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Copyright discussions

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

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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)[reply]

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

Kerry vs. Pickens[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The definition of "law" in this case in extremely broad (this is a principle of the common, not statute law).... "non-statute" materials prepared by Members in the course of drafting legislation, that could be used by judges to construct the meaning and sense of Congress behind the words actually enacted, are "law" in the sense intended, as is the 'administrative law' in the Code of Federal Regulations. The concept is that "actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea" - essentially that you have to be able to know what the law is to commit a crime. Jarnsax (talk) 15:58, 29 July 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks. My main question was thinking through this in a more rigorous way given that it all seemed a bit wishy-washy. My inclination was that it didn't apply and I was pushing to nail down why it doesn't apply. For example, that {{PD-US-Gov}} is not for legislators. MarkLSteadman (talk) 17:05, 29 July 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah, I kinda took it as a request to try to really explain the reasoning behind it... it's why the Constitution starts "We the People" though we know what specific people actually wrote it: because our representatives, when acting as the legislative, are essentially us, we (as a people) are the collective authors of the works it creates, that we give our implicit consent to when electing congresscritters. WE are the swamp, lol. Jarnsax (talk) 17:57, 29 July 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    • Jarnsax: “There is no exemption under statute law for works of Members of Congress”—actually, that’s not true. “Copyright protection under the Copyright Act is not available for ‘any work of the United States Government.’ … This includes works created by the President; Congress; the federal judiciary; federal departments, agencies, boards, bureaus, or commissions; or any other officer or employee of the U.S. federal government while acting within the course of his or her official duties.” (From the Compendium.) TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 02:30, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@TE(æ)A,ea. You're arguing with the Supreme Court (see quote above, or look up the case). What you are missing is that Congressmen are not Officers (or employees) of the Unites States Government. First sentence of w:Officer of the United States... "a functionary of the executive or judicial branches of the federal government of the United States..." I mentioned above, the Ineligibility Clause... "no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office." They are not "employees" because they are not hired or fired, it's an elective office not a 'job'. The reasoning goes way off into too much depth for here, but 'law' is ineligible for copyright due to a lack of authorship as defined by the Copyright Act. In the specific case, the Georgia Legislature is denied copyright in 'non binding annotations' that were published along with the actual statute. Jarnsax (talk) 02:53, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Jarnsax: This work was published after Public.Resource.Org was decided; it references that case in the paragraph I quoted. Here is the full quote:

“[T]he bar on copyright protection for federal works … applies to works created by all federal ‘officer[s] or employee[s],’ without regard for the nature of their position or scope of their authority.” Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., 140 S. Ct. 1498, 1509–10 (2020). This includes works created by the President; Congress; the federal judiciary; federal departments, agencies, boards, bureaus, or commissions; or any other officer or employee of the U.S. federal government while acting within the course of his or her official duties. It also includes works prepared by an officer or employee of the government of the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the organized territories under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

@TE(æ)A,ea. Now read the very next section of the Compendium regarding government edicts, 313.6(C)(2). It tells you the same thing I just did. Jarnsax (talk) 03:24, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
To explain a bit more, when it mentions "Congress" in (C)(1) it is referring to Officers and employees of the legislative branch (i.e. Congress) like the w:Architect of the Capitol, who are not Members of COngress and have no legislative authority. Jarnsax (talk) 03:32, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Since this is probably going to go here anyhow, actual "laws" (passed by both houses, and signed by the president) are edicts of Government, as are "rules" (i.e. administrative law) written by agencies with rulemaking authority delegated by statute (like the EPA). That they are not copyrightable is a "principle", it's not written in the statutes, it's common law (England does copyright laws, but they actually passed a law post-revolution to make it that way). Congress can also (and does) create "works of the United States Government" when they do things like pass a simple resolution in the House to express condolences after a former member dies, and those are not copyrightable under (C)(1), but they are also not legislation. Jarnsax (talk) 04:50, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Jarnsax: This discussion is interesting, and can have far-reaching consequences for how we treat works by congressmen on the project. I have always been unclear on what exactly the copyright situation for these are.
The executive branch are fairly clear as {{PD-USGov}}, and the judiciary are usually fairly clear as {{PD-EdictGov}}. And Congress as such is normally also producing works that fall under EdictGov, especially after PRO.
But we get a lot of works by individual congressmen that can be anything from speeches on the floor, to press releases, speeches to the electorate, town halls and Q&A sessions with constituents. We have historically given wide latitude to keeping these under the theory that PD-USGov was in effect, and a congressman's "official duties" includes various kinds of schmoozing with constituents. But if there is no PD-USGov exemption for congressmen, that means only PD-EdictGov controls the issue; and EdictGov (even after PRO) will only apply in those narrow circumstances where whatever work somehow bears on a law or other edict of the government. That would eliminate a wide swathe of texts that we currently host.
In other words, this is an issue I believe it is worthwhile spending some time and effort to get right. Xover (talk) 07:56, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Xover Yeah, "employees" is obvious, and it's fairly easy to define an "Officer of the United States"... nominated by President, confirmed by Senate, has a physical paper commission, swears an oath to the Constitution.
What's kind of odd is the case to watch right now [4] isn't actually a copyright case, but probably will go towards the point here... if a congressman speaking at Trump's Jan 6th rally was 'acting in the scope of his duties' by addressing the public at a political event. There have been other, similar cases (like Murtha), but I think they are generally more about the Westfall Act (tort law) which has it's own definition of 'employee' that is much broader.
All the copyright compendium really says about "edicts of government" is citing cases where courts have agreed that since the Copyright Act doesn't explicitly create a copyright in them (doesn't mention them at all) then there isn't one (and people have been calling BS on Georgia for years). We're just left with that it should be 'broadly construed' in the public interest. Jarnsax (talk) 09:33, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

So, after some more digging around, I tracked down the 11th Circuit's decision in Georgia v. PRO here. [5] What's interesting about it is they get to the same place starting from first principles, and essentially create a three part test:

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

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

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

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

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

Translation:Judgment of the Supreme Court of Justice No. 6083/2546/Syllabus[edit]

A syllabus (summary of a judgment) is not covered by the license {{PD-TH-exempt}} as tagged.

As it is a work created under the government's control, its copyright will expire after 50 years from its creation or first publication (according to section 23), which is around 2053.

The work does not appear to have otherwise been released into public domain.

--Miwako Sato (talk) 11:20, 11 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Miwako Sato: Syllabi are usually authored by the court. Is there any reason to presume that this one wasn't also? The license tag is in any case wrong: this should be tagged {{PD-EdictGov}}. Xover (talk) 16:04, 11 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
This one is, indeed, authored by the court (as its heading says that its author is "Supreme Court of Justice's Bureau of Judge Trainees"). But a syllabus (summary) of a judgment is not the judgment itself, and {{PD-TH-exempt}} only applies to judgments. I think {{PD-EdictGov}} applies in the same way too, because it says it applies to "decisions", not their "summaries". --Miwako Sato (talk) 16:36, 11 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
EdictGov is much wider. It'll apply to explanatory material etc. as well so long as it bears in some way on the law or its interpretation. Xover (talk) 17:26, 11 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Xover Remember that Thailand isn't a 'common law' country (re w:List_of_national_legal_systems#Common_law), so we can only look at the statutory provisions in their positive law, and the treaties they are a part of (Berne and TRIPS). A work can be 'edictgov' and denied protection in the US while still copyrighted at home, UK law being an example. It's similar to how the US states that PD-USGov only applies in the US... that they reserve the right to enforce copyright claims on such works in other jurisdictions. (ce: see ) Jarnsax (talk) 17:23, 19 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Miwako Sato The scope is wider than just judgements, per 1(1)(7)(4) of the Thai copyright act. The exemption is for "judicial decisions, orders, decisions and official reports". Since the syllabus appears to have been published by the court together with the rest of the decision, they are one work as published, and it appears to be clearly official. Being published as 'the judgement' (i.e. decision) should place the whole work (since the syllabus was written 'under direction', presumably, and so is a work for hire) in the PD.
Basically, it's not up to us to second-guess the publisher. If the Thai government owns the copyright in the syllabus, and publishes it as an integral part of a work that is ineligible for copyright (and I am making assumptions here, but presumably there is not some other "more official" version of the full judgement that does not include it) then they are placing the syllabus in the PD "as" part of the judgement. Jarnsax (talk) 16:05, 19 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Jarnsax: The full judgment is available on Wikisource (both Thai & English). The syllabus was not published together with or as part of the judgment. The judgment (file at Commons) does not contain the syllabus. The syllabus is part of a separate book, whose title translates Supreme Court Judgments of the Year 2546 BE (Thammasat University library). Moreover, like I said above, a work created "under direction" of a Thai government agency is copyrighted for 50 years from its creation or first publication, according to the Thai Copyright Act, section 23. --Miwako Sato (talk) 16:30, 19 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Miwako Sato Ok, that's a different situation than I assumed was going on, and changes things drastically (I was assuming this was published similar to US cases, where an 'official syllabus' is often published as the introduction to the case in the judgement itself.)
With it having been initially published separately, it's status is going to be that of the book it was published in (I see a BY-NC-ND license, but can't see the copyright page or colophon). I would assume, just from that, that you are correct we can't host it.
I'm not disagreeing about section 23, or the term. It would just have been 'overridden' if the government had published that copyrighted work as an 'integral part' of a work that was ineligible (the judgement). That not being the case, you can disregard my objection as a misunderstanding of the situation. Jarnsax (talk) 16:43, 19 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
FYI (US Govt) is an example of what I was assumed was going on... where the syllabus is a 'work for hire' by the Reporter of Decisions, but placed in the PD by it's publication by the court as part of the official decision. (ignoring PD-USGov as irrelevant for the example.) Jarnsax (talk) 16:54, 19 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Miwako Sato: The linked website appears to be unavailable currently. Who is the author and the publisher of Supreme Court Judgments of the Year 2546 BE? If it is an entirely unrelated entity (person, university, company, etc.) then it will presumably be in copyright. If it is like similar records published in the US, the notional author is the "reporter" of the judgement and includes things like the syllabus. Xover (talk) 13:57, 27 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Collection Court Judgment
Title Judgment of the Supreme Court, B.E. 2546, Volume 11
Contributors Suwan Trakanphan, Editor
Keyword Supreme Court verdict
Description Judgment of the Supreme Court, B.E. 2546, Volume 11
Publisher Office of the Court of Justice
Date 2003
"Judgment of the Supreme Court, 2003, Volume 11 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 Thailand License ."
(from translated by Google) Jarnsax (talk) 18:02, 27 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks. For some reason I can't access that website. Considering it is published by the Publisher Office of the Court of Justice my conclusion in the absence of contrary evidence is that this falls within similar exceptions as the equivalent SCOTUS material would. I've not been able to track down relevant info on สุวรรณ ตระการพันธุ์ (Suwan Trakanphan) so I am open to the possibility that their affiliation may point in the direction of this being an independent work, despite the publisher, but absent that I'm leaning in the direction of {{PD-EdictGov}}. Xover (talk) 11:20, 28 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

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

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

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

The Net of Faith[edit]

c. 1443 Czech work by Peter Chelčický (c. 1390 – c. 1460), that claims to have been "translated in 1947 as part of a Bachelor's of Divinity thesis at the University of Berkeley." The source is however specified as, which specifies no licensing. The translator is given as "Enrico C. S. Molnár", who appears to have either died in 1999 or may still be living.

@Jan.Kamenicek: I think possibly you may be interested in this work. Xover (talk) 12:52, 3 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]

  • Xover: That source is spurious, and a later attribution; that “edition” may be found on IA here. This would be PD-US-no-notice for the thesis, right? TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 13:05, 3 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    The source ( was probably right because the IA scan is also a 2006 reprint by What is more, as an IA contributor they mention Tom Lock who runs and with whom I cooperated when saving On Spiritual Warfare by the same author. I agree that we can assume {{PD-US-no-notice}} for the 1947 thesis (if not, then {{PD-US-no-renewal}} is a certainty). If the edition available from the IA is found satisfactory, I will be happy to proofread it. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 14:40, 3 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    @Jan.Kamenicek: Unlike On The Spiritual Battle, which is listed as being translated by Lock and Enns, The Net of Faith is listed as being translated by an "Enrico C. S. Molnár" (whose identity I haven't been able to establish with any certainty in a quick bit of googling, but is once listed with vital years 1913–1999). Thus Lock and Enns do not have the power to license this work, barring some form of copyright transfer from Molnár. Xover (talk) 15:06, 3 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    @Xover: Of course, I know. I wrote about it only to show how I know that Tom Lock is connected with and that the contributor who added it to Wikisource could really have as their source (because above it was doubted as spurious). --Jan Kameníček (talk) 15:37, 3 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    @TE(æ)A,ea.: A thesis submission is just limited publication. In order to be published for copyright purposes some further action must take place, for example if had gotten a license from Molnár or his estate to publish it that would then constitute general publication. Xover (talk) 14:54, 3 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    @Xover: Is there any official ruling that explicitely states that thesis submission is not considered fully published? I have found two sources which seem to state otherwise: Copyright and Publication Status of Pre-1978 Dissertations, p.825 (it deals primarily with dissertations, but in principle it may IMO apply to any university thesis), and especially Copyright and Cultural Institutions, p. 230). --Jan Kameníček (talk) 16:31, 3 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    @Jan.Kamenicek: I haven't (re)read Hirtle 2009, so it may contain something of relevance (Peter Hirtle is generally a good source for such things), but last I heard his stance was that general publication could not be assumed for dissertations. Clement and Levine 2011 is an interesting approach, but the article suffers from methodological problems and confirmation bias. For example, they quote a commercial microfilm distributor assuring university publishers that works distributed on microfilm, as a format, are eligible for copyright protection (through fulfilling the deposit requirement iff deposited with the LoC) in order to argue that the works in question can not be protected by copyright.
    But mostly, Clement and Levine do not really make a legal argument (they're mostly doing digital humanities, not law) and consequently ignore Estate of Martin Luther King. In that case the 11th Circuit found that King's I Have a Dream, which was performed before a crowd of thousands, broadcast nationally on multiple networks, and where they handed out the text of the speech in a press tent at the event, didn't constitute general publication. The court sets the bar pretty high and establishes several factors that must be present in order to find that a general publication has happened, not the least of which is that the publication has to be authorised (cf. also Diversey v. Schmidly, 738 F. 3d 1196 (10th Cir. 2013)).
    The bottom line is that while there are circumstances under which a pre-1978 dissertation could have ended up in the public domain, it cannot be assumed; and determining the actual status with any certainty would require specific knowledge of the circumstances of the particular dissertation in question. Xover (talk) 19:05, 3 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    • Xover: Diversey dealt with a university stealing a student’s dissertation before it was finished, making copies, and distributing those copies in the university’s library. The case also deals specifically with (unauthorized) distribution. The language in this case (which is newer, and thus may carry more weight) implies that once the dissertation was placed on the library’s catalog, where anyone could view it or check it out, it becomes published for copyright concerns. (See p. 13.) [The library can’t claim fair use for distributing copies of a work that was not legally published; by inference, a dissertation is published when placed in the library’s catalog for viewing, a claim substantiated elsewhere in the opinion.] In Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr., the issue was that his dramatic reading of his (prepared) speech was a performance, not a publication; although I may be misremembering, as I haven’t read it recently. If my memory is correct, Estate applies with less force here, and Hotaling is more relevant. (Also, thinking about this, these important and discussion-relevant cases should be scan-backed here.) TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 19:45, 3 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    The MLK case says:
    We emphasize the summary judgment posture of this case, which necessitates that we disregard evidence that may be important or even dispositive at trial. In other words, in this summary judgment posture, we consider only the evidence with respect to which there is no genuine issue of material fact. This evidence includes only the fact of the oral delivery of the Speech to a large audience and the fact that the sponsors of the event including Dr. King sought and successfully obtained live broadcasts on radio and television and extensive contemporary coverage in the news media. In this regard, we do not consider at this stage of the litigation two potentially important pieces of evidence brought to our attention by CBS. First, an advance text of the Speech was apparently available in a press tent on the day of the speech. According to an eyewitness affidavit submitted by CBS, members of the public at large—not merely the press—were permitted access to the press tent and were given copies of the advance text. However, the Estate has proffered affidavits which contradict the statements of the CBS witness, and suggest that access was controlled by the SCLC within reasonable means. Moreover, the Estate argues that much of the content of the Speech was generated extemporaneously by Dr. King and was not contained in this advance text—an argument that we do not consider but that can be explored by the district court.
    So the court said that if the text of the speech was available to everyone, then that might change things. Since a University library offering works via ILL does make it available to everyone, that clearly distinguishes this from the MLK case. The crowd and broadcast parts are irrelevant for this; it's understood that's not publication. In general, if a dissertion was completed at a US university and a copyright notice-free copy was given to the university for their library, to be distributed to a general audience, I'd say that's a clear case of general publication without notice.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:50, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    That they don't rule on those points does not mean they don't consider the associated issues in their reasoning for what they do rule on. They go into significant depth on what factors would be necessary in order for a general publication to have occurred, and as I recall (I'd have to re-read it to be sure), that includes the need for the publication to be authorised.
    Which bears on this case in the sense that consensus in the area appears to be that mere deposit in a university's archive is not sufficient even if a given university is willing to distribute it through the ILL, because 1) ILL may be sufficiently restricted in who can use it and through access agreements, and 2) deposit is required in order to get your degree (I think some places they even specify the number of paper copies you have to submit) but not necessarily agreement to publish beyond academic fair use and archives exceptions. Even Clement and Levine (who, as mentioned, suffer from too much wishful thinking) found that their most optimum selection of "community of practice" saw a significant difference between microfilm distribution (which, AIUI, was a commercial service) and deposit with possible ILL access.
    If you want to persuade me that this particular thesis is PD through some path involving a general publication without notice I am happy to entertain the argument; but that all pre-1978 US thesis and dissertations can be ipso facto presumed PD is a couple of bridges too far. In addition, it would be nonsensical for us to adopt such a crude presumption that directly conflicts with what US university libraries and archives' own practice and guidance is. Xover (talk) 06:59, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    • The publication of a dissertation is authorised, because the writer of the dissertation chooses to go to university, enter a program requiring the submission of a dissertation, write a dissertation, and submit it for approval, &c. It is, in sum, the writer’s choice to enter the dissertation program, and thus they must allow (and legally authorise) the publication of the dissertation once written and formally received. “ILL may be… restricted,” but there is no indication here that they are so restricted. That university libraries are more difficult to access than other libraries is not relevant, so long as the library is not a private (whether business or personal) one. Really, I would be more inclined to consider the deposition of dissertation copies as the method in which dissertations are published, and thus released to the academic community. I don’t think that such a policy is in such great disagreement with (then-)contemporary university library practice, either. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 18:28, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    I tried to contact Tom Lock but did not get any answer. However, I still think that this work is in public domain, per above. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 21:58, 25 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Xover: Looking through the Compendium, I find some choice quotes, which I believe rather dispositive: “[P]ublication occurs when one or more copies … are distributed to a member of the public who is not subject to any express or implied restrictions concerning the disclosure of the content of that work” (§ 1905.1). “Lending, renting, or leasing copies of a work constitutes publication of that work” (Ibid.). “[P]ublication occurs when copies … are distributed to the public by means of a sale or other transfer of ownership … . Likewise, publication occurs when copies … are distributed by means of rental, lease, or lending” (§ 1905.2). Similarly, from here, “a work is ‘published’ if one or more copies … embodying it are distributed to the public—that is, generally to persons under no explicit or implicit restrictions with respect to disclosure of its contents—without regard to the manner in which the copies … changed hands” (p. 138). The Compendium also discusses how limited a distribution must be to qualify as “limited”—a key, recurring requirement is that the number of people is limited, which is not the case for a book placed in a library’s catalog. It seems quite clear to me that all thesis publications would fall clearly under this definition of “publication.” In addition, the Compendium clearly distinguishes Estate, which was publicly performed, not publicly displayed. Such a difference does not apply, and could not apply, to a work placed in a library’s catalog for loans. Thus, it seems clear to me that all dissertations released into university library systems (and ILL systems) were published, as there is an initial presumption against giving copies of a book to a library for further distribution being somehow a “limited publication.” (The Compendium also discusses offering a work to others, in what would be limited publication, being a general publication when the offer is made “‘for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display’” (§ 1906.1, citing 17 U.S.C. § 101). TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 03:09, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

My Homeland[edit]

The lyrics of the Iraqi national anthem, originally written c. 1934 as a poem by Ibrahim Touqan (1905–1941). Touqan was Palestinian, and the work was published during the British Mandate. During this period the term was pma. 50, and it does not seem subsequent laws were made retroactive (until the Israeli law took effect in 2007), so that copyright expired in 1991. Palestine is not, so far as I can tell, a signatory to Berne or a WTO member, mainly because neither the UK nor the US recognises them as a sovereign state. Neither, for the same reason, does there appear to be any bilateral treaty on copyright between the US and Palestine. In other words, so far as I can tell this work has no copyright protection in the US. However, if by some miracle the US should recognise Palestine and they join the WTO, the URAA would kick in and might restore a pub. +95 copyright (until 2030) for it (probably not, but if all the right esoteric variables shook out just wrong it just might).

So the original is public domain enough for Wikisource purposes, at least currently. But how in the heck do we tag this?

And then there is the issue of the translation, for which no source is provided, and given its popularity in the relevant region pinning down first publication for a given translation is going to be… challenging. Xover (talk) 15:31, 3 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]

  • Wikipedia provides two references for the translation. The first eventually links back to Wikipedia, and the second is a completely different translation. See this edit, which added the first translation; aside from the line breaks, it is nearly exactly what we have here. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:30, 3 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    • It would have a restoration date on the date of accession no, not the 1996 date? So it would have to have Palestine decide to keep it copyrighted (e.g. via pma + 100 or something) so it would not be PD in Palestine when it joins but that doesn't seem likely (even if was in a different non-Berne signatory).
(2) The “date of restoration” of a restored copyright is—
(A) January 1, 1996, if the source country of the restored work is a nation adhering to the Berne Convention or a WTO member country on such date, or
(B) the date of adherence or proclamation, in the case of any other source country of the restored work.

MarkLSteadman (talk) 03:32, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]

It is exceedingly unlikely to happen, yes. For all practical purposes we can ignore the possibility until there is a US-recognized Palestine (or the opposite) with copyright relations for which we can make an assessment. --Xover (talk) 07:28, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I would just tag it as in the public domain on the URAA restoration date. MarkLSteadman (talk) 13:18, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Who translated the text? Also when and where?--Jusjih (talk) 19:31, 1 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Decision of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Concerning the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution[edit]

The text is the English translation of the Decision of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Concerning the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. However, it is believed that the text fails the requirement of {{PD-PRC-exempt}}, which doesn't exempt Chinese Communist Party documents from copyright. Though Chinese case laws once did ruled that CCP Constitutions and CCP National Congresses Reports can be treated as works with administrative, legislative and judicial properties, the text itself clearly don't fall under the two kinds of work (see also s:zh:Template:PD-PRC-CPC, which sums up the current consensus on Chinese Wikisource. The issue on whether CCP Constitutions and CCP National Congresses Reports fall under Chinese public domain is still controversial there).

The text is created in 1966, which enters Chinese public domain in 2016 (1966+50=2016), and fails the URAA date of 1996-01-01. The text is therefore not in US public domain, and fails the ordinary copyright requirement for English Wikisource works.廣九直通車 (talk) 07:32, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Also please refer to the corresponding deletion request on Commons.廣九直通車 (talk) 08:38, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
And the corresponding text on Chinese Wikisource, in which its copyright tag confirmed that the original text itself doesn't fall under Chinese official-work public domain.廣九直通車 (talk) 13:51, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Just so y'all know, I truly hate everything to do with copyright. All the issues and especially the 'laws' are quite beyond me. Your pointing out URAA and then my cursory reading of it and the discussions only confirms my hate for copyright. Blech! Oh well, the work was an interesting read. I suppose the chairman could never have been satisfied as a copyright lawyer - not evil enough (but almost). Shenme (talk) 09:40, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
If it stresses you out, anything published more than 95 years ago is public domain in the US. You can also worry about life+50 for China if you need but that's not a concern for us. That keeps it nice and simple, without misidentifying works as PD when they're not.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:08, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The translation by the Foreign Languages Press in 1966 would be be governmental. To apply hard enforcement here, would anyone move the translation to an alternate site?--Jusjih (talk) 20:31, 7 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
No. The Foreign Languages Press is not governmental.--Jusjih (talk) 05:08, 12 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

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

Leopold and Loeb's ransom note for Bobby Franks.jpg

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

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

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

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

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


As mentioned in a previous discussion on this page, this template is pretty much legal nonsense. Is there any way to fix it and retain the affected works? The works primarily affected by this template are Instruction and Advice for the Young Bride, a work that purports to have been written in 1894 but which is believed by many to be a 1964 hoax; and the writings of the Zodiac Killer (fl. 1968-1969) whose identity is not known. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 13:24, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

The Zodiac Killer letters are all scan-backed and have various licenses on Commons; they might be hostable under {{PD-US-no-notice}} since they were published before 1977. I have no idea how this would be affected by the fact that the letters were published in newspapers and police files, and not all of them with the consent of the author. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 13:28, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • The Instruction falls under this restriction quite readily; for the Zodiac Killer letters, they are probably considered “published;” but are likely under this doctrine, as well. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 13:35, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    • I don't understand the "published without consent of the author." They were sent to newspapers with the clear intent to be published, but were not published with the correct copyright notice / registration. For more recent works where registration isn't an issue we can get into this debate when it happens, but I don't understand why we would say a letter to the editor printed in 1905 is under copyright because the author didn't consent to have it published when he or she mailed it to the newspaper by signing an explicit consent to publish statement. You mail letters to newspapers to have them published! MarkLSteadman (talk) 16:35, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Beleg Tâl: I can see the argument for "implicit consent" in the sense that if you're going to commit a serious crime like that, you probably know full well that if you ever get caught and evidence is obtained, the evidence will be published in news reports and the like, because the news reports on that sort of stuff all the time; it's their primary source of income. I'd think that's just common sense; even for the most insane of criminals I'd expect they know this. That's not necessarily a legal argument on my part, but just a comment on the psychological bit of it that I'd like to leave here. PseudoSkull (talk) 17:25, 5 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Oh yes for sure, and I have no moral qualms about disseminating these works freely online; but I also have to uphold our copyright policies, and I don't understand the legal ramifications of such a circumstance well enough to determine whether Wikisource can be the place where such texts are hosted. Fortunately, most of the works in question should be well handled by lack of copyright notice. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 17:35, 5 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Deletion. Instruction and the Zodiac letters to the newspapers / public officials should all be tagged {{PD-US-no-notice}} since they were published pre-1989 with no notice or registration within 5 years. Any remaining works we should discuss individually. MarkLSteadman (talk) 17:15, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment: According to what we have transcribed at Instruction and Advice for the Young Bride (assuming it is correct; it is unfortunately not scan-backed), this would fall into the public domain for one of two reasons: 1.) It was actually published in 1894, and therefore is in the public domain for being so old. 2.) It was published in 1964 without a proper copyright notice—assuming in this case it is a hoax, the copyright notice of 1894 doesn't count since it is decades off the actual publication date. To retain a copyright, it would have needed a stated copyright date of 1964. PseudoSkull (talk) 18:59, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    Should we separately discuss which works to delete? I see several transclusions at Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:PD-Disavowed.--Jusjih (talk) 05:11, 26 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Here is a list of all the works with my comments:
    • The Wiccan Rede: mentioned source is Green Egg (1975) (IA) which was published with copyright notice claimed over entire contents. 1974 Earth Religion News is another possible source. Published in the US but unclear whether the claimed copyright is valid. If not, then these would be PD-no notice, if so then it would be copyrighted until 95 years.
    • Instruction and Advice for the Young Bride: mention about either 1894 (PD-old) or 1964 publication (PD-no-notice). Earliest link to published source is from 1989 (which would be copyrighted without notice). Ideally, find a version to verify the 1964 publication as a source.
    • Zodiac letters mailed to the Chronicle, Channel 9. These seem to me clear cases of PD-no notice as mailing to a newspaper which then published them without copyright claim.
    • Other Zodiac communications, need to determine whether published (and then no notice) or not (in which case copyright for 120 years).
    • Leopold and Loeb's ransom note for Bobby Franks: either contemporaneous publication which would have expired or it is unpublished anonymous work (and hence copyrighted until 2045 (120 years after publication).

MarkLSteadman (talk) 23:08, 16 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

The Beautifull Cassandra[edit]

Source states that this was published in 2018 by Princeton University Press. Should be a clear copyvio. Languageseeker (talk) 05:20, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Quite possibly some of the content in this is still in copyright, but even if it wasn't, the version we have is inherently incomplete (it's at least missing the intro) and if we were to complete it it would end up being a copyright violation. Plus, you don't know whether anything in this edition was changed in a manner which could make it copyrightable. So I think we should Symbol delete vote.svg Delete this one and scan back the original, or at least a pre-1926 version, or one otherwise in the public domain. PseudoSkull (talk) 10:37, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Comment: Unfortunately, a little research I've done into this piece of juvenilia indicates there may very well not even be an "original" to scan from, and therefore may have been unpublished until 2018. However, since the version we have was published after 2004, I think the base content could still be considered in the PD (although, I don't recommend trusting the version we have is even accurate, since we don't have it scan-backed to anything usable by our standards). PseudoSkull (talk) 10:42, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Symbol keep vote.svg Keep We can use {{text removed}} for copyrighted introductions, annotations, etc. I unfortunately can't find a scan of any published editions, though there seem to be a 1933 and a 1954 edition of the Works of Jane Austen that include it. Also, there is a scan of the original manuscript of Volume the First (the unpublished collection that this work is from) available here. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 20:48, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
This 1933 is the first published edition of Volume the First, and if we can get a scan of it that would be perfect. (Assuming that a 1933 posthumous work is PD in the US, which it should be?) There's a copy for sale at AbeBooks for US$42 if someone with a scanner is interested. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 20:52, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
There is a fight about that... see the discussion about the Adams letters [7]. However it is very likely no-notice / non-renewal. Note that an unpublished, posthumous work is copyrighted until 2040 in the UK [8]. MarkLSteadman (talk) 21:23, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Beleg Tâl: The Google Books scan shows Oxford as the location of publication. Assuming no other publications (which would allow for U.S. law to take hold), we must first determine whether the work is copyrighted in the U.K. According to Mark’s flowchart, the work’s copyright in the U.K. expired in 1984, and was thus not restored by the URAA (and is PD-1996). If the work is considered a U.S. work, it either had a notice and was not renewed (and is thus PD-US-no renewal) or was published without a notice (and is thus PD-US-no notice). This assumes the 1933 publication was the first authorized publication of Volume the First, and (for ease) the first authorized publication of all the works which constitute Volume the First. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 22:39, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • A quick search through the Project Gutenberg renewal listings show no renewal for Austen from around 1933.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:08, 8 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep Volume the First was first published in the UK at the end of June 1933, and was the first publication of all the works it contains (short plays, poetry, etc.; satirical mostly).
    It was published by Oxford University Press and notionally in Oxford at the Clarendon Press. However, OUP was one of the first truly global publishers, so most of their published works contained multiple places of publication (Oxford, London, New York, Mumbai, etc.) and most of their works were deliberately published more or less simultaneously in the US.
    In this particular case, it was published in the UK at "the end of June" according to an advance notice in The Guardian for 1 June 1933, and on 20 June 1933 there is a notice of it in The Guardian under "Books Received".
    In the US there is a notice in the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Kentucky) for 23 July 1933 that OUP "will bring [it] out soon." In the Pensacola News Journal (Pensacola, Florida) for 7 August 1933 is a notice that OUP had "brought [it] out July 20." This date also jibes with the timing of other less-specific notices in both US and UK newspapers, and given the wording and content of these notices are all extremely similar it's a safe assumption that they are actually reporting copy provided them by OUP (i.e. it's marketing).
    All in all, for copyright purposes, it was published in the US within 30 days of its UK publication, and we can therefore treat it as a US work for our purposes, Commons' policy purposes (and Berne purposes, for that matter).
    I have not been able to track down a scan of the 1933 publication, so I can't tell whether it had a copyright notice (OUP has varied on this, but they usually did include one), but as Prosfilaes notes there does not appear to be a renewal (searched Stanford based on title, author, and editor). That means any copyright acquired at the time of publication lapsed after 1961. This makes it {{PD-US-no renewal}}, until a scan is produced to show it is {{PD-US-no notice}} (the LoC, NYPL, and other libraries have copies if anybody wants to check).
    Given the text is now public domain, we can, if anyone has paleographic inclinations, use the images of the original manuscript (notebook) from that Beleg Tâl tracked down to add a scan and proofread from (ask me or at WS:LAB if you want to work on it). The modern edition from which The Beautifull Cassandra was copied isn't of much interest to us (we'd need to redact copyrighted new material etc.) so I'd entertain a proposal to delete that on those grounds. --Xover (talk) 14:51, 18 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Maurice, or The Fisher's Cot[edit]

Another one of these annoying, possibly unpublished works until recently so having copyright... "The manuscript was lost until Cristina Dazzi discovered it in the summer of 1997 in the home of the Dazzi family" so it may have a first publication date of 1998 and hence copyright until 2048.... MarkLSteadman (talk) 03:26, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

  • The 1998 publication only counts if it was with the permission of the author or her literary heir. I haven’t looked over the records too closely, but assuming the literary rights of Mary Shelley passed with her husband’s title (as a rough guide), the presumed literary heir in 1997/1998 (and presently) is the viscount de l’Isle. It does not appear to me (although I have not taken a look at the published edition) that this book was published with his consent, or with the consent of the appropriate heir. Thus, this work was not legitimately published before 2003, meaning it is PD-US-unpublished. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 03:43, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    • Hence the annoying piece... It was published with the curator of the Keats-Shelley house, biographer etc. so they may have been able to track down the requisite permission ... MarkLSteadman (talk) 03:58, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


This work is tagged as a pre-1926 translation but the author pages says 1930 on the translation so we should at least tag the translation correctly. It is certainly possible that it was in the public domain if first published in the USSR on the URAA date, but as Emile Burns was based in the UK I suspect that it was published in the UK (e.g. record here), and not in the public domain on the URAA date. MarkLSteadman (talk) 11:23, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

  • The Burns translation was made from the 1894 edition, but was not published in that year. From what I can see, this is the first edition, and it was published c. 1935. There is no copyright notice, meaning it is PD-US-no notice (for the translation). TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 13:22, 16 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    • Note that it was published in the Handbook of Marxism (1936) (IA) where it says Martin Lawerence Ltd. 1935 and it has a copyright renewal notice (Renewal: R400606) with US publication data of 1939 MarkLSteadman (talk) 14:30, 16 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
      • So digging into the publishing history of this translation: There are 1. 1934 translation published by Martin Lawerence in London 2. 1934 translation published in Moscow 3. 1935 version in the US by International Publishers [[9]] with out apparent copyright just "all rights reserved" and printed in the USSR , 4. A possible 1935 version in the US by Kerr [[10]]? that does have copyright registration but apparently not renewal (I haven't been able to identify whether this is Burns or the earlier Lewis or some other translation). 5. 1939 US-printed edition with apparent [[11]] copyright notice [[12]] and renewal, the 1996 version repeats the copyright notice (IA). So the first two are not relevant for the US copyright. So we have three possibilities: 1. The US copyright belongs to Kerr and was not renewed so it is {{PD-US-non-renewal}}, 2. The US copyright was triggered by the 1935 International Publishers edition, importing versions printed from Moscow and therefore not able to make a proper deposit copy, hence {{PD-US-no-notice}}. 3. The copyright claim and renewal on the 1939 edition are valid as the first US edition and it is under copyright. Doing some matching with the limited search on Hathi indicates that the Kerr is the Lewis updated, so we are left with the other two possibilities. MarkLSteadman (talk) 12:01, 15 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]


One of the authors is - Author:Frank Ezra Adcock (1886–1968) So this is not PD-UK, The license at Commons claims this is PD-US, but I am disputing the rationale on the basis of [[13]] which claims "All rights Reserved", CUP is a UK publisher, and also on the basis of [[14]] which claims this was the 1928 reprint in Great Britain.

The work MIGHT be PD-US one the basis of publication date however, as this seems to be a 1928 reprint of a 1924 work. It's not clear if there was any substantial revision done for the reprint. The ideal situation would thus potentially be file localisation here, but these scans seems to be missing pages (a non copyright issue). ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 08:06, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

If there was substantial revision, it would be an edition, not a reprint. Reprint generally just means they either fed the stereotype plates (if they invested in a set) back into the presses, or, if they failed to predict the demand and didn't have the stereotypes, either reset the type (£££) or photostatically reproduced it (which only was invented in ~1906). So I'd be happy to call it 1924 for the purposes of copyright.
Furthermore, ResidentScholar also concluded at File:Thecambridgeancienthistoryvol1.djvu that this was PD in the UK in 1996 due to it being "work for hire", since CUP doesn't defend the copyright. I'm not sure I'm completely convinced that presence on the IA is enough to make that call, and also I think the work for hire term is still PMA+70, it's just not the author who holds the rights So if you're employing a writer and want to get the max copyright for your buck, go for young, healthy ones!. So I'm not really sure that's a "safe" conclusion.
Nevertheless, if there are worries, maybe Index:The Cambridge Ancient History - Volume 1.djvu would be be a better bet, since it's 1923, and under a US publisher. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 12:26, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Sigh. So much nonsense. There's no separate term of protection for works for hire in the UK: it's pma. 70 of the physical person, and their moral rights remain. The presence on IA proves nothing except the presence on IA. The CUP may simply not be aware of, or they may simply be prioritising enforcement for newer works that have a longer profit potential remaining. None of which affect their copyrights at all. Iff the work was a work for hire, which we would need some direct evidence in order to safely assume. Which we don't have. Which means all the faffery ResidentScholar perpetrated in the file description on Commons is just so much smoke and distraction.
    The work was first published in the UK (first notice is in "Books Received" in The Guardian for April 21, 1923) by Cambridge University Press, notionally in Cambridge (as all CUP works are). Its US publication didn't happen until some time after May 1923 (first notice is in a letter to the editor published in The Baltimore Sun on May 28, 1923, where it is "recently announced") and published by Macmillan (with which I believe CUP had some kind of partnership at the time). And being first published in the UK, and not published within 30 days in the US, it is a UK work for copyright purposes. Its UK copyright is pma. 70 from the death of the last living author, which ShakespeareFan00 pins as Frank Ezra Adcock (1886–1968), making the term run until 1968 + 70 + 1 = 2039. It was thus in copyright in the UK on the URAA date (1 January 1996) and had its US copyright restored to a pub. + 95 year term.
    From the internal evidence, the work was first published in 1923, had a second edition published in 1924, and was reprinted in 1928. The 1928 reprint amassed no new copyright (or none that is relevant here at any rate) so we can treat it as identical to the 1924 edition. The pub. + 95 years US terms for the two editions expired by 2019 and 2020, respectively. Meaning we can host all of the copies mentioned above here on enWS because they are PD in the US, but all copies of this work need to be deleted from Commons because they are in copyright in the UK until at least 2039. --Xover (talk) 10:45, 12 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Identifed a cover image in good faith here :-

but subsequently found more information on the artist,, The cover image is not necessarily PD-UK, so a removal of the relevant edit made in good faith appreciated. I'll leave redaction of the scans to an admin's discretion. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 10:34, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

This is an 1898 work (the cover image is even dated '98), so it's clearly PD in the US. Does it need localising (as a joint London/NY publication)? Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 11:34, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Localising for a single cover image seems to be the best option. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 11:43, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Index:Multilevel algorithms for nonlinear optimization.djvu[edit]

1994 Contractor report for NASA, license at Commons is incorrect. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 10:17, 21 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Genuine question: do these contractor reports always vest copyright in the contractor? Or sometimes, or do they always sign it over to NASA? Signing over of IP is something than can and does happen in contracts, though I have no clue if it happened in this case. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 19:09, 21 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Inductiveload: Copyright vests in the actual author, except if a work-for-hire arrangement obtains. The problem is that absent access to the actual contract terms it is usually impossible to determine if that is the case, and can certainly not be assumed. Xover (talk) 19:32, 21 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Oh sure, I get that as it stands it must go. Just curious if there's any information floating around about it in general, since there are quite a few such reports in the US federal world. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 19:46, 21 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Subsequent to the above c:Commons:Deletion requests/File:Multilevel algorithms for nonlinear optimization.djvu .. The license at Commons was updated from the clearly wrong PD-old-70 one to something that's less wrong, but still not definitively proven. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 12:24, 22 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Index:Moral Inquiries on the Situation of Man and of Brutes.pdf[edit]

This is not an original, there is new material which is of recent origin and likely still in copyright. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 11:09, 22 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Symbol delete vote.svg Delete Would have been helpful to have give some details, don't you think? It looks like this is a 1992 UK edition, with new material and edited by Peter Singer: So without an original to compare, we can't say the body text has no creative input from an editor, and if we had an original, we'd just use that anyway. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 11:47, 22 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Das Kapital Volume Three[edit]

This lists as a source the 1959 translation by the Marxist-Leninist institute of the USSR. While this translation may be covered by non-compliance / or non-renewal for the US or have been in the PD on the URAA restoration date if covered by foreign copyright as a Moscow publication, that should be verified. MarkLSteadman (talk) 21:40, 24 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Index:The Autobiography of a Catholic Anarchist.pdf[edit]

Could I have the copyright status of this book confirmed-do we do the text but not the images? Cheers, Zoeannl (talk) 04:26, 1 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

  • Zoeannl: That appears correct, although the images (not included in that scan) may be out of copyright. However, see this existing scan, if you intend to continue proofreading. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 19:40, 1 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    Thanks. I was thinking it would be suitable for a Monthly Challenge, so the more undone one would be preferable. Is there any preference from a technical perspective? Zoeannl (talk) 19:44, 1 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Question regarding copyright[edit]

I have just scanned in a book which claims a 1990 copyright on “new reproductions.” It makes the following claim regarding them: “The reproductions in this book have been made using the most modern electronic scanning methods from entirely new transparencies of [the] original watercolors.” This sounds to me like a “sweat of the brow” claim, foreclosed in the U.S. (but not in the U.K., where this work originates) by Feist. I would like more input before I upload the file, however. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 20:24, 3 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@TE(æ)A,ea.: if there is no original artistic content in the scan (i.e. if the scan is purely mechanical) then there can be no new copyright. Have a look at commons:Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag for a full discussion on the topic. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 20:40, 3 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • I have uploaded the file here. Given that presumption, I don’t think I have any copyright worries here. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 21:00, 3 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
While the WMF position on the matter is indeed clear (see BT's link and also the Coetzee affair, and the general US rules are also clear, more recent UK Intellectual Property Office "guidance" suggests that sweat of brow does not actually apply in the UK (dating from late 2015) is:

Are digitised copies of older images protected by copyright?
Simply creating a copy of an image won’t result in a new copyright in the new item. However, there is a degree of uncertainty regarding whether copyright can exist in digitised copies of older images for which copyright has expired. Some people argue that a new copyright may arise in such copies if specialist skills have been used to optimise detail, and/or the original image has been touched up to remove blemishes, stains or creases.

However, according to the Court of Justice of the European Union which has effect in UK law, copyright can only subsist in subject matter that is original in the sense that it is the author’s own ‘intellectual creation’. Given this criteria, it seems unlikely that what is merely a retouched, digitised image of an older work can be considered as ‘original’. This is because there will generally be minimal scope for a creator to exercise free and creative choices if their aim is simply to make a faithful reproduction of an existing work.

As far as I am aware, this has not yet been tested in court, but at least it's a good indicator of the general current opinion. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 21:40, 3 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, that sounds like a sweat of the brow claim. Note that in 1990, the Feist ruling did not yet exist to make that clear. The UK may no longer be subject to the EU court of justice, so it may be interesting to see if their rulings start to revert back, or if they continue to apply EU standards (their courts were overruled a couple of times by appeals at the EU level). But the EU I think made this situation quite clear recently, that it is not a copyrightable action in the EU either. Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:34, 14 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Index:Pathway to God in Hindi Literature.pdf[edit]

This work is in the public domain in India, since it was published in 1954 and the author died in 1957, but it wasn't PD in 1996 (and the file doesn't give a reason it's PD in the US). —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 19:59, 8 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

An American dilemma[edit]

American dilemma: the Negro problem and modern democracy by Gunnar Myrdal was published in 1944 and the Stanford Database only shows a renewal for the 2nd edition and new material published in 1962. Does this mean that the first and third editions are PD-Non-Renewal? Languageseeker (talk) 04:57, 12 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I don't know why it mentions the "2d ed.", but that's a renewal for the 1944 edition. I'm pretty sure that would be harmless error. w:An American Dilemma says the first edition was 1944 and the second edition was 1965, so the second edition would have automatically renewed. The copyright on the first edition would protect any derivatives from non-renewal, at least until the first edition leaves copyright.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:25, 12 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Well, the IA has the Third Edition as being printed in 1944 as well. [15]. Does that change anything? Languageseeker (talk) 05:32, 12 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Not materially, because the main creative content of the work is still covered as a derivative of a copyright work. In theory, if the 3rd edition had additions, like a preface, say, and these were not renewed (this would be usually denoted in the renewal for the edition as "new material" or NM), those are public domain. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 07:09, 12 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • I checked the CCE to make sure, and, indeed, the “2d ed.” is renewed. Thus, the third edition is likely copyrighted (as a derivative of the copyrighted second edition), but the first edition is not. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 13:31, 12 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    @TE(æ)A,ea.: I don't think I follow you here. According to enwp the first edition was published in 1944, and went through 25 reprints until the second edition was published in 1965 (i.e. anything before 1965 is the first edition). The renewal, despite having a "2nd. ed" in the title, refers to the 1944 edition and its original registration. What's your reasoning for saying the first edition is not in copyright? Xover (talk) 15:10, 12 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    • Xover: I tracked down the original copyright registrations to be sure. “A181380” was renewed as the “2d ed.” The “1st ed.” has “A 178427, 178428” (see Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 1, New Series, Volume 41, No. 2, at p. 29). These are undeniably different editions. The full original record reads: “Myrdal (Gunnar) American dilemma, by G. Myrdal, with the assistance of Richard Sterner and Arnold Rose. v. 1, 2. [1st ed.] © Jan. 26, 1944; A 178427, 178428; Harper & bros., New York.” In do. no. 6, at p. 112, is found: “Myrdal (Gunnar) American dilemma, by G. Myrdal, with the assistance of Richard Sterner and Arnold Rose. v. 1, 2. © Jan. 26, 1944; A 181380, 181381; Harper & bros., New York.” This is evidently the second edition, and the one which was renewed. Thus, the first edition is in the public domain. (The third edition is itself in the public domain, but is based on the copyrighted second edition, and thus retains copyright.) TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 17:23, 12 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@TE(æ)A,ea.: Thank you. @Prosfilaes, @Inductiveload: do you agree with TE(æ)A,ea. interpretation about the first edition because then I might run it through the MC. Languageseeker (talk) 13:44, 12 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I'm seriously not comfortable with it. I don't know that more bibliography would help me or us, but I am confused about why they ran through three editions in a year. We have an appropriately timed renewal for the work, and note that original registration on pg. 29 (on Google Books) gives the original publication date of Jan. 26th, 1944, which is the original publication date on the renewal. Their side has been sloppy about these details, but a judge might well rule that the first edition is still under copyright.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:42, 12 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I'd be rather nervous about keeping this too. You have a timely renewal from the person who has standing to renew both editions, if the second edition is a derivative work, I could easily see a judge deciding that the renewal covered both the underlying work and the derivative second edition (or at the very least all matter contained in the second edition), since they were both published in the same year. And the date on the renewal refers to the publication date of the first edition. Well, both editions may have both been published on the same date, since the registrations give the same publication date. While the rules were somewhat strict, the Copyright Office did allow some leeway. The original compendium, when there were separate registrations for a foreign ad-interim publication plus a later one for the American edition, did say: The present practice ot the Copyright Office is to permit the filing of a single renewal application covering both the ad interim and full-term regis­trations, regardless of whether or not the American edition contained new matter. While not precisely the same situation, it may be close enough. If the two editions were different years, the situation would likely be different. Other parts of that compendium do say that for editions with different copyrightable matter, two renewals would be required. On the other hand, it does say that Where the only difference between the editions is in uncopyrightable elements such as typography, size, coloring, paper stock, etc., separate regis­trations will not be made. They say the same if just the cover is different, or just advertising is different. So if it's virtually the same content, odds are the single registration would cover both editions, especially given they seem to have had the same publication date. Do we know what the differences between the editions are? Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:24, 14 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Carl Lindberg: These editions are different enough, apparently, to require two separate registrations. I think the rules regarding ad interim copyright rules are differentiable, because in that case it is two different types of registrations for the same work, whereas here there are multiple registrations (of the same type) for editions of one work. I too do not find it unreasonable that this renewal was intended to cover the first edition; however, the renewal was not for the first edition, even if that was the intent. Renewals and copyrights of derivative works only extend to the original derivative material, not to the original; thus, if the renewal was, as it seems, only for the second edition, that renewal cannot cover the first edition. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:12, 14 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    I'm not sure the copyright office (or judges) would get *that* technical, that's all. There was always some leeway allowed. I could easily see a judge saying, OK, any material solely in the first edition became public domain, but all common expression and material in the second edition got renewed. They were apparently two editions published on the same day, so also not sure what to make of that. Since they were published at the same time, you could also argue that the second edition was the first published version, despite the numbering. I think there are multiple avenues for a judge to rule that copyright still exists -- they would have to be ridiculously strict to rule it PD, and courts have typically been a bit more lenient than that. (The 9th circuit bent over backwards into a pretzel shape to rule that copyright still existed in Disney v Twin Books, for example.) Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:36, 15 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Clearly there is something squiffy here. However, since we're not going to actually be able to come to an incontrovertible conclusion based on the information to hand, coming up with theories about what it means is mostly performative, IMO.
  • The real question is: does English Wikisource undertake to exploit weaknesses in copyright registrations to push the boundaries of the public domain, possibly leading to a takedown request or some other consequences (i.e. Internet Archive-style copyright advocacy) or does it take a "passive" conservative approach where the where more than a negligible about of uncertainty disallowed? Until that question is answered, I don't think cases like this can be usefully answered. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 16:39, 14 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I think that Wikisource must obey copyright law, but the same applies to the other side as well. If they failed to renew the copyright, then the law is clear that the work is in the public domain. We're not pushing boundaries, but complying with the law. The author/publisher choose to file two separate copyrights, but only renewed one. Languageseeker (talk) 14:27, 15 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Crisis of the Mind[edit]

"Crisis of the Mind" seems to be a chapter in The Outlook for Intelligence, a collection of translations of Paul Valéry (1871–1945). The Outlook for Intelligence is listed as translated by Denise Folliot and Jackson Mathews. Valéry didn't pass pma. 70 until 2015 (so after the URAA date), but it looks like the French originals were published in 1919 so their pub. +95 term have expired. However, the translations were first published in The Collected Works of Paul Valéry (1962). History and politics series, Vol. 10. as a work-for-hire by the Bollingen Foundation, who filed renewal RE476811 in 1990.

Thus the translations are still in copyright in the US. Xover (talk) 08:46, 12 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

  • Delete. This seems pretty clear to me. Are there any other of his works which may be from that copyrighted work? TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 13:31, 12 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    Not that I'm seeing; but the same situation seems to obtain for The Graveyard by the Sea, which was published in French in 1920 but only later translated into English by Cecil Day-Lewis. I'm having trouble pinpointing the first publication, but 1946 seems to be the year most often popping up. Xover (talk) 15:28, 12 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    Ah, looks like a famous(ish) edition in 1946, but the first edition was 1945 in London by Secker & Warburg. No trace of a US edition, so we have pma. 70 from Day-Lewis' death in 1972 and URAA restoration to 1945 + 95 = 2040 or so. Xover (talk) 15:39, 12 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

The Night Before Christmas, illustrated, no copyright notice[edit]

Looking for permission to have this here. The scans are at commons:Category:The Night Before Christmas (1915, Lippincott). I have placed in that category three other images. One is an advert for A Christmas Carol (1915) with an image that is not in ACC and that I thought was in TNBC, but I cannot find it there now. The other two images: end flaps from ACC with advertisements for TNBC and The Fairy Book. The white dust covers, all three of these and the Rossetti book I mentioned here earlier--they all had the same sort of dust cover.

I think that the books were published in the USA and UK at the same time (due to efficiency of industrial environments) and also, that they were all originally published for the Christmas season, 1915.--RaboKarbakian (talk) 14:43, 18 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@RaboKarbakian: If it was published in 1915, there's no issue with having it here regardless of whether there was a copyright notice (per Help:Public domain, it qualifies whether or not it was published in the US). For proofreading purposes, it might be easier to first compile the scans of the book into a PDF or DJVU. The advertisements might have WS:SCOPE#Excerpts issues depending on how you present them, but from a copyright perspective there's no issue. Also, it doesn't matter in this case, but Arthur Rackham's work is also PD in the UK since he died in 1939. —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 23:56, 21 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Index:Sänger - Rocket flight engineering.pdf[edit]

This is a translation.

The original work is a 1933 work in German (published in Germany/Austria), and the listed Austrian author died in 1964. A 1933 work is not necessarily going to be PD-US by age. 1964+70 is 2034, so the original was not out of copyright in it's origin region as of 1996. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 09:47, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

This looks to me like a total legal mess... If it counts as unpublished under twin books then the original is copyrighted until 2035 as you say. If 1933 is the publication date then 1929 is publication date + 95. But was this translation "authorized" so it counts as first US-publication in 1965 and then no notice and failure to comply with US formalities so it entered the public domain and separate from the URAA? MarkLSteadman (talk) 18:41, 12 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Seems like it's a 1933 German work, with a PD-USGov translation. It was likely PD in the US in 1965, so no need to get permission then. It would have been restored by the URAA until 1929 though, so we probably need to delete until then. Commons (nor the U.S. Copyright Office as far as I can tell) does not recognize the Twin Books logic (unfortunately that case predated the URAA, which would have made it moot). By normal logic it would count as published in 1933, and be protected in the U.S. for 95 years from then by the URAA. The translation is PD, but a derivative work becoming PD has no effect on the copyright of the original. There have been rulings that a publication of a derivative of an unpublished work did serve to publish all of the expression from the original contained in the derivative, in order to avoid that derivative from being controlled as a derivative work forever by the then-infinite unpublished copyright. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:53, 20 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Index:Emma Goldman - The Social Significance of the Modern Drama - 1914.djvu[edit]

This is clearly PD-US, However, portions of the book include quotations from British Authors whose works aren't yet out of copyright in the UK or Republic of Ireland. Thus I am opening a thread here, to settle the issue of the scans needing to be localy hosted as opposed to being on Commons. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 12:35, 25 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

The book itself is by an American author and first published in the US, so if that defines the "work" for hosting it meets commons policy (US and country of origin). Quotation for criticism is specifically exempted in UK copyright as well under fair dealing. More generally, given this is a discussion about the commons's community and policies rather than wikisource's, shouldn't the discussion be there? MarkLSteadman (talk) 06:59, 26 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I will say that from a WS point of a view clear simple policy would be very helpful rather than you must check all quotations and then verify their origin and copyright statuses. I also see it as creating a lot of movement back-and-forth if works are proofread and it is found that there is a single line quotation by a foreign author so go to WS and then back with PD-assumed. More generally I have no idea how we plan to tag such a work (add the authors in and then remove them out as they reach pma+70? or do we want to add all quotations authors so every work that quotes Shakespeare or Goethe gets them as an author?) MarkLSteadman (talk) 19:14, 27 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Winnie the Pooh, Illustrated by E. H. Sheppard[edit]

Sheppard is a Brit who died in 1976. To be on the commons, one must prove that the publication was also in USA. I find two Pooh 1926: one from London, Methuen and one from New York, E. P. Dutton and Co. (and Tigger too!)--RaboKarbakian (talk) 04:22, 1 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

It should be uploaded to enWS on 1 Jan 2022. Pooh is going to have a home in the MC, so if you find a good copy, let me know. Languageseeker (talk) 04:29, 1 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Languageseeker is there a reason you felt it necessary to read back to me (and the other people who investigate copyright) the information that I put here? Can you please ask personal favors on my talk page and not at this place where business happens? And if you think that I am so stupid as to need the information I provided read back to me, do that on my talk page also, where that belongs. All of that here seems rude.--RaboKarbakian (talk) 16:07, 1 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@RaboKarbakian: I don't think the rudeness of your response was justified by Languageseeker's comment. They provided their opinion that the work would be public domain in the US on 1 Jan 2022 and could be uploaded here then, and expressed interest in including it in the Monthly Challenge at that time. All perfectly relevant, constructive, and polite. If you have some genuine cause for annoyance with this contributor, their comment in this thread ain't it, and I think you should retract your snippy response and apologise. Xover (talk) 18:27, 12 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry then. My respect for the business conducted here overwhelmed my chatty nature. I will try not to do this again.--RaboKarbakian (talk) 18:29, 12 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Hmm. According to enWP, the first edition was published in a run of just 100 copies, all signed, in London by Methuen; and in a run of 500 copies, 100 of which were signed, in New York by E. P. Dutton. Since both Shepard and Milne were brits, I think it is safest to assume this was primarily a UK work (and treat its copyright status accordingly), unless evidence of US publication within 30 days can be found (it seems likely it was, but we can't assume it). If it was simultaneously published it can stay on Commons under pub. + 95 years once new years ticks over, otherwise it needs to be uploaded locally on enWS. I don't have time to do the digging on that just now. Xover (talk) 18:38, 12 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Xover but, just to confirm, it should be okay to upload the images here and move them to commons if (or when) the necessary evidence is found? And if it is "okay" I am not so familiar with the licenses (here or at commons, actually); which license?--RaboKarbakian (talk) 19:01, 12 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
It will be OK on or after January 1, 2022, though technically not until then, for a 1926 publication. The tag here would be {{PD-US}}. The Commons tag is Commons:Template:PD-US-expired. If published in the UK more than 30 days before they were published in the U.S., then it is a UK work, and the terms of Commons:Template:PD-old-70 would need to be satisfied for it to be OK on Commons, which sounds like not until 2047. If we can find precise publication dates, then yes files can be moved. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:12, 21 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Commons would consider this a UK work for purposes of hosting scans, regardless of the US copyright situation. It cannot be uploaded to Commons until the UK copyright expires, but it can be uploaded here. --EncycloPetey (talk) 00:59, 21 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
"Country of origin" is a term from the Berne Convention, and with simultaneous (within 30 days) publication, it is the country with the shorter term. Which can end up with some weird results. Not sure a court has ever had to deal with that situation, but it's not completely clear. It would feel a bit "wrong" to call it a U.S. work (though it would be by URAA standards, so there would have been no restoration had the copyright not been renewed), but it's not impossible at all. It would be under copyright in all of Europe for the 70pma terms (2027 for text, 2047 for illustrations). And 10 extra years for Spain. I could see Commons not wanting to push the issue for EU users, certainly, but a strict reading of the Berne Convention would end up that way. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:38, 5 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

UK legislation volumes...[edit]

The actual legislation is crown copyright (which for pre 1970 legislation would have expired.). These volumes have been brought here because although the actual legislation is an expired crown copyright, the specific editons don't necessarily name HMSO on the title page, and are attributed to various third party publishers.

In most instances the difference in style and layout is effectively minimal or identical, case in point being single volumes of 2 volume sets, where the imprint in one of the volumes scans is HMSO and the other volume is not. Thusly the difference may only be the specific imprint on the front page, and attribution in meta-data.

So the question here, is should these volumes be replaced with ones that have a clear HMSO imprint, deleted, or retained, given the near identical nature of the typesetting between imprints? ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 10:25, 7 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@ShakespeareFan00: None of what you describe here sounds copyrightable. A closer inspection may of course reveal copyrightable elements, possibly even pervasive and un-redactable elements, but based solely on your description I would imagine that these are fine. Xover (talk) 10:41, 7 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Concur with Xover: a simple reprint would not attract new copyright since there's no creative input. So there's no case to answer, unless someone can show there is some copyrightable addition. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 11:02, 7 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Symbol keep vote.svg Keep Even though UK copyright law has low threshold of originality, the key point that these compilations have no originality, so I agree that there's no additional copyright enjoyable by the publisher exists.廣九直通車 (talk) 08:14, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Index:Plato's Theory of Knowledge (Cornford, 1915).pdf[edit]

The concern here is not the original work, and there is no reason at present to assume the 1915 work was extensively edited in this edition. The concern is the inclusion of New material, namely publisher advertisements (scan postions 8, 357-368 ) dating the reprint to 1955. The author of the advertisements is unknown (most likely an employee of the publisher.). The work originated in the UK, and thus it not unreasonable to consider that Advertisements from 1955 may still have a copyright attached to them. As these adverts do not form an integral part of the 1915 work they could be removed.

I'd like a second opinion before asking for the adverts removal at the Scan Lab. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 13:43, 7 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@ShakespeareFan00: Does the new material contain any copyrightable matter?
Also, it is generally ok to provide intra- and inter-project links (within the Wikimedia sphere) when discussing such matters. If they turn out to be copyvios the link targets will be removed making the links dangling, and if not then the link was not a problem in the first place. One can take worrying about linking as contributory copyright infringement too far. Xover (talk) 18:18, 12 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Depends on what the copyrightability of advertisment material and a publisher catalog is. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 18:32, 12 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@ShakespeareFan00: Facts are not copyrightable, so titles, prices, dates, author's names, etc. are not copyrightable. Neither is the arrangement of facts into a list, even if the particular order chosen should contain something in excess of mere alphabetical or chronological sorting. The page layout and typesetting might conceivably attract copyright in the UK, but it would have to be a pretty darn artistic layout to pass that particular bar. Even a lot of flourishes and logos will lack copyright protection for one reason or another. IOW, I think there's a pretty good chance this stuff is copyright-safe. But as I've not actually seen what we're talking about I can't be emphatic. Xover (talk) 18:44, 12 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Note that even if the advertisments and new material were copyrightable it is likely that they would have expired if published in an earlier volume of the same series from 1950 / 1951 would have expired 70 years after publication as a work by an unknown author. MarkLSteadman (talk) 19:26, 12 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
As an example, this Internet Archive identifier : x-psyche-soul-immortality volume from 1950 should be cleanly in the PD, whatever is the 1955 edition would need to be different from this and copyrightable. MarkLSteadman (talk) 19:31, 12 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Index:Plato, with an English translation (vol 5 of 12) (Lamb, 1925).pdf[edit]

This translation is by Author:Walter Rangeley Maitland Lamb who died in 1961. PD-US possibly but not PD-UK so cannot necessarily be hosted on Commons. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 15:18, 7 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Also - Index:Plato, with an English translation (vol. 1 of 12) (Fowler, 1913).djvu where he provided an introduction. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 15:20, 7 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

  • ShakespeareFan00: These are both U.S. works, so U.K. copyright is irrelevant for Commons concerns. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 21:21, 7 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    @TE(æ)A,ea.: On the face of it, these appear to be UK works in a natural sense. Is your assertion based solely on the additional presence of a US publisher on the title page, or did you do additional research to ascertain its publication history (I'm assuming you're asserting simultaneous publication)? Xover (talk) 18:13, 12 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    The Loeb Library was founded as a joint Anglo-American enterprise: Loeb himself was American and from the history on HUP: "Loeb’s vision of the Loeb Classical Library as a collection of the best of Anglo-American scholarship was realized in two ways. First, the original three editors were a distinguished trio from both sides of the Atlantic: T. E. Page, W. H. D. Rouse, and Edward Capps. Secondly, the books were manufactured in London and published simultaneously in America (first by Macmillan, which had changed its mind, and later by G.P. Putnam)." MarkLSteadman (talk) 19:07, 12 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    • Xover: Yes. For Commons copyright determinations, one first determines whether the work is a U.S. work, then, if it is not, determine copyright status in non-U.S. country of origin. This work’s simultaneous publication in the U.S. makes it a U.S. work. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 22:12, 14 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

The State and Revolution ([edit]

This appears to be a 1964 translation published in Moscow which means the translation would be not be in the public domain in Russia on the URAA date (either under author + 50 or publication date + 50 if anonymous) so the translation is still under copyright unless we find simultaneous publication within the US (i.e within 30 days of first publication in the USSR or London). MarkLSteadman (talk) 14:50, 11 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Traced the translation back a little further, it matches the 1943 translation (Google Books) which would be acceptable from a URAA date for an anonymous translation (by the Marx-Engles Institute). However this may be a reissue by a publication published by Laurance and Wishart (and therefore covered by anon + 70 in the UK as opposed ton anon + 50 in Russia) ... MarkLSteadman (talk) 22:17, 28 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Well it dates back to 1932 and the Little Lenin Library (see here: which then looks like {{PD-no-renewal}} and would predate the 1933 Lawerence and Wishart publication. however the translation was revised between 1943 and the version we have was slightly revised (e.g. replacing various words).
I suspect that this is then PD, any change in wording being non-copyrightable. MarkLSteadman (talk) 22:44, 28 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Translation:The man who planted trees[edit]

Hello, the texte Translation:The man who planted trees has been removed in april 2021 for cypyright issues. But the french texte is in the public domain, see --Havang(nl) (talk) 11:32, 12 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Havang(nl): Please explain by what path the text entered the public domain. It was previously deleted because the then claims of a public domain dedication turned out to be unfounded (the author had allowed certain parties to publish it without paying a license fee, but there was no public domain dedication or compatible licensing in evidence). And, in fact, the PDF you link (whose authority to establish any licensing is undetermined) repeats: "This work is published respecting the author's wishes. He wanted it to be disseminated widely, without asking for any remuneration." Which is completely orthogonal to the issue of its copyright status and whether its licensing is compatible with our policy. The publisher, Atramenta, appears to be in the business of profiting off public domain works, and so have a vested interest in conflating these issues, so their assertions have very little evidentiary weight. Xover (talk) 18:08, 12 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Giono, copyrighhtowner, has given the texte with the licence free to copy. See also a dutch site mentioning licence free to copy [[16]] --Havang(nl) (talk) 08:34, 13 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Havang(nl): This is another assertion by a third party that has a vested interest. So far as I have been able to determine, the work is some form of eco-advocacy, and as most such the author wanted it widely disseminated; to the point of permitting republication for free (that is, without charging a fee). However, public domain, and free (as in freedom) licensing, is a completely different issue. It would, for example, mean anyone would be free to modify the story to argue against the issues Giono was advocating for; for example a large commercial entity using it to advocate for and minimize the ecological harms of pollution, fracking, fossil fuels, etc. Public domain and free licences permit such use, but it seems extremely unlikely the author of such a work (i.e. Giono) would do so. Xover (talk) 11:14, 14 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Question regarding copyrightability of editorial changes in new edition of presumably public-domain work[edit]

I have come across a modern (2011) edition of a work which is in the public domain. (At least, I believe it is in the public domain; and my question doesn’t concern the status of the original work.) The listed editorial changes are as follows: the Chinese characters represented in the original work in Wade–Giles romanization are reset in Hanyu pinyin form; character names are rendered in uniform, modern pinyin style (with an accompanying copyrighted list of characters); and “several other small errors” are corrected, primarily based on a contemporaneous review. There is new material in this edition, so new copyright is not spurious, but the copyright notice is not limited. Do the editorial changes listed constitute original matter for which copyright can subsist under U.S. law? TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 21:23, 16 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

From the Compendium of U.S. Copyright practice:
  • "a transliteration or other process whereby the letters or sounds from one alphabet are converted into a different alphabet cannot be registered. See Signo Trading International, Ltd. v. Gordon, 535 F. Supp. 362, 364 (N.D. Cal. 1981) (holding that a list of words translated from English into Arabic and then transliterated from Arabic into Roman letters “simply does not embody sufficient originality to be copyrightable”)." (so the change in romanization seems dubious)
  • "Merely correcting errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, or making other minor changes, revisions, or other modifications to a preexisting work do not satisfy this requirement."
MarkLSteadman (talk) 21:47, 16 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward - copyright of 1971 edition[edit]

The Lovecraft story The Case of Charles Dexter Ward is not scan backed. As I understand it, there are two main texts: the original in 1941 was published in abridged format in two parts in Weird Tales, and then a more complete edition published in 1943 in an "Arkham" compilation called Beyond the Wall of Sleep (the new matter comprising the compilation itself was renewed (Renewal: R504228), but not, as far as I know, the story itself).

The story was then re-published in 1971 by Ballantyne and is available at the IA's lending library (this is a 1983 reprint of the 1971 edition). This declares the 1941 and 1943 copyrights as you might expect from an authorised republication, regardless of if there was actually a valid copyright in 1971 (i.e. 1941 + 30).

So, my question is: is this 1983 reprint of the 1971 republication of the 1943 text in the PD due to non-renewal of the underlying text? Obviously, this does not include the cover art which would be redacted. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 08:43, 29 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I'm confident the cover art (and the rest of the modern material) is PD, as per File:Jaws illustration copyright decision.pdf, though one might need to check for delayed registration, per Template:PD-US-no-notice-post-1977. The 1943 copyright renewal is pretty clear about being only for compilation, so the whole thing should be safe.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:31, 29 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Prosfilaes huh, I didn't even consider that they could have fluffed the covert art copyright. Interesting, thanks! I cannot obviously see a registration by Whelan (or any applicable registration for Charles Dexter Ward in general). Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 00:21, 30 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Urgh, it's missing 4 pages! Index:The Case of Charles Dexter Ward - Lovecraft - 1971.pdf Worth every penny! >_< Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 19:47, 3 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Index:The Castle by Kafka, Franz.djvu[edit]

The translation is by Edwin Muir who was Scottish and died in 1959, Hence the edition is not necessarily out of copyright in the UK. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 16:36, 1 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Symbol delete vote.svg Delete It seems to me like a copyright fraud, the year 1922 in Page:The Castle by Kafka, Franz.djvu/2 is imo forged, judging by 1) the fact that the novel was first published in German in 1926 and 2) the illogical order of dates in the page. I found out that Martin Secker and Warburg published the translation of the novel in 1930 and then again with some additions in 1953. Our edition contains the additions, so I guess that somebody erased the year 1953 and replaced in with 1922 in the scan of the book. . --Jan Kameníček (talk) 18:19, 1 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Assuming “1922” is false, then the 1946 U.S. edition is the first English, making this PD-US-no notice. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 23:55, 6 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    The first English edition seems to have been published simultaneously in the UK and the US in 1930, see w:The Castle (novel)#Major editions. I do not know whether it was published with or without the copyright notice in the US. However, our edition is different, it contains some additions which were not translated until 1953. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 22:38, 14 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Index:The Torrents Of Spring.pdf[edit]

Additional material by David Garnett is not out of copyright in the UK. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 19:23, 1 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, this 1933 UK edition has additional material. The 1987 US reprint (c:File:The Torrents of Spring - Ernest Hemingway (1987 reprint).pdf) may be a better option; I had earlier added it here, but I removed it after seeing this 1933 edition. Hrishikes (talk) 04:09, 2 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Index:Religion and the rise of capitalism.pdf[edit]

To be hosted locally, Principal author is Richard Henry Tawney who was British and died in 1962, so this is not necessarily out of copyright in the UK. ( The edition is however a 1926 US one.). The original UK edition is also from 1926 (London: John Murray, 1926) . ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 08:39, 2 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

  • The 1926 U.S. publication marks it as a U.S. work for Commons purposes; I don’t think that more is needed. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 23:55, 6 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Index:The Seven Pillars of Wisdom.pdf[edit]

This was presumably added by someone in good faith, but further investigations show it can't be hosted in Commons, due to the artwork included, which is not out of copyright in the UK.

Namely the artwork by , Blair Rowlands Hughes-Stanton (22 February 1902 – 6 June 1981), William Patrick Roberts RA (5 June 1895 – 20 January 1980) and Henry Taylor Lamb (21 June 1883 – 8 October 1960) amongst others...

ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 00:42, 9 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Glosas Emilianenses[edit]

I originally nominated this at WS:PD for reasons unrelated to this work's copyright:

As noted by @CalendulaAsteraceae: on the work's talk page: "This work is in Latin, with glosses in medieval Romance and Basque. As such, it should move to the Wikisource for the appropriate language—probably the multilingual Wikisource, or possibly the Spanish Wikisource if the book it's excerpted from is eligible for inclusion." The document is also not scan-backed.

However, in addition, there are also potential copyright issues as well. While (if indeed the original is from the 10th century) the pre-annotated source is free of copyrights worldwide, this particular annotated version is likely still in copyright. According to the header, it was published in Madrid in 1956, by a Ramón Menéndez Pidal who died in 1968. Spain is a country with Life + 70, so this wouldn't be PD there yet, and it certainly wouldn't be PD in the US either, so I don't know that any Wikisource could really host it, including us. So if we don't assume the annotations are enough to claim PD-simple, we can just forget about it being on mulWS or esWS as well as here. PseudoSkull (talk) 19:31, 9 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

  • I don’t see any annotations that could garner copyright. The written-out glosses are not original. However, this is certainly not in English, so it shouldn’t be here. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 01:06, 10 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Re: Mind, Character and Personality (1977)[edit]

After the takedown and ensuing discussion, I came across a copy of this work (volume I of II, not that it matters). Note the title recto and verso. For some reason, only the spine noted the volume number; I scanned that also, in case it was necessary, although there is a note on the second image noting the volume. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 21:32, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The Tempest, 1993, "Preface and compilation" copyright[edit]

The copyright for the Arthur Rackham illustrations for The Tempest is 1926. I procured a 1993 printing of it. There is a new to me copyright. "Preface and Compilation". I have uploaded that page File:The Tempest-Rackham-0006.jpg.

The images for sure are pd, but before I upload the scan, I am checking to see if the scan is pd, or maybe I need to separate the images from the text, or whatever....

The images were not presented like most of the other original publications (well, scans of) I have seen. Nothing like this: In my book, that title page has been repurposed as an end paper, for instance. And none of the plates have been surrounded by the frame.

So, my questions are:

  1. how much (if any) of this publication can be uploaded as is?
  2. is "compilation" the 1990s word for "layout"?
  3. Since the words and the images are PD now, can I make another layout based on how I think the original was?
  4. is there a question I should be asking but have not thought of yet.

Thanks for your time, thoughts and actual knowledge about this and other cpyrght things.--RaboKarbakian (talk) 21:12, 13 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

What is to Be Done? and Index:Lenin - What Is To Be Done - tr. Joe Fineberg (1929).pdf[edit]

I originally looked at the British library etc. to see whether there was UK publication and couldn't find any but I just found [17] which lists a publication date of 1929 which is the same year. The question is: does it mean that this counts as URAA restored work for a few more years or not for US purposes and hence hosting on WS? The unsourced mainspace translation is a revised translation of the early 1929 text so it would count as a derivative work. MarkLSteadman (talk) 22:57, 15 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The plot thickens: if you look at the DLI scan Internet Archive identifier : in.ernet.dli.2015.217942 it says reprinted from the Iskra period and printed in the USA. You can see one of the 1929 volumes here containg the work and not renewed: (IA). So since this was edited by Trachtenberg in the USA and sayds printed in the USA assume it is a US publication for origin purposes but I can't find whether the UK version was published in 1929 or 1930 to be totally sure... MarkLSteadman (talk) 00:06, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Basically my thinking is that it does count as a US origin work since it appears to predate the UK publication with the US editor, I wanted to be careful as Fineberg was British- and then Russia-based and there was a fair amount of republication between Martin Lawrence and International Publishers. Anyways I believe that it is {{PD-US-no-renewal}} based most of the reviews I am seeing coming out in say 1930 in the UK. MarkLSteadman (talk) 17:13, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think we have to dismiss all DLI scans as being untrustworthy. PGDP, Librivox and en.WS have all been bitten by altered dates in DLI scans, and PGDP refuses to accept them. If we know the work is PD, then we could use the scans, though I wouldn't prefer it, but I think they're untrustworthy for establishing PD.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:24, 17 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]