma Speaks, meaning that the copyright for this essay dates to that publication. However, if that publication did not give a copyright notice specific to this previously unpublished work (instead giving a copyright notice for editorial work), then the work is in the public domain for failure to state a specific copyright claim. The new work would also have needed permission from the holders of the copyright in the unpublished work. The case is not perfectly clear; I want to do a little more research first. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:25, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Anybody up for doing some research on this one? It was transwikied here from enWP in 2007. The few (very unreliable) references I found in a dumb google search suggested this is 16th/17th-century, so if we can find some reasonably reliable source to back that up we can maybe slap a {{PD-old}} on it and be done. But wise from Happy Birthday and similar situations, we can't really assume that's so without checking. And if it's really 16th/17th-century there has to be a pre-1927 printed collection of nursery rhymes somewhere that includes (so we could even scan-back it). Xover (talk) 18:29, 21 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Maybe 801 on pg. 217 here [7] ? MarkLSteadman (talk) 18:39, 21 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Google won't let me see the contents of that, but Edward Williams Byron Nicholson would seem to be a pretty good source, yes. Does IA have a decent scan of it? Xover (talk) 18:43, 21 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The scan is here [8] of good quality. I see a bunch under Higglepy piggleby or Hickety pickety (e.g. [9])as well. MarkLSteadman (talk) 18:58, 21 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So from some searching, we have numerous versions to choose from. There are:
- ei (talk) 02:53, 24 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

2009 speech by Eben Moglen, transcribed by an IP from a YouTube recording of the conference. The speech is obviously prepared (i.e. not off the cuff), and there are no traces of any compatible licensing. Moglen has not himself published the speech that I have found. Xover (talk) 14:28, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • See also here; I believe that this work (and many of his works) could be licensed, if we asked, considering his support for free software. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 14:53, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Story by Robert E. Howard, first published as "The People of the Serpent" in Strange Detective Stories in the February 1934 issue. Apparently there was a mixup of the titles of two stories in that issue ("The Tomb's Secret"), and subsequent attempts to remedy by switching titles in later collections (and to make the chaos perfect, there's a Howard collection including related stories titled Strange Detective Stories, but which does not contain "Fangs of Gold"/"The People of the Serpent"). In any case, the 1934 first publication was with a copyright notice.

So… In order to determine the copyright status for this one we'll have to search the copyright renewals, and given the mess of classification, that means both renewals for books and serials (Stanford only has books), and under all the possible titles and/or all the possible registrants (Howard himself, Otis Adelbert Kline, Glenn Lord, Nickel Publications, Ralph Daigh , etc.). Renewal would have had to happen in 1962 give or take a year (so 1961–1963). Anybody up for trawling through it? Xover (talk) 14:13, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Keep. Searching manually though all serial and (books/)contributions publications, there is no renewal of either the magazine or a story under Howard’s name. As renewals are made under the name of the author, not the claimant, there is no need to search through other names. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 15:12, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unlicensed, from 1941. It doesn't seem to be an edict of a government, and the translator is not mentioned. What is the copyright status of Soviet speeches post-1926? PseudoSkull (talk) 13:08, 29 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I remember an interesting discussion on the {{PD-EdictGov}} at US Supreme Court determination re copyright and government edicts in which I understood that all works of those who are authored to issue laws in the their country, are subject of PD-EdictGov automatically. Unfortunately, the discussion did not have any effect on our template, and so I am not sure if I understood it right. -- Jan Kameníček (talk) 08:58, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jan Kameníček TBH, that news article didn't do a very good job of discussing the case... from the syllabus, "the Court cited a decision by the Georgia Supreme Court holding that the preparation of the annotations under Georgia law constitute an act of “legislative authority.”". Also, "First, Section 101 of the Copyright Act, which lists “annotations” among the kinds of works eligible for copyright protection, refers only to annotations that represent an original work of authorship, which the annotations cannot be when legislators are the authors. Second, the fact that the Copyright Act excludes from copyright protection works by federal officials but does not mention state officials does not lead to the negative inference that state officials must be eligible to be authors."
So, works are not PD "just because" the author was a legislator.... the work has to have been made in the course of their duties, as part of the "process" of developing laws and exercising legislative authority. A legislator who is acting "as a legislator", writing not just law but the "legislative history" (committee reports, crap like that), is acting as an agent of the people, part of the "sovereign authority" and is not an eligible author under the Copyright Act. Jarnsax (talk) 09:18, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's also worth noting that, in the particular case the works at issue were not actually created by individual legislators, they were "works for hire" created for, and edited by, the Georgia Legislature itself. Jarnsax (talk) 09:26, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@PseudoSkull The US didn't have bilateral copyright relations with the Soviet Union until they acceded to the Universal Copyright Convention on May 27, 1973. Any and all Russian works from before that date were ineligible for copyright protection in the US, unless they had an author who was a "national or domiciliary" of some other country that did have bilateral relations. Since Russian is 50 years p.m.a., any work by an author who died on or after after January 1, 1946 was still copyrighted in Russia on the URAA date, and would have (assuming something else doesn't get in the way) a URAA-restored copyright. Given the detail that this is actually a speech, I'll just quote Circular 38B: "Although sound recordings fixed before 1972 were not then protected by federal copyright, those sound recordings will receive the remainder of the term they would have received had they been protected by such copyright when published. For example, a sound recording published in 1925 will be protected until 2020." Obviously, they need to update the thing with a more modern example, but still.... this has a URAA-restored copyright.  Delete Jarnsax (talk) 09:03, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • For the original, keep (I haven’t yet verified the status of the translation). Re: Jarnsax: “Under the government edicts doctrine, [executive officials] … may not be considered the ‘authors’ of the works they produce in the course of their official duties as [executive officials].” Especially given the content and context of this speech, I would definitely consider to have been written in Stalin’s official capacity. There is, incidentally, a court case currently ongoing about this exact topic: Carroll v. Trump, which considers whether statements made by Trump, while President, though at informal press gaggles and in personal interviews, were made in his official capacity as President; they (the Second Circuit) consider the matter sufficiently doubtful to certify the question to the D.C. Court of Appeals. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 12:29, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@TE(æ)A,ea. I'm really really dubious about applying the government edicts doctrine to this speech, since it would actually contradict the URAA, but I will look at that case. The real point of me talking about Georgia, though was that the points of the case there were sufficiently different ("works for hire", written by a private company, and edited by the Legislature) that the claimed copyright would have accrued to the legislature itself, as a corporate body. Totally different situation, entirely. They actually wrote about how legislators, when acting to write legislation, can't be eligible authors to get rid of one of the bad arguments that had been made, pointing out that the process of writing and editing the annotations was actually itself written out in state law, so they were obviously acting "as legislators" when editing it as members of a legislative committee, a 'body corporate'. TLDR, the Georgia decision really has nothing to do with this, it was about something else entirely. Jarnsax (talk) 13:15, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Jarnsax: Re: URAA, if the work was GovEdict-covered, then it wasn’t copyrightable in the first place, and thus there was never any copyright which the URAA could restore. Unfortunately, Carroll doesn’t answer the question; it just mentions it (with different phrasing, of course), and leaves resolution for several years down the road. The Georgia case expanded the domain of the government edicts doctrine, and it is for that reason that I mention it. The copyright claim rejected by the Supreme Court in Georgia was more broad than you describe, as it also states that legislators, not merely legislatures, could not claim such copyright. The principles expounded in Georgia apply, even if the facts of the cases are different. Quoting from Georgia: “Under the government edicts doctrine, judges—and, we now confirm, legislators—may not be considered the ‘authors’ of the works they produce in the course of their official duties as judges and legislators.” If this speech was given by Stalin “in the course of [his] official dut[y] as” leader of the Soviet Union, then it seems clear to me that it would be ineligible for copyright. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 13:27, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The term "restored work" is kind of a misnomer, in that it only "restored" copyright to works that had actually been copyrighted in the US, and then became PD due to non-renewal. The URAA also vested a "new" US copyright in works that were from countries that were originally "ineligible", but became "eligible" before the URAA date... which is what happened here. That's the actual law, in [17 U.S. Code § 104A]. It also says "A restored work vests initially in the author or initial rightholder of the work as determined by the law of the source country of the work"... so to call this PD, you need to establish that the "government edicts doctrine" was the law in 1940's Soviet Russia. I promise you, I'm not the person who is going to be digging through WIPOlex to prove or disprove that point.
The "government edicts doctrine" is only written down in case law... it's "based on common law", and subject to judicial interpretation, that's why it's called a doctrine. Actual copyright, however, only exists where the law actually says it does, in federal law, which only explicitly denies it to "works of the US Government". It actually remains silent about states, it doesn't explicitly say they get copyright. Extending that doctrine to cover works that US law, in the URAA, explicitly grants copyright protection to, without any 'exception', is quite the stretch, IMO, in order to get a 'keep'. It requires you to ignore statute law in favor of common law. Georgia didn't expand anything, many state governments has been claiming copyright over their laws, for many years, and scholars had written about how such claims were bs, for just as many. Georgia just beat down a bunch of incorrect arguments, that had also been widely repeated, and restated what the common law "had always been" on a point where statute law remains silent.
The common law 'principle' behind the government edicts doctrine goes all the way back to the Roman Empire, and is based on that it is immoral to hold a man responsible to obeying a law if he doesn't know what it is, people have to be able to freely copy it. It only applies to things that "have the force of law"... and the annotations, and stuff created "while writing law", the legislative history used in writing the annotations, is explicitly intended to be used by state judges when interpreting the.... it's the "official copy". That entire doctrine has absolutely nothing do do with "works of the US Government" that don't have the force of law, they are denied copyright in federal law, explicitly. State governments, can claim copyright in stuff (like, say, a directory of offices) that doesn't have the force of law, because federal law doesn't explicitly deny it to them.
Again, nothing to do with a speech given in 1940's Soviet Russia, and "maybe a court might agree with me" isn't the best argument. Jarnsax (talk) 14:21, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Jarnsax: As the Supreme Court explained in Georgia, “when Congress ‘adopt[s] the language used in [an] earlier act,’ we presume that Congress ‘adopted also the construction given by this Court to such language, and made it a part of the enactment.’” This also includes the government-edicts restriction, which applied regardless of country of origin. For example, in Singapore, governmental edicts are copyrighted for decades after enactment; and yet, because of the government edicts doctrine, they can be hosted here. This applies to works which were made before and after the URAA date. This is because, in the case of government edicts, there is no copyright to restore. Similarly, the URAA cannot be interpreted to grant terms of copyright to British works which meet “sweat of the brow” creativity levels but which do not meet U.S. creativity levels. Your interpretation of “restored” copyright also misses the mark. A “restored” copyright is a separate, new copyright which applies to certain works which were already in the public domain in the United States, although I don’t believe that that distinction is determinative here. Again, all of the provisions of section 104A can only apply if the work in question is indepently copyrightable in the United States, because if it is not, then there is no way copyright could have attached to it if it was published in the U.S. (which is what the URAA was created to do). Re: “[a]ctual copyright,” see my earlier quotation. Your interpretation would ignore Supreme Court precedent in favor of an interpretation of a statute; remember that how the Supreme Court interprets statutes is more important than what either of us claim the statute says. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 14:30, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@TE(æ)A,ea. To specifically reply to what you said about "when Congress adopt[s] the language used in [an] earlier act".... the rest is... "A century of cases have rooted the government edicts doctrine in the word “author,” and Congress has repeatedly reused that term without abrogating the doctrine. The term now carries this settled meaning, and “critics of our ruling can take their objections across the street, [where] Congress can correct any mistake it sees.” Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC, 576 U.S. 446, 456 (2015).[3]" As they said right before that, "But we are particularly reluctant to disrupt precedents interpreting language that Congress has since reenacted." They are talking about "authorship", and explaining why the State was incorrect in claiming that "legislators" could be "authors" under the Copyright Act when acting as legislators.
Looking at the previous paragraph, "That doctrine does not apply to non-lawmaking officials".
And the paragraph before that, "The whole point of the government edicts doctrine is that judges and legislators cannot serve as authors when they produce works in their official capacity."
The "government edicts doctrine" is common law, not statute law.... it is not in 17 USC. The court was dismissing the claim that 17 USC's definition of "authors" included legislators, on grounds that the Court had previously ruled that the definition did not include them, and when Congress revised the Copyright Act they never changed the definition, so the Court isn't going to listen to Georgia's novel theory that Congress "meant" to override that ruling, and just forgot or something. Jarnsax (talk) 17:22, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Jarnsax: My comment in response to that particular was to rebut your URAA claim re: a Soviet government edicts doctrine. If Congress has incorporated a history of “author” such that it didn’t apply to the most recent Copyright Act, that definition holds for the URAA, which means that Soviet works of a judicial or legislative nature, of the broad sort to be subject to the URAA, do not receive renewed copyrights because they are edicts of government. We differ on the next point, which is whether this doctrine has an analogous executive component, and thus whether this speech constitutes etc. etc. as we have argued earlier. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 17:27, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    You misunderstand. 17 USC does not have a definition of "author", it just defines certain things that are works of "authorship", and thus eligible. What the Court was talking about was that after previous rulings, when the Court had ruled that legislators and judges were not "authors" when acting "in their official capacity" to create law, per the edict doctrine, Congress didn't add a definition of "author" that included them, so it was nonsense to expect the Court to change their mind now, over a hundred years later, and call them authors in the absence of a new definition that included them. Jarnsax (talk) 18:04, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The URAA addresses it in 104A(b), where it says "A restored work vests initially in the author or initial rightholder of the work as determined by the law of the source country of the work." It also defines a restored work as "an original work of authorship that" and then gives the restoration conditions.
    With no definition of "author" in the statute, you end up with the common law definition (i.e. what the Court said all the way back to the 19th century, and what Georgia again said, that "legislators and judges" are not authors of the laws they write. Jarnsax (talk) 18:21, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Jarnsax: Yes, indeed, I agree with you; and, again, the URAA cannot vest the copyright of a restored work to some one ineligible for authorship. It is my claim that Stalin, acting in his executive capacity, could not have been an “author” for the purposes of U.S. copyright law and jurisprudence, and, thus, there can be no copyright in this speech, as it is a “government edict” under the formulation of that doctrine given by the Supreme Court in Georgia. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 18:24, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      You said: "Stalin, acting in his executive capacity, could not have been an “author” for the purposes of U.S. copyright law"
      In Georgia, the Court repeatedly said "legislators and judges" cannot be authors. The case was not about claims of authorship by judges, but they included them for completeness. They did not, ever, say "legislators, judges, and executive officials". If that was what they meant, they would have said so, and they did not restrict their statements to "just" the legislators that the arguments for authorship had been made about.
      If the "government edicts" doctrine included works by executive officials, there would be no need for the definition to specifically state that works by US government officials are not eligible. The law could have just remained silent, as it does about judges and legislators in the definition of "US government works."
      The discussion of government edicts in the Compendium is the same.... it actually has a paragraph each about how the doctrine applies to lawyers and judges, yet omits mentioning the executive at all.
      That the government edicts doctrine extends to executive officials, yet both the Compendium and the Supreme Court neglect to ever mention them, while discussing at length the logic of who it applies to and why.... just, no. Jarnsax (talk) 18:45, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Jarnsax: Georgia discussed judges (the basis of the doctrine) and legislators (because that was the issue at hand). They didn’t discuss executive officials because that was not the issue at hand. The law about PD-USGov is entirely separate, both from PD-EdictGov and my comments about executive officials. Before Georgia, the Compendium did not have a paragraph about legislators, because they didn’t have a Supreme Court opinion to point to; and yet, the doctrine still applied. The same is true as to executive officials. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 18:52, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        What this tells me is that you realize that, by trying to extend 'government edicts' to the executive, that you are going beyond case law, and "stretching" really far. Please find me anything other than some random lawyer's essay that successfully attempts to apply the doctrine to the executive.
        From Georgia... "The Court began by reviewing the three 19th-century cases in which we articulated the government edicts doctrine. See Wheaton v. Peters, 8 Pet. 591 (1834); Banks v. Manchester, 128 U.S. 244 (1888); Callaghan v. Myers, 128 U.S. 617 (1888). The Court understood those cases to establish a “rule” based on an interpretation of the statutory term “author” that “works created by courts in the performance of their official duties did not belong to the judges” but instead fell “in the public domain.” 906 F. 3d, at 1239. In the Court’s view, that rule “derive[s] from first principles about the nature of law in our democracy.” Ibid. In a democracy, the Court reasoned, “the People” are “the constructive authors” of the law, and judges and legislators are merely “draftsmen . . . exercising delegated authority.”"
        That is a citing cases well over a hundred years old, and using them to talk about judges and legislators (and not the executive), from the "base principles". Judges and legislators draft laws with the "delegated authority" of the people, which is why they can't be authors. The executive doesn't draft laws, or anything with the "force of law", other than the limited case of "admin law", which only happens in cases where Congress has delegated rulemaking authority to some executive official. You need to create a whole new chain of argument to apply this to someone who doesn't draft laws.
        Georgia specifically states that the government edicts doctrine "does not apply, however, to works created by government officials (or private parties) who lack the authority to make or interpret the law". "Make" and "interpret", not "execute". Even when the executive writes "admin law", they are executing the law that Congress passed telling them to do so. Jarnsax (talk) 19:22, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Jarnsax: You seem to have not read the cases cited. The three precedents cited in Georgia, which form the basis of the “government edicts” doctrine, were specific to judges; the Supreme Court, in Georgia, reasoned that the same logic which those cases applied to judges applies equally to legislators; and it is my claim that the same can be understood to apply to the executive, who certainly has no authority of his own beyond what is delegated to him by the constitution and laws promulgated by the people etc. This is not an application to anyone who could in some way be connected to legislative expenditures or executive work, but to specifically the chief executive. The Georgia Court used the “base principles” referenced from the earlier cases (which applied to judges) and applied them to legislators, because it was necessary, in the case at hand, to determine whether that applied to legislators. It cannot be said that something is not the case, only because there has not yet been a court case determining the point. The references to “making” and “interpreting” the law are, of course, references to the legislative and judicial provinces, respectively; there was no occassion to reference the executive province, as it was not present in the case at hand. That does not, however, make the logic inapplicable in this case. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 19:29, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          Yes, it does, because your logic is wrong. Legislators write laws, and so do judges (case law). "Executive officials" do not, and I've already quoted you where the Compendium explicitly says that works of officers of a foreign government can be registered, even if prepared while acting within their duties, in the section about government edicts. If your argument was correct, that statement would be wrong. Jarnsax (talk) 22:49, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          You revealed a gross misunderstanding here, when bringing up Carroll v. Trump, which has absolutely nothing, at all, whatsoever to do with the government edicts doctrine, which does not exist with regard to the US federal government. The common law doctrine is nullified, with regard to the US government, by Congress 'addressing the subject' in statute law, with the "US government works" rule. It has not existed in that context, as a 'thing', since Congress wrote the 'rule' into copyright law. Whatever arguments are made there about 'edicts' by Trump, as part of the case, by either lawyers, armchair lawyers, or you, are egregiously unfounded. Such a case about the federal government can only be about if the subject was or was not a "US government work". Not that it's relevant here... in fact my point is it's not, and your misconceptions are showing. You're also not listening, so I'm done. An admin surely has enough from us here, even if they want to leave it open. Jarnsax (talk) 23:16, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • Jarnsax: Works of officers of foreign governments can be registered, in the same manner as works of officers of state governments (and the federal government but for the restriction against such copyright). There is a difference between petty officers and chief officers, who speak with the power to execute law (in the same manner as judges interpret and legislators promulgate). My reference to Carroll was a reference to that case’s discussion of what constitutes a work of President Trump in his role as President, which is quite close at hand. That Carroll does not, and could not, relate to copyright law, is obvious; and I did not claim that that case related directly, in that manner. You have completely missed my point in bringing up Carroll; and I do not appreciate your attacks ad hominem in that regard. “Such a case about the federal government can only be about if the subject was or was not a 'US government work'.” This is exactly on point, however; whether this work (a speech) is considered a Soviet governmental work, in the context of considering Stalin as an executive subject to the government-edicts doctrine, is entirely relevant and germane to this discussion. Unfortunately for your desire to close this discussion for, if my claim were true, this work would be in the public domain owing to that judicial exception. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 00:19, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
            Saying that you have a misunderstanding or misconception, or that you are not listening, is not an ad hominem. It's not attacking you as a person, it's saying you are wrong and not listening. Jarnsax (talk) 00:36, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          Even worse, looking at the 2nd Circuit's decision in Carroll, five days ago, it's a w:Westfall Act case. It has nothing, at all, whatsoever to do with copyright, not even in the remotest sense. Please stop pinging me back here, this is way past the point of just being off-topic arguing, and you are not listening. Jarnsax (talk) 00:34, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • I have responded to your contentions re: Carroll below, and will not repeat them here. A discussion of your attacks ad hominem is also not relevant to this discussion, so I will not belabor that point. On the topic of listening, you have refused to understand my reference to Carroll, and continue to “prove” that it is not related to a question different to the question for which I introduced it as a reference. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 02:13, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
TE(æ)A,ea. If you won't believe me, maybe you'll believe the USCO. From the Copyright Compendium, actually quoting Georgia directly, "any “work that [a] judge or legislator produces in the course of his [or her] judicial or legislative duties is not copyrightable,” regardless of whether it “carries the force of law.”" To continue, "The government edicts doctrine “applies to whatever work legislators perform in their capacity as legislators. That of course includes final legislation, but it also includes explanatory and procedural materials legislators create in the discharge of their legislative duties.” Stalin was not performing a "legislative duty", or a "judicial one", the only things discussed by Georgia, when giving this speech... he was neither a judge nor a legislator, and it did not have the force of law.
Later, the USCO says, "Other than works of the United States Government, a work that does not constitute a government edict may be registered, even if it was prepared by an officer or employee of a state, local, territorial, or foreign government while acting within the course of his or her official duties." Are we done?
My interpretation does not ignore a precedent that is specifically about "government edicts", and only government edicts. Like I was said repeatedly, and like the USCO says, this was not a government edict. It was not written by a judge or legislator, and it did not have the force of law. Jarnsax (talk) 14:42, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Jarnsax: I do not claim that Stalin was a judge or legislator; he was the executive, and the government edicts doctrine applies in the same manner as to the executive as to the judicial etc. The Compendium mentions J/L in quoting the Supreme Court, but of course the same logic applies to E. This is not some ancillary material prepared by a lesser governmental worker, which would be a USGov (which has no Soviet equivalent), but the work (very directly connected) of the chief executive. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 15:01, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I just add that the difference between legislature and executive was not so distinct in the Soviet Union as it is in the West. Stalin issued many decrees with the force of law during his rule. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 15:19, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jan Kameníček That's a valid point, though just reading this, it wasn't any kind of 'decree'. A similar thing can happen here in the US, when the President is given the authority by Congress under something like the War Powers Act, or when an executive agency has been delegated "rulemaking authority"... that's when admin law comes from, but nobody cares (in terms of copyright) because of the "US government work" rule, which, being statute law, nullifies the common law doctrine when it comes to the US government. I suspect quite strongly that Stalin had such similar, delegated powers, and we all know he had an immense amount of personal influence, from controlling the Communist Party. Either way, I don't think it matters here.... just read it, it's not an edict, other than "Go fight for Mother Russia!" If some similar work appeared to actually have been intended to have legal force, like a number or named decree, I'd be far more willing to agree that "government edict" might apply. Otherwise, I think it falls into a 'class' that the Compendium specifically says "may be registered", as I quoted above. Jarnsax (talk) 16:35, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For example, w:Order No. 227, issued while him "while acting as the People's Commissar of Defense", and applied only to the Red Army, was IMHO clearly a government edict. Jarnsax (talk) 16:45, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In the United States, there is one office, President, who holds three 'roles'. He is the w:head of state (ceremonial head). w:head of government (executive and administrative head), and w:commander-in-chief (of the military).
Under the Soviet Constitution of the time, these roles were differently defined.... the head of government was one 'office', Stalin held it, as w:Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Soviet Union, and then as w:Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union, from 6 May 1941 until 5 March 1953. As the 'executive and administrative', this role didn't let him issue 'edicts', just like the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom can't.
He was also commander-in-chief, as w:People's Commissar of Defense of the Soviet Union starting 19 July 1941, then as w:Minister of Defence (Soviet Union), until 3 March 1947. He held the rank of w:Marshal of the Soviet Union starting in 1943, and it's this that let him issue w:Order No. 227, a military order. I call that one an edict, with the death threats and all.
He also held the "legally non-governmental" role, which is what gave him actual power, of w:General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1952. None of these roles was judicial or legislative.
The speech itself doesn't fit w:Edict of government#Definition, and down at the end of the section about public policy, from the USCO, "such material as the laws and governmental rules and decisions must be freely available to the public and made known as widely as possible"... that's not what this speech is, it's rah-rah and PR.
Looking at w:Copyright of official texts, for Russia "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" are exempted from copyright. I don't know how different it was back then, but this speech doesn't fit any of that, IMO.
I'm completely convinced that this was copyrighted in the Soviet Union, they don't have an equivalent to "works of the US Goverment", and it's not an edict. Jarnsax (talk) 02:51, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jan.Kamenicek Much later...
I'd actually become very curious about this, a long time ago.
The Soviet Union was, constitutionally, a democracy, not 'incredibly' different from others. The source of power was the People, who voted in whichever candidate they wanted, through a secret ballot.
This "problem" was, it was a single-party state. To run for office, you had to be a member in "good standing" of the Communist Party, and they could kick out whoever they wanted, under their own rules, and they made their own rules. You had to have "their permission". Everyone on the ballot was a Communist.
The People had, constitutionally, created a government under which it literally made absolutely no difference who they voted for, that had zero reason to even remotely care about their opinion, and had actually done it on purpose (the whole idea behind it was nuts). So it was effectively a dictatorship by "boss Commie". Jarnsax (talk) 01:34, 11 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regarding w:Carroll v. Trump nonsense: that is a w:Westfall Act case. The Westfall Act is in a completely different title of US Code (it's about civil torts), and uses a definition of employee that is completely and utterly unrelated to anything encompassed by 17 U.S.C, the Copyright Compendium, or the "governmental edict" doctrine. As a separate Title of the US Code (28 U.S.C.), it is completely independent from copyright law. This is how 'law' works, if the 'particular law itself' doesn't define something, you look at the common law, or then a law dictionary, or then a normal dictionary, to define it. You don't hunt down some definition of a term that isn't even used in the Title you are looking at from somewhere in a completely different Title on a different subject. Discussing it in this context is about as relevant as the tax code. Jarnsax (talk) 00:56, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Jarnsax: Regarding pinging, two items. First, you should not mark your responses as minor edits. Second, I ping editors in discussion, especially when they misrepresent my arguments. As for my reference to Carroll, it was not an attempt to incorporate the Westfall Act’s definition of “employee” (which is not remotely relevant), but the discussion (in that case) of whether certain statements made by the chief executive, while chief executive, in the function of the chief executive, can be considered to have been made by him in his official capacity (as opposed to being made in his personal capacity). The work in question for this discussion is a speech, made by the chief executive of a state; and, as Carroll discussed whether such works qualify as works made pursuant to the official duty of said chief executive, it is a case highly relevant to the point currently in question. The questions you were asking were related to a different question, one to which Carroll is not applicable. The question you seek to litigate—whether Stalin could even be subject to the government edicts doctrine—is an entirely different question to the question in relation to which I referenced Carroll—whether this speech can be considered to be a work made by Stalin in his official capacity. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 02:13, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    You are also completely and deliberately ignoring my third or fourth request that you stop pinging me, which you have now done twice, since I last asked you to stop. It's called harassing someone. Stop. Jarnsax (talk) 02:58, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    A speech such as this, given by Trump, live on the air, to rally the people against a massive armed invasion, with tanks and artillery and bombers and explosions and lots of dead people, would obviously be within the scope of his duties, and the case would have never gone to appeal, the judge in the lower court would have made the obvious decision, and granted the motion to substitute.
    If Carroll v. Trump was about circumstances that were even remotely similar (he was not giving a live on air speech), it is still about the Westfall Act, about if he was acting within the scope of his duties as one of the following: officers or employees of any federal agency, members of the military or naval forces of the United States, members of the National Guard while engaged in training or duty or officers and employees of a federal public defender organization.
    It actually explicitly says so in the Westfall Act, in the definition of "employee" used there, who are the only people it applies to.[10] The only "lessons" you can take, from Carroll v. Trump, that have anything to do with copyright are about "possibly outside the scope of their duties" and thus copyrightable works by the classes of people that the Wesfall Act actually applies to, since that is who the Court was talking about in the decision, and only those categories of people.
    The works created by those people are either "works for hire" of the US government, or works of the US government itself.
    It would ideally have gone without saying that Stalin was not an w:Officer of the United States, or any of the other categories of people explicitly mentioned by the Westfall Act, or at least only need to have been pointed out once.
    It would be far easier to just avoid all this irrelevant arguing by listening to what the USCO explicitly tells us in the Compendium, that I've quoted, which is works by foreign officials are copyrightable unless they are edicts, regardless of if they are within the scope of their duties or not.
    The entire idea is not even wrong. Jarnsax (talk) 05:02, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There are two things that are completely lacking, before any 'principle' related to Carroll and "scope of duties" could become relevant here.
    1. anything like a "works of government" provision in Russia. They only exempt edicts.
    2. anything in US law that creates or extends a "works of government" exemption to anything other than, explicitly, the "works of the US Government" clause, which rather obviously only applies to the US.
    Ignoring that, and imagining that some kind of works of government exemption did exist in Russia, you would be faced with trying to establish if giving this speech was within the duties of Stalin, under 1940s Soviet law, not the duties of Trump, under US law nearly a century later. Jarnsax (talk) 07:54, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The only question which such a 'Carroll-type' analysis could possibly answer is who owns the copyright, and to raise it as an issue presupposes that "a copyright existed", which renders the entire point moot to us. If a copyright existed, the only reason we have to care who owned it is to figure out if it still subsists in the US.
    The reason the Compendium, written by experts who actually know what the hell they are talking about, can make the flat statement about "foreign officials" and "scope of duties", that explicitly tells it "can be registered" unless it's an edict, is because the United States is the only country on the planet that does not copyright it's "own works" other than edicts, and it does not impose the "works of government" exemption on other countries, since to do so would be both "unlawful" (it's not in the Copyright Act), and would violate international copyright treaties. Jarnsax (talk) 21:50, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    In a discussion about US copyright, when you are told that your "theory" is flatly contradicted by an explicit statement by the USCO in the latest edition of the Compendium, which is released as a new edition any time a federal court decision actually changes anything, again by experts who actually know what the hell they are talking about, and is the authoritative reference on US copyright law, and the Compendium really does say that, you need to drop the damn stick. You are wrong, and the horse is not only dead, it was never alive to begin with.
    The only routes for this speech to be in the public domain in the United States are if it was an edict, or if it did not receive a "restored copyright" under the URAA. Jarnsax (talk) 22:48, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am writing this to 'summarize' what I've said about this, for the sanity of a closing admin.
Rude comments hidden. @Jarnsax: may wish to express themselves civilly next time, similar impoliteness will not be tollerated. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 11:47, 23 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is not a invitation to start fucking pinging me every five minutes again, to continue an argument between two people that is obviously going nowhere (we disagree, arguing is fucking pointless, get over it) so that you can insist that I see your comment right fucking now across every wiki and you can get your immediate endorphin rush from "proving some guy wrong on the internet". I obviously have this page watchlisted, do not start harassing me about this again. Since pings are visible across all wikis (and this is not my 'home') abuse of that system to harass someone can result in a report the stewards on Meta, and a possible global ban, if local admins don't take action first.
  • Jan Kameníček: Does this mean that I can respond and not get banned? I stopped responding to this discussion only because this user said he was going to get me banned if I kept responding to him. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 14:21, 23 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @TE(æ)A,ea.: I haven't had the spare cycles to actually read through this mammoth discussion, so I may be missing context here, but… Nobody gets somebody banned just on their say-so. At a cursory glance I see nothing here that would make that a relevant factor. That being said… 1) if someone asks you to not ping them (using {{re}} or linking their user page) then you should generally try to honour that request, and 2) in a mammoth thread like this it is likely that the real arguments have been amply covered and further comments only amount to beating a dead horse (that is, additional responses are no longer productive). --Xover (talk) 16:09, 23 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Donald Trump was the President of the United States. Stalin lived in Russia. Even if the Carroll case was related to copyright, it's analysis of what where his official duties would only be relevant to the "works of the United States Government" rule, which would have applied to Trump, and actually 'cares' whether or not something was an official duty.
As I have said way too many times here, there is no route to PD for a work from Russia through the "Works of the United States Government" doctrine. That US doesn't not apply that doctrine to anything but the US federal government (see Georgia), and Russia has no 'similar' rule that would have allowed this to escape into the PD 'at home' and evade the URAA. Russia only exempts governmental edicts, using essentially the same 'definition' as the United States. (see w:Copyright of official texts) It's 'the same' is because it's actually in one of (don't remember which) the international copyright conventions, in almost the same words.
The only path for this to be PD (since it was still within 50 pma on the URAA date) is if it was an edict, which Russia would have not copyrighted, and which the US would not honor the copyright in even if it existed. Since it's not an edict, it's not PD by that route. The "edicts" rule gives not the slightest crap about "the scope of someone's official duties"... to again quote the Copyright Compendium, Chapter 3, about edicts: "Other than works of the United States Government, a work that does not constitute a government edict may be registered, even if it was prepared by an officer or employee of a state, local, territorial, or foreign government while acting within the course of his or her official duties."
All of the rambling about "Carroll" here is completely off topic and grossly misguided. Any copyright issue that could possibly be tangentially related to it (scope of official duties of a federal official) is completely irrelevant to a copyright from 1940s Russia, and would only matter if some kind of works of the government rule existed in Russia, which it does not. The Carroll case is also about the w:Westfall Act, and actually hangs on if Trump was acting 'within the scope of his employment' using the radically different definition of employee of the government given in 28 U.S.C. You don't even need to be paid to fall within the scope of that definition. It's a civil tort case, and grossly irrelevant here.
What matters is if the speech is an edict. It's obviously not, if you read and compare it to an 'actual edict by Stalin, w:Order No. 227.
The work was in copyright in Russia well past 1996 (16 October 1952, plus 50 pma, gives 2003), and was in the public domain in the United States from creation until the URAA date, because Russia lacked "national eligibility" until gaining a bilateral copyright relationship with the US in the 1970s. It's copyright was restored by the URAA.
This is actually a very clear URAA case, if you don't try to stretch a rule that only applies to the US federal government to 1940s Soviet Russia. Jarnsax (talk) 19:30, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Georgia v. Public and {{PD-EdictGov}}[edit]

The {{PD-EdictGov}} template, while not wrong, and used across multiple wikis in the exact same form... is bad. It doesn't actually explain anything, or tell you "why": it only refers to the Compendium. Old conversations, linked from the talk pages of this template across multiple wikis, make it clear that questions about "why", since it's not stated in 17 USC, and "what does this actually mean", since it's buried in the depths of history, and "why are we listening to the Compendium about something that isn't in 17 USC", abounded, and were never really answered.

The decision in Georgia did not change this rule. What the Supreme Court did, in Georgia, is to validate a argument that actually places the "government edicts principle" on a basis that isn't buried in the depths of 200+ year old legal instead divorces the "government edicts principle" from the vague "for reasons of public policy" justification, and places it on the grounds of fundamental copyright principles; giving us, in a way, a test that is actually usable, instead of just having to know "what is or is not an edict" and requiring a knowledge of the incredibly obscure history to actually get it.

Edicts of government are basically the same thing as monkey selfies.

To actually understand this.... unfortunately, the Compendium, and the Georgia decision, and even the English Wikipedia article on "edicts of government" don't give the needed context, which gets into obscure facts of history and the way copyrights actually came into being in the US: the history of "common law" in the US, and the exact intention of Congress when passing the Copyright Act of 1790.

I have started a discussion, on the English Wikipedia, at w:Talk:Edict of government#Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org Inc. and the public policy argument, with what is essentially a long screed, explaining what the Court was telling us in Georgia, what they were actually telling us about this in Wheaton v. Peters, back in 1834, when actually first validating the "government edicts principle" as law in the US, and giving the "common law in the US" context to understand why it's not written down.

I'm mentioning this here, and intend to post this message across multiple wikis, to attract interested editors.... not to canvass for a discussion there, to change the article, but to achieve a consensus there, about rewriting that article so that it is based on something other than "the Compendium says so", that it can be used (the article, and the consensus) to rewrite this template on every wiki so that it actually says something useful, instead of the just "because the USCO says so" that seems to have been the conclusion of most discussions about this subject.

As a footnote, this doesn't apply to most edicts of the US federal government... since the definition of "works of the US Government" specifically says "prepared by", and doesn't require authorship, it includes such edicts. They are denied protection separately. Jarnsax (talk) 22:31, 8 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jarnsax: Changing our template is not necessarily that hard. But I am not quite seeing what change it is you are wanting. Could you sketch out the concrete change to wording you think is needed? I haven't read Georgia v. PRO since it came out, so I am a little hazy on the details. But as I recall the biggest takeaway at the time was that it in effect expanded the test from a narrow force-of-law to a much wider and additional authored by or under instruction of a competent legislative assembly. I.e. that things that are not actually laws qua laws, so long as they would otherwise be authored by (and copyrighted by) a competent legislative body, also fall under the government edicts doctrine. Xover (talk) 09:10, 9 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Xover They go into detail about how the "creators" of edicts are not their authors, that the "we the people" are.. i.e. no "human" authorship.
Edicts, when "made", actually define what the law is. Moving a punctuation mark, or omitting a "the", etc. changes the meaning. So they are not "original expressions of creativity". If they were, they wouldn't be the edict "we" made, they would be a derivative work of it, and misstate what the edict "is".
Edicts do not have to have the force of law. They are "methods of operation" of the legal system, and "methods of operation" are specifically uncopyrightable.
This is basically 17 U.S. Code § 102. The Court said edicts fail all on all three... that's why I called them "monkey selfies". They are not "valid subject matter".
So we can basically just say that, probably much better, and then the Compendium list like we do now, leave the UN stuff alone, and tell people use the other template for US government edicts.
The actual 'applicability' didn't change, and the Court didn't 'overturn' anything to expand it. The existing template was just always vague, because nobody knew why the Compendium said that. It's the same everywhere else, there are long old discussions full of people asking the question. Jarnsax (talk) 01:43, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The whole thing goes back beyond when enwiki was the only one. Jarnsax (talk) 01:51, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The actual "why" was what the first sentence of Wharton was actually saying, in the context of the obscure 200 year old legal trivia I went into over at the article. Jarnsax (talk) 02:02, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Edict-adjacent" stuff, that's far enough away that it's not even a "method of operation", just isn't an edict, and all this doesn't apply... that why they eventually wrote the "works of the US Goverment" rule, to exclude such "stuff" since it is valid subject matter. Some of the later court rulings had also validated that since it was an "obligation" to publish stuff without copyright, anything "not an edict" that was published with it, in it's official version (I think it was headnotes, specifically, without looking it up) also entered the PD... any copyright in it was invalidated, even if it belonged to someone else. They could sue, but just for damages. Jarnsax (talk) 02:23, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wheaton never went into didn't validate that, since the lawsuit was about someone (the old court reporter) trying to claim a copyright in the Court's actual decisions themselves... the new reporter had removed everything but the actual decisions to publish a cheaper copy. It was just never asked Jarnsax (talk) 02:33, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As far as "what is an edict", in general... let's put it this way.
The actual preprinted form, that a policer officer uses, when he writes out a traffic ticket, is an's telling him how to write out a ticket. So is the ticket itself, since it's basically an order to "respond" with the force of law. Jarnsax (talk) 02:54, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All the "legislative sausage" stuff, that goes into writing the statute, but doesn't actually have the force of law (like committee reports)... the "legislative history". One point of "annotations" is when the actual language of the statute isn't clear, courts have to look at that stuff it points at to figure out what the legislature meant to say, the actual "law", so it is actually part of the "edict" as a "thing". Jarnsax (talk) 06:10, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmm. Is what you're saying that edicts, as articulated in Georgia v. PRO, is much wider even than what I sketched above (force-of-law + created by competent legislative assembly)?
The UN stuff in the template is just saying that the UN isn't a government of any kind, so edicts doesn't apply. We could as well have mentioned "all non-government organisations" (and most IGOs), but the UN is an obvious case. Xover (talk) 06:30, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd actually been rereading it, basically to dig this out, lol.
The really specific language is where the Court was describing what had been held in the Eleventh Circuit (and upholding it)... I'm going to yank all the repeated citations out of this so it's readable. The bolding is mine.
  • The Court began by reviewing the three 19th-century cases in which we articulated the government edicts doctrine. See Wheaton v. Peters, 8 Pet. 591 (1834); Banks v. Manchester, 128 U.S. 244 (1888); Callaghan v. Myers, 128 U.S. 617 (1888). The Court understood those cases to establish a “rule” based on an interpretation of the statutory term “author” that “works created by courts in the performance of their official duties did not belong to the judges” but instead fell “in the public domain.” In the Court’s view, that rule “derive[s] from first principles about the nature of law in our democracy.” In a democracy, the Court reasoned, “the People” are “the constructive authors” of the law, and judges and legislators are merely “draftsmen . . . exercising delegated authority.” The Court therefore deemed the “ultimate inquiry” to be whether a work is “attributable to the constructive authorship of the People.” The Court identified three factors to guide that inquiry: “the identity of the public official who created the work; the nature of the work; and the process by which the work was produced.” The Court found that each of those factors cut in favor of treating the OCGA annotations as government edicts authored by the People. It therefore rejected the Commission’s assertion of copyright, vacated the injunction against PRO, and directed that judgment be entered for PRO.
(inserted later) This is what the 11th Circuit actually said "Because our ultimate inquiry is whether a work is authored by the People, meaning whether it represents an articulation of the sovereign will, our analysis is guided by a consideration of those characteristics that are the hallmarks of law. In particular, we rely on the identity of the public officials who created the work, the authoritativeness of the work, and the process by which the work was created. These are critical markers. Where all three point in the direction that a work was made in the exercise of sovereign power -- which is to say where the official who created the work is entrusted with delegated sovereign authority, where the work carries authoritative weight, and where the work was created through the procedural channels in which sovereign power ordinarily flows -- it follows that the work would be attributable to the constructive authorship of the People, and therefore uncopyrightable."
So, not just fail, but epic fail. :)
A couple of bits from later on:
  • "Pursuant to “a judicial consensus” dating back to Wheaton, judges could not assert copyright in “whatever work they perform in their capacity as judges.” Rather, “[t]he whole work done by the judges constitutes the authentic exposition and interpretation of the law, which, binding every citizen, is free for publication to all.”"
  • "Moreover, just as the doctrine applies to “whatever work [judges] perform in their capacity as judges,” it applies to whatever work legislators perform in their capacity as legislators. That of course includes final legislation, but it also includes explanatory and procedural materials legislators create in the discharge of their legislative duties. In the same way that judges cannot be the authors of their headnotes and syllabi, legislators cannot be the authors of (for example) their floor statements, committee reports, and proposed bills. These materials are part of the “whole work done by [legislators],” so they must be “free for publication to all.”
That such things "must be free for publication to all" is the old common law "government edicts doctrine"... the first sentence of Wheaton says "the law appears to be well settled in England that since the statute of 3 Anne, the literary property of an author in his works..." when first validating it in US law.
They also apply the "public policy reasons" thing to the case at hand towards the end as an illustration:
  • Imagine a Georgia citizen interested in learning his legal rights and duties. If he reads the economy-class version of the Georgia Code available online, he will see laws (list of crazy old stuff snipped) with no hint that important aspects of those laws have been held unconstitutional by the Georgia Supreme Court. See OCGA ... (available at Meanwhile, first-class readers with access to the annotations will be assured that these laws are, in crucial respects, unenforceable relics that the legislature has not bothered to narrow or repeal. See ... (available at (long url) for $412.00).
If you read the whole thing, they really make the point that none of this is 'new', and that it should have been 'obvious by now' to their audience. They tell the State of Georgia: "A century of cases have rooted the government edicts doctrine in the word “author,” and Congress has repeatedly reused that term without abrogating the doctrine. The term now carries this settled meaning, and “critics of our ruling can take their objections across the street, [where] Congress can correct any mistake it sees.” Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC, 576 U.S. 446, 456 (2015)." They make similar comments a couple of times.
This is why "the Compendium says so, and always did", as I put it. They just never explained why, and it's really obscure, even to me, lol, and I know all kinds of esoteric trivia.
Regarding the UN stuff, what 104(b)(5) actually says is if "the work is first published by the United Nations or any of its specialized agencies, or by the Organization of American States" then it gets a copyright. We should probably just say exactly that (this does not apply if...) and link Simple is easy. :)
Jarnsax (talk) 07:51, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The State of Georgia just wanted to continue charging $412 a pop for people to find out that stuff like consensual sex between adults who aren't married isn't a serious crime. Jarnsax (talk) 08:15, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I should probably point out, specifically, that in what they actually "held", they specifically said public official. They had applied this to judges, and in this case they applied it to legislators, but they told us it's not about a "job title" at all. Jarnsax (talk) 08:25, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As a incredibly obscure point of trivia, about the UN, they actually have their own rules about what parts of their stuff they will actually assert a copyright claim in. Things like UN Security Council Resolutions are in the public domain. It's commons:Template:PD-UN-doc and friends at commons:Category:PD United Nations license tags. Jarnsax (talk) 08:40, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Or, more technically, the UN itself, which can probably be trusted, has disavowed that they will every assert a copyright claim in certain "stuff", even if someone says they can. It's their version of US government works. Jarnsax (talk) 09:00, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In England, the "constructive author" of all edicts, period, was "the Crown", the monarchy, not the person, and edicts didn't get a copyright under the statute of 3 Anne. Wheaton told us so, the "sovereign", now "us", the People, wasn't an author under the copyright law. It changed later 'over there' when they made Crown Copyright a thing. Jarnsax (talk) 08:53, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That they are "methods of operation of government/the legal system" isn't really about authorship, it's in next provision of that same Code section:
In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.
So even if they were, somehow, original works of authorship of someone other than "the People"... still no. And it's explanatory. That you can't copyright "how" the government and legal system actually works, it's "method of operation", and the law specifically says you can't. Jarnsax (talk) 09:17, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You can, as a person, who "has" authority, but is clearly not "using" it, write your own, unofficial, description of "how" stuff works, and claim authorship in the original bits of that. It's actually called an "official proclamation" in ye olde law dictionary when talking about edicts. Jarnsax (talk) 09:27, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How a Bill becomes a Law, lol, since it's "author" is the House of Representatives, still isn't an edict. It just doesn't matter because of "US government works", unless you are wondering if these are the rules they actually follow, and this document is what made it that way (if it actually is an edict). Jarnsax (talk) 10:07, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The "entire" pile of dead trees that is effectively "us", the People, muttering to ourselves as we make up "our" mind, and then "saying what we decided" as a statute/decision/ruling, whatever you call it; or telling all the little fiddly bits of "our" government what their job is and how to carry it out..... that's basically what edicts are. The stuff you have to read to actually know "the law" in the very general sense. Jarnsax (talk) 19:04, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I keep talking about "the People", like the court did, just because this is all about stuff in a democracy. In a more general sense, it's about the "sovereign authority" of the particular country, whatever person, legislative body, or whatever else it is called. The w:College of Cardinals chooses new Popes, and the Pope is a head of the "College of Cardinals" has the authority to make edicts: it's what they are doing when they choose the new Pope.
If the Vatican wasn't actually a "government" this would not apply. They would still be "edicts" but not governmental ones. That's why they specifically point at UN stuff, to rule out arguments based on "treaties give UN stuff binding force" trying to drag them into the scope of the rule. Jarnsax (talk) 19:26, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The US government has always made it extremely clear (and this come up) that "we" are emphatically not delegating authority to the UN, or to the bodies that write international treaties that we join.
Even if the Senate "accedes to" a treaty, and that treaty actually says "upon acceptance of this treaty by a State, all of it's provisions shall immediately enter into force, as law, in that State"... in the US, it does not happen unless "we" actually say so ourselves, explicitly.
For it to be otherwise would be unconstitutional. The Senate can't make law by itself. Jarnsax (talk) 19:40, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is 'why' 'how' the US doesn't accept the authority of things like the "International Court of Justice", even though the UN "says" it has global authority jurisdiction over stuff like war crimes, crimes against humanity, etc. "We" never said so. Jarnsax (talk) 19:52, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The actual "requirement" that we write all that stuff down.... it's part of that abstract concept that is "the law" in it's entirely, even if not actually "the statute" or "the decision", and (public policy reasons) "secret laws" are vastly worse than "ex post facto laws", since there is no "proof" that they actually exist.
Actually "writing that stuff down", and looking at it later, is part of the "mode of operation" of the government and legal system... the entire "mass" of "governmental edicts" is actually defining that mode of operation. Jarnsax (talk) 20:14, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the best I can get to as a 'definition', at this point is:
Edicts of governments are works of the "constructive authorship of the sovereign power", created by those public officials who have been delegated the authority to make them. Public officials are not the "author" of such works that they create. Edicts include all constitutional and statutory laws, and other such works that "constitute the authentic exposition and interpretation of the law", in it's general sense, by public officials. Such works define and create the "mode of operation" of government and the legal system, and need not carry the "force of law". All edicts of government are not valid "subject matter of copyright" under 17 U.S. Code §102(a), as held by the Supreme Court in Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., and are specifically denied copyright protection as "modes of operation" by 17 U.S. Code §102(b).
Jarnsax (talk) 22:48, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Still giving the Compendium list as 'illustration'. Jarnsax (talk) 22:51, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And something like, "Though assertions of copyright protection made by foreign governments, in their own edicts and under their own laws, are not enforceable under US law per 17 U.S. Code § 104(c), longstanding Wikimedia Foundation policy requests that the English Wikisource respect such claims. This does not apply to such unenforceable claims made by sub-national governments of the United States. Most foreign governments do not make such claims." Jarnsax (talk) 23:17, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
People linked the source of that back in the old conversations, it predates the meta page and the stuff that cause it to be written. It's something Jimbo decided while in "God mode", all the way back in 2005 or so. Jarnsax (talk) 23:20, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All of this is kinda related to the "primacy", as it was put ^up there somewhere^ of the Compendium, since it doesn't have the force of law, and it's come up more than once.
Courts don't have to listen to the Compendium, and actually only consider it as an 'argument with persuasive force.' What actually matters is that the records of the Copyright Office are considered prima facie evidence for what they say... what those records say is "presumed" to be correct, and it's on you to prove otherwise to attack the validity of that copyright in court; that the records actually say otherwise (an ad. int. registration was never perfected, for example), that the USCO actually made an obvious mistake shown in the record (such as, author didn't actually sign the card), that someone actually lied to the USCO (they really didn't comply with the manufacturing clause, the author wasn't a citizen or domiciliary, etc.), or something similar (Feist v. Rural, you can't copyright a phone book).
Otherwise, you have to show the court that this "presumably valid" copyright (in the work as actually deposited, as a "whole", which includes any copyrightable design elements) didn't actually apply to what you copied... the "work as deposited" was really a "compilation" to begin with, and what you copied wasn't "new and original" and wasn't of the authorship of the claimant (or otherwise not "valid subject matter" - see Feist etc.).
Since the Compendium actually details what the USCO thinks the law is, and describes how they apply it... we should listen to them about that because the courts do, and they listen to the Supreme Court and Congress because it's their job.
If you think the Compendium is actually wrong on some point, you are probably in error, or raising something that is actually an "open question" where their 'practice' is to act conservatively (they err on the side of registering stuff, deliberately, and leave it to the courts). When they say "No, we won't register that"... it's not a 'conservative' statement, and we are probably on very firm ground listening to them.
There's usually explicit law or a Court decision behind their opinion, or 'widely held' scholarly opinion that hasn't actually been addressed by Congress or a lawsuit (usually because everyone agrees it's obvious, or the whole history behind Georgia, the Blue Book, etc. - when people just assert copyright claims regardless and say "sue us", which wasn't an issue under mandatory registration). The Compendium reflects hundreds, if not thousands, of "man-years" of accumulated 'corporate' experience, and they actually read the "legislative history". Jarnsax (talk) 21:18, 11 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Comment: @Jarnsax: You seem pretty knowledgable. In all of this, I'm trying to determine if any of the following things can be legally considered public domain in the US as "authored by an arm of the legislature in the course of its legislative duties":
  • Contracts between city governments and private companies
  • City resolutions (as opposed to ordinances which are edicts)
  • City council meeting minutes and agendas
Do you have an answer to whether the specific things listed above could, per Georgia v. Public, be considered in the public domain? And if so, do we need a template explaining their legal situation? I'm about ready to get to work on archiving some legislative documents of small towns on Commons, which is why I ask. PseudoSkull (talk) 22:02, 23 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@PseudoSkull The best statement of the principle is straight from Georgia (cited in 313.6(C)(2) of the Compendium)...
Legislators and judges “empowered to speak with the force of law cannot be the authors of—and therefore cannot copyright—the works they create in the course of their official duties.”
Regarding a contract, I believe it would be generally be copyrightable, as not actually written by the "legislative body" itself... I would expect normally it would be negotiated between lawyers of the two parties.
Resolutions, and minutes/agendas, though, are authored by the body "itself"... even if not having the force of law, they are created by the body "in the course of it's official duties", so would be PD per Georgia's statement of the rule. Jarnsax (talk) 22:24, 23 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Minutes of 1973 Congressional hearing. Contains prepared testimony of private individuals (researchers, leaders of think tanks, etc.). Public record but not public domain. Xover (talk) 09:47, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Programme of the Third International (1928), first published in English (it says) in 1929, which lacks a license. It is also not a previously published edition ( calls it their own edition). The translation is claimed to be no-notice, but not the original. Xover (talk) 09:52, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Xover: At least the first part of chapter 1 is identical to the version translated by John C. Wright, first published in 1936 (1957 version: Definitely doesn't match the version serialised in The Militant from 1928-1929 by James P. Cannon. -ei (talk) 12:43, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I have requested what appears to be the first English translation of this book. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 13:06, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Xover: I just picked up a copy of the 1936 edition, which has no copyright notice (and would thus be PD-US-no notice). It seems fairly similar to the 1957 second edition above, whose copyright was not renewed. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 19:49, 9 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There are two works by Bennett on Wikisource: Telegram to David Webster and First Bennett Radio Address. They're tagged as {{PD-1996}}, but Bennett died in 1947, meaning that his works only because PD in Canada with pma. 50 in 1998. Is there some other, more obscure provision by which these works were PD in Canada in 1996? Do either of these works qualify for {{PD-CAGov}}? —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 06:45, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, the first issue is that the uploaders appear to have confused date of creation with date of publication. The telegram was not published at the time it was sent and is more likely to have been first published relatively recently from archival research (it's sourced to the actual telegram form, which is unlikely to have been published at the time). The radio address was a performance of the underlying work, not a publication, but here it is much more plausible that publication happened somewhat contemporaneously with the broadcast. In any case, we need to know when and where these were first published in order to determine copyright status. Xover (talk) 07:10, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Meh. I started to delete this and then thought better of it. We need to dig into whether Bennett was a sitting PM (i.e. whether CAGov applies), where and when published, US status in addition to CA status, and any effects of the CA copyright term extension that happened at the turn of the year. I still don't see an obvious path to PD for these two texts, but we do need to have all the relevant factors on the table before concluding. Xover (talk) 07:50, 6 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bennett was Prime minister when he delivered the January 1935 speeches, but that probably doesn't affect the ordinary copyright if the speeches were not published by the Crown. -- Asclepias (talk) 21:08, 4 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regarding First Bennett Radio Address, it was kept in a 2011 discussion on the assumption of it having been under Crown Copyright, which explains why the closing admin then tagged it the same day as PD-1996 [11]. But that assumption seems wrong. The fives speeches of January 1935, The Premier speaks to the people, were published in five booklets by the "Dominion Conservative Headquarters" [12]. Not by the government. The applicable Canadian copyright would probably be the ordinary copyright, which was 50 years p.m.a. when it expired in 1998. -- Asclepias (talk) 21:08, 4 March 2023 (UTC) On the other hand, the Act speaks of "prepared or published" and I suppose that the question might be asked if a political speech of the Prime minister, or of another minister, could be considered to have been "prepared [...] by or under the direction or control of" the government. Maybe or maybe not. The fact that the speeches were published by the political party and not by the government may be an indication that they are not considered prepared by the government either. I don't know really. Scholars may have written something about that. -- Asclepias (talk) 23:49, 4 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Per Wikisource:Proposed_deletions#Avon_Fantasy_Reader/Issue_11/Uncommon_Castaway ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 10:10, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not by US personell. I appreciate the creator was acting in good faith, but some degree of checking of the Commons details against those actually in the file is needed. Also nominated for DR at Commons. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 23:40, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is by someone who is an employee of the government of the Philippines which also doesn't have copyright. So we can just tag it {{PD-PhilGovDoc}} no? "No prior approval or conditions shall be required for the use for any purpose of … dissertations …" MarkLSteadman (talk) 00:16, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Depends if wiriting a thesis at a US college is considered "official" I think..ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 00:56, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would think that if you the government is sending you there then yes, writing a dissertation is a regular part of your duties. Presumably if the government sends you to attend a school program and you spend all your time partying and don't attend classes / do the dissertation etc. you are not doing your job. (Philippines includes all work done by government employees as part of their duties as government works).
I could understand saying that {{PD-PhilGovDoc}} is only relevant as far as determining what works are eligible for URAA restoration as otherwise Philippine copyright status is irrelevant to US copyright law as only Edicts would be noncopyrightable in the US. MarkLSteadman (talk) 11:17, 10 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmm. I see echoes of {{PD-USGov}} in your reasoning here. Philippine copyright law doesn't talk about "officers" of the government or their duties. It specifically deals with "works of the Government". I am not at all sure we can derive a general copyright exemption for Philippine army officers, even if they go to Naval School in the US on the government's dime.
I am also not immediately certain whether this thesis would count as a US work or a Philippine work under Berne (and therefore under US copyright). Peni may be a Philippine citizen, but they are also a "domiciliary" of the US at the time of publication (and writing).
But I think, perhaps, the most decisive point is your latter one: Philippine government works that are not edicts must have some independent path to compatible licensing in the US: either due to expiry, ineligibility, free licensing, or similar. Otherwise this work would be just like a novel that's PD abroad due to expiry of a pma. 70 term, but still in copyright in the US due to a pub. +95 term (with or without URAA restoration). Xover (talk) 20:10, 5 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From IPOPHL MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 2020 024, 4.1 [[13]]:
No copyright on works of the Government. - No copyright shall subsist in any work of the Government created by an officer or employee thereof as a part of his or her regularly prescribed official duties, as defined above. MarkLSteadman (talk) 21:32, 8 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My head hurts. @MarkLSteadman: Awesome find Mark! I had completely ignored that link thinking it was essentially irrelevant in light of the text of the copyright act itself, but I see now that is like the US Copyright Circular and maybe a bit more too: it essentially changes the law (within some constraints).
But I am now even more confused about how to deal with a work first published in the US in 2007 (so pma. 70 US copyright), authored by the (extended) Philippine government and exempted from copyright in the Philippines (but possibly requiring permission before commercial use in the Philippine jurisdiction). I think maybe we'll have to sift through Berne looking for guidance on the "country of origin" to crack this nut.
Incidentally, note that the definition of "regular duties" is quite narrow in this circular: it refers specifically to a form for describing a person's duties, rather than a general "anything that could be considered to be …". I am not at all convinced we can assume this to fall within the scope of their "regular duties". Xover (talk) 12:11, 15 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Berne, it turns out, isn't all that concerned with the nationality of the author, only where the work was first published. So this would be a US work, and US copyright laws apply. For a work published in 2007 this means pma. 70 (so presumably a good long way in the future). There are no obvious exceptions in US law or copyright office practice that would exempt this work from copyright in the US.
The Berne rules apply to all signatories, including the Philippines, but they are free to apply other rules, such as government work exceptions. So this may be PD in the Philippines as a government work (but note my hesitation above); just not in the US which is the relevant bit for our purposes. Xover (talk) 10:56, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well US copyright could have been transferred to the Naval Postgraduate School and hence the US Government who could then have released it. That is a possibility given of (the student chooses how to use their copyright via a distribution agreement as part of the signed thesis release."These documents are approved for publication by signature via the NPS Thesis Release form on file with the Thesis Processing Office.") and with it's distribution statement ("Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited."). MarkLSteadman (talk) 12:36, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, let's assume for the sake of argument that that's so… Where does that get us? The US government can hold copyrights it acquires through transfer of title (deed etc.), it just can't be an author for copyright purposes. If we assume Peni transferred their copyright to the US government by way of NPS, that just means we now need the US government to release it under a compatible license. "Public release" is just "access to information" and independent of copyright. "Distribution unlimited" just means "not classified", but even if it was taken as an implied license to distribute copies under copyright law, it would still be equivalent to a -ND license which isn't permitted here.
Bottom line is that if there's a path to us keeping this then I am not seeing it. As says: NPS students … sign … agreements that permit [it] to be distributed to NPS and DOD websites [note: only NPS/DOD websites] …. All other rights are reserved by the copyright owner. … Reuse generally requires permission of the copyright holder, fair use exemptions, or must be in accordance with a Creative Commons license selected by the rights-holder.. Xover (talk) 14:12, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, I was hoping to see if there was a release my thesis under a CC license box in the agreement but if so there is no record on it so that path is also closed. As an aside, it would have been helpful if the NPS when uploading it to the Internet Archive to have used a CC ND license. MarkLSteadman (talk) 16:01, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm continually amazed at the sloppy licensing practices of big institutions and government entities. Most of the time, this stuff ain't that difficult; and by being more careful about documenting this stuff it generally becomes a lot easier for everyone. Oh well. Xover (talk) 19:06, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, and let me also correct my own sloppy phrasing up above, so as to not confuse future readers. It's not that the US Federal government can't be authors for copyright purposes, it's rather that the copyright act explicitly exempts works authored by the government from copyright protection. The distinction is rarely relevant, and I found the issue confused in a number of sources early on, so I tend to be sloppy here. But in some on-going unrelated discussions the distinction is material and so I want to be pedantically clear. PD-USGov is for works authored by the government, which are not protected by the copyright act, but works authored by others can have their copyright end up in the government's hands and the government can enforce those copyrights. Xover (talk) 08:17, 31 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree with  Delete MarkLSteadman (talk) 19:34, 31 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Contemporary patent copyright license template[edit]

What template should be used for recent (otherwise-copyrighted) patents? TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 03:21, 11 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not following. If they are copyrighted they are not eligible for hosting. Are you saying there are some patent applications / patent grants that are explicitly licensed with a compatible license? Xover (talk) 10:22, 15 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Xover: I guess I meant “otherwise-copyrightable” patents. Patents should not be subject to copyright—that’s the whole point of having separate laws. Patent specifications as technical descriptions of the patent in question are “facts” or “ideas,” not “expressions” of those ideas. At least, that’s the case in theory. How would that be indicated in a license? TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 17:31, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'm not sure we have a way to do that. It'd be some variant of asserting that the relevant text was ineligible for copyright protection, as opposed to having been protected but the term of protection expired or being protected but the owner has licensed it with a permissive license. If the need is there I imagine this would best be solved by a dedicated template.
    But note that I am not at all certain patent applications and patent grants are ineligible for copyright. Quite the contrary in some cases: a design patent describes (typically with illustrations) ornamental or artistic aspects of an item. I certainly wouldn't rely on any such blanket assumption of ineligibility without making a concrete assessment of the specific patent in question. Xover (talk) 18:14, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Xover: This is the patent, if you’re interested. While it does have many illustrations, I wouldn’t say there is much ornamentation, although there is a bit of additional detail. Whether that additional detail counts as copyrightable is debatable. Many of the images are below the threshold of originality, and especially so if you consider them to be on the idea side of the idea–expression dichotomy. Your thoughts? TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 18:33, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      My immediate inclination is that this is plenty creative to be copyrightable (the threshold of originality is pretty low). Most of the text is also merely dry and technical (like a Wikipedia article), and not a mere listing of facts. There is creative expression even in dry prose.
      I'm hesitant to be too emphatic since I've never considered this problem before, but I don't see this patent has a path to being hostable for us. I'm open to the idea that some patents might be, but for this one i'm not seeing it.
      Anybody else have thoughts on this? Xover (talk) 19:55, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      See Compendium § 717.3 (3d. ed. 2021): "The U.S. Copyright Office may register a claim to copyright in the written description for an invention or the drawings or photographs set forth in a patent or a patent application, provided that the work contains a sufficient amount of original authorship." There is also (unsurprisingly) the article w:Copyright on the content of patents and in the context of patent prosecution. A patent itself (i.e., the idea being patented) is presumably not copyrightable, but the patent documentation is. Shells-shells (talk) 21:35, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The translated work Indian Influences in Old-Balinese Art was printed in English in 1935; by Willem Frederik Stutterheim, translated by Claire Holt

The original work may be okay, however, investigation of the translator for the English language edition shows w:Claire Holt (art historian) (1901-1970), so we are not at death +70 or even close, unfortunately.

@Bennylin:billinghurst sDrewth 14:00, 15 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for the ping, I would also like to call @Rachmat04: as the uploader and Index creator. I would defer to the community consensus. Bennylin (talk) 04:24, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I also agree with the consensus later, whether to keep the file (the content is hidden on enwikisource until it falls into the public domain) or remove it. ··· 🌸 Rachmat04 · 08:03, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  •  Delete Dutch original first published in Amsterdam in 1930. Translation first published in London in 1935. Original is by Willem Frederik Stutterheim (1892–1942) and under pma. 70 rules was in copyright in the Netherlands until 2012. The translation is by Claire Holt (1901–1970) and will be in copyright in the UK until 2040. Both were in copyright at home on their respective URAA dates (1996), and as such are in copyright in the US until 2025 and 2030 respectively (95 years from first publication). --Xover (talk) 08:56, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree, but it would be good to have it listed somewhere so that we do not forget to renew it in 2030. The work is scanbacked, proofread and validated, so it would be a pity to lose it completely. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 09:14, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We have no good process for that, unfortunately. I think the best we can probably do is a {{copyright-until}} entry on the author page(s) with an extra note that it can be undeleted in 2031 (and links to all the pages to be undeleted; since deleted pages obviously do not show up in Special:PrefixIndex-searches and similar). Xover (talk) 09:25, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
They've accumulated on pages like Wikisource:Requested texts/1931.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:55, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, good point. We could certainly use Requested texts for this. Still not a good way to list all the individual pages that would need to be undeleted, but better than nothing. Xover (talk) 19:42, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In they have a subpage of the Admin’s Noticeboard where they keep record of deleted copyvios to be undeleted after it gets possible. I suggest to found a similar (sub)page here as well, but I would include only well processed scan-backed texts there. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 22:29, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, the objection to that is we're just barely (not) managing to keep up with WS:CV/WS:PD processing as it is. Too often it happens that stuff slips through, like removing a {{copyvio}} or {{delete}} template from a page that was kept, or missing some other required cleanup, or... I'm leery of adding yet another necessary step to the process. I've no objection (quite the contrary) to people keeping track of stuff to be undeleted at a specific date, but as a practical matter it'd have to be left up to interested editors rather than become yet another responsibility for the closing admin.
In any case, I would prefer Prosfilaes' idea of using Requested texts for this to a subpage of AN or even of CV. It's already set up for a very similar purpose so it's a good match. And on "public domain day" every year there is plenty of attention on that year's page, so doing a batch undelete of those listed would be a natural extension. Xover (talk) 08:10, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Bennylin @Billinghurst @Jan.Kamenicek @Prosfilaes @Prosfilaes I was going to do some work on this, as it appears on the 'petscan:10130888 — validated works needing transclusion' report on Billinghurst's user page (trying to get the number down a bit). However, although it was statused as fully validated, it wasn't (one page was still at 'not proofread'}, it is not fully transcluded (hence being on the report) and the 'previous' and 'next' fields for the chapters are empty. However, it's main deficiency is that the scan is missing a number of pages (on my count only 18 of the 23 plates are present, noting that in some cases there are two on a page) along with the pages containing their description. Notwithstanding the copyright issue I would suggest deletion unless scan can be fixed. Chrisguise (talk) 10:31, 12 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Comment I would suggest that the means to do this is to try and follow what happens at Commons, per their c:Commons:Files to be restored when out of copyright. It would mean that we would need to do here would be to put the excise discussions into a subpage of this page (either to a page per year, or per discussion), and categorise it appropriately. This would also allow us to go back to Commons and undelete there as necessary. We already do similar maintenance to migrate works to Commons, and it is not an overly tedious task, nd usually gets done in January/February of each year.

My suggestion on how to manage would be to simply create a subpage, which is a redirect, and to tag that page with something pertinent. Reference pCategory:Media not suitable for Commons for that setup — billinghurst sDrewth 08:27, 13 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

English translation unsourced and not attributed to any author. I suggest deleting it under pre-cautionary principle. -- Jan Kameníček (talk) 22:17, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Keep. enWS does not have a precautionary principle. This appears to be a user translation of a French translation of the Bulgarian (presumably) original. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 23:16, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I think that "appears" is not enough. We need to know it is in PD domain or freely licenced. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 23:47, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  •  Delete per Jan. That we haven't adopted c:COM:PRP as bright-line policy on enWS does not invalidate the principle. If we cannot with reasonable certainty, based on actual evidence rather than assumptions, determine copyright status to be expired or compatibly licensed then we cannot host the given text. Our licensing policy is an implied guarantee to our reusers, so giving them texts with unknown or doubtful licensing status is a very serious breach of faith. Ironically, the best way to promote free culture is to be strict about copyright. --Xover (talk) 08:16, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note that there are other public domain translations, e.g on pg. 400 Google Books or pg. 113 Google Books MarkLSteadman (talk) 09:10, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  •  Keep Move to Translation: namespace. There is reasonable evidence there to support a user-based translation based on the document and the reference. Poke a disambiguation page in place in the main ns that points to the Translation, if truly needed. We don't have precautionary principle, though we do have due care. Run a search, and if you cannot find those words on the web, then we can also support our approach. If you can find a word for word text on an older webpage then we can delete it. — billinghurst sDrewth 23:29, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

PD-US nominations[edit]

Works of Noel Rosa[edit]

The translation licenses are fine, but it's not clear to me whether/why the underlying works are PD. Some works don't have years; those that do range from 1932–1936. Do these qualify as "cinematographic, phonographic, photographic [or] applied arts works" (from commons:Template:PD-Brazil-URAA)? —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 02:28, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I see this in Wikipedia: "Apart from expired copyright and unknown authors, works in the public domain include those from authors who have died and left no successors." MarkLSteadman (talk) 03:48, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@MarkLSteadman Thank you for checking! Do we have reason to think that applies to Rosa? —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 05:05, 31 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
He apparently died fatherless, young and estranged. But I don't know nearly enough about Brazilian law to confirm what that requires. MarkLSteadman (talk) 17:46, 31 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A History of Yesterday[edit]

This page is tagged PD-US but was published after 1928. Luke10.27 (talk) 02:35, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Because the notes field says, "Translated by George Kline for the Russian Review in 1949, the copyright has since lapsed," this work may qualify for {{PD-US-no-renewal}}, but this would need to be proved. —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 02:57, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cat (Farjeon)[edit]

Was tagged as {{PD-US}} but the listed publication date is 1938. —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 02:36, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

With renewal (Renewal: R380355) MarkLSteadman (talk) 14:01, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That means it is copyvio and needs to be deleted, right? Luke10.27 (talk) 19:38, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. Xover (talk) 07:41, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek address to Chinese New First Army in India[edit]

same as above Luke10.27 (talk) 02:37, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This would need to be covered by PD-CN for the original and US government for the translation (, pg. 67). MarkLSteadman (talk) 16:11, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@MarkLSteadman To clarify, are you saying those licenses do apply, or just that they would be the appropriate licenses if any? —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 04:30, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We need some reason for the original to not be covered by the URAA restoration as it is surely not in English and that would be the only feasible route I believe, but I am unfamiliar with Chinese copyright law. MarkLSteadman (talk) 04:59, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Chinese copyright has a lot of unique features, but for the general case you can treat them as pma. 50 with a 1996 URAA date. Xover (talk) 07:41, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since Chiang Kai-shek died in 1975, it won't be in the PD because of PMA 50. But I don't whether, say, the current government of China would consider this a government work or not given the complicated politics of the time. (Stillwell died in 1946 if he did the translation). MarkLSteadman (talk) 03:24, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The government for our purposes is whoever is recognized by the UN and the majority of countries as the legal government. Up to about 1948–1949 (when Chiang's forces were defeated by the CCP and he fled to Taiwan) that would have been the ROC. Xover (talk) 08:39, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To a Woman[edit]

Same as above Luke10.27 (talk) 02:40, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A number of Robert Ervin Howard's works are {{PD-US-no-renewal}} or {{PD-US-no-notice}}, but we'd need proof that this one is. —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 03:00, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Sun Also Rises[edit]

same as above Luke10.27 (talk) 02:42, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On Commons this work is tagged as {{PD-US-no-renewal}}. Considering this work was proofread in the January 2022 Monthly Challenge, I'm hoping someone has a convenient link with proof the work qualifies? —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 03:04, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The core book was published 1926 and the only copyright notice is for 1926. Any additions or changes, like the cover, lack a copyright notice.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:49, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That means it's not copyvio, right? Luke10.27 (talk) 15:57, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Correct, the copyright of the main text dates to the original edition and is expired. Maybe we should create a reprint license template that would make this more clear? MarkLSteadman (talk) 20:26, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@MarkLSteadman, that's a good idea. Do you have phrasing suggestions? —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 04:29, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Something like "This work is a newer edition of a previously copyrighted work that contains new material additions such as the cover image, front matter or end matter. Original: FOO. New material: BAR." modeled on {{translation license}}. MarkLSteadman (talk) 05:07, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Isn't that a bit overkill? I'm not necessarily against the idea, but my immediate response is that it's not worth the extra complication. Xover (talk) 07:35, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It would avoid confusion, which IMO is worth what little complexity it would add. (BTW this is User:Luke10.27; I can't access my password manager right now) 01:33, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
FWIW, this conversation inspired me to finish migrating {{translation license}} to Lua, and with the current code, it would be less trouble than it used to be to make another template on the same model. —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 04:24, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@MarkLSteadman {{Reprint license}} —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 05:22, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World[edit]

As above; was tagged {{PD-US}} but published in 1928. —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 02:55, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I suspect that this is {{PD-US-no-renewal}}. MarkLSteadman (talk) 20:31, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On what basis? Xover (talk) 08:05, 31 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did a quick look in the stanford renewal database and didn't see it but also because of the obstacles and lack of general interest because of the racism of the times when it came up for renewal. MarkLSteadman (talk) 17:53, 31 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't see any evidence of it in the Stanford Renewal Database, but anybody could renew works they had the right to renew for a filing fee, and it's pretty random who did and didn't. I wouldn't rely on ideas like that for what wasn't renewed.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:48, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was just saying of all the books published in 1928, those by authors who died in poverty a few years later, estranged by their families, who had limited commercial interest, who were relatively obscure at the time of renewal etc. are the ones probably worth investigating for non renewal. Sure, someone could have written up a proper contract to acquire the rights, he could have paid a lawyer to set up a trust to do it on his behalf, etc., as opposed to best selling award winning book still in print etc. MarkLSteadman (talk) 03:25, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's no need for a trust; an heir could file a renewal on a copyrighted work, ending any publisher licenses on the work. The big stuff was almost always renewed, but even random stuff could be and was frequently renewed.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:09, 31 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One Who Comes at Eventide[edit]

As with To a Woman, this work might be {{PD-US-no-notice}} or {{PD-US-no-renewal}}, but we'd need proof. Could someone who knows how to do that sort of thing check the copyright renewals for Robert Ervin Howard and Modern American Poetry in October 1933? —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 03:09, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To clarify, the renewals would be in 1960 or 1961. —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 04:34, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply] has the book. Robert E. Howard doesn't have any renewals prior to his 1937 works, and Modern American Poetry doesn't seem to have been renewed; I checked the compiled Gutenberg renewals and the periodical renewals for 1960 and 1961.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:38, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Prosfilaes: Thank you! —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 08:17, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Moon Mockery[edit]

This one was published in Weird Tales/1929#April so I'm not too worried, but neither the page nor the scan actually claim that copyright wasn't renewed, so I'd appreciate a confirmation. —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 03:16, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Weird Tales pages were annotated with all the renewals; if they show the cover instead of a renewal notice, they're good.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:51, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lucy Etheldred Broadwood[edit]

Published in 1929 in Journal of the Folk-Song Society. Like above, needs proof it's PD. —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 03:18, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's from England; it's clearly restored by the URAA.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:55, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Levy-Dew (de la Mare)[edit]

Published 1931. Was this copyrighted/renewed? —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 03:22, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

de la Mare is likely covered by URAA restoration. MarkLSteadman (talk) 13:56, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Keep. But see [14] and [15]—non-simultaneous publication with a copyright notice but no renewal, PD-US-no renewal. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 14:40, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    If the UK edition was in 1931 and the first US edition was in 1962, then this is a UK work and its copyright was restored by the URAA. What's the relevance of the renewal for the Shanks work here? Xover (talk) 07:33, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The principal authors which I identified, died in 1954 and 1969 respectively. This is a UK published work. It may be PD-US, but either of the 2 scans on IA can't be put on Commons as it's still in copyright in it's country of original publication. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 16:34, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Published 1922, so it is PD-US. As you note, scans would need to be uploaded locally. —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 04:40, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It might be helpful to just have a portion of this page dedicated purely to these moves from commons to WS which shouldn't need discussion, just administrator attention. MarkLSteadman (talk) 05:09, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Community discussion is useful because it's not certain a single contributor will be able to determine all the factors that go into actual copyright status (i.e. it might not actually be a problem). Having a separate process for these adds little (IMO), and costs extra management, so I'm not in favour of that. Just ping an admin if the issue is urgent (never hesitate to ping me for such things; I can't guarantee response time, but I certainly don't mind the ping).
However, in this case there appears to be nothing to do. None of the scans are actually on Commons, so here it's a matter of needing to upload them locally when they get uploaded. That doesn't require admin intervention. I can do the technical stuff of generating a DjVu, but that's a "geek" thing not an "admin" thing. Xover (talk) 07:16, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm UK based, so I can't reasonably put this work (for local upload) on WS:Scan Lab. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 14:52, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@ShakespeareFan00 can you not access the IA scans in the UK? FWIW the scans I could find of this work are Internet Archive identifier: handbookofpalest00lukeuoft, Internet Archive identifier: handbookofpalest00luke and Internet Archive identifier: 39020001828394-thehandbookofpa. —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 02:24, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CalendulaAsteraceae: Work is still in copyright in the UK. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 09:33, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can upload them here if needed. Yann (talk) 13:22, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The enWS and Commons policies are there to protect the WMF and the reusers of our uploaded material, and specify PD in the US and country of origin for the work. But the contributors, in this case uploaders, also need to take an extra factor into consideration: the jurisdiction in which they themselves are based. So a UK work to be hosted on the US-based servers... If you're an Aussie you need to also consider whether Australian copyright law might prevent you from legally uploading that work. That means that for all the works that are PD in the US but not in the UK (i.e. stuff that can be hosted on enWS but not on Commons), UK-based contributors potentially need to consider their legal position, risk of getting sued, etc.
This is why I keep saying that I think we should adopt the Commons approach of works being PD in both US and country of origin. That policy is based on Berne and means that if a work is compatible with the policy it is also going to be considered PD in almost all Berne countries, irrespective of what the country of origin happened to be. If you upload a policy-compliant work to Commons the chances of getting sued (legitimately) are essentially nil. If you do the same on enWS, anyone outside the US needs to make some pretty darned advanced risk assessments. I feel pretty confident in my own ability to so, but experience shows that that describes a small fraction of our community and contributors: the vast majority of them are running a significant risk on a daily basis while we have this policy. Combined with adopting the precautionary principle as policy, requiring PD in both US and country of origin would massively reduce the legal liability of both our contributors and reusers, and make these kinds of assessments a lot simpler. Xover (talk) 09:06, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
IMHO you exaggerate greatly the risk of being sued. For most copyright, nobody really cares. The risk exists only for some major authors and works. I don't advocate changing the policy, but that's the reality. Yann (talk) 10:03, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I wonder if the perception around this changes as the works affected move from the 1890s to the 1900s to the 1910s. Many books from that era such as illustrated children's books, classical translations, the EB1911 etc. are embedded in people's minds of what the public domain is. Among other things, the shorter copyright terms from that era means they have been in the public domain for decades in the US. MarkLSteadman (talk) 11:25, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

WotC OGL 1.0a[edit]

In relation to this deletion discussion on Commons, I was wondering as to the opinion of enWS as to the compatibility of WotC’s OGL 1.0a. That OGL is used to license SRD, and SRD 5.1 has been licensed under CC BY 4.0 and is already being transcribed (here). But is the original license acceptable? TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 00:45, 31 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My instinct says no, and I tend to agree with this article that the only aspects of a work that the OGL allows one to reuse are those aspects that are already uncopyrightable. I had a whole spiel about the w:idea–expression distinction written here, but I'm less sure of its correctness than I was. One confounding factor is that I think Wizards of the Coast uses the label "Open Game Content" more broadly than its strict definition in the license, and applies it wrongly to copyrightable content in addition to the mere functional rules (the 'ideas') that it seems to rightly apply to. I would appreciate being corrected by someone more informed than me. Shells-shells (talk) 04:14, 31 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WotC released a System Reference Document for three versions of D&D under the OGL, from which a number of companies have copied extensively and released a book under it that has its text copied and put online, with no response from them. I think it includes the text if you read it right, but it is poorly worded. I'm also skeptical of that author's claims about uncopyrightability; original text is almost always copyrightable, even if it's a thin copyright, and I can imagine a brief arguing that how long certain spells take is a feature of the fictional world, not rules mechanics.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:47, 31 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Tentatively no, based on what I know of it, but as I haven't really dug into it I reserve the right to change my mind on that. --Xover (talk) 08:03, 31 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No. The section about not declaring compatibility isn't Free, in my opinion.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:47, 31 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Prosfilaes: That restriction is on the “Product Identity,” which is not freely licensed under OGL v. 1.0a (only the “Open Game Content” is). Wouldn’t that be a trademark-related restriction, anyway? Or perhaps similar to a non-endorsement restriction in CC licenses? TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 15:15, 1 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • As Shells-shells link says, it's a strong limitation on what you can do with the product. It's way more than a non-endorsement clause, as it prevents declaring compatibility, i.e. "designed to work with Microsoft Windows; this product is not approved or endorsed by Microsoft".--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:52, 1 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The given source does not say anything about the origin of the translation. It can be found in various books dated from late 1990s to 2020s, and also HathiTrust does not seem to have it in any old publication, which suggests it is a modern translations and so there is high probability it is still copyrighted, unless we find a proof it was released into Public Domain. Jan Kameníček (talk) 15:44, 31 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The community from its beginnings has tended to not look too closely at national anthems, possibly a purposeful blindspot? <shrug> — billinghurst sDrewth 00:33, 5 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Given it dates to 1848 and was adopted in 1917 as the anthem in the Moldavian Democratic Republic I am somewhat surprised there isn't a PD translation done at least around that time.... MarkLSteadman (talk) 10:13, 11 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As no evidence about the translation being in public domain has appeared, I think the nomination can be closed. Unless opposed, I am going to delete the text soon. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 10:01, 3 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

At the time that the acceptance speech was given he had no role that put his works into the public domain, and I am unaware of any release that would allow us to host the work. Fair use would allow it, though that is not within our remit. — billinghurst sDrewth 07:56, 22 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Where’s the notice? This is from 1976. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 17:37, 22 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Where is the source to know whether it had a notice or not? It has no licence upon it, so that should be part of the discussion. Though it would help if you want to make such a claim that something more eloquent and reference-driven would be more helpful. — billinghurst sDrewth 00:37, 5 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is template {{PD-UN}} appropriate here? Although WIPO is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations, the treaty appears to be a document issued WITHOUT a UN symbol. And according to the terms of use of WIPO, CC license is only applicable to those documents published as of November 2016. Teetrition (talk) 12:59, 4 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Teetrition: WIPO is part of the UN. It is a public domain document for our purposes as an equivalent to a gov-edict of WIPO as part of the UN. Happy for a better suggestion for an applicable licence or a wording update, though you couldn't possibly be saying that it is not able to be reproduced. — billinghurst sDrewth 00:12, 5 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Even though it was published in 1996, if WIPO the document under a cc-by-4.0 as of 2016, then we can re-license it. — billinghurst sDrewth 00:17, 5 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(User:CalendulaAsteraceae) This isn’t 477 U.S. 242 but 106 S.Ct. 2505. It is the edition of the opinion, with copyrighted syllabus. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 02:49, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@TE(æ)A,ea. Oh dear. Thank you for looking into this! —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 03:19, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The PD-EdictGov template does not apply here because the English translation was not produced by a government. It was published by a private company in the UK in 1978, and would still (I think) be under copyright in both the UK and the US. Jcitawy (talk) 17:43, 15 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Keep I don't disagree with the source of the translation, or the reasoning for a nomination, however, the work's source clearly states that it has been released into the public domain, and that should be given validity, and a seemingly legitimate release statement overrides the hypothetical of who did own the copyright. — billinghurst sDrewth 11:37, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
 Delete The work was originally published in print by Red Star Press Ltd., in Joseph Stalin: Works, Volume 14 (London, 1978), and we would need a proof that this particular publication of translated texts was released into public domain. The fact that released their 2008 reprint into the public domain is imo not a proof that the 1978 publication had been released too, especially as they do not say what they founded their their release into public domain on, and there are considerable doubts that they had the right to do so. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 20:13, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Changing my vote to  Keep per TE(æ)A,ea. below. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 20:55, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Jan Kameníček: From my experience, the public domain declaration is for the transcription/retyping work, not for the original. But the Works printing may not be original; I’m sending for the volume. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 21:37, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Keep (the TL) as PD-US-no notice, due to simultaneous publication (distribution) in the United States under Red Press’s American division. I have a copy on hand, so if it isn’t deleted, I can scan it in and post it here. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:00, 28 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • billinghurst, Jan Kameníček: Given a lack of opposition, I’m going to make a scan in the next few days. I also wanted your opinions on another item in that volume, “On the Draft Constitution of the U.S.S.R.: Report delivered at the Extraordinary Congress of Soviets of the U.S.S.R.” This was a speech delivered on the floor regarding the Constitution Commission. I mention it because I believe that it would qualify as PD-EdictGov. I will scan it in in any case, but I await your opinions before uploading it. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 20:58, 2 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      Honestly, I always hesitate about PD-EdictGov and I would also appreciate if some help page explained it in more detail, but it seems to me that the original text should fall under this license. I suppose that the English translation was distributed in the US as was the previous volume and so it falls under PD-US-no notice, right?
      As for the Constitution of the Soviet Union (1936), if no opposing arguments come within a few more days, it can be imo closed as kept. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 23:14, 2 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      @Jan.Kamenicek: My understanding is that there is very little case law on GovEdict in the US, though there was a case in the past couple of years which came down with a decision allowing American state government publications generated by a private company om behalf of that government to be released into the public domain (was discussed here at enWS with links). So my understanding is that essentially if it is a government that is speaking in its official sense for the public's broader information then it is available. As we only look to comply with US copyright law then we have a broader capability to reproduce the edicts from any government. Edict here is acts, regulations, declarations, official documentation at a broad audience; so not one to one communications, etc. — billinghurst sDrewth 01:16, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • To all involved: I have proofread Index:Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.pdf. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 22:18, 6 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Hmm. Provided this text was ever enacted as the constitution of the USSR—which I am going to go ahead and assume—the Russian-language original clearly falls under {{PD-RU-exempt}}.
    I see above assertions that this translation is covered by {{PD-US-no notice}}, but I see no specific explanation of why this is so. In order for it to be no-notice it would have had to be first published in the US without a valid copyright notice. I see no evidence provided above that the relevant publication did not have a valid copyright notice (@TE(æ)A,ea.: if your meaning is that you have visually inspected a physical copy of the publication and found no notice then please say so explicitly; just saying it has no notice without specifying how you know is not very useful for future wiki-spelunkers).
    Additionally, in order for a multiply-published work (as I see referred above) to qualify has "first published in the US" it must have been published in the US no more than thirty days later than wherever actual first publication occurred. This is a quite rigid limit and requires much better evidence than seeing both UK and US on the colophon. While a specific date is usually not possible to ascertain with 100% accuracy, reasonable research must be made (and documented) to establish a reasonable likelihood that foreign publication happened "on or about" date X, that US publication happened "on or about" date Y, and that the probable intervals between the two is less than 30 days.
    @MarkLSteadman: You mention a 1938 likely first publication of the translation. Is that the same as File:Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.pdf? I rather understood that to be a partial scan of Joseph Stalin: Works, vol. 14 (1978). London: Red Star Press Ltd.? On what do you base the claim of a 1938 first publication of the translation, and why do we assume this is the same translation? And if they are the same and this translation was first published in 1938, who was the translator and what else do we know about that publication? Even if there's no scan online it should be possible to find it in a library or archive somewhere (TE(æ)A,ea. in particular is good at finding stuff like this in libraries).
    I think it's very likely that there's an early translation of this, and a lot of the communist-leaning publishers didn't—for whatever reason—include copyright notices, so finding a PD translation should be eminently possible. But based on the information provided above I am more confused than persuaded for the specific translation under discussion here. Possibly I'm just having a senior moment, but I'm not seeing the evidence needed to conclude "PD" here. --Xover (talk) 15:15, 2 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Hmm. And looking at the scan of Works (1978), its preface actually says The … Russian edition of J. Stalin's works … contains thirteen volumes and covers the period from 1901 up to January 1934 and has been published in English by the Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow. […] After this time, writings of J. Stalin in the English language could so far only be found in … pamphlets, Congress reports, newspaper articles e.t.c. After reprinting the 13 Volume Moscow edition, we now present five further volumes of works of J. Stalin. … As well in volume 14 after Stalin's explanatory speech on the Draft Constitution, we have included the full text of the Constitution as finally adopted by the Supreme Soviet.
    That certainly suggests that Red Star Press may have facilitated the translation and that this is its first publication. The text in the preface doesn't rule out that they used a previously published translation, of course, but they also discuss having checked the German and French translations so it certainly could be read to mean an original translation (if you're republishing an existing translation you usually don't check translations in other languages). This scan certainly has no visible notice, but since it was published after 1977 a notice was not strictly required. Works published 1978 through 28 February 1989 could be registered up to 5 years after publication even if they contained no notice (and would get either pma. 70 or pub. + 95 terms). However, searching the Stanford database (which contains renewals up to 1978) and the Copyright Office's database, reveal no entries for this under any probable search term ("Stalin" in title or author). That makes it eligible for {{PD-US-no-notice-post-1977}}. Iff this was this translation's first publication (cf. Mark's mention above that the translation was first published in 1938). Xover (talk) 16:16, 2 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Xover: I’ve long since returned the book, so I can’t scan any more of it at this point and I can just tell you what I remember. I received a physical copy of a book, and was able to examine it directly. The book contained no notice. It was published in 1978. I will take you at your word that there was no curative notice and is thus PD-US-1978-89 (the Commons license). I didn’t save my contemporaneous research, but I know that Red Star Press had (has?) an American division, and that they published books in both places. I don’t know why they would delay publication in U.S. contra U.K. I doubt the usual sources of evidence (newspaper advertisements &c.) will be useful here; the evidence is more circumstantial. I don’t know if there is an earlier English translation, but I wouldn’t be surprised as to this work as it is politically important. While I didn’t see any volumes other than no. 14, based on bibliographic information available to me, it does appear that Red Star started publishing the “new series” based on Stalin’s new works (post-1934) in 1978. There is no indication anywhere that the translation of the Constitution was copied from an earlier source. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:51, 2 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      Thanks, that was exactly what I had in mind. I had a look through newspapers from around 1978 but could find no trace of this. To make probable a simultaneous publication we would have to find something like a publishers catalog including it whose date is known. Or an ad for it in a different book by this publisher whose date is known. Or possibly a secondary source that discusses either the publisher or the work in a way that dates it. But see also below regarding a possible (probable?) 1937 translation that would predate this if it is identical. Xover (talk) 17:37, 2 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    More research, greater confusion…
    This indicates that an English-language translation was published by the State Publishing House of Political Literature in 1938. In addition, I found a 1976 edition by Progress Publishers that predates the Red Star Press edition by two years. This latter edition lists Printing history. 1937, 1938, 1945, 1947, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1972. Given the timing etc., in view of the previously mentioned 1938 edition, it seems likely that the State Publishing House of Political Literature published an official(ish) English-language translation in 1937, and that this was what was used for Progress Publishers' editions, at least up until the 1976 revised edition (when Progress Publishers seem to indicate an original translation from the Russian).
    Given the existence of an official(ish) English-language edition I find it unlikely that a wholly new translation was made absent specific evidence suggesting that (cf. the copyright claim for new translation from Russian by Progress Publishers). That makes probable a 1937 first publication in the USSR (we can just use Russia as a pragmatic simplification).
    Since about 1919, the State Publishing House of Political Literature (and all its several hundred siblings, commonly known, I think, as Politizdat) was the state publishing monopoly (before 1919 it was the party publishing organ). So I think it's reasonable to call the translation an "official" translation of the constitution. Official translations of the things exempted by {{PD-RU-exempt}} are also exempt, so this translation was PD in Russia on publication.
    So… The 1937 translation should be {{PD-RU-exempt}} and PD in its country of origin on the URAA date. If published outside the US in 1937 without observing the US-required formalities, and PD in its country of origin on the URAA date, it is {{PD-US-no notice}} (or possibly {{PD-US-no renewal}}). This requires finding a scan of the 1937 edition to verify that it has no notice (or that it has one). Alternately, if we can find a couple of contemporary publications by the State Publishing House of Political Literature to establish a pattern of including / not including a copyright notice.
    In addition, the recent-ish clarification of {{PD-EdictGov}} expanded its scope to include not only works that have the "force of law" (which translations usually do not, even if official) but also works whose authors are "authorized to speak the law" (i.e. any competent legislative assembly). An official translation of the constitution is somewhat of a stretch as having been authored by the Supreme Soviet, but if I squint just right I might just be able to convince myself that for a constitution published by the one-and-only state-monopoly publishing organ we're close enough to call it {{PD-EdictGov}}.
    If either of these apply there remains the question of whether the text published in Works vol. 14 is identical to the text published in 1937. That will need further research. Xover (talk) 17:33, 2 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    My general conclusion when I dug into it aligns with this. Basically a. There is evidence of a publication in both Moscow as well as by International Publishers [20] in New York in 1937 / 1938 of an "official" translation and b. without comparing the actual published texts it will be hard to determine one way or the other definitively MarkLSteadman (talk) 22:58, 2 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The Montreal Gazette published a full translation of the draft of the constitution on June 26, 1936. And by references elsewhere it seems The New York Times also published this draft on the same day. That suggests a coordinated release to the press of an already translated text.
    Several articles of the translation published in the Times appear in The Herald-News for June 30, 1936. These are described as having been "cabled from Moscow" (but that could just mean a foreign correspondent in Moscow, not "Moscow" itself). In any case, the quoted articles are not identical with our text, for example using "toilers" where our text uses "the working people" (art. 125).
    According to The Hartford Courant for November 28, 1936: "fifteen million copies" of the constitution (presumably the draft since it wasn't adopted until Dec. 5) have been distributed in "five score languages". And the Soviet ambassador is throwing shindigs at the embassy celebrating it. It's certainly a massive propaganda push.
    The Seattle Star for February 4, 1937 advertises "the first official text of the constitution … in English, translated by Ivar Spector, University of Washington professor of oriental studies". Apparently it's a pamphlet for sale in the uni. bookstore. If it's the first translation then an official translation has not been distributed yet despite it having been adopted two months previous and the drafts apparently having been widely distributed in translation.
    But all in all, I find a minor fever-pitch obsession in the news with the draft constitution up to about the end of November 1936. Thereafter there's some references to the new constitution (mostly saying Stalin is a dictator and the constitution isn't worth the paper it's written on) through the beginning of 1937. And then it goes entirely quiet. There are no mentions of publications of translations after the early 1937 Spector translation. Xover (talk) 07:43, 3 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There is a partly official, partly original, translation in Source Book on European Governments (1937). It uses the official translation of the draft, combined with original translation of the 43 amendments finally adopted. This translation also uses "toilers" in Art. 125, so it is not identical to our text.
    There's a copyright registration for the Spector translation: Union of Soviet socialist republics. Constitution of the Union of Soviet socialist republics adopted by the extraordinary VIII all-Union congress of Soviets, Dec. 5, 1936. Translated by Ivar Spector, with an introduction. © Jan. 15, 1937 ; A 104377 ; Metropolitan press, Portland, Or..
    There is an original translation in International Conciliation, Issue 327 from Februarry 1937, by a Prof. Clarence A. Manning at Columbia University, New York. It intersperses Russian words in parenthesis where there is no good English translation. It also uses "toilers" and is unlikely to be the direct source of our text.
    Aha, but in LeBuffe, Francis P. Jurisprudence, with cases to illustrate principles (1938) there's is a quote of Art. 4 claiming to be from the 1937 International Publishers translation. The economic foundation of the U.S.S.R. is the socialist system of economy and the socialist ownership of the implements and means of production firmly established as a result of the liquidation of the capitalist system of economy, the abolition of private property in the implements and means of production and the abolition of exploitation of man by man.. Contrast that with our text which reads: The socialist system of economy and the socialist ownership of the means and instruments production, firmly established as a result of the abolition of the capitalist system of economy, the abrogation of private ownership of the means and instruments of production and the abolition of the exploitation of man by man, constitute the economic foundation of the U.S.S.R.. These are clearly not the same translation.
    But the Department of State Bulletin (1939) contains a full quote of Art. 125 from a translation published by the the American Russian Institute:
    In conformity with the interests of the working people, and in order to strengthen the socialist system, the citizens of the U.S.S.R. are guaranteed by law:
    a) freedom of speech;
    b) freedom of the press;
    c) freedom of assembly, including the holding of mass meetings;
    d) freedom of street processions and demonstrations.
    These civil rights are ensured by placing at the disposal of the working people and their organizations printing presses, stocks of paper, public buildings, the streets, communications facilities and other material requisites for the exercise of these rights.
    Compare this with [Page:Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.pdf/33|our text]]:
    In conformity with the interests of the working people, and in order to strengthen the socialist system, the citizens of the U.S.S.R. are guaranteed by law:
    a) freedom of speech;
    b) freedom of the press;
    c) freedom of assembly, including the holding of mass meetings;
    d) freedom of street processions and demonstrations;
    These civil rights are ensured by placing at the disposal of the working people and their organizations printing presses, stocks of paper, public buildings, the streets, communications facilities and other material requisites for the exercise of these rights.
    This seems exceedingly likely to be the same translation. Xover (talk) 08:42, 3 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The American Russian Institute version is on Hathi (HathiTrust), Art. 125 on p. 35. It says it is based on the 1938 edition by the State Publishing House of the U.S.S.R, MarkLSteadman (talk) 12:46, 3 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The page of the National Anthem of Zimbabwe contains the so called constitutional lyrics and common lyrics of the English version of the anthem.

As for the constitutional lyrics, they are a part of the constitution, and so they should by in PD. However, I did not manage to to find whether the English version of the constitution was adopted or translated by the Zimbabwean government, or whether they adopted it in some of the local languages and the English version is a translation authored by somebody else.

The so called common lyrics do not seem to be a part of any governmental edict, although they were shared on web pages of some official institutions like Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe to USA, and so they are most probably not in the public domain. Jan Kameníček (talk) 16:25, 23 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • The (current) Constitution was created as an act, Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act, 2013. All acts of Zimbabwe are printed in English. Thus, the constitution (and the so-called constitutional lyrics) are in the public domain as edicts of government. Notice was published in the Government Gazette, 91(38), and the original can be found here (among other places). The same lyrics are found in the National Anthem Act (cap. 10:15), which is an earlier enactment (see here, 1995/1996 emend. 2001). I really don’t know the source of the “common” lyrics. This official-looking source claims copyright, so I think it’s copyrighted, whatever the source may be. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 20:47, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
 Keep all national anthems we have treated as government edicts as there will be official proceedings and publication. In the very early days it seems that no one went hard on their copyright, and due to their official statuses I don't think that we want a deletionist approach on these docs. I do wish that we tidy up those pages so that they align with our one edition per page, and to align with a published version, though not at the expense of a void. — billinghurst sDrewth 01:21, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
addendum. Where we do have multiple copies per page, then we have a versions page (linked to WD appropriately), and disambiguate as required with appropriate WD items and links to the main subject. — billinghurst sDrewth 01:24, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that IF the text of the national anthem is included in legislation (which is often, though not always the case), then we should treat it as {{PD-EdictGov}} and keep it. However, we should verify this, as some national anthems are mentioned in legislation only by name, and are not themselves edicts of government. -- Beleg Âlt (talk) 19:30, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What more verification of the "constitutional" lyrics are you looking for beyond the link to the Government Gazette and National Anthem Act linked above? MarkLSteadman (talk) 09:32, 11 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh - I was referring to national anthems in general, and specifically those that don't provide the lyrics within official legislation. With regard to Zimbabwe, since it does provide the lyrics within the legislation, it would be PD in the US as far as I'm concerned. (That being said, IMO we should remove National Anthem of Zimbabwe and replace it with a redirect to the First Schedule of the Consititution of Zimbabwe) -- Beleg Âlt (talk) 15:33, 12 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A Cypherpunk's Manifesto[edit]

This 1993 text, which was copied from, has already been deleted from Wikisource as a copyvio twice: for the first time by EncycloPetey in April 2018, and now by me. However, the contributor David Howden argues by the sentence from the manifesto "Our code is free for all to use, worldwide." This sentence has not convinced me as it seems to refer to their computer codes and not to the text of the manifesto, but I have decided to ask the community to confirm the deletion or decide about undeleting. -- Jan Kameníček (talk) 20:32, 27 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Google Books provides a contemporary fixed version while has the original email messagge MarkLSteadman (talk) 22:40, 27 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
He also is very much alive so someone can ping him nicely: MarkLSteadman (talk) 22:49, 27 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will reach out to him. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 19:31, 28 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@MarkLSteadman: His published email bounced, and I can't find a newer one. If anyone can find a valid email for Hughes, I'd be willing to try again. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 13:58, 5 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  •  Delete. Whether it refers to the code or the text, that's not a valid license or public domain dedication. And even were we to accept a ad hoc permission statement as a license, this ad hoc statement doesn't even give the permissions we need (modifications). Please people, for all that is good and holy, use the Creative Commons licenses (including CC-Zero if that's what you want)! Copyright doesn't go away by pretending it doesn't exist; but appropriately designed copyleft licenses are an easy and effective way to subvert copyright law for the forces of good. --Xover (talk) 06:07, 28 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree with this. in 1993 when originally published they didn't exist, but now definitely. And in general, if he wanted to put it up on a page under a CC license today that would be trivial for him to do so. MarkLSteadman (talk) 13:39, 28 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    "attribution of will to an abstract human construct (information) has been adopted within a branch of the cypherpunk movement, whose members espouse a particular political viewpoint (anarchism). The construction of the statement takes its meaning beyond the simple judgmental observation, "Information should be free", by acknowledging that the internal force or entelechy of information and knowledge makes it essentially incompatible with notions of proprietary software, copyrights, patents, subscription services, etc. They believe that information is dynamic, ever-growing and evolving and cannot be contained within (any) ideological structure." David Howden (talk) 18:17, 28 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One could argue that the author's intent, as expressed through the famous quote "Information does not just want to be free, it longs to be free", is for the manifesto to be treated as free information. The Cypherpunk's Manifesto, by advocating for the free flow of information and opposing restrictions on its dissemination, embodies the very principles it seeks to promote. In this context, it could be seen as contradictory for the author to prevent others from freely distributing, modifying, or republishing the text. David Howden (talk) 17:05, 28 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
 Delete - despite the sentiments expressed by Hughes, he does not include any explicit release of copyright that would make this document compatible with WS:COPY. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 19:29, 28 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hyperloop alpha[edit]

Hi, I'm starting a new transcription here: Hyperloop_alpha

The source [21] doesn't specify which license its under, if any, nor does it specifically commit the document to the public domain. Page 57 says this instead:

The intent of this document has been to create a new open source form of transportation that could revolutionize travel. The authors welcome feedback and will incorporate it into future revisions of the Hyperloop project, following other open source models such as Linux. 6. Future Work Hyperloop is considered an open source transportation concept. The authors encourage all members of the community to contribute to the Hyperloop design process. Iteration of the design by various individuals and groups can help bring Hyperloop from an idea to a reality

Does this give us Fair use? Jaredscribe (talk) 01:38, 15 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unlike Wikipedia, Wikisource does not accept "fair use". The publication would have to state its license. The quote seems to indicate that the form of transportation is open-source, not the document. --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:42, 15 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, This is in the public domain in India, but still under a copyright in USA because of URAA (until 2026). Yann (talk) 16:41, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And may be also Kingsley Hall Speech (until 2027), First Letter to Lord Irwin and Second Letter to Lord Irwin (until 2026). Yann (talk) 16:44, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Could anyone please look at this? Thanks, Yann (talk) 11:44, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Times after 1927[edit]

Hi, Aren't these still under a copyright in USA because of URAA? Yann (talk) 16:49, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Depends on the form of the production and whether they are attributed works or not. PMA+70 cannot be attributed to anonymous works, especially as any were written by staff writers as part of their employment which gives them a different status through corporate copyright (assignment), is my understanding as was applying in 1996. — billinghurst sDrewth 04:53, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, "anything that was not PD in the UK on 1 January 1996" is the blanket statement; but as Billinghurst points out whether something was PD in the UK on that date would need closer checking. Absent specific investigation we'd have to assume it was not PD and thus restored by the URAA.
However, it would not take a lot of evidence to convince me that The Times of London was simultaneously published in the US (issues sold in newsstands or delivered to US subscribers within thirty days). If so it would be a US work for the purposes of Berne, which in turn is the basis for Commons licensing policy, meaning lack of copyright notice etc. would put it into the public domain. If so it might still be protected in the UK, but neither Commons policy nor other Berne countries who apply the rule of the shortest term would care. I think simultaneous publication is pretty likely around 1927, but we'd still need to find some evidence to support it. Xover (talk) 08:04, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I didn't check, but weren't any copyright notices in The Times? But yes, if we consider these US works, copyright also needed to be renewed for that period. Yann (talk) 13:04, 6 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Two collection of essays by G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936), published in 1975 and 1964. The ones in the latter are asserted (in the notes field) to have been never previously published. The other has no similar note.

My head isn't cooperating just now, so I'm dropping them here for help. We need to check the status of these, especially the allegedly unpublished ones, and update the listing. I suspect most of these are PD, including some of the ones currently tagged as being in copyright. It'd be nice to get these cleaned up properly. Xover (talk) 16:09, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • As collections, they should be deleted eventually, although they should be kept for now to facilitate copyright research on the individual essays. The note in The Spice of Life and Other Essays says, “None of them has appeared in a collection before.” They have, however, appeared in periodicals before. For example, the first essay in that collection, “Sentimental Literature”, first appeared in The Speaker for July 27, 1901. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:59, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Aha! Yes, that makes it even more likely these are mostly PD. Xover (talk) 18:34, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Collections have their own copyright, and having the table of contents and links to the individual essays here is probably too much. We can have the individual essays here, but not reproduce their headings and orderings.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:55, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've found 2 apparent renewals for indvidual contributions in this issues.

and,1&Search%5FArg=%E2%81%A0The%20Waitabits&Search%5FCode=TALL&CNT=25&PID=Qf4iQXo84RKNuFZqGI1G1dnoj&SEQ=20230506030916&SID=19 RE0000177292] in respect of The Waitabits

File has been nominated for deletion at Commons - commons:Commons:Deletion requests/File:Astounding Science Fiction (1955-07).djvu ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 07:12, 6 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • The file has been deleted. The index page and several individual pages (see here) need to be deleted. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 15:08, 12 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Collection of works by British authors, some of which are still copyright in the United Kingdom. It's marked as PD-US on Commons, which I am less sure about given that the title page says London.

File should ideally be localised unless more information is found. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 18:51, 6 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • There is a U.S. copyright notice on p. 6, which should count for PD-US. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 22:18, 6 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why? It was a requirement for anyone in the world to have a copyright notice of they wanted copyright in the US. An attempt to follow that requirement doesn't mean it's a US work.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:32, 6 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • A work which claims copyright in the United States is subject to the rules regarding copyright in the United States, so a work published with a U.S. copyright notice is in the public domain (by the terms of PD-US) for that cause. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 22:51, 6 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The US doesn't become the source nation by virtue of a copyright notice. Everything published in the world is subject to US copyright law in the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:07, 7 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

PD US by date, but not necessarily PD in Ireland so cannot be hosted on Commons. The author died in the 1970's, and the scans are of a Dublin published edition. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 06:53, 10 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]