Wikisource:Copyright discussions

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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.

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

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Quick reference to copyright term

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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[reply]

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

Kerry vs. Pickens[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[reply]

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

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

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


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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[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[reply]

I!d add Dossiers secrets d'Henri Lobineau it is a blank page just including disscusion of weather it is in copyirght unsigned comment by (talk) .

Agreed. This page has essentially no content, and whatever discussion took place then is clearly done as of now, as it started ~ 14 years ago. I was actually inclined to speedy it until I saw how long it has been there as it is. @MarkLSteadman: What is your opinion on that work's copyright status? PseudoSkull (talk) 14:59, 29 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I had speedied it before I read PseudoSkull’s comment. If anybody desires to see it, I will renew it. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 15:06, 29 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My sense on the French work possibilities published abroad before 1977 means that the key question is whether it was copyrighted in France on the URAA date (which would imply publication +95 years):
  • If the copyright lies with the two forgers than the French copyright expire 70 years after the death of Plantard (2070) so past the URAA
  • If the work is considered pseudonymous then they are in the French public domain (2017) but after the URAA date
  • If the work is considered posthumous then it expired 25 years after publication (1992) which is before the URAA date. It would then be in the public domain
  • I highly doubt simultaneous publication in the US so we can ignore that case.
My take is that we consider it pseudonymous which means the US copyright expires 95 years after publication with the French copyright expired. MarkLSteadman (talk) 16:05, 29 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Amazing Stories v15n10 and v16n11[edit]

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

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

March of the Volunteers[edit]

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
Well, that required rather a lot more reading than expected…

This work has been discussed all over the projects: WP:CQ#Whether March of the Volunteers lyrics/sheet music are copyrighted, w:Talk:March of the Volunteers#Lyrics, w:Talk:March of the Volunteers#Copyright problem removed, c:Commons:Deletion requests/File:Appendix 1 (Revised version of National Anthem) of Macau Law 1 of 2019.pdf, and c:Commons:Deletion requests/File:March of the Volunteers.png.

The summary of all these discussions, which accords with enWS precedent, is that by virtue of having been included verbatim in a law (see s:zh:中华人民共和国国歌 (1978年)), this song's lyrics and sheet music are very likely in the public domain in China due to the official works exemption in Chinese law, and certainly public domain (ineligible for copyright) in the US due to the "edicts of government" doctrine.

Many thanks to TE(æ)A,ea. who has followed up several of these discussions.

Due to URAA, the lyrics were removed from a Wikipedia article about the song "March of the Volunteers". The US copyright of the song was restored in either 1996 (PRC) or 2002 (ROC) when the song's Chinese or Taiwanese copyright was still intact at that time. Its PRC or ROC copyright (author's lifetime + 50 years) expired in 2019, at least fifty years after the lyricist's death in 1968. However, the US copyright still lasts until 2030 or 2031. Since the lyrics were removed from Wikipedia, the Wikisource page of the song must be also deleted. Also, the 1978 version's US copyright was restored in 1996 and lasts until 2074, ninety-five years after first publication. George Ho (talk) 19:59, 23 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Regardless of whether or not this is the case (IIRC, this has been previously considered, rightly or not, as {{PD-CN}} since it appears in legislation), this is not actually in such black-and-white terms implied by must be also deleted: you have neglected to mention that discussions are still open at least at w:Wikipedia:Media_copyright_questions#Whether_March_of_the_Volunteers_lyrics/sheet_music_are_copyrighted (punted from w:en:Talk:March_of_the_Volunteers#Copyright_problem_removed at your own request) and commons:Commons:Deletion requests/File:March of the Volunteers.png, which you opened. While those decisions are not necessarily the same that might be arrived at here, it is, IMO, premature to start a third deletion process at a third wiki without at least reaching consensus at the first two, considering that both of the first two have generated enough disagreement that they're not closed out yet.
Orthogonally, it would also be good to figure out what the source is of the English translation (allegedly it is a Chinese government translation), since they appear to be cloned from Wikipedia. Or scan back from a primary source (assuming copyright allows) is better still. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 20:33, 23 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do you want me to withdraw right away? George Ho (talk) 23:54, 23 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Keep. This work is in the public domain, as an edict of government; you have misread the relevant caselaw. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 22:16, 27 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Checkmark This section is considered resolved, for the purposes of archiving. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. Xover (talk) 05:30, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Book of Common Prayer (ECUSA)[edit]

Although the ECUSA has been very clear that this work as a whole is in the public domain, nevertheless it includes a significant amount of text by ICEL and other sources which are very much NOT in the public domain. While these passages are included in the BCP with permission and/or under Fair Use doctrine, nevertheless they are not appropriate for Wikisource.

Due to the large number and size of these passages, as well as the difficulty of distinguishing them from other parts of this work, I recommend deletion of the whole work, and focus on Book of Common Prayer (1892) as a replacement. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 01:54, 16 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Keep. This book is completed, unlike the 1892 copy, and is quite clearly in the public domain, as the note at the top of the page states. I don’t know how you can doubt such an unequivocal expression as “is not and never has been under copyright.” TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 01:48, 29 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Questions for @Beleg Tâl and @TE(æ)A,ea. It looks like the 2007 work is a rework of the 1979 work. Anything published in the US in or after 1978 is automatically copyrighted. I see claims on Book of Common Prayer (ECUSA) that the copyright has been released, but I don’t see anything in the book scans that show a copyright release. Please clarify (both of you) your source for claiming all or part of this work is PD. Jeepday (talk) 16:59, 20 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Jeepday: There is a message in the “notes” on the header on the page to that effect: what more do you want? There is clear, direct statement that Wikisource can host it; what more do you want? TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 20:28, 21 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • TE(æ)A,ea. assuming that the opening message from "Charles Wohlers" is someone who is authorized to speak for the work. If it was published in 1979 and/or 2007 in the US it is/was copyrighted (unless it also had a PD claim) so the statement "The U S Book of Common Prayer is not and never has been under copyright." is not accurate. If you have something showing the 1979 was in the public domain when published, that would support the argument that the 2007 is PD as well. But a note from someone is not listed in the publication, and is making a statement this not supported by evidence does not support the 2007 work as PD. Jeepday (talk) 01:09, 22 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Opps I had that backwards, have been out of the loop for a while. Help:Public_domain#Published_in_the_United_States in 1979 copyright was not automatic, you needed to actively claim copyright. The 2007 verision is still questionable until we verify the copyright status of the 1979 version. Jeepday (talk) 01:22, 22 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • Jeepday: Mr. Wohlers is the man who created the 2007 ECUSA edition of the Book of Common Prayer; no man could be more authorized to speak on the matter. According to the notes, the 2007 revision only changes some factual matters, and not the text of the Book, such items not being included in the work in any case. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 02:12, 22 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I don't see this discussion addressing post-1989 additions of parts from ICEL and others. Pre-1989 inactivity regarding copyright (which is what the purported email from Wohler expresses) may have led to PD no-notice/no-renewal, but after 1989 such materials need an explicit license from the copyright holder (which will not be Wohler). Xover (talk) 06:21, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Index:ATSB RO-2018-004 - Collision of passenger train A42 with buffer stop.pdf[edit]

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
Problematic images have been redacted from the file by TE(æ)A,ea..

Minor issue. Some of the images in this report are credited to external third parties, and thus are not subject to the same Australian Government license as the text. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 16:47, 20 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The text/PDF can be modified so that these images are taken out, somehow or another. Not sure about the process for that though. Symbol keep vote.svg Keep with the copyrighted images removed from the PDF entirely. PseudoSkull (talk) 18:03, 20 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not aware of anyone who has tooling to perform redactions like this on PDF files and is willing to handle such requests. It is also hard to identify which images are affected by this issue, since a lot of them are not clearly marked (like the photo on the cover), so it involves rather a lot of effort. Xover (talk) 13:27, 21 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • ShakespeareFan00, PseudoSkull, Xover: If you, or any of you, can identify which images to redact, I can redact them. For cases like the title, page, assuming the image on the title page needs redaction, I would just redact around the text, leaving what remains of the images behind the non-redacted text as de minimis inclusions. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 17:44, 22 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


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Index:Arthur Rackham (Hudson).pdf[edit]

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
Kept as being simultaneously published (within 30 days) in the US and UK, making it a US work for copyright purposes according to the Berne Convention, and failing to renew its copyright after 28 years.

According to :- [[7]] Hudson was an author working in the United Kingdom (he died in 2003).

The PDF seems to be a US reprint of a work previously published by the OUP William Heinemann Ltd around 1960.

I am not sure if this can be on Wikisource. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 07:42, 18 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@TE(æ)A,ea.: This is one of your's I think? Xover (talk) 08:08, 18 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • It doesn’t matter if the Queen wrote it, it’s still a U.S. work, with a U.S. printing, and U.S. copyright, which, I have repeatedly confirmed, has expired. Suspicions that the author is or may be a foreigner don’t save a work from the vagaries of U.S. copyright law. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 03:44, 19 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @TE(æ)A,ea.: If it was first published in the UK, by an author living and working in the UK, what makes you think it is a US work for copyright purposes? Xover (talk) 07:49, 19 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Xover: The only evidence of that is that the author was British: and the evidence that the work is a U.S. work is on the title and copyright pages: a U.S. publisher, a U.S. location, and a U.S. copyright notice. I haven’t added any information templates because the file didn’t scan correctly: it deleted everything after page 96. I wanted to wait until I could scan the rest of the book to move it to Wikimedia Commons and add the required template. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 13:31, 19 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      A UK author, deeply intwined in the UK publishing industry, being in fact an editor for Oxford University Press no less, working in the UK their entire life, and writing a biography of a UK artist… Meanwhile, we know works are routinely published in multiple editions, and in particular between the US and UK, and even a cursory search would have turned up a 1960 Heinemann edition labelled "first edition". This is the sort of situation where careful research is needed is what I'm saying… Xover (talk) 15:24, 19 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please update File:Arthur Rackham (Hudson).pdf accordingly then. I've added a Book template. 07:19, 19 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did dome more ivestigations on this: -

The earliest Amazon finds is "William Heinemann Ltd" (1960), The first edition it lists for the given publisher is CHARLES SCRIBNERS SONS LTD (1960). Unhelpfully, it doesn't go into further detail.. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 13:56, 19 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Let's see… The first mention I find of the publication is in the 30 October 1960 issue of The Bridgeport Post (Bridgeport, Connecticut), who describe it as "…has been published by Charles Scribner's Sons". The first UK mention is in the 11 November 1960 issue of The Daily Telegraph (London), who review an edition published by Heinemann but do not specify when it was published. Based on marketing copy I believe the sales strategy was to hit the Christmas gift market (it's an expensive and high-quality edition), so it's likely a late year publication was deliberate. The early US date is just a notice, while the UK one is an actual review (which takes a lot longer from publication to hitting print than a mere two-line notice). It is from then followed by reviews throughout November in multiple US papers. Based on this I'd peg most likely publication date as late October for both the US and UK, and there is no particular reason to assume the UK edition was earlier than the US one; quite the contrary based on the evidence so far. In other words, the most likely scenario seems to be simultaneous publication (within 30 days) in the UK and US, making this a US work for US copyright (and Commons licensing policy) purposes. So lack of notice or lack of renewal would be likely paths to the public domain here. The US edition contains a notice, but I find no renewal at Stanford. So it seems likely this is then {{PD-US-no renewal}}. Xover (talk) 15:19, 19 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"HUDSON, DEREK;Arthur Rackham; his life and work.London, W. Heinemann. NM: text &compilation. © Derek Hudson;7Nov60; AF18120"
(See- (Confusingly listed in the 1961 volume).

ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 16:01, 19 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Probably okay for local hosting, but not necessarily for Commons. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 16:01, 19 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What would be the problem for hosting on Commons? The registration still puts US publication within 30 days of UK publication, meaning both Berne and Commons policy treat it as a US work. In the US the copyright expired in 1988 due to lack of renewal. It's still clearly in copyright in the UK (until, what, 2073?), but, again, as far as the "country of origin" policy is concerned, this is a US work and the UK status is irrelevant. This is a pretty absurd situation, but for once it's one where the absurdity of international copyright falls in our favour: usually it's UK public domain works that are still protected in the US due to the difference in terms. Xover (talk) 05:54, 20 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@ShakespeareFan00: What's the problem you see with hosting on Commons? Is it something I'm missing (as we know, that happens all too frequently)? Xover (talk) 09:43, 24 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The concern I had was that this was originally a UK published work. I found Commons policy application can be a little inconsistent. If you think it can be hosted there, then I won't press the point, but be ready to be make it local if someone else objects to it being on Commons.

ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 09:55, 24 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yeah, application of this policy is hit and miss, but that's because it's a complicated issue and one most admins there rarely run into (it's somewhat unique to books). However, I'm as certain as one can be of what the policy actually is: the policy was based on what the Berne convention says, which is where the "simultaneous publication" (within 30 days) comes from, and is specifically intended to cover this case (I've checked with people who were involved and that happen to also be familiar with Wikisource and thus the unique issues for books). So if the worry is merely about application then I think we're safe to / should push it to Commons and deal with anything that comes up as and when it comes up.
PS. After some relevant PWB bugs were fixed, transferring files from Commons to enWS can be automated fairly well, so I wouldn't worry too much about needing to do that. You'll still need an enWS admin with bot skills to do the job, and I know we're not exactly swimming in those, but mostly we should be able to take care of such requests within a reasonable timeframe. Xover (talk) 12:41, 24 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
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Young Winston’s wars; the original despatches of Winston S. Churchill, war correspondent, 1897-1900[edit]

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
Deleted. This 1970 work has multiple copyrightable components (compilation, notes) and the copyright status of the original material is undetermined (though likely to be public domain due to expiry in the US).

As stated here, these letters of correspondence were seemingly first published in 1973, so they probably aren't public domain in the US. 00:17, 2 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

1973 was not the first publication though. The book consists of articles that were published in newspapers in 1897-1900. Chapter 11, for example, was published here in The Morning Post. The book's introduction states that the newspaper text was followed faithfully. However, there may be a compilation copyright issue, as the editor states that he included only a selection of Churchill's complete body of work from this period. Toohool (talk) 14:05, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
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Aesop's Fables translated by V. S. Vernon-Jones[edit]

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
No local action needed: processes running are at Commons.

While wandering at commons I found commons:User_talk:DanielleJWiki#File:MU_KPB_051_Aesop's_Fables_-_Illustrated_by_Arthur_Rackham.pdf, a notice about the deletion of another version of Æsop's Fables (V. S. Vernon-Jones) VSVJ died in 1955, so at the commons, the work will be restored in 2026.

So one of these things here:

  1. The ignorance is bliss option where we do nothing and see what happens between now and 2026.
  2. Move the files here (assuming it is okay to do so).
  3. Delete the transcription here to be restored in 2026.
  4. Start an undelete request there.

Option 1 worked well enough for me for about 3 days. Sharing the bliss--RaboKarbakian (talk) 13:44, 8 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • RaboKarbakian: The book was published in 1912, meaning that it is in the public domain in the U.S., and thus acceptable for use on English Wikisource. In addition, Æsop’s Fables (this copy) was published in the United States, meaning that it can be hosted on Wikimedia Commons. The other two deletions appear to have been in error, as well; they should be reviewed. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 14:29, 8 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
TE(æ)A,ea. Ha! Good to know! I have requested it's undeletion (and the others) at commons. Done with #4 and back #1! Thank you. It's good to have something to point to for this kind of thing and I enjoy being the dumb one.--RaboKarbakian (talk) 17:54, 8 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
TE(æ)A,ea. So, commons is seeing the situation differently: commons:User_talk:Túrelio#File:MU_KPB_051_Aesop's_Fables_-_Illustrated_by_Arthur_Rackham.pdf I am off to talk to the administrator that deleted two of the three (for sure Túrelio was the first choice due to decades of activity there....)--RaboKarbakian (talk) 14:04, 9 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
TE(æ)A,ea. Hmm, the "how to" I read there said to talk to the admins who did the deleting.--RaboKarbakian (talk) 18:47, 9 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
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File:MU KPB 033 Rubiat of Omar Rayyam.pdf and File:MU KPB 034 Parsifal.pdf[edit]

These files were transfered from Wikimedia Commons, as it is believed that they are U.K. works which are in the public domain in the United States (see this discussion). If they are U.K. works, then they are unsuitable for hosting on Wikimedia Commons; if they are not, owing to simultaneous publication in the U.S., then they may be exported back. The Rubáiyát (misspelled in the file name: also “Rayyam” instead of “Khayyam”) is listed at being published in 1909, but I have not found any internal or external information to verify that date. Parsifal is given as 1921 in the file, but 1912 on his Wikipedia article. Based on those dates, these works are in the public domain in the U.S. The books are illustrated by Willy Pogány; I have ordered a book describing his work, in the hope that it will have some more detailed bibliographical information. I also ask for the services of Xover, whose searchings through newspaper archives have helped in earlier discussions. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 00:20, 18 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Symbol keep vote.svg Keep These works are {{PD-US}} we can host them. The UK copyright is irrelevant for works hosted at enWS. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:47, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think that it is overly worth the fuss of drilling further, that is more a discussion for Commons. We can host them, and if in dispute there, don't kill yourself over it. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:53, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Transcriptions added by user:Johnson.Xia[edit]

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

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

CC BY-SA 4.0 texts?[edit]

I have noticed that The Scrum Guide (2020), which is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0, has been added to the main page. Wikipedia FAQ states that this license is not compatible with Wikipedia. I've looked at the Wikisource help page and copyright policy, and both say that text must be compatible with CC BY-SA 3.0, which rules out the newer version. However, the copyright tags page lists the CC BY-SA 4.0 as one of the possible licenses. What is the official policy of Wikisource on CC BY-SA 4.0 texts? Alnaling (talk) 18:09, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Speaking as the person who added this text, my understanding of the licensing policy is that anything that permits "free use, distribution, and creation of derivatives", even in terms of commercial use, is fine per our copyright policy. I wouldn't say that CC-BY-SA 4.0 is incompatible with CC BY-SA 3.0 in this way. We have had a longstanding CC-BY-SA 4.0 template and a long history of works being transcribed that are under this license, so without change to current licensing consensus I don't think they will be disallowed. PseudoSkull (talk) 01:29, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@PseudoSkull I agree that CC BY-SA 4.0 is a free license and in that sense it is fine per copyright policy, however, the license compatibility is also an important aspect. For example, the {{GFDL}} tag states that it "must also be dual-licensed with another compatible license" (see Free as in Freedom for an example). Moreover the Terms of Use state that "You may import text [...] available under terms that are compatible with the CC BY-SA 3.0 license (or, as explained above, another license when exceptionally required by the Project edition or feature)("CC BY-SA").". If this project uses another license, then it should be clearly stated, but the footer of the page still links to CC BY-SA 3.0.
As a side note, I also think that CC BY-SA 4.0 texts should be allowed, but if they have to be removed due to legal technicalities it should be done sooner than later to avoid wasted work. Alnaling (talk) 18:13, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Alnaling (CC PseudoSkull): Thanks for bringing this up! We have over the years dedicated far too little attention to details like this, and our guidance and policies are therefore somewhat lacking.
I have struggled to find the cycles to actually look into this issue—in particular, what the differences between 3.0 and 4.0 are that makes WMF Legal say they are incompatible—but there is one clarifying distinction I can make based on a superficial approach: on Wikipedia, all content is collaborative and potentially copyrightable (article content, say), but on Wikisource almost all our mainspace content is by design not actually copyrightable and subject to licensing. The point of the project is to faithfully reproduce previously published textual works, so anything we did that could attract copyright (and thus be subject to licensing) would no longer be faithful to the original. Because of that, the CC BY-SA 3.0 + GFDL default license for contributions never comes into play for our mainspace content, and it doesn't matter what "upstream" license that content is under so long as it is otherwise free.
Outside mainspace (i.e Wikisource:, User:, Help:, etc.) we are more similar to Wikipedia, but in these places it is very rare that we have need to import any external text (except templates and such from other WMF projects) and so an incompatibility with CC BY-SA 4.0 is almost never going to be relevant. Where we do have a potential issue is with our content namespaces were we permit non-faithful / user generated content: Translation: and Portal:. So far we only have (that I have noticed) translations based on public domain originals, and no portals with actually copyrightable elements (lists of facts). But here we could eventually run into this issue.
We really should make these distinctions explicit in our guidance and policies because sooner or later it is going to bite us. Especially our failure to directly address the GFDL deprecation a few years ago has given us a potentially massive content headache that we've so far mainly closed our eyes to and pretended doesn't exist. Xover (talk) 07:13, 25 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Xover: Thanks for the detailed reply.
Regarding the incompatibility between CC BY-SA 4.0 and 3.0, I've looked into the text and in 3.b.1 it says that the adapted material must be shared under the same license "this version or later, or a BY-SA Compatible License". Since 3.0 is not a later version and not listed as BY-SA compatible this means that the content cannot be redistributed under this license, hence incompatibility.
I'm not sure I follow your point about the reproduced content being "not actually copyrightable". If I understand correctly, redistributing a faithfully reproduced text is still subject to licensing, regardless of whether we consider translating it to Wikimedia format a transformative act or not. Naturally if the license is free, it allows us to do so. The question is whether we can do this using WMF servers, since its Terms of Use seem to only allow text content compatible with CC BY-SA 3.0 (though I'd like to someone more informed to confirm this). I agree that the reproduced text will probably not be mixed with other user generated content, so it might be possible for WMF to introduce an exception for WS given the boundaries between reproduced free content and user generated content are clearly defined.
I've also noticed that exported books contain an about section that states that they may be used under the CC BY-SA 3.0 + GFDL license, which is also untrue in case of CC BY-SA 4.0 (and even 3.0 only) texts, so this should also be updated if the current licensing consensus doesn't change. Alnaling (talk) 21:03, 25 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A Five-Stage Model of the Mental Activities Involved in Directed Skill Acquisition (1980)[edit]

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
No action needed.

Is this academic paper from 1980 in the public domain? It did not contain a copyright notice. But can an academic paper be considered a work published in 1980? Can we be sure that there was at least some level of public distribution involved? PseudoSkull (talk) 19:59, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • PseudoSkull: This isn’t an academic paper; this was published as a separate book, not as part of a larger journal or some such. The stamp on the front page is also an indication of this. This should be good, copyright-wise. (See “COMBAT”, which is a similar sort of work.) TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 21:45, 17 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@TE(æ)A,ea.: I looked through it and unfortunately it does contain a few rather lengthy quotes from the 1960s and 1970s from studies that were published in England. Since those English studies are perpetually copyrighted still in the United States, I don't know that this study can be hosted on WS. PseudoSkull (talk) 13:50, 18 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If we just remove the quotes it might be keepable but not in its full form. Is there a template out there that can be used to represent when a lengthy quote from copyrighted material has been redacted? It might also be useful for a template like that to have a year stuck on it, to show when the template can likely be removed. PseudoSkull (talk) 13:54, 18 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
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First Lady Olena Zelenska addresses the officials of the member states of the Council of Europe[edit]

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
Deleted (as excerpt, not copyvio; can be recreated if a properly licensed version of the full work is found).

A work by the wife of Ukrainian president. I don't see what release to the public domain that this work may have. — billinghurst sDrewth 16:04, 19 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It was probably taken from where it had been published under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license, so if we added the attribution as required, it could stay as for the copyright. However, it does not seem to be the full speech, it is probably only a selection of quotations from the speech, so I would probably not keep it here, unless we find the full speech under a free license instead. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 14:19, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Checkmark This section is considered resolved, for the purposes of archiving. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. Xover (talk) 07:10, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bible (Updated King James Version)[edit]

No source data appears on the page for the work itself, but where it was linked on Bible, the publication date is given as 2000. The license placed on the work claims PD outside the UK, but if this is indeed a new edition, that may be incorrect. --EncycloPetey (talk) 21:54, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Keep (I think). It looks to be PD-release, and this appears to be the earliest source of the work. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:25, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    They have an explicitly stated -ND limitation (and want us to say "I love Jesus" on the page) that is incompatible with our licensing policy. Xover (talk) 08:47, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Xover: They also fairly clearly state that the work is in the public domain: once, a conflicting license. “I love Jesus” isn’t a problem: that’s just an attribution request (as if the work’s title included “I love Jesus”). TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:23, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      Yeah, the "I Love Jesus" bit was just funny (or, well, sad, really, when you think about it), but the limitation on derivative works makes it incompatible for hosting on enWS. This is why you do not use home-grown pseudo licenses or public domain dedications people: use the Creative Commons licenses! Xover (talk) 07:15, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

America...You Kill Me[edit]

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Deleted per nom.

This was added back in 2016 with a claim of {{PD-release}}. But I haven't been able to find any evidence of such a release, including on the author's web page (where the text is available, with a copyright notice). It's a good and important speech, but I don't think we can host it. JesseW (talk) 02:02, 14 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Varnent: PseudoSkull (talk) 08:17, 14 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Delete. Fairly obviously copyrighted 2016 speech. (The user who added it immediately left.) TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:25, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
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Index:Mechanism (IA cu31924003901265).pdf[edit]

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
Deleted per nom (and the file was deleted on Commons).

This is a third edition which was edited by Dr. Arthur Morley (1876-1962) , It's not necessarily out of copyright in the UK. (DR raised at Commons.) ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 13:20, 15 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Keep. This work was simultaneously published in the U.S., and is thus not subject to U.K. terms. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:25, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    What is your evidence for this assertion? Xover (talk) 08:43, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Xover: I’ve commented out the deletion portions, because the file’s deletion is currently being reviewed on Commons, and it will likely be undeleted. See here. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 20:19, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @TE(æ)A,ea.: If new evidence comes to light, open an undelete request here. I see that Rosenzweig has provided more actual evidence in the UDR at Commons than was presented here, so that should give us more to work with. --Xover (talk) 06:50, 25 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
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Undelete the above[edit]

Politics and the English Language[edit]

This is listed as being in the PD because it was published in a British magazine and not renewed. I'm not sure if that would qualify it as PD-US-not renewed. Languageseeker (talk) 19:19, 15 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I took a quick look… "Politics and the English Language" was first published in Horizon, a UK literary magazine, in 1946. As such it was covered by the UK pma. 70 term of copyright. Since Orwell died in 1950 that term expired in the UK in 2021. But being a UK work that was in copyright in the UK on 1 January 1996, its US copyright was restored by the URAA to a pub. + 95 years term. Meaning it is in copyright in the US until after 1946 + 95 = 2041. Xover (talk) 04:55, 16 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Symbol delete vote.svg Delete In addition the Orwell estate agrees that it is copyrighted. [8]. MarkLSteadman (talk) 02:08, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Trotsky Protests Too Much[edit]

Pamphlet written by Emma Goldman, added here in 2020. This pamphlet grew out of an article for Vanguard, the Anarchist monthly published in New York City. It appeared in the July issue, 1938, but as the space of the magazine is limited, only part of the manuscript could be used. The (expanded) pamphlet was first published in Glasgow in 1939 without a copyright notice. The pamphlet lists a US price, and several large US libraries hold a copy of it, but Goldman was no longer living in the US at this time.

Under a Commons-style precautionary principle this would not hold up. But we have not adopted a COM:PRP policy on enWS.

So… the paths to copyright are as follows: 1) if the abbreviated version published in Vanguard had a copyright notice, it is in copyright in the US; 2) if the full version was not actually published in the US, or not published within 30 days, then it is a UK work, covered by pma. 70, in copyright in the UK on the URAA date, and had its US pub. +95 copyright restored (possibly minus the bits previously published in the US). In all cases it will be in copyright in the US until 2034.

The paths to PD are: 1) it's reasonable to assume the Vanguard version did not have a copyright notice (it's an anarchist mag, and they normally didn't), or the copyright wasn't renewed (ditto); 2) the pamphlet listing a US price suggests it was intended for US publication, and the anarchist networks treated this as essentially propaganda, making this a US no-notice/no-renewal work; 3) Goldman was a US citizen and in some weird obscure bits of Berne that could conceivably make this a US work even if it would otherwise be considered a UK work, and even if she was living abroad (she was deported from the US in 1920, and after hopping around the world, she left Spain, stayed briefly in England, and ended up in Canada).

Personally, I would have preferred to just delete this under a de facto precautionary principle, but going by community sentiment in previous discussions I believe the community would prefer tagging it as {{PD-US-no notice}}. Hence I am proposing that resolution, and posting here to solicit community assessment of whether the balance of the evidence above is sufficient for that. Xover (talk) 21:21, 16 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The price may just mean that it was intended for US distribution, not US publication. It seems to me that this 1939 version was clearly published in the UK and so it is under copyright in the US. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 01:13, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Jan Kameníček: The question is simultaneous publication (not printing, which looks British), and as selling or otherwise distributing a work constitutes publication, the U.S. pricing on the work indicate (in my mind publication). TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:25, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @TE(æ)A,ea.: It does not only "look" British, there is clearly written that it was both printed and published at Glasgow, i.e. in the UK. Selling a book for dollars does not mean that it was published in the US (and not only distributed), while the information in the backmatter states British publication only.
    BTW, how can a place of publication be decided? While a place of printing can be decided by finding the printing works where a book was physically produced, a place of publication cannot be decided in such a way, as "publication" is a more abstract concept than "printing". Place of publication is often a city (country) where the publisher of the book has a headquarter or residence, but some publishers have several or even many, and not all of them are automatically places of publication of all the books by a particular publisher. So the best way how it can be determined is the publisher’s own statement on the place of publication. And in the publication discussed here the publisher gave only Glasgow as the place of publication. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 19:02, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Jan Kameníček: Your misunderstanding lies in “not only distributed.” The word “publication” means “distribution,” and a work is published where it is distributed. If a work was sold (i.e., distributed) in the U.S., then it was published there; and if it was published in the U.S., it must follow U.S. copyright law. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 19:10, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      @TE(æ)A,ea.:This is a very extraordinary interpretation of the word "wikt:publication", which in fact means an act of publishing a text, not an act of distributing or selling it. For example, the textbook of English language Headway, published by Oxford University Press in Oxford, the UK, is frequently distributed in Czechia and sold for Czech crowns in Czech bookshops, as well as in many other countries, but this fact does not make Czechia and all the other countries its place of publication, it still remains to be in the UK. What is more, a place of publication is usually in some specific city. In your logic the place of publication would be not only Glasgow, but also Edinburgh, London, Birmingham and all the cities where the book was possibly distributed. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 19:33, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Jan Kameníček: It’s not an interpretation; it’s the law. “‘Publication’ is the distribution of copies … of a work to the public by sale ….” This is the definition which matters. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 19:49, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        @TE(æ)A,ea.:I see, interesting. So I admit that according to this law publication means sale (however it seems weird to me, see above), and it convinced me that the price in dollars indicates also publication in the US, thanks for explanation very much. Now we need some evidence that it happened within 30 days after its Glasgow release. Jan Kameníček (talk) 20:44, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        @Jan.Kamenicek: It's just two different "publication" concepts. You're (I believe) talking about the bibliographic sense of publication, which is tied to the responsible publisher and where their offices are. This is a highly notional concept, in that no copy of the work need ever exist in the location of the publisher in order for it to be published there. Similarly, for publishers with offices around the world, a work may notionally be published in multiple places: Oxford, Mumbai, New York, etc. (for Oxford University Press, for example). But the legal term "publication", in the context of copyright, is about offering for sale to the public, and thus pretty concrete: anywhere you either have physical copies of the work, or offer to ship such physical copies, is a place you have "published" it for copyright purposes (adapt mutatis mutandis for e-books). Same word, different meanings in different technical jargons and contexts.
        But, yes, I agree with you: in order to have been copyright-wise published in the US it must have been offered for sale somewhere in the US within 30 days of it copyright-wise being published in the UK. Proving that is going to take quite a lot of research and some relatively hard evidence.
        PS. printing a price in dollars is an indication, not real hard evidence. Any number of scenarios could explain why that would appear for a work never published (in either sense) in the US; for example the straightforward one that they planned to but were prevent for some reason (death, bankruptcy, arrest, the usual suspects). It's a reasonable thing to take into account, but how much to weigh it as evidence is a more nuanced question. Xover (talk) 08:41, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Xover: Again, we are not precautionary, so I don’t think we need the strongest evidence to support our assertion. The newspapers of the time would be unlikely to indicate the publication of a communist pamphlet, so this is some of the best evidence available. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:23, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On the death of Comrade Kobayashi[edit]

Original published in 1933, so it should still be protected in the US. -- Jan Kameníček (talk) 01:00, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

China is life+50; works of Chinese authors who died in 1936 left copyright in 1986 and thus wouldn't have been restored by the URAA, leaving them out of copyright in the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:26, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note that this work is tagged as Pd/1996 on Chinese Wikisource. Shells-shells (talk) 04:35, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry for that I know nothing about the America copyright. But a lot of works by Lu Xun published after 1927 can be found in Chinese Wikisource. Interaccoonale (talk) 11:12, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Interaccoonale: When and where was this work first published? Xover (talk) 06:17, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
According to Beijing Lu Xun Museum, published in 无产阶级文学 in 1933. Interaccoonale (talk) 07:30, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Interaccoonale: Hmm. So 无产阶级文学 is a journal, newspaper, magazine, or similar periodical publication? And the text at On the death of Comrade Kobayashi is either an article or an open letter or similar? As opposed to a personal letter to some recipient, I mean. Xover (talk) 13:19, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do think so. It means Proletarian Literature. Interaccoonale (talk) 13:53, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok. Then the situation would seem to be as Prosfilaes has it above: it was published in China in 1933, giving Lu Xun a pma. 50 term of copyright in China. That copyright expired at the end of 1936 + 50 = 1986. The original publication failed to observe US formalities (one assumes) and would thus not have been protected in the US. When the URAA rolled around (1. January 1996) its Chinese copyright had already expired, so the URAA did not restore any US copyright. In other words, it is in the public domain in both jurisdictions, and {{PD-1996}} applies. Xover (talk) 14:04, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There Goes Old Georgetown[edit]

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

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

The Social Importance of the Modern School[edit]

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

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

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

Permanent Revolution[edit]

Essay by Leon Trotsky that was "translated into English by John G. Wright and published by New Park Publications in 1931", making the translation a copyvio until 2027. Xover (talk) 15:15, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Keep. It was published by Militant Publishing Association (NY) in 1931, and there was no U.S. renewal. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:25, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Delete w:The_Permanent_Revolution_and_Results_and_Prospects was originally published in 1930 in Germany, making it life+70 for an author who died in 1940. The English translation will probably go out of copyright in 2026, but the URAA restored the underlying copyright.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:34, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I was going to ask about the original copyright as well... The copyright status is quite annoying for translations + URAA. MarkLSteadman (talk) 02:01, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke: With a Memoir[edit]

And in specfic :-

which are not by Brooke, but by Edward Howard Marsh (1872–1953). These portions of the work are not necessarily out of copyright in the UK for another 2 years, and the edition we are using was certainly published in the UK. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 17:12, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Keep. This is American Wikisource, not British Wikisource; U.K. copyright is irrelevant where (as here) the work was published before 1927. As this work was published in 1918, it is in the public domain in the U.S. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 18:19, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@ShakespeareFan00: Anything published more than 95 years ago anywhere in the world is in the public domain in the US. There are some edge-case exceptions for unpublished material etc., but as a rule of thumb if it's a book and it was published before 1927 (current year - 95 years) its US copyright has expired. And the copyright policy on English Wikisource only requires works to be in the public domain in the US. The "US and source country" requirement is a local policy on Commons and only affects content actually hosted on Commons. Xover (talk) 07:54, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Integration of hydrodynamical equations by the grid method[edit]

1952 work by Soviet author, PD-Russia is only applicable to authors who died prior to 1952. The translator is not credited, and the content is unsourced. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 18:45, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Landau died in 1968 so would be copyrighted by pma + 50 on the URAA date. There are other post-1926 works by him as well Author:Lev Landau. MarkLSteadman (talk) 02:05, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No Pasaran[edit]

1936 speech by Dolores Ibárruri (1895–1989), broadcast live on Spanish radio. The original has been published in several places (I haven't tracked down original publication, but it will have been in Spain shortly after the speech itself), but the English translation here has no obvious source. All the online copies I find can be traced back to here. There is also an annotation before the speech itself that is not present in the Spanish transcription at esWS. In any case, Spain is pma. 70 and Ibárruri died in 1989, so it will be in copyright in Spain until 2060, and in the US until after 1936 + 95 = 2031. The translation is certainly later, so its copyright will be even longer. Xover (talk) 19:59, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Elements of Mathematical Physics[edit]

1970 work by Yakov Zeldovich (1914-1987). I fail to see how this would be in the public domain. Translator is not credited or attributed.

Chapters are :-

ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 07:13, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • It may have been translated in 1973 by Myshkis (or he may have been co-author). Either way, it is still very likely copyrighted. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:23, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A New Philosophy of Experience[edit]

1932 article by Moritz Schlick that was apparently seminal in its field. First published in Publications in Philosophy (published by College of the Pacific) in 1932. No license tag, and I can find no evidence of compatible licensing. Xover (talk) 09:08, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Keep. I haven’t seen the original, but neither the periodical (if it even was a periodical) nor the article were renewed, making this PD-US-no renewal (if not PD-US-no notice). TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 21:09, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It was definitely a journal, just a relatively obscure one except for this particular article. Xover (talk) 07:56, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Xover: It might have been the name of a series of monographs, in which case it would be a serial, rather than a journal (and serials are listed with books and contributions to periodicals in the CCE). TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 20:19, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Napoleon's addresses during the Italian Campaign and Napoleon's addresses during the Second Italian Campaign[edit]

No license, no source. Napoleon's creative output is obviously well out of any copyright it might have had, but this is clearly from a modern source somewhere and in unattributed translation into English. Xover (talk) 09:12, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My homeland, my homeland, my homeland,[edit]

Not so much a copyright discussion as a cleanup proposal:

The arabic original is long out of copyright. I find no evidence of authorship or publication for the English translation, but as it has existed on the SIS website through several iterations (e.g. it used to be at I am personally comfortable with just assuming it is an official translation made by someone employed or instructed by the Egyptian government. I would prefer finding a public domain published book or similar from which we could scan-back and contextualise it, but since I don't think that's very likely I'll settle for cleanup (but consider the challenge posted if you're inclined). Xover (talk) 09:59, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Holy Faith of the Romanists[edit]

The Holy Faith of the Romanists (mistitled, should be The Holy Faith of Romanists) by Joseph McCabe (1867–1955) was first published by E. Haldeman-Julius in 1941 in Girard, Kansas as one of the Little Blue Books. I've been unable to find a scan to verify, but from what catalogue info I find it appears to have been published with a copyright notice; and all the Little Blue Books published in that part of the series (this is #16; I checked #14 and #17) contained a copyright notice (for Haldeman-Julius, not McCabe).

However, I have failed to find any renewal for this work, although both E. Haldeman-Julius and his son (who took over the press) have filed many renewals for works in this series. I am therefore proposing that we call this {{PD-US-not renewed}}. A more thorough search would be needed to say for sure, but none of the obvious search terms found any renewals, so I think that would be a reasonable assumption. Xover (talk) 17:57, 21 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Higglety Pigglety, My Black Hen[edit]

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

Maybe 801 on pg. 217 here [9] ? MarkLSteadman (talk) 18:39, 21 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Google won't let me see the contents of that, but Edward Williams Byron Nicholson would seem to be a pretty good source, yes. Does IA have a decent scan of it? Xover (talk) 18:43, 21 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The scan is here [10] of good quality. I see a bunch under Higglepy piggleby or Hickety pickety (e.g. [11])as well. MarkLSteadman (talk) 18:58, 21 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

G.I. America organization seeking troop support[edit]

Advert from an issue of The Signal, a base magazine for Fort Gordon, for November 23, 2007. The closest I've been able to track the source is this webarchive, but the PDFs don't seem to have been archived. The editorial content of the magazine is produced by the base's Public Affairs Office, and can probably be assumed to be mostly {{PD-USGov}} (modulo third-party content they have used "by permission" or similar).

However, this particular advert was placed by GI America, a private volunteer organization, and as such is not covered by {{PD-USGov}}. Xover (talk) 07:02, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Xover: The main body of the text (everything before the paragraph beginning with “Let Navy Hospital Corpsman Joshua Chiarini know”) appears to be PD-USGov, having been created at an earlier point by Navy/DoD. Sources, formerly on the Internet, are now lacking, but I don’t particularly doubt this one. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 12:03, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Führer Directive 32[edit]

I'm not quite sure where to start digging on this one. Any takers?

This is not one of Hitler's private copyrights (like Mein Kampf and such), so we can ignore the whole alien property custodian / US publishing rights / return to Germany rigmarole that's so hard to untangle. The German original will be either {{PD-DEGov}} in Germany and/or {{PD-EdictGov}} in the US, and the distinction is probably academic. However, who translated this, where was the translation published, and when? It's not at all unlikely that it was USGov translation originally, but it could also have been any number of private individuals or organisations; and at this point in history it's probably impossible for us to pin down first publication.

Personally, I would prefer to just delete the distasteful thing (I am profoundly uncomfortable with hosting Nazi materials without extremely good contextualisation and sourcing: we know far-right extremists use these materials in propaganda and for legitimising their goals and methods), but assuming support for that does not suddenly materialise… How do we determine actual copyright status of the translation to a reasonable degree of certainty? And what, precise, licensing tag do we put on it?

PS. If anyone knows of a good compatibly-licensed scholarly monograph or journal article that includes this text and properly contextualises it (preferably making it as boring as possible, to reduce its modern propaganda value), I'd be happy to help with index generation, proofreading, etc. to replace this unsourced cut&paste job. It's the uncritical hosting of selective excerpts of extremist materials I am opposed to, not high-quality properly contextualised historical documents. Xover (talk) 07:24, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Xover: A search finds Blitzkrieg to Defeat: Hitler’s War Directives, 1939–1945 (1964, Trevor-Roper ed.) to be one of the more original sources. This would still be copyrighted, but I believe he goes back to an earlier source. I have requested this book. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 11:45, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Symbol delete vote.svg Delete The work is on IA and it matches the text. I didn't see any indication of an earlier original source for that particular directive in a note or something and it claims copyright of the translations in 1964. It mentions an early German source, published in Germany. MarkLSteadman (talk) 11:59, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Frida Kahlo, Paris, France letter to Nickolas Muray, New York, N.Y., 1939 Feb. 16[edit]

1939 letter from Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) to Nickolas Muray, never published, except to the degree you consider an archive making their collection digitally available in about 2011. As unpublished in 2003, but with a known author, its copyright term is pma. 70 and expires after 1954 + 70 = 2024. Can be undeleted in 2025 as {{PD-old-70}} (well, or a new template that actually addresses the US pma. 70 terms, since we're starting to actually see those now). Xover (talk) 14:08, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Re: copyright status as to publication, this letter was found among Mr. Muray’s paper, which were (presumably) legitimately acquired by this library; but as this is Kahlo’s, the work is still “unpublished” until her heirs consent to its publication. (Although, since it was added after 2003, that’s not really relevant.) I agree as to your p.m.a. work. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 14:26, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Free and Open Software: Paradigm for a New Intellectual Commons[edit]

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

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

Foundational Document of the Katipunan[edit]

1896 manifesto, of sorts, for a Phillipine secret society of the late 19th century, the original of which is probably PD no matter the details. But the translator is given as Jim Richardson, who is also the operator of the website given as a source and which gives its copyright as Copyright (c) Jim Richardson, 2005-2021. Jim Richardson asserts his moral right to be known as the author of the studies and notes posted on this website. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce and distribute material from the website with due acknowledgement. That is, it's a typical academic non-license license that has an implicit no derivatives property (because it fails to explicitly permit modifications), and hence is incompatible with enWS. Xover (talk) 15:10, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Keep. I have seen a number of licenses which state that a work is in the “public domain” so long as you reproduce it in full, without cutting up parts: which is obviously not a public domain release. I think that by having a copyright notice but allowing reproduction and distribution is equivalent to a CC BY license—I don’t think we can imply a ND restriction from his failure to state that derivates can be made, just as we cannot presume a NC restriction from his failure to specifically allow commercial redistribution. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 15:16, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    -ND follows from copyright law. And this is why you should never use such home-brewed permissions statements instead of an actual license like the Creative Commons licenses. -NC is somewhat different in that copyright doesn't explicitly distinguish between commercial and non-commercial "distribution", but one can certainly infer such a limitation by the fact that copyright is primarily an economic right (with some moral rights tacked on). Xover (talk) 15:30, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Forged from the Love of Liberty[edit]

See w:Forged from the Love of Liberty for some info. The national anthem of w:Trinidad and Tobago. Has been present here since 2005 without a license.

Previous discussions regarding national anthems suggest a surprising number of them have been directly incorporated (music and lyrics) into law, making them {{PD-EdictGov}}. Alternately, this was apparently a contest submission (with a hefty cash price!), and it would seem likely that the terms of the contest specified copyright assignment. If that's the case it would possibly fall under the Trinidad and Tobago-equivalent to {{PD-USGov}} (but not certainly, because it is a lot more limited than the US version).

It is also possible that none of those obtain and this is simply a copyvio (the composer died in 2000, so 2070 in pma. 70 countries; and conceivably 1962 + 95 = 2057 in the US). But I think our save rate for national anthems is nearly perfect, so hopefully this one won't mar our average. Xover (talk) 15:25, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Federal Charter of 1291[edit]

Swiss federal charter of way-before-copyright, originally in German. Translation is by Lexilogos, who state only © Lexilogos 2002-2021. Xover (talk) 16:10, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fatima Jinnah's Eid ul Fitr Message (1952)[edit]

Open letter by Fatima Jinnah (1893–1967) published in a Karachi newspaper on 24 June 1952. Pakistan is a pma. 50 country, so its Pakistani copyright expired in 2002. Pakistan's URAA date is 1 January 1996, so its US copyright was then restored to 1952 + 95 = 2047. Xover (talk) 19:10, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fangs of Gold[edit]

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

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

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

Extremism in the Defense of Liberty Is No Vice[edit]

Speech by Barry Goldwater at the 1964 Republican National Convention (it's his acceptance speech after winning the Republican nomination for POTUS). No indication of compatible licensing anywhere. Xover (talk) 14:29, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Erotica Romana[edit]

No author (it is possibly legitimately an anonymous text though), no date, no source; and no indication of copyright status. Our text is probably copied from Gutenberg, but I have been unable to find a published source for it. Xover (talk) 15:03, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • There seem to have been many shortened translations of the Elegies, such as this more comprehensive one (at p. 100, with images) and this translation, both public domain but without the specific lines found in PG’s copy. This record seems the most likely, if the claim of public domain is to be believed. I can’t find any sources on-line with the PG text which predate 2009. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 15:37, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ehud Olmert's 2006 Speech to the US Congress[edit]

2006 speech by Ehud Olmert (1945–), then Prime Minister of Israel. In Israel, government works are copyrighted for creation + 50 years, and only a strict force-of-law exception exists (i.e. no PD-USGov equivalent). In the US this would then be pma. 70 (or possibly pub. + 95). Xover (talk) 15:27, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Come Home America[edit]

Speech by George McGovern accepting the Democratic nomination for POTUS at the 1972 DNC. Xover (talk) 15:02, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Butcher Report[edit]

Report prepared by G.W. Butcher, a retired civil engineer, into the cause of the collapse of the Te Rata Bridge on 22 March 1994 at the request of the New Zealand Army. There was quite a kerfuffle about this report, and at one point it was leaked (illegally) on the Internet, finally ending up in the NZ High Court before the Army was forced to release it. However, that doesn't change the fact that Butcher owns the copyright. Xover (talk) 15:38, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Xover: This looks to fall under New Zealand Crown copyright, although I don’t know if that’s an acceptable license arrangement. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 20:28, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Multiple unsourced national constitutions[edit]

The following national constitutions lack a source and a license:

As constitutions, the originals of these are definitely {{PD-EdictGov}}, but the translations are so only if they are official translations authored by the same legislative assembly as the originals. They could also be the relevant country's equivalent to {{PD-USGov}} if they are made by some other part of that country's government. Otherwise, it starts to get iffy. If the translations are by a non-government entity they are subject to the normal rules for books (pma. 70, URAA, pub. +95 etc.).

These are very likely to be similar cases, so I'm listing them together, but each will need separate research. Please mark each entry in the list with a {{done}} if you find its status (either way), and comment below with what you found. Xover (talk) 15:59, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Added Armenian National Constitution. --Xover (talk) 16:21, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Xover: I do not see any copyright problem with the Armenian National Constitution, as it is scanbacked by a 1901 publication. However, imo it should not be a separate page, it should be a subpage of Armenia, travels and studies. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 18:33, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jan.Kamenicek: That's because I just scan-backed it to that scan. :)
And it should indeed be a sub-page, but the scan hasn't been sufficiently proofread to be transcluded yet so I'm leaving that for future improvement. --Xover (talk) 19:34, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see :-D --Jan Kameníček (talk) 19:35, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Undelete Index:Mechanism (IA cu31924003901265).pdf[edit]

Index:Mechanism (IA cu31924003901265).pdf was deleted here due to WS:CV#Index:Mechanism (IA cu31924003901265).pdf. It was also deleted on Commons due to COM:DR#File:Mechanism (IA cu31924003901265).pdf. It was subsequently undeleted at Commons due to COM:UDR#File:Mechanism (IA cu31924003901265).pdf, and TE(æ)A,ea. has now requested undeletion here too.

Note that while the issues are mostly identical on Commons and enWS, the deletion and undeletion processes are entirely independent: its deletion or undeletion on Commons has no bearing on our processess. You may wish to look at the arguments made on Commons since the requester has not made any arguments here. Xover (talk) 13:52, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Clearly out of copyright in the US, so there is no legal obstacle to undeletion. IMO it makes sense only if there is somebody wishing to work on it (@Kohykft:??), but I will not oppose it even if otherwise. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 14:24, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]