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Copyright discussions
This page hosts discussions on works that may violate Wikisource's copyright policy. You may join any current discussion or start a new one.

Note that works which are a clear copyright violation may now be speedy deleted under criteria for speedy deletion G6. To protect the legal interests of the Wikimedia Foundation, these will be deleted unless there are strong reasons to keep them within at least two weeks. If there is reasonable doubt, they will be deleted.

When you add a work to this page, please add {{copyvio}} after the header which blanks the work. If you believe a work should be deleted for any reason except copyright violation, see Proposed deletions.

If you are at least somewhat familiar with U. S. copyright regulations, Stanford Copyright Renewal Database as well as University of Pennsylvania's information about the Catalog of Copyright Entries may be helpful in determining the copyright status of the work. A search through or Google Books may also be useful to determine if the complete texts are available due to expired copyright. Help:Public domain can help users determine whether a given work is in the public domain.

Quick reference to copyright term

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Philosophical Writings: Translators modern unpublished translation, or possible gifted translation[edit]

This work was provided in 2010 by an IP address. The author is a known modern translator [1] though the source is unknown, and unproven that the translation has been published, and if published whether it is in the public domain, or not.

It is possible that the translation has been done and gifted to the web. I can see that the person has edited at Wikipedia and from an IP address. If we do wish to determine that is the case and determine to retain the work, then I would suggest that we move the work to the Translation namespace, and de-identify the author. — billinghurst sDrewth 23:58, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Since Larrieu is a published author, and the uploader is anonymous, I would assume copyvio over gifted translation. I would suggest reaching out to the translator, but he died in 2015. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 02:23, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
Larrieu made several edits to Wikipedia in 2006, and the IP address geolocates to roughly the same area that the IP address that added the text here does, albeit from a different ISP (Verizon vs. Cox). In their edits on Wikipedia they exhibit a level of competence with wiki editing roughly commensurate with the text added here. They also expressed interest in finding online verified copies of certain old texts, in response to which a Wikipedia editor referred them to Wikisource!
Based on this I am actually personally convinced the text was added by Larrieu himself, and that he intended it to be freely available.
However, despite this conviction, I don't think we can keep this work: simply because the necessary formalities were not observed. We don't know that it was Larrieu that added it, and we don't know that they understood the licensing consequences; because there is no OTRS ticket confirming the identity and intent, and the added text did not contain explicit copyright tags. So, reluctantly, I think we need to delete this.
We could reach out to Larrieu's heirs, but the odds of them knowing anything about his wiki activities are pretty poor. --Xover (talk) 08:48, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
Suggest we move it to Translation: namespace and make appropriate notes on talk page. — billinghurst sDrewth 13:11, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

I believe the participants so far are in disagreement over how to best handle this issue due to the uncertainties involved (I don't believe a clear-cut right—wrong answer is obtainable with the available information). I would therefore request that other community members (the more the better!) chime in with their opinion so that we can more accurately gauge the community's consensus on how to handle this. --Xover (talk) 10:32, 17 August 2019 (UTC)

My opinion is still Symbol delete vote.svg Delete: assume copyvio over gifted translation without evidence to the contrary —Beleg Tâl (talk) 13:15, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree and thus also Symbol delete vote.svg Delete. But I take billinghurst's above proposal of "move to Translation:" as an implicit {{vk}}. Since the issue is not clearly settleable on the facts, I think we need wider input to determine our course of action. --Xover (talk) 06:58, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep 2010! They met our requirements at the time, and we didn't have a translation: ns back then. There is suitable evidence that the author did edit, and with this translation left their name on the work appropriately to our style. The text is not findable on the web, so it is unlikely to be a copy and paste job. If anyone had done that in the Translation ns: today, then no one would be batting an eyelid about keep it unsigned comment by Billinghurst (talk) 09:15, 24 August 2019 (UTC)‎.

Index:Civil Rights Movement EL Text.pdf[edit]

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)

  • I think that the release into PD is clear, and the work could be tagged {{PD-author-release}}. I do not think {{CC0}} can be used because the copyright holder did not explicitly link the work to the Creative Commons Zero deed and legal document. I would perhaps have accepted the notice on the talk page if the editor who posted the notice was themselves the copyright holder. However this is not the case and I am inclined to disallow it without proper OTRS. Is it at all possible to contact Duley directly? —Beleg Tâl (talk) 12:46, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    In 2014 the situation was that The author is in his late 90's, quite poor health, and has stopped using e-mail. so I hold that unlikely. And if no followup was forthcoming in 2016, I would tend to think that for internet people to now intrude on an old man with copyright questions would border on being immoral. At least my take is that we have to decide this issue based on the information we already have. --Xover (talk) 12:58, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep I also understand it as a clear release into the public domain. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 20:11, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
    @Jan Kameníček: If this document was tagged {{PD-author-release}} it would be eligible to be moved to Commons. Pragmatically, how do you rate its chances of surviving a deletion discussion there? --Xover (talk) 06:10, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
    @Xover: I have almost no experience with deletion discussions there, but if we are afraid that it will not survive there for some reasons, we can keep it here. Or, if we move it and they decide they do not want it, we can move it back here then. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 09:20, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
    @Jan.Kamenicek: The question was meant to probe the logic behind your conclusion, specifically in terms of the standard of evidence we apply. If we are confident that the available evidence is sufficient to conclude it has been released into the public domain, then we should also be confident that it will survive a deletion discussion at Commons. Since I am not confident that is the case absent confirmation through the OTRS process (and neither is Beleg Tâl based on their comment above), I wanted to check whether you deliberately wanted to apply a different (lower) standard of evidence or whether there was some confusion behind it.
    In practice, in these circumstances, if the consensus is to keep this as {{PD-author-release}}, I would not personally transfer this to Commons because I believe it would be against policy there and would be deleted. But another user very well might move it to Commons at any time, unless we used {{do not move to Commons}} to mark it to keep local. But if we do that we are essentially saying that we do not believe this is properly licensed (i.e. that our {{PD-author-release}} tag is a lie). This is unlike the typical situations where a file is PD in the US but not in its home country: in that case there is a genuine difference in policy between Commons and enWS. In the case at hand the policy is ostensibly the same on enWS and Commons, but we are (I suspect) applying a different standard of evidence.
    And if we are doing that then we should be very conscious and clear about that fact. It sets precedent for future such cases, and it impacts the risk to our reusers, so it is something we should approach with deliberation and eyes open. --Xover (talk) 10:10, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
    Well, neither our nor Commons discussions are legally binding, they are in fact both just lay opinions and it is no wonder that our lay opinion can be different from their lay opinion. As written above, I have almost zero experience with these discussions in Commons, but often heard others saying that they are sometimes trying to be more Catholic than the Pope... So by not moving it we are not saying that we are lying about the license, we are simply saying that our lay opinions about some border cases are different than theirs. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 10:26, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
    Ah. Thanks! --Xover (talk) 10:50, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
yeah, i would keep it as PD-author-release, here. commons would view failure to follow OTRS as a deletion rationale. i.e. [2]; [3]; [4]. Slowking4Rama's revenge 16:29, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing[edit]

2013 statement issued by multiple parties on OA publishing, each holding copyright in the collective work. The statement is published at under the terms set forth in the Terms of Use for DASH Repository. These include -NC and -ND restrictions, and so are not compatible with our copyright policy. --Xover (talk) 07:26, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

  • Symbol delete vote.svg Delete per nom —Beleg Tâl (talk) 14:12, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep pending further investigation. The fact that the work was posted in DASH does not mean that DASH holds the copyright to the work. Indeed, the work has appeared in multiple locations online which purport to apply different policies: for example, at this site which states that all content is CC-BY 3.0 unless otherwise stated. Different repositories have different copyright policies, but only the actual copyright holder’s views (usually meaning, those of the author or authors) govern. I agree that it most likely makes sense to view the statement as a work of joint authorship by the conference participants (rather than the work of an individual author), although the document does not actually so state. More information about authorship and the provenance of the work seems to be needed here. Tarmstro99 17:18, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
    Suber also states that he is not an official spokesman for this document, so his claim of CC-BY is no more credible than the DASH claim to NC and ND restrictions. If any organization owned the copyright it would be HHMI, who convened the meeting and invited the participants. However, as the text itself states, the authors contributed as individuals rather than as representatives of their organization, so joint copyright seems to be the correct assumption. Because of this, in order for us to keep the text, it will be necessary to find an explicit release issued by all contributing authors. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 19:59, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
    @Tarmstro99: If we agree that all the actual licenses provided in the different repos and sites in which this appears cannot be trusted, then we need to examine the known facts to determine its status for ourselves. Do any of the observable facts support a free license or a copyright exemption (public domain)? If not, the default state is that it is protected by copyright owned by its authors. --Xover (talk) 06:17, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
    it is not a matter of trust, it is a matter of standard terms that are added to all content. you should not imagine that organizations will make copyright determinations for you, they will present a "no known copyright" or "for educational use" or NC, as a fallback. we have seen some progress with our partners, but legal departments remain recalcitrant. Slowking4Rama's revenge 13:08, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
    An observation..."find an explicit release" (per Beleg Tal) and "examine the known facts" (per Xover) seem to me to be mere restatement of what Tarnstrom originally suggested, i.e. "further investigation." -Pete (talk) 17:51, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Peteforsyth: Not quite. I'm saying that the default assumption for all works are that they are protected by copyright. Tarmstro's argument that we cannot trust the copyright statement provided by the hosting repository (by pointing at a different statement in a different repository) simply means that we have no credible indications to support a deviation from the default. The available facts are that it is a work of joint authorship by the conference participants, who hold copyright in the joint work, and who failed to actually license this particular work in line with the goals of the statement itself (the irony). Unless someone can unearth facts that credibly support compatible licensing, this is clearly copyvio. --Xover (talk) 18:35, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep pending further investigation, to which I'm happy to contribute. Per what @Tarmstro99: says, I believe the original license was one acceptable to Wikisource, and it may be that the statement has been republished in other places which apply licenses that are not. I will see what more I can learn and report back. -Pete (talk) 17:48, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
    Thanks. My own research did not suggest any likelihood of finding information credibly supporting compatible licensing, but I am very grateful for all contributions towards the best possible determination we can achieve. --Xover (talk) 18:35, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment For what it's worth, version 3 of the CC licenses launched in 2007, several years after the publication of this statement. Version 3 is the first version compatible with Wikimedia TOU. -Pete (talk) 18:53, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

Notice of Commons DR that may have some relevance to enWS[edit]

There is a deletion discussion at c:Commons:Deletion requests/File:11texta.jpg that may be relevant to us.

This was triggered by a premature transwiki of an image from here to Commons, where the file here had some insufficiently addressed issues around authorship. The file in question, and the related images from the same work, would have ended up either here or on WS:PD eventually in any case (not necessarily to be deleted, but whatever resolution would need community consensus), but the transwiki triggered the need for a discussion there. I'm hoping the wider discussion there may either unearth information or provide relevant arguments to let us more easily make a decision on how to deal with the files here.

The short-short version is that the files have OTRS release, but failed to fully specify authorship for all parts of the work (the images in question in particular), particularly for one of the credited contributors. In addition, a concern has been raised at Commons that the entire work may be either a hoax or essentially an attempt to use WS to self-publish it (which is plausible, but not obvious).

There's no particular action needed from enWS contributors right now (the discussion on Commons only affects the one file transwikied there, and for which we have a local copy), but as I will be referring to that discussion one way or another when we tackle the issue here, the WS:CV regulars may be interested in the discussion. --Xover (talk) 13:32, 28 November 2019 (UTC)

Little Bunny Foo Foo[edit]

2006 import from enwp tagged as no source and no license for the last 12 years. According to this article its earliest plausible date is 1933, and the most likely range is around the 1960s. In any case, it is still in copyright in the US until some undetermined point after 2028. Our copy of the text is, according to the notes field, from “David Grover's 1997 album Sing a Song of Summer” which would be even worse if there's anything original in there (almost certainly not, but I haven't checked). --Xover (talk) 10:06, 1 December 2019 (UTC)

If it's an American work, it's easy for it to be in the public domain. If it was legally published before 1978 without copyright notice or legally published before 1964 and not renewed, it is PD. I'd almost argue that we could keep it based on that. If it's Canadian, then the URAA might have restored it, or it might be technically legally unpublished and life+70.
On the whole, I really want to give this a pass. It seems likely that it is purely public domain, and it's clearly abandoned copyright, being around for at least 50 years with no claim of authorship or copyright.--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:52, 1 December 2019 (UTC)
I agree that it bears the hallmarks of abandoned copyright. But we have the examples of things like "Happy Birthday" (or whatever song it was) where someone came forward in the 11th hour to claim copyright, based on some baroque set of rights transfers. Given we don't actually have any information about the source of our text beyond a clearly in-copyright 1997 musical album, nor even any information about this work's first publication, I don't see how we can reasonably keep this. All the information we actually do have suggests it is in copyright, and the exceptions (failure to obey formalities) are impossible to determine. That creates a, to me, unacceptable risk for our reusers (and us, but I'm less worried about that).
However, if we want to bend over backwards we could try to pursue precedent regarding oral transmission and copyright versus fixity. The above linked article does tend to point toward this work existing as a purely oral work for a long time, with first fixation into writing happening much later and by a third party. It is possible US copyright has some sort of quirk regarding such situations that will let us have a clear conclusion either way. For example, I believe, NZ, AUS, and Thai copyright law regulates traditional oral works specially. --Xover (talk) 08:45, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
One could also take the view that the 1997 version was either the reuse of a work that was not under copyright, or is equally in breach of copyright. If it is not found to be renewed then we can retain it if we have taken our reasonable steps to assure ourselves. There is no evidence presented whether the work is or is not in copyright, we just have an indication of when it was first published, and what copyright applies at the time. — billinghurst sDrewth 11:14, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
But absent publication info we have no way to check for registrations, renewals, or presence or absence of copyright statements; all of which are essential for determining copyright status. --Xover (talk) 11:43, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Weak Symbol keep vote.svg Keep per Prosfilaes --DannyS712 (talk) 07:55, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep as almost certain to be PD, unless more info comes to light. Worth continuing to research. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 14:42, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment The community sentiment appears to be to keep this text under some kind of "I'm guessing it's PD. Somehow.” reasoning. That leaves us with the practical issue of how to resolve the maintenance tags on it: what do we give as a source, and what do we say the license is?
    The source that is actually provided for it is a 1997 commercial audio recording that is clearly in copyright. The arguments for licensing above suggest an assumed {{PD-US-no-notice}} and/or {{PD-US-no-renewal}}. It would be pretty contradictory to tag a 1997 clearly copyrighted work as no-notice/no-renewal, and I don't really understand how y'all can just blindly guess no-notice/no-renewal when the actual source is unknown (we clearly need c:COM:PRP as local policy!), but that is the best I can come up with for this situation.
    Can I get some confirmation that removing the two maint. tags ({{no source}} + {{no license}}), leaving the source as the 1997 recording, and adding the license tag {{PD-US-no-notice}} is in fact concomitant with the community's consensus here? If so I'll close this accordingly, complaining about it all the way, and linking this discussion (I ain't taking responsibility for this!) for further information.
    Pinging discussion participants: @Prosfilaes, billinghurst, DannyS712, Beleg Tâl. --Xover (talk) 05:11, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
  • So I found, which provided some history. You can see that the story is discussed in The New Yorker, Volume 45, Part 7, from 1970, so it can be assumed to have been published before then. Having found no copyright for the original source (couldn't find the original), I would go with {{PD-US-no-notice}}. this email, while a hoax with some fake history, makes it clear that the story was known at least by 1997/03/06. Now, even if the story is known and agreed upon, there are variations. For now, I would support tagging as no-notice, and citing the given source as a reference for this specific version of a public domain story - does that make sense? I'm getting sucked into a rabbit hole and will probably do some more digging, but for now that is what I have. Happy holidays, --DannyS712 (talk) 05:43, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Okay, here are the full lyrics published April 1970 without a copyright notice. This edition predates any known publication of the lyrics found by any of the researchers linked above, so it could very well be the first edition set in tangible form - which gives us our no-notice and a proper source. The linked work does not give an explicit citation for this song, but notes that uncited songs come from "the authors' experiences with day camps for retarded children." —Beleg Tâl (talk) 18:02, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
    Here is another 1970 full-lyric source, also without copyright notice. This one is a University thesis, properly published the following year (1971). The author claims "traditional sources" as the origin of the song, so this is also a fixation of oral tradition (but the edition I linked above predates it). —Beleg Tâl (talk) 18:26, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
    Interestingly, there is a short anecdote similar to the song, with the moral "hare today goon tomorrow", in the essay "Recreation or Wreck-reation" by Wayne W. Womer. The earliest edition of this which I could find is 1941, which also lacks copyright notice. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 18:38, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
    According to this 1963 article in the Journal of American Folklore, there were at the time 4 versions in the Indiana University Folklore Archives of a story involving a rabbit "sometimes called Rabbit Fluff" who hits mice on the head and gets turned into a goon by his fairy godmother, with the moral "hare today goon tomorrow". It does not specify the contents of these stories, whether they are the song in question or some kind of precursor like Womer's essay or like this 1945 prose telling of the story. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 19:14, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
    @DannyS712, @Beleg Tâl: That was a truly heroic effort by you both: very much appreciated!
    I've grabbed the (now rather unfortunately named) 1970 work, uploaded and index'ed, and made a quick and dirty proofread of just the relevant page. Would appreciate if you'd take a look at Little Bunny Foo Foo and make any corrections and improvements you think are needed (did I mention it was quick and dirty?) before we close this discussion. --Xover (talk) 19:36, 29 December 2019 (UTC)
    @Xover: thanks for doing that! This has opened up another can of worms now though, as all the other songs in that volume now need to be checked - see User:Beleg Tâl/Sandbox/Day Camping for the Retarded for progress. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 16:28, 30 December 2019 (UTC)

Day Camping for the Trainable and Severely Mentally Retarded/Chapter 4[edit]

The work Day Camping for the Trainable and Severely Mentally Retarded is covered by {{PD-USGov}}. However, Chapter 4 contains several dozen camp songs that are not covered by {{PD-USGov}}.

I did some research and found that several of them are very likely to be copyvio. In particular, Girl Scouts USA expicitly claims copyright on the song "Brownie Smile Song"; Woody Guthrie's estate claims copyright on the song "Put Your Finger in the Air"; and Disney may own copyright to the "Johnny Appleseed" song from the 1948 movie Melody Time.

The results of my research to date is documented at User:Beleg Tâl/Sandbox/Day Camping for the Retarded. I do not think I will be able to get much further information.—Beleg Tâl (talk) 16:38, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

Note: Because Day Camping is in source and PD, the ideal action is to censor the copyvio sections of the scan and replace the relevant lyrics with {{text removed}}. The question is therefore what sections need to be so censored. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 14:14, 2 March 2020 (UTC)
I doubt anyone will have time or interest to research this further, so I !vote Symbol delete vote.svg Delete to the following items:
  • I Want to be Friendly
  • If You're Happy and You Know It
  • Crocodile Song
  • My Hat Has Three Corners
  • Six Little Ducks
  • Where is Thumbkin?
  • Little Tommy Tinker
  • Brownie Smile Song
  • Hi, There!
  • Fido
  • The Wonder Ball
  • The Elephant Song
  • Ha-Ha, This a Way
  • Noontime is Here
  • Johnny Appleseed
  • Put Your Finger in the Air
  • Stodola Pumpa
  • On Top of Spaghetti
  • Kumbaya
  • Happy Trails
Note: all the other songs in this work are either confirmed PD, or this work is the earliest edition of them that I could find and therefore the same logic applies to them as was applied to Little Bunny Foo Foo. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 13:24, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

Category:Minsk agreements[edit]

This category contains two works, both of which have issues.

Both are documents of the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, originally in Russian. First question: can the originals be considered {{PD-EdictGov}}? They are not by a government as such, but are by/signed by two government officials and a representative of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe intergovernmental organisation.

Additionally, the English translation of Memorandum on fulfilment of the provisions of the Protocol on the results of consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group is attributed to Interfax, which is clearly copyrighted. In fact, the version on WS is not precisely Interfax's, but is clearly based on it.

For completeness, the translation of Protocol on the results of consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group is by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, so think is {{PD-EdictGov}}. BethNaught (talk) 11:44, 3 January 2020 (UTC)

The English version of the Memorandum is my combination of two different translations, both linked on the page (both had strengths and weaknesses). If the copyright is unsuitable for reproduction, then I will try again to find a government version, and barring that, I could translate it myself.--Mzajac (talk)
Okay, I have found translations of all three Minsk agreements filed at the UN by Ukraine: [5], [6], [7]. These might be better translations, too.Mzajac (talk)

I have now updated those two and added a third, with {{PD-EdictGov}}. I am confidant that is appropriate since these are submitted as attachments to UN sessions by the UN Mission of Ukraine, and so is “any translation prepared by a government employee acting within the course of his or her official duties.”

  1. Protocol on the results of consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group
  2. Memorandum on fulfilment of the provisions of the Protocol on the results of consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group
  3. Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements

 Michael Z. 2020-01-03 19:46 z

Thank you! That fixes my concern about the translations. I'm not an expert on EdictGov though, so I'd still appreciate feedback from others about the originals. BethNaught (talk) 20:43, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
Agreed, and thanks for bringing this up. Michael Z. 2020-01-03 23:03 z
  • Symbol delete vote.svg Delete Hmm, let's see…
    The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine is not a legal entity in its own right, much less a government body. For the purposes of EdictGov assessment it therefore cannot be considered the author of any materials. The texts in question must therefore be considered collaborative works by their signatories. The signatories are acting in their official capacities, as representatives of their governments, but some of the participants do not represent any legally recognised government and must be considered private citizens (they in effect represent special interest groups). Their contributions to the documents would be in their personal copyright. First publication for these documents must, I think, be considered to have occurred in Ukraine; and so the country of origin for copyright purposes, and thus the governing copyright law, must thus also be considered that of the Ukraine.
    The texts themselves are 1) a protocol, essentially the minutes of a meeting; 2) a memorandum of understanding; 3) a list of measures that the group thinks needs to be implemented in order to achieve a stated goal. None of these texts in themselves have any force of law: they are not in themselves a law (they merely mention the need to enact certain laws), nor do they represent the ruling or decision of any recognised legal system under an existing law, nor do they regulate or define practical application of any existing law. Note in particular the (carefully chosen, I imagine) phrasing at the start of these documents: "Upon consideration and discussion of the proposals put forward by the participants of the consultations … the Trilateral Contact Group … reached an understanding with respect to the need to implement the following steps". In other words, all the documents say are that "we talked about it in a meeting, and those present came to understand that it would be really nice if the entities that sent us here would stop shooting at each other and stuff". They do not say "We agree to stop shooting at each other" or "We will enact a law that says we shouldn't shoot at each other": only that "In order for people to stop shooting at each other, we think the following things have to happen". None of the documents obligate anybody to anything, and so they cannot really be considered an international treaty.
    The copyright law of the Ukraine does not have any {{PD-USGov}} style copyright exemptions: their "official work" exemptions are narrowed to apply only to roughly the same material as {{PD-EdictGov}} does. The lack of legal force that makes {{PD-EdictGov}} (US) inapplicable therefore also makes PD-UkraineGov (Ukraine) inapplicable.
    The net result is that these documents are collective or joint works of the persons signing them, some of whom are representatives of their governments but that only means the copyright runs for publication+70 years instead of pma. 70. Ukraine copyright law protects collective works for 70 years after the death of the last author (which means 2085 or thereabouts at the earliest).
    The translations of these documents may be official translations, but the "official translations" bit only applies to official translations of originals that were EdictGov to begin with. The cited UN database is their "Peacemaker" site; actual treaties (stuff that has force of law) are published on UNTC. The UN Peacemaker site links to the general UN copyright statement (which is pretty darn restrictive). Or in other words, documents filed with the UN are often public records but are not public domain.
    The long and short of which is, I cannot see that these texts are public domain or freely licensed under any of the theories put forth so far. --Xover (talk) 07:50, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
Okay, interesting. Thanks, user:Xover.
If by “some of the participants do not represent any legally recognised government” you mean the “DNR” and “LNR” representatives, they do not belong to the Trilateral Contact Group, and it is documented that they did not write the agreements, only showed up to plant their signatures. I can probably dig up sources to support this if necessary.
According to my dictionary, an edict is “an official order or or proclamation issued by a person in authority.” While these documents are not laws, they are official proclamations by governments, stating “we said this” or “we agreed to release this.” Unfortunately, the US Copyright Office (Compendium, § 313.6(C)(2) Government Edicts) does not seem to define edict except by a short list of examples and “. . . or similar types of official legal materials,” but it does also refer to a legal precedent citing “the products of the labor done by judicial officers in the discharge of their judicial duties,” which in no way restricts the definition to the listed examples.
I believe all three original documents were physically signed in Minsk, Belarus. Versions were published on government websites in Ukraine, in the Russian Federation, and on (“This site is managed by the Communication and Media Relations Section at the OSCE Secretariat in Vienna, Austria”, copyright statement).
At least one was a PDF file on, with a notice at the bottom of the home page “All materials featured on this site are is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International” (Ukrainian and Russian-language versions of this notice are also found on the site).
I think there was also at least one on, with notice at the bottom of the home page: “All content on this site is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International” (also stated in Russian).
If none of that is useful, I would be willing to try to contact the Ukrainian government or the OSCE for explicit permission. Any advice? Michael Z. 2020-01-28 03:40 z
@Mzajac: For stuff that's signed by multiple parties and whose wording is negotiated and approved by those parties, I think the only sensible view is that the works in question are collaborative works by all those parties that have signed it. There are other settings where a work is clearly authored by one party (usually an organisation of some stripe) and just signed by other parties, but I don't think that applies here. I'm also sure lawyers could fill several thousand pages arguing the precise definition, but the above seems a good enough approximation for our purposes here.
I don't think the physical location where the documents were signed is particularly relevant. Neither is what websites republished them under what (probably inaccurate) blanket copyright statements. What would matter for copyright purposes is where they were first published; and since this is inherently an Ukranian matter, that seems a reasonable choice of copyright law. If there is another jurisdiction with credible claim to competence and with material differences in copyright regime it might be worth digging into, but Ukraine does not appear to differ markedly from the norm here.
Regarding edicts… The "product of officers of the court doing their job" language goes to the heart of the PD-EdictGov exemption in the US: it is a fundamental principle that those who are bound by the law must know the law. The exemption is thus, broadly, for any work that somehow carries the force of law; either by being a law itself, or by being an ordnance or similar founded in such a law, or by being some competent guidance on interpreting the law (which covers judgements in court). This is fundamentally different from the PD-USGov exemption which is, in essence, based on the principle that work paid for by taxes should belong to the taxpayer. PD-USGov applies based on the identity of who produced a work; but PD-EdictGov applies based on the legal force of the work. A typical international treaty obligates a signatory country to act in specific ways, and as such behaves similarly to a law, and, in fact, are often incorporated into domestic law in some fashion. These documents carry no such force: they obligate nobody to nothing.
If you're going to try to get explicit license to these works you would need to use the m:OTRS process (and I would suggest you ask for advice from the OTRS volunteers before making contact: they have experience with such situations). However, so long as we're dealing with a collaborative work you would need to obtain a release from all the co-authors; including the personal ones (those signatories that did not at the time represent an internationally recognised government). I would not advice sticking your hand into that particular hornets nest, and I don't expect your chances of succeeding to be very good, but that's the only way I can see to resolve this. --Xover (talk) 18:01, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
User:Xover, copyright is held by creators. The “D/LNR” signatories neither negotiated nor wrote these agreements. They only added their mark after the fact. They do not hold copyright. As far as I know, they did not publish these works. But let’s not waste time arguing this point, because it doesn’t matter.
The discussion about authored by “multiple parties” or “clearly authored by one party” which is actually “an organisation of some stripe” is also neither here nor there. Does the Compendium say anything about this? No. The Trilateral Contact Group names itself in its own documents. Its members are named too. So there you go.
But you are quite are right, what’s important for copyright purposes is where versions of these were published: in Ukraine, in Russia, and in Austria. If you have a claim that any of these were illegal publications and don’t represent copyright ownership, then I invite you to challenge them in court. Barring that, we have no basis to disqualify, for example, the Russian Federation’s right to publish of a version of these documents of its authorship under its copyright in its territory.
What does “inherently a Ukrainian matter” mean, and how is it relevant? Copyright is about authorship, not subject matter. US Copyright law does not recognize whatever this principle is, as far as I can tell. The Russian Federation authored it and published it is what matters (and, incidentally, this indicates it is an RF matter too).
You misquoted “officers of the court,” a phrase which does not appear in the Compendium, nor in its citation of the law that it interprets. It refers to issuances of governments, including a non-comprehensive list of examples legislative, judicial, administrative, and etcetera. (I don’t understand this: “it is a fundamental principle that those who are bound by the law must know the law.” Fundamental to what? No, they don’t have to know it, they just have to obey it. But so what?) Kuchma and Zurabov were legal officers of their respective governments, which legally published these documents.
“Edicts of government, local or foreign” are in the public domain in the USA. Wikisource refers specifically to 313.6(C)(2) of the Copyright Compendium. Admittedly the examples it gives are all examples of laws, but it refers to a legal precedent about “the labor done by judicial officers in the discharge of their judicial duties.” And we know by precedent that edicts also include treaties, which are understandings and agreements amongst governments.
Ambassador Zurabov of Russia and Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine were legally appointed by their states to negotiate and write the official text of these documents, and ambassador Heidi Tagliavini was also official representative of an international organization of which these states are members. The documents don’t resemble the Compendium’s counterexamples of documents that are not government edicts: “a tourist magazine written and published by Arizona’s department of tourism or a map created and published by the public transit authority for the city of Detroit.” As far as I can tell the Minsk documents represent, in their own words, an “understanding,” and a “bilateral ceasefire agreement,” written and signed by legal representatives of states. It is an edict by officers of these governments, published by these governments, which makes them PD in the USA. Michael Z. 2020-02-06 03:48 z
It is a fundamental principle of just rule that those ruled over have a chance to know the law, that someone can not be convicted (or rightfully charged with or arrested for) some secret law they could not have known of, or some law established after they committed the act. How can it be just to order someone to obey a law they could not know? Agree or not, but that's the model to think about. I'm not sure that treaties that aren't self-executing should be PD-Edict, but that seems to be established, and I wouldn't have wanted to cut that edge.
This does not resemble the counterexamples, no. But life is not always that neat and convenient.
IMO, Memorandum on fulfilment of the provisions of the Protocol on the results of consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group looks like an edict, imposing restrictions on all and sundry. Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements and Protocol on the results of consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group do not.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:44, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, user:Prosfilaes. I take you mean that the principle is more or less that public proclamations of governments need to be disseminated to serve democracy and protect the rights of the people affected. Seems fair. These three proclamation very much affect the people of Ukraine and the Donbas region, as well as foreign fighters in Ukraine. They also inform the general public and the decision-makers and participants in Kyiv, Moscow, Vienna, Donetsk, and Luhansk, and everyone under them, including members of the mentioned “illegal armed formations” that may profess some autonomy, of the expectations and obligations placed on these persons.
The Memorandum refers to and depends on the Protocol, and so if it is an edict then the Protocol must be as well. The Package of Measures elucidates and completes the mutually agreed vision of the terms of the Protocol, whose implementation cannot be completed and evaluated without it. Logically, the three Minsk Agreements must be edicts, either all or none, and they constitute the official public proclamation of the “Peace Plan of the President of Ukraine,” and the “initiatives of the President of the Russian Federation.” Michael Z. 2020-02-11 17:05 z  cc. user:BethNaught, user:Xover.
@Mzajac: You misunderstand. The principle underlying the Edict of Government exemptions in US copyright is that the law must be available to those who are bound by it (i.e. a country's citizens). This includes, obviously, any document that is an actual law. If that law says "All hamburgers must be served with cheese and pickles", and the Department of Commerce (the goverment department with jurisdiction over trade and commerce) issues an administrative decision that says "Cheese, in the context of the Cheese & Pickles for Hamburgers Act, must be understood to include American cheese and other cheese-like artificial products", then that decision will have some force of law (it extends and explains the actual law). If the Onion Growers Association of America then sues, claiming that any pickled vegetable is a "pickle", and not just dill-pickled cucumbers, then the court decision in that case (regardless of outcome) will be case law related to the Cheese & Pickles for Hamburgers Act and necessary to correctly interpreting (and thus obeying) the law. All these (and similar cases) are covered by the Edict of Government exemptions, and all of them relate to the law and force of law. This exemption is not itself actually codified in the Copyright Act (iirc, ianal, etc.): it is an exemption derived from a Supreme Court case that the Copyright Office has incorporated into their practice by refusing to register copyrights for such materials.
In the US, there is another exemption, that is codified in law, related to works of the US federal government. The short version of this is something along the lines of: if it was funded by taxes and made by public servants, it should not get copyright protection. This affects works of the US federal government only: not any work by a non-US government. Most countries have some regulation for works by the government in their copyright laws, but most of them correspond in their definitions most with the Edict of Government exceptions (i.e. only laws and related matter is ineligible for copyright) and not with the US Government Works clauses.
Applying this to the case at hand, your argument is based more on a "Government Work"-style exemption than an "Edict of Government" exemption. I have asserted above that since these documents do not contain any language that obligates anyone to do, or refrain from doing, anything at all, they cannot be covered by Edict of Government. Prosfilaes has, partially, disagreed on one of those documents. Looking at it quickly now (a bit pressed for time, sorry) I find their argument plausible, but will have to look into it more closely to see if it also persuasive. In the mean time, look at the documents in light of the above: the one Prosfilaes mentions contains language like "[Parties] shall [do this]" and "[Type of action] shall be banned" and so forth, but the others are mere listings of facts and observations with no obligations for anyone. --Xover (talk) 13:14, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
@Xover: but the Government Printing Office doesn’t exactly say that. Anyway, “edict of a government” is definitely not restricted to a narrow definition of “law.” It is clear from the GPO’s examples and counter-examples that there is a huge grey area in between them, and I have no doubt that this is on purpose, to allow a liberal interpretation. They are undoubtedly more like the examples than the counter-examples. And it is clear from browsing the members of Category:PD-EdictGov that it is much more than just “law,” including treaties, and including many other unilateral and joint announcements and statements that place no obligations or prescriptions on the parties or anyone else. Look for documentns with communique, memorandum, proclamation, protocol, or statement in their title, for example,
By the way, government treaties, proclamations, and statements are edicts upon their publication, not upon their ratification, not upon their entry into force of law, and not dependent on whether they have been ruled as legally valid or invalid by government or judicial body like a court. We can’t determine whether the Minsk agreements place any legal obligations on anyone or not, whether they carry any force of law or not, until this question is tested in a court of law. So our opinion on whether they are an edict or not cannot depend on this. Michael Z. 2020-02-15 19:49 z
It's a Wiki; looking at the members of Category:PD-EdictGov gives you one person's opinion on the matter. I've changed White Paper on Indian States (1950) to use PD-1996, because that's obviously correct. Note that Documents on the Struggle of the Macedonian People for Independence and a Nation-State is proposed for deletion below. We've generally asserted that unenacted law are not edicts; they are proposed edicts. I find Protocol on the results of consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group to be clearly not PD-EdictGov, because proposed rules or ideas about what should be rules aren't edicts in any sense. I've seen nothing implying that a submission to a court or a proposed law sent to a lawmaker becomes PD until it becomes an edict, and even that can be limited. (E.g. Action Comics #1 can be read online via attachment to a certain judicial ruling, but nobody has interpreted that judicial ruling saying that it was copyrighted by one of the parties as putting it in the public domain.) Nor do discussions in a lawmaking body automatically enter the public domain.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:48, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
You misstate when you say the principle is about democracy, and that leads you to stretch the principle. The preamble of the Code of Hammurabi is not clear about it, but the principle has been understood from it. To quote a US judge (via w:Edict of government):
It is a maxim of universal application that every man is presumed to know the law, and it would seem inherent that freedom of access to the laws, or the official interpretation of those laws, should be co-extensive with the sweep of the maxim. Knowledge is the only just condition of obedience. The laws of Rome were written on tablets and posted, that all might read, and all were bound to obedience. The act of that emperor who caused his enactments to be written in small letters, on small tablets, and then posted the latter at such height that none could read the letters, and at the same time insisted upon the rule of obedience, outraging as it did the relations of governor and governed under his own system of government, has never been deemed consistent with or possible under ours. (Banks & Bros. v. West Publishing Co. (1886))
The Copyright Office takes it somewhat farther than the courts have, but that's the binding principle.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:18, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: Regarding "Memorandum on fulfilment …", on closer scrutiny, I not only find your argument persuasive, but must mea culpa not having seen that at the outset. Its language and arrangement clearly fall within the scope of EdictGov to the degree treaties and other international agreements generally do (I agree with you regarding the self-executing aspect, btw). --Xover (talk) 12:17, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

Documents on the Struggle of the Macedonian People for Independence and a Nation-State[edit]

In a recent discussion, it was determined that this 1985 collection of works could be hosted because all of the documents were official translations of official documents, and therefore covered by {{PD-EdictGov}}.

However, I have had a closer look at the documents themselves, and none of them appear to be edicts of government. (They are all letters, speeches, manifestos, and similar documents.) Therefore, {{PD-EdictGov}} does not apply. Similarly, the North Macedonian exemption from copyright for "official texts of a political, legislative, administrative and judicial nature and their official translations" does not apply, and therefore the documents, being copyrighted in NM in 1996, would have been subject to URAA. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 16:28, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

@GStojanov: this discussion affects your contributions. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 16:29, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Symbol delete vote.svg Delete per nom. --Xover (talk) 17:06, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment So we are back to separately determining copyright on the original works of the authors based on when first published (not date written); and the copyright of the translations. The contained works of Author:Georgi Dimitrov may be out of copyright if publication can be demonstrated, so it comes to the translations. I am less certain about BT's comments that the translation licence applied is not relevant as they are definitely political statements, there is nothing more political than nationalism though one would need to understand the implementation of the NM copyright law a little more. Are their definitions in the legislation on what is political? — billinghurst sDrewth 23:15, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Billinghurst: North Macedonia is a Berne signatory and Berne makes protection for written speeches, letters, etc. mandatory (Article 2). These copyright exemptions in national laws are generally based on the language in Berne. Berne has an optional (national laws has latitude on implementing) exemption for political speech, but not for a (written) literary work in the form of a speech.
    Exemptions for translations are only for translations of works where the original was exempt from copyright: no work becomes public domain merely by being translated (officially or otherwise). Since that was not the case here, the translations themselves are protected by copyright.
    Since no obvious exemption applies, we must presume that the publisher used the originals for their translations under some form of licensing agreement; and that licensing agreement does not apply to us. --Xover (talk) 13:43, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

Fumifugium: or, the Inconveniencie of the Aer and Smoake of London/Note[edit]

The book Fumifugium: or, the Inconveniencie of the Aer and Smoake of London is a 1976 reprint of an older edition of the work. I think it should be OK to host here the reprint as such, but I am not sure about the Prefatory note. Originally I thought it was under copyright, but Chrisguise has brought my attention to University of Exeter’s waiving of copyright "in materials of a scholarly nature such as academic journal articles and conference proceedings." Although the note was not published in a journal or conference proceedings, it can be understood as a material of a scholarly nature. So I have two questions:

  1. Is it OK to host such a work here?
  2. What kind of license should be attributed to it? --Jan Kameníček (talk) 14:50, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
That statement does not apply here. It's a statement primarily aimed at academic staff at the University of Exeter: since journal publishers often require copyright assignment but UK copyright law assigns such copyright to the university rather than (in addition to, strictly speaking) the researcher, every article published ends up in a dance of who owns the copyright; can I transfer the copyright; do I need a waiver from my employer; can you please give me a waiver; etc. That policy is to shortcut that dance by saying the University waives its rights so you dear academic, can go ahead and sign the copyright assignment to the publisher; and you, dear publisher, can go ahead and accept the academic's transfer, no need to contact us directly for a waiver. Most UK universities have a statement on this (not necessarily reflecting the same policy but addressing the same situation).
In any case, university presses are usually completely different beasts from normal university operations, and run on more or less commercial terms (hence why only the biggest and most prestigious universities actually have their own presses now). A monograph published thus will be subject to entirely different terms than things like journal articles. In addition, the The Rota imprint now seems to be owned by Imprint Academic which, so far as I can tell, is a small commercial publisher of academic books and journals. Without knowing the detailed history there is no particular reason to assume the University of Exeter ever owned the copyright for this (and might thus be in a position to waive it in the first place). The usual arrangement is that a commercial shop gets a deal with a university as an exclusive printer and in return gets to brag about being a university press. Case in point: James MacLehose and Sons (cf. [8]). --Xover (talk) 16:42, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
I think the situation is clear after Xover’s explanation and the subpage can be deleted. I made a note at the work’s main page. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 11:51, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

Bernie Sanders fireside chat - 14 March 2020[edit]

The person who added this transcript tagged it {{PD-self}} but is not the author of the interview. --EncycloPetey (talk) 05:27, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

Symbol delete vote.svg Delete I really can't see how a broadcast from a candidate for public office could be deemed to be PD. Certainly claiming PD-self is wrong—any transcription must have the same copyright status as the original. There are two parallel text uploads from the same contributor: Eugene DePasquale interview on PCN - 3 March 2020 and Skylar Hurwitz interview on PCN - 26 February 2020, for which they are also claiming PD-self. None of these three people hold an office that would cause their words to be covered under an automatic US-government release. Beeswaxcandle (talk) 08:40, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

P.S. I've linked the other two uploads mentioned above into this discussion as well. Beeswaxcandle (talk) 08:44, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

  • If the inclusion of comments made by non-government officials means PD-USGov doesn't apply, it logically follows that all interactions with the press or with voters, where questions are asked, are not part of the duties of elective office; and that only monologue speeches are PD. However members of Congress receive a substantial allowance to (among other things) "communicate with the press and others" [9]. I think this fact strongly implies that dialogues such as press conferences, appearances on talk shows, podcasts, town halls, etc., all constitute part of their duties of office when these events are public and the subject matter is what the representative is doing as a government official.
  • I respectfully disagree with you on the question of whether the transcribed interview contains no remarks related to the carrying out of duties of office. For example, the Senator talks about the work his Senatorial staff is doing on an upcoming bill. However, because the interview takes place in the broader context of an ongoing campaign I agree that the transcript falls under a gray area. Perhaps excising the questions from the campaign manager, while leaving the questions from voters, would put it under PD-USGov?
  • I notice I linked to the wrong example 1 in my 'fixedness' comment above. I have corrected this to the one I intended, the Barack Obama Press Conference discussion. I apologize for the mistake.
It occurs to me to ask if you understand the licensing on Wikisource? We don't simply want to host the work, but we host it under a license that permits other people to use the text as well. See Wikisource:Copyright policy. So, we're not just concerned about getting permission for us to host the work, but by virtue of hosting it, the copyright effectively goes away for everyone in perpetuity who ever wants to use that text. If the work is not licensed under CC-BY-SA, or a compatible license, or in the public domain, then we don't host it. --EncycloPetey (talk) 20:10, 26 March 2020 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment we have previously had issues that interviewers are asking prepared questions, so their part of the conversation is probably copyrighted. Then as the answers themselves are an excerpt the answers in themselves are not within scope. — billinghurst sDrewth 09:55, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

Symbol keep vote.svg Keep see also [10] Slowking4Rama's revenge 11:34, 13 May 2020 (UTC)

Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (and any other individual parts)[edit]

The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights is an agreement of the World Trade Organization, and an annex of the Marrakesh Agreement which established the WTO. Given that the World Trade Organization is not a foreign government, the work is not a edict of government, and {{PD-EdictGov}} is non-applicable. Also, the World Trade Organization is not a direct agency of the United Nations, so {{PD-UN}} should also be non-applicable. As a result, the work may be a copyright violation and should be deleted.廣九直通車 (talk) 04:23, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Symbol keep vote.svg Keep if agreement setup the WTO then cannot be a WTO document as it will precede that organisation, and noting that it was agreed as part of GATT by signatory bodies ie. GOVERNMENTS. The agreement is an international legal agreement it gets EdictGov. The WTO's copyright permissions don't apply, and anyway noting that WTO says

Unrestricted official WTO documents and legal texts are free for public use.

billinghurst sDrewth 09:50, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

  • @Billinghurst:So you mean, as far as the US is a signatory of the Marrakesh Agreement (and then ratified TRIPS), it will satisfy {{PD-USGov}}?廣九直通車 (talk) 12:17, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
    No, I am saying EdictGov applies. The WTO cannot claim copyright to something that pre-dates them. It is a GATT agreement. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:58, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
    Really? As per information from Wikipedia, TRIPS is signed after the last round of GATT (Uruguay, 1944) concluded. I am nor sure what you mean "(i)t is a GATT agreement," regards.廣九直通車 (talk) 10:02, 9 April 2020 (UTC)
    w:Marrakesh Agreement Just because something is hosted at WHO site, doesn't mean they own the copyright, eg. a 1986 document WHO cannot own copyright to an agreement that establishes it. That is the group of nations that signed it, hence EdictGov. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:49, 2 April 2020 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep per billinghurst. w:Marrakesh Agreement and its annexes (like the one in question here) are international agreements signed and ratified by the countries directly. Absent factors like Congress refusing to ratify it, this should be EdictGov. Documents produced by the WTO itself are a different kettle of fish. --Xover (talk) 08:34, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

Index:Tumors of the pituitary gland.djvu[edit]

1998 work and author is still alive. I do not see that we can call this {{PD-USGov}} and I don't see that there is any legitimate licensing that would allow us to retain this work.

Note that I have started the pairing conversation at WikimediaCommons. @Rajasekhar1961: uploader. — billinghurst sDrewth 09:35, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

w:Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (established in 1862) published series of books of good teaching value for medical persons. The Institution is closed in 2011. Some of their publications are available in Archives under Public domain licence. They are published by USGovernment. Hence may be considered as {{PD-USGov}} to be used in Wikisource. I am interested in this work, and would like to upload the other books in the series, if it is acceptable to Wikimedia foundation.--Rajasekhar1961 (talk) 14:02, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology is the publisher, but not the author. The author is not an agent of the US government and did not write this volume while working for the government. An author retains rights to their work unless the author releases them. --EncycloPetey (talk) 14:23, 2 April 2020 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep Hang on… This scan was uploaded to IA by an archivist at the National Institutes of Health Libraries and is included both in the NIH Library collection and the Federal Collections collection at IA (and the NIH links to it and a copy on Google Books from their catalog). The work contains no independent copyright statement (which is not required by the copyright act but is common practice in publishing all the same, when copyright applies). The series has been published in multiple editions (at least three that I've found), all of which by AFIP, but with different editors. The edition preceding this one has multiple scans fully available on HathiTrust (who are notoriously even more Catholic than Commons on copyright). All of which strongly suggests that this is a product of the AFIP that just happened to be produced as a work-for-hire: that is, the "author" is listed for academic credit, not copyright purposes. The history of the work, which is given in a preface, also describes it as a product of the AFIP, in particular due to drawing on the expertise of their employees and the materials in their archives.
    Bottom line, the balance of probabilities here strongly favours this being a {{PD-USGov}} work. --Xover (talk) 08:31, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
did you try contacting the author to find out if it is a work for hire? (there are also four copyrighted images.) don't know why you would speculate that authors for a US government publisher would retain rights: different year, same USGov methods. Slowking4Rama's revenge 11:29, 13 May 2020 (UTC)
I should make clear, when I say "bottom line" I mean "bottom line for me". This is not a case where there is an unequivocal right or wrong answer: but for me the balance of the evidence (absent new information) falls down on the side of it being PD-USGov. The opposite conclusion is equally valid, I just don't find the arguments for it persuasive. --Xover (talk) 08:29, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

Istanbul Convention and other CoE treaties[edit]

Dear Billinghurst,
On 23 July 2018 you deleted Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, writing "Copyright violation (fair use not allowed): claims copyright on works, and only allows private use". I went to check this by emailing the CoE Director of Communications, Daniel Holtgen, who swiftly and curtly informed me that the text of all CoE treaties is public domain. For the purpose of transparency, I'll reproduce the entire correspondence here:

Dear Mr Holtgen,
Are texts of CoE treaties subject to copyright or are they public domain? The text of most treaties and laws around the world appear to be public domain and as such may be freely reproduced. But the CoE website disclaimer states:
'Unless otherwise indicated, reproduction of material posted on Council of Europe websites, and reproduction of photographs for which the Council of Europe holds copyright – see legal notice “photo credits” – is authorised for private use and for informational and educational uses relating to the Council of Europe’s work. This authorisation is subject to the condition that the source be indicated and no charge made for reproduction.

Persons wishing to make some other use than those specified above, including commercial use, of information and text posted on these sites are asked to apply for prior written authorisation to the Council of Europe, Directorate of Communication.'
It is for this reason that I address this question to you. I would like to reproduce the text of the Istanbul Convention on I've already seen the entire treaty's text reproduced by governmental websites such as, commercial websites such as and private websites such as this one. The same goes for other CoE treaties such as the ECHR. Yet, the text of the Istanbul Convention has been removed from Wikisource in 2018, citing the CoE website disclaimer.
What is the CoE's policy on this? I hope to receive a response from you soon.
Yours sincerely,
[My name]

Public domain, so no problem
Daniel Holtgen
Director of Communications
+33668298751 @CoESpokesperson"

So it wasn't a copyvio after all. Could you restore the deleted page? Greetings, Nederlandse Leeuw (talk) 13:43, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment As we have no specific licence for CoE, I propose that if returned that they are tagged {{PD-EdictGov}} — billinghurst sDrewth 11:38, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Normally we would require the Council of Europe to contact OTRS in order for this claim of public domain to be acceptable. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 12:42, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
I am taking the statement to be an indication that they while they appear on their page, they are outside of that provision as they are international agreements. Typically we have applied EdictGov and with the reputed confirmation, I see no reason to not comply. CoE is not going to get out of their way to fill our OTRS, especially not at this time. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:55, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
Good point. I seem to have missed that we are talking specifically about international treaties, and not about CoE content in general. I vaguely recall deleting some CoE stuff in the past as copyvio, and I do believe we would need OTRS confirmation to host general CoE content even if we had a posted note from their director of communications indicating otherwise. With regard to treaties, however, since they have force of law, they would be exempt from this and would be hostable as {{PD-EdictGov}} as you say. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 13:33, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
In agreement with that. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:42, 2 April 2020 (UTC)
Thank you both for your help. I've filed an undeletion request summarising our discussion here. Greetings, Nederlandse Leeuw (talk) 20:22, 3 April 2020 (UTC)

@Beleg Tâl: I see you'd like me to make my undeletion proposal here? Fine, I'd hereby like to propose to undelete Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence based on the observation that its reason for deletion, namely a copyvio, was unfounded and there is no reason not to restore it. Additionally, I request a {{PD-EdictGov}} be added to indicate its legal status as public domain as agreed above. Greetings, Nederlandse Leeuw (talk) 02:23, 5 April 2020 (UTC)

  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep and undelete as PD-EdictGov as multilateral international treaty, ratified in multiple countries in 2014. This should also apply to the entire Council of Europe Treaty Series. --Xover (talk) 08:26, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

Jamiatul saadat (collector of felicities)[edit]

I can find no evidence that this translation by Shahyar Sa’dat is in the public domain. The only date I could find is 1985 for the 2nd edition. Neither of the two [11] [12] online copies in general use have any copyright information. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 20:08, 6 April 2020 (UTC)

  • Symbol delete vote.svg Delete per nom. --Xover (talk) 08:18, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

The Doon School Founder's Day address, 1992[edit]

Delivered by Vikram Seth, who remains alive, and is therefore likely to be copyright in India as well as USA. Beeswaxcandle (talk) 05:21, 7 April 2020 (UTC)

Hello @Beeswaxcandle:, this speech has been published under the Creative Commons license in The Great Speeches of Modern India, Random House, 2007. ParsnipEvidence (talk) 06:05, 9 April 2020 (UTC)
I can see that this speech is in that book. However, I cannot verify the license that you claim. You will need to demonstrate that it is released under a CC license that is compatible with our copyright policy. Beeswaxcandle (talk) 07:13, 9 April 2020 (UTC)
  • Symbol delete vote.svg Delete per nom. --Xover (talk) 08:18, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

Allahu Akbar[edit]

The earliest copy I can find of this translation of the former Libyan national anthem, is from the WorldExplorer website by Florida International University. There is nothing on that site that suggests that this translation is released under any license compatible with Wikisource. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 20:51, 14 April 2020 (UTC)

The Professor's Teddy Bear[edit]

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
kept as US copyright not renewed

This is a short story by Author:Theodore Sturgeon (w:Theodore Sturgeon) which was included in his 1953 short story collection E Pluribus Unicorn, but which had (probably) been previously published in a periodical somewhere. Can we determine the copyright status of this story? --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:25, 4 May 2020 (UTC)

The ISFDB (the best source for questions like this) says first published in Weird Tales, March 1948. Weird Tales/1948 says both the magazine and story lack renewals; you can second-guess User:AdamBMorgan, but I've not seen any reason to.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:28, 4 May 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. I had forgotten about the ISFDB. --EncycloPetey (talk) 16:56, 4 May 2020 (UTC)

Joseph Stalin's speech at the 1940 military council about the Finnish War[edit]

I should like to work on an English translation of Joseph Stalin's speech at the 1940 secret military council about the experience of the war with Finland. It is already published on the Russian Wikisource, but has no accompanying scans. If scans are mandatory for a translation (which is strange because they are not for an original document) may I take them from a 1990 book? I cannot use an earlier source because this 1940 document was declassified only after the collapase of the Soviet Union. Can there be any licensing or copyright problems with publishing such historical documents as strenograms of speeches by persons long dead?—Ant 222 (talk) 21:41, 7 May 2020 (UTC)

Translations have in some ways higher restrictions to offset the extra freedom of translation, and the current rules are compromises. There is a problem with Stalin; he's not long dead, which for copyright purposes I'd call at least 95 years. Russian law demands 70 years after death (plus wartime extensions?), which hasn't passed for Stalin, and I don't know when the clock started in US law; if it was extemporaneous, it would be PD in the US, if it was legally published around the time (unlikely) it would be PD in 2036 (95 years from publication), and if it was legally published in 1990, it would be PD in 2048 (1977 + 70 years, for historical reasons).--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:42, 8 May 2020 (UTC)

Could we publish its translation on the same grounds as the Speech_about_the_Munich_Agreement, made in 1939, or will it work for a speech excerpt only? If so, may I translate just an exceprt (less than 10% of the whole speech) to take advantage of the relaxed limitations?—Ant 222 (talk) 11:11, 8 May 2020 (UTC)

@Prosfilaes: Is it really important when the speech was published, when we know the time it was made? Are not the documents of WWII universal heritage of the humanity regardless of who first published them and when? What of the infamous secret protocols to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact—the purported Russian original was first published as late as in 2019. Can't we put them on WikiSource yet?—Ant 222 (talk) 19:33, 8 May 2020 (UTC)

Yes, it is really important, because that's how US copyright law is defined. See Help:Public domain.
The "universal heritage of humanity" doesn't really mean anything in this context. The Diary of Anne Frank, for example, is clearly copyrighted in the US, and has varying legal status in Europe. Wikisource has generally made a policy of following the law. Stalin's copyright doesn't seem to be actively enforced, but it does seem to be his.
The secret protocols would probably be considered government edicts, and thus not subject to copyright in the US. There doesn't seem to be any way to fit Stalin's speech into that category.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:13, 8 May 2020 (UTC)

@Prosfilaes: Thank you for the explanation. Is it, then, possible to use parts of that speach in the article about the Soviet-Finnish Winter war?—Ant 222 (talk) 21:07, 10 May 2020 (UTC)

@Ant 222: If by "article" you mean "Wikipedia article" then you would have to ask there (every project has their own policies); but my guess would a that the answer is a qualified "yes". enWP allows non-free material within the limits of "fair use", which would make short excerpts of copyrighted material permissible in such contexts. But ultimately that's up to the local policies there. --Xover (talk) 08:16, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

William Barr Memo to Department of Justice[edit]

File was speedy deleted at Commons with the claim that Barr was not an employee of the US government at the time that he wrote the document. No discussion took place. I have recovered the file so that we can explore the claim, and work out what should be occurring with our version of the document. If we believe that the file is in the public domain, then we should consider pushing the file back to Commons, and arguing its retention. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:44, 8 May 2020 (UTC)

  • Symbol delete vote.svg Delete When the memo was written, Barr was a private individual. That it was sent to officers at the DOJ makes it a public record, but it is still protected by copyright. I can find no theory under which it might be public domain or freely licensed. --Xover (talk) 13:57, 8 May 2020 (UTC)

Index:Japan-Korea GSOMIA (English Text).pdf and file and transclusion[edit]

The file was recently deleted at Commons per this conversation => c:Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Tanka222. I have resurrected the file and moved it here to enWS. We now need to have the conversation whether the transcluded work should be kept, and the associated index: and file: pages.

My first thought on the work is that with the recent US court ruling about government works is that this is likely to fit the scope of {{PD-EdictGov}} — billinghurst sDrewth 02:19, 12 May 2020 (UTC)

in light of the recent supreme court case, it should be PD-edict. remarkably buro deletion at commons, is not binding on this community. Slowking4Rama's revenge 02:03, 26 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep Even without the recent USSC precedent I would say this qualifies for {{PD-EdictGov}} (modulo some relatively esoteric points of legal wankery that I am disinclined to take into account for this particular relatively straightforward issue). It is a bilateral international agreement with sufficient "force of law" to obligate both parties, and the countries (in the form of their legal governments) themselves are the parties. Their copyright status in Japan and Korea would depend on any PD-USGov style exemption in their legal code (which I haven't bothered checking), but the US status seems unequivocally to fall under EdictGov.
    PS. The deletion on Commons does seem to be a bit on the bureaucratic side: it looks like they were deleted for failing to slap on the right license templates, not for actually being incompatibly licensed (they may be, but that wasn't documented in the deletion discussion there). --Xover (talk) 08:11, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

Memorandum on implementation of the 2005 China-WHO Taiwan MOU[edit]

Unsourced 2005 document uploaded here in 2009 by Formosa and tagged with {{PD-UN}}. However, the document appears to be a WHO document, not a UN document, and the WHO unfortunately does not release their documents under a free license. It was just tagged for speedy deletion (which I declined) and the requester asserts that the document has never been publicly released at all. Google supports this assertion.

I declined the speedy on this as it does not appear to be sufficiently clear-cut to fall within the scope of the criteria, but absent new information or novel arguments it does appear the IPs rationale for speedy was correct: it is a copyrighted WHO document. I am therefore inclined to be quite aggressive in closing this unless contrary positions are evident fairly soon. --Xover (talk) 14:18, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

  • No one can verify the accuracy or even the existence of this "document". 14:33, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
    Of course we can verify that it exists. It's been discussed in news media and The Lancet. But it still appears to be ineligible for hosting here due to lack of compatible licensing and lack of sourcing. --Xover (talk) 14:41, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
    The Wikisource article is the memorandum on implementation of the China-WHO MOU. It is not the China-WHO MOU. It could be a internal reference material for the WHO staff, but the existence of such material is still cannot be verified. 15:22, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
  • @Xover: If it is the work of government bureaucrats solely for the working of government bodies, where does it stand with the new US Supreme Court ruling to be PD-EdictGov? WHO is a treaty organisation of the UN. — billinghurst sDrewth 11:59, 26 May 2020 (UTC)
    @Billinghurst: The new Supreme Court precedent is actually a narrowing for this particular case: it (simplifying massively) points to the author being a government entity as the criterion, which neither the UN nor the WHO are, rather than force of law, which some non-government-authored international treaties have. I don't think we should apply such a narrowing (our practice for EdictGov has been fairly narrow, at least recently, to begin with) without some indication that it is needed, but neither does the nominal expansion from the USSC extend to all cases. In other words, unless arguments to the contrary pop up soon I'm still inclined to delete this. --Xover (talk) 07:59, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

Red Army Faction dissolution notice[edit]

The text is the translation of the dissolution notice of the Red Army Faction, written in March, 1998 and published in April, 1998. Per c:Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Germany#Anonymous and pseudonymous works, the original text therefore enjoys 70 years of copyright after April, 1998 c:Commons:Copyright rules by territory/United States, such work enjoys 95 years of copyright since 1998. As a result, the text is likely to be copyrighted and unfree.廣九直通車 (talk) 05:53, 16 May 2020 (UTC)

@廣九直通車: Commons rules are not applicable here, your argument can solely be made on US copyright, not EU copyright directly. — billinghurst sDrewth 11:54, 26 May 2020 (UTC)
@Billinghurst:Yes check.svg Done Updated.廣九直通車 (talk) 11:59, 26 May 2020 (UTC)

Project Gutenberg blocked in Italy[edit]

see also

Slowking4Rama's revenge 02:34, 26 May 2020 (UTC)

It looks like the rest of the EU is going to go that way, and possibly Wikisource will join them if we get big enough to be noticed. From the EU's perspective, they're not going to tolerate works copyrighted in the EU being available on the Internet in their country.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:59, 26 May 2020 (UTC)
Ouch! But that's really not a particularly surprising outcome, and a demonstration of the various risks our US-only copyright policy entails. I haven't been following this specific case (pointers welcome!), so I base this only on the headline, but I'd still be willing to bet Commons' will run clear of this while ours will land us square in it if they ever deign to notice we exist. --Xover (talk) 07:04, 26 May 2020 (UTC)
As we have English works, and UK drops out of the EU next year, that is unlikely to problematic for us, and then that comes down to what the other language wikis are doing. So it would seem that frWS and deWS are primarily the focus. — billinghurst sDrewth 11:51, 26 May 2020 (UTC)
The UK may still want to block us for that reason; Ireland is primarily English-speaking and has English as an official language, and Malta has English as an official language, so I don't see us as off the hook. Not that I suggest doing anything about it on Wikisource's side; if political maneuvers don't stop them, people will just use VPNs to get around the block.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:48, 27 May 2020 (UTC)
VPNs won't help us. The reason why VPNs have not been stopped yet is simple: only a tiny fraction of readers know about their existence and only a fraction of this fraction can use them. If this changed they would be stopped. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 06:25, 27 May 2020 (UTC)
I'll add a "ditto" for what Prosfilaes said. And add that the issue isn't just whether we get blocked from those places, but also the legal jeopardy this places our readers and (especially) reusers in everywhere that's not the US. Large parts of Asia and some parts of Africa (and let's not forget Australia) have English as a primary written language or as a primary written language for certain purposes. In all these cases we put reusers at risk when we ignore the copyright laws of the country of origin; and our contributors from those areas too, but I am more willing to accept that they can make an informed decision regarding their own risk than our reusers. This move in Italy just exemplifies a risk that is everpresent for all these cases so long as we choose to be so US-centric in our copyright policy.
Note that I am not proposing we should immediately change our copyright policy based on one single country being stronzos. But it's a concrete example of the general and ongoing problem with our policy which I think we should consider very carefully going forward. --Xover (talk) 07:17, 27 May 2020 (UTC)
I'm not worried about legal jeopardy for our readers. Unlike torrents, they have no way of knowing who our readers are, and like torrents, trying to chase down random users is unprofitable and backlash-inducing. Reusers are going to have to deal; if you're going to reuse, you need to know the law you have to follow. Certainly Wikipedia strikes me as hugely dangerous for many reusers, as many pages will violate libel or blasphemy laws, or various local laws prohibiting certain viewpoints. (E.g. India apparently bans maps that they don't agree with, and Poland is getting on anyone who thinks Poles might have had a role in the Holocaust.)
Note that "copyright laws of the country of origin" is a bit of a farce; there's a table of countries on w:en:Rule of the shorter term and many countries don't have the rule of the shorter term, like Mexico and Brazil, with English speaking nations including Australia and Canada (at least wrt the US). The list is pretty short, so I don't know about most of Africa or Asia. I don't know what rules are needed to make Wikisource or Commons copyright-safe in all parts of the world, but we're talking at least life+70 (plus wartime extensions?) and 95 years from publication.
Maybe Commons is safer from widescale blocks like this, but I sure wouldn't reuse anything from there without double-checking, with uploads with bad licenses and many, many works that aren't free in my nation (the US).--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:01, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

Tafsir Ibn Kathir[edit]

It looks like this is a 14-year-old copy-dump of the first chapter of a 2000 (2nd ed. 2003) abridged 10-volume translation published by Darussalam (OCLC), complete with a copyright notice (so they're not releasing to the PD). This book is, like many other religious texts, widely copy-pasted around the Internet in various states of fidelity, which is presumably where it came from, but it's still copyrighted material.

There is a scan of that volume at the IA, where you can see the verbatim wording for the first (and only) chapter reproduced here, along with the copyright notice: TafsirIbnKathir13305 Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 10:18, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

  • @Wulverine claws: You have been working on this lately. Do you have any additional information about the copyright status of this text? --Xover (talk) 11:57, 30 May 2020 (UTC)

Sinews of Peace[edit]

Unsourced, annotated, ("etc.") 1946 speech by Winston Churchill. In 1946, Churchill was no longer PM or held any government post; he was the leader of the opposition and MP for Woodford. The speech is a prepared political speech (warning against Soviet expansion and the Eastern Bloc) delivered at Westminster College in Missouri. As such it is in copyright in the UK (pma. 70) until 2036 and in the US (pub. + 95) until 2041. --Xover (talk) 10:29, 30 May 2020 (UTC)

It is true that Sir Winston Churchill was, at the time of this speech, the leader of the opposition and no longer PM; but this does not change the fact that he was PM and was the principal negotiator with Franklin D. Roosevelt, US President; and Joseph Stalin, USSR General Secretary at Casablanca, Morocco (1943-01); Tehran, Iran (1943-11); and Yalta, Crimea, USSR (1945-02) - although Stalin was absent from Casablanca due to the Battle of Stalingrad. As such, Churchill spoke with, first hand, deep knowledge and authority on the historic and critical strategic dialogue that took place between Allied leaders during WWII. I am not a copyright expert, but I think it is reasonable to suppose that, in practical terms, that it has long been in the public domain. If there are technical copyright issues, I have little doubt that these can be addressed starting with Churchill College, University of Cambridge; Archives or International Churchill Society or other authority. I would be surprised if permission to host the transcript of this speech (text and/or audio) is not granted.
Enquire (talk) 21:43, 30 May 2020 (UTC)
Revision as of 14:44, 10 April 2017 includes an unverified transcript, plus a (broken) YouTube link (user account no longer exists). I found, what appeared to be an authentic full audio transcript (YouTube v=DZBqqzxXQg4) Introduction by President Harry S Truman, with Churchill's speech starting at 08:42 in 55:54 audio. This speech was delivered at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri as the seventh John Findley Green Foundation lecture series (1937 to 2019, ongoing). If YouTube is not a trusted audio transcript host, I have no doubt that a trusted audio archive can be found, either to be embedded in Wikisource, or else to be added as an EL. In any event, this is a significant speech that should be included as a Wikisource.
Enquire (talk) 22:19, 30 May 2020 (UTC)
It would appear that the text transcript (although not, apparently, audio) can be found here: Sinews of Peace, 1946 Enquire (talk) 22:37, 30 May 2020 (UTC)
I note that the YouTube (v=DZBqqzxXQg4) audio credits: Licensed to YouTube by SME (on behalf of Sony Classical); EMI Music Publishing, and 8 music rights societies
Enquire (talk) 23:09, 30 May 2020 (UTC)
I am afraid that neither Cambridge nor any other university own the copyright to Churchill’s works. According to information given at International Churchil Society Curtis Brown Group Ltd and its agents represent the Estate of Sir Winston Churchill and handle all copyright permissions. It would be great if they agreed with publicating the speech under some of our free licences, but it seems that their attitude to commercial usage is not compatible with our licenses, which explicitely allow commercial usage :-( But it may be worth giving it a try. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 23:27, 30 May 2020 (UTC)
@Enquire: I feel your frustration: copyright laws around the world tend to be completely out of touch with how normal people view what is reasonable. In the UK the main term of copyright protection is for 70 years after the death of the author (so 1965 + 70 = 2035 for Churchill, and terms are counted from the end of the year in which the author died). In the US, the copyright term for such works is 95 years from the date of publication (so 1946 + 95 = 2041 for this speech). Many copyright systems have exceptions making some or all works by that country's government ineligible for copyright, but that does not apply when the author in question is no longer in government (and besides, the UKs is one of the more regressive laws in this respect). In US copyright there is also an exception for extemporaneous speech (getting copyright protection requires a work to be "fixed" in some tangible form) that has sometimes been relevant to (impromptu) speeches hosted here, but that does not seem to be applicable here (there is no way Churchill didn't prepare this speech ahead of time). Wikisource policy is that works hosted here must, at a minimum, be in the public domain (either ineligible for copyright, or copyright must have expired) under US copyright law.
As for getting permission to host it… Nothing would be better than getting such permission, but keep in mind that getting such a permission that would actually work is a pretty tall order. Our licensing policy requires a free license, where the word "free" refers more to "freedom" than being without fees. Our main license is the {{CC-BY-SA-4.0}} (Creative Commons Attribution+Share Alike) or the {{CC-Zero}} public domain dedication license, which permits others to freely redistribute, reuse, and modify the work, including for commercial purposes. So by licensing this speech for use on Wikisource, the owners of the copyright would in effect be permitting anyone that wants to to exploit it commercially. This goes a lot farther than a mere permission to host it somewhere for academic and educational purposes, and is not generally something copyright-managing organisations are interested in.
If you do get in touch with them about this, please also keep in mind one final "bureaucratic" hoop that must be jumped: we are going to need some way to verify that any such permission has indeed been provided (not just an individual contributor's say-so), for which we have the m:OTRS process. In essence, if the copyright holders are willing to freely license this work, you will need to get them to email the appropriate email address listed on the OTRS page, and the volunteers there will verify that the copyright holder releases the images under an allowable license, that they do so clearly while understanding what that means, and that they actually are allowed to license the images in such a way (e.g. they hold copyright). And the copyright owners must communicate with OTRS directly: forwarding their emails will not be sufficient. --Xover (talk) 05:09, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
Just a small note to OTRS: I think it is not necessary that the organization contacts directly our OTRS. When somebody gives me a permission in similar cases, I usually simply forward our correspondence to OTRS and if the correspondence includes everything needed, the OTRS volunteers approve it. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 11:47, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
It is distinctly preferred, I believe, since a direct communication is more verifiable than a forwarded version of one, which is easily faked.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:25, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
@Xover: I do not doubt that what you wrote is true and it is obviously true that we need to ensure that whatever is published has the appropriate permissions. What I am trying to convey is that this transcript (text & audio) is already, in reality, in the public domain. Furthermore, it is profoundly in the public interest for it to be hosted on Wikisources. In any case, unlike commercial media, I doubt that obtaining permission would be a major barrier and, as we know, apparently Sony/EMI have already granted permission for the audio to be hosted on YouTube. That is, assuming that they hold copyright, rather than the International Churchill Society or the John Findley Green Foundation who host the Green Lectures. If anyone, I would have assumed that the JF Green Foundation would be the original copyright holders. Regardless of the details of copyright, what is the procedure to secure such permission?!?
Enquire (talk) 21:31, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
@Enquire: "available to the public" is a different concept from "public domain". In terms of history, education, world heritage, academic study, etc. etc., then, yes. But in terms of copyright, which is the aspect that our policy cares about, the copyright is owned by whoever is the successor in interest to Churchill's estate. "Public domain" is the status of a work that is either ineligible for copyright protection, or whose term of protection has expired. Since neither applies here, it means the only way we can host it is for the current legal owner of the copyright to license it to us under a compatible license (typically {{CC-BY-SA-4.0}} or {{CC-Zero}}). Any copyright owner that is actively managing their copyrights is extremely unlikely to do that, because it hurts their ability to commercially exploit the copyrights (and copyright is primarily an economic right).
The speech as such is Churchill's copyright, passed to his heirs. The recording of the speech has a separate copyright, owned by whoever did the recording. The license tags you see on Youtube are in regards the recording and not the speech itself. The recording permissions are provided to Youtube and others (radio stations etc.) through compulsory collective licensing deals: it is not a license for that individual work, and we cannot get a relevant license through the same channels.
The Churchill Estate (which is not the same as the International Churchill Foundation) owns the copyrights, and they have chosen to use the Curtis Brown Group Ltd to handle licensing. This in itself is a strong sign that they care about commercially exploiting the copyrights, which in turn suggests it is unlikely they would be interested in anything that interferes with those commercial interests (such as a free license).
But if you want to try, you need to start by contacting Curtis Brown. If they are, despite my misgivings, willing to license the speech under one of the licenses mentioned above, you will need to get them to send an email confirming that to OTRS (see the link above for the address). OTRS will need to see that they understand the implications of the license (anyone can use it for any purpose, including commercial purposes!) in addition to confirming that they are willing to release it under that license. Note specifically that it is not sufficient to "get permission" (too vague) or to get a license for use "on Wikisource" (people need to be able to reuse everything we host here).
I don't mean to be discouraging, and nothing would be better than being able to host this here; but in my experience it is extremely unlikely they will be positive to such an approach. --Xover (talk) 09:48, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
@Enquire:Those aren't arguments we use or accept. Lots of things are commonly out there that aren't in the public domain copyright-wise. I know of one instance where something was so much not in the public interest that we rejected it, but in general it doesn't matter; if it's copyright-legal and someone uploaded it, it stays. Sony has granted permission for the audio to be hosted on YouTube, in exchange for the ad revenue on that video; that's purely a commercial issue.--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:24, 1 June 2020 (UTC)

Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol for Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (Trial Version 7)[edit]

Official Chinese government document (may be reasonably assumed to be {{PD-PRC-exempt}} since that exemption is pretty wide, but I haven't checked) translated from Chinese to English by the WHO's China office. The WHO is not the UN, and the WHO does not generally freely license material for which they hold the copyright. This translation is thus in copyright for a good long while (decades). --Xover (talk) 07:12, 31 May 2020 (UTC)