Wikipedia talk:Copyright problems/Archive 3

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Protection for wikipedia's articles. Original articles get copyright violations!

Discussion moved from Village pump

Hi! Wikipedia 's original articles are doomed to die through the process of protecting other people's copyright protection, and thgough its power of being a a good reference. Wikipedia's own articles need protection . (Maybe there is , I need to read more )Please do something. The articles are copied onto other websites. These are seen and then the original wikipedia articles get the copyright violations.

I wrote this original Edgar Cayce on Karma but this was copied onto another website and now the original wikipedia article has a copyright violation! I swear I am the author. It is them who copied this wikipedia article.

I will be writing to the website that copied the article after this to try to clarify ownership. --Jondel 05:44, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

According to the article's history log, Jondel posted it at "08:38, 2004 Aug 4". Google's cache of that page says "Aug 3, 2004 06:32:18 GMT". -- Netoholic @ 05:55, 2004 Sep 16 (UTC)
I've posted info on Talk:Edgar Cayce on Karma that tilts this back into Jondel's favor. --Golbez 06:27, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)
It certainly is a frequent problem that Wikipedia articles get incorrectly flagged as a copyright violation because someone else copied our content (whether within our license or not). —Morven 06:59, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)
Same phenomena is now going again with Langauges of the Philippines. I wrote the same thing about Tagolog (when it was Tagalog and not Taglaog Language) and placed it in Languages of the Philippines. Do I have to copyright what I wrote in Wikipedia?? I am seeing my own articles on other webpages thanks to Wikipedia copyright protectors.--Jondel 07:08, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
You can't prevent that; everything written on Wikipedia is subject to the GFDL, which allows anyone to take any article and put it up anywhere they want, as long as attribution is made. You don't own copyright to your article. Sorry. --Golbez 07:19, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)
Well I don't want to own or copyright what I contribute but I don't want to be labelled as copyright violator nor do I want my articles ripped off as being only copies. It's like there's a penalty for an honest contribution.--Jondel 07:25, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Um... Jondel most certainly does own the copyright to his own work. People are allowed to copy Wikipedia articles, that's why it's a free encyclopedia. As noted below every edit box, "all contributions to Wikipedia are released under the GNU Free Documentation License". You own the copyright to your contributions, but the license you have granted is non-revocable. Anyone who copies your work is required to credit you. If they don't do so, you can threaten legal action against them. Wikimedia cannot take legal action against license violators since it does not own the copyright. -- Tim Starling 07:30, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)
I apologize for my error; I was unclear on the nature of the copyright and the GFDL. I'm just amazed that after 2500 edits, I haven't encountered a single problem on this front. :) --Golbez 16:50, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)
Yes, and he's making a valid point IMO. We have up until now accepted the citing of a site that is not a Wikipedia mirror and that has identical text as prima facie evidence of a copyvio. With the increasing web prominence of Wikipedia, this policy is probably unsustainable, because it's equally possible that the guilty party is the other site, as appears to be the case here. Food for thought? Andrewa 09:30, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
It is a problem, but most copyvios are reported pretty soon after article creation. In such cases, it is highly unlikely that the external site copied from us. When large unwikified chunks of text are copied to Wikipedia, it is also likely that the text comes from elsewhere. If, however, a copyvio is reported for an article with a long history, I get wary and start to investigate in depth, trying to find out through what the external site looked like at earlier times, and going through the page history looking for clues to figure out who copied from whom.
Still, cleaning up WP:CP takes time, precisely because one has to verify each suspected copyvio. It might be good if more people participated in this task... Lupo 09:51, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
One problem is that while this is happening, the article is blanked under our current procedures, and replaced by a notice that at least one contributor has found offensive. I think they have a valid point. Andrewa 17:27, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
PS as I write this, the article in question is still replaced by the copyvio notice, and the link to the supposed rewrite is to a non-existent page, not surprisingly. Andrewa 17:43, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Now fixed I see, with a note to that effect at Talk:Edgar Cayce on Karma. So the process does work. The question of inclusion is still open. Andrewa 20:15, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
We have up until now accepted the citing of a site that is not a Wikipedia mirror and that has identical text as prima facie evidence of a copyvio. As long as the submitter (if a logged in user) is informed of this on her talk page (in a non-confrontational manner which assumes good faith), I don't see a problem. Citing a non-Wikipedia mirror with identical text is prima facie evidence of a copyvio. If the submitter claims to have created the content herself, then further evidence would be necessary if you still believe there is a copyvio. But if the submitter fails to respond to a request for more information, then the suspicious content can be removed. anthony (see warning) 16:40, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Anthony said But if the submitter fails to respond to a request for more information, then the suspicious content can be removed. Hmmm, do you mean this is what should happen? Currently the content is removed before they have a chance to reply, and replaced by the copyvio warning. Agree this is one possible solution to one of the issues raised, but it's a major change. Andrewa 17:27, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
A thought. Is it entirely OK for one to publish ones own work on ones own website prior to using it in Wikipedia? Now, I do mean licensing it for use under the GFDL on ones own website, but with of course, a "© 2004 Some Wikipedian" before the "licensed under GFDL" notice and link. I presume there is no legal/technical reason for Wikipedians not to be able to do this? zoney talk 17:52, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)
It's quite OK. For work you yourself own the rights to, you are free to republish it anywhere you please under any license you please. I've put a number of articles from other places onto here. However, such articles generally need substantial rework to fit the Wikipedia house style ... —Morven 18:12, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)
Obviously this sets up a later situation where someone finds Wikipedia content is the same as that elsewhere, and helpfully tries to handle an apparently copyvio. An invisible preventative might be to include hidden comments in the Wikipedia material which explains the situation, so people may at least discover the situation when they get to the stage of editing. Or are there Copyright/Source tags? -- SEWilco

It's maybe helpful to think of Wikipedia as a collection of bits of GFDL text and images that thousands of different people own the copyright to. Anyone in the world can do anything they want to with any piece of it, as long as they comply with the license. Wikipedia chooses to compile an encyclopedia. Intrigue 18:50, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The Internet Archive can often be a useful way to see whether a page is of recent vintage (although they do not generally post pages until 6 months after the fact, and they can get rather confused by frames). -- Jmabel 21:07, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)

Thank you all for your participation. I have the e-mails from the three copyright violating websites' webmaster. All do not claim copyrights or original authorship. 2 have placed the proper acknowledgements to wikipedia. I will be posting the email responses on the appropriate wikipages. (This is ridiculuous, being accused of copying what you contributed.)--Jondel 05:59, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

End moved discussion

It's hard to accuse someone of violating copyright when they haven't put anything in Wikipedia. This rare case is why Copyright problems has a delay in it, to sort out the occasional mistake. -- Cyrius| 05:05, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Is copy/pasting from a IMDB Biography consider a copyright violation?

I came across the American actress Wikipedia article, Christina Ricci. It seems that is a direct copy assuming a volunteer IMDB user came up with propaganda paragraph mini-biography about her before the anonymous Wikipedia poster. [1] DraQue Star 21 Sep 2004

Yes, IMDB content is copyright IMDB. There's even a little copyright notice at the bottom of each page. Gwalla | Talk 02:39, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Nice catch. Reverted to the last non-copyvio version. -- Cyrius| 15:33, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

NATO copyright

Can we use images under NATO copyright such as Image:B031007bc.jpg (from [2]? See NATO's copyright statement, especially at the bottom. Lupo 14:19, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Nice picture--I didn't know NATO was a producer of beefcake soft porn! The fantasy elements are nice, too.

Seriously, though, looking at the NATO conditions I suspect that inclusion in Wikipedia would be permissible, but it would be a good idea to write to them at either the address or the email address given on the Nato Medialib page --Minority Report (entropy rim riot) 20:06, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Since NATO explicitly retains copyright, Wikipedia may claim fair use, but it is entirely incorrect to claim that such pictures are public domain. ➥the Epopt 21:23, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Article dumping

User:Password keeps dumping into wikipedia verbose articles from everywhere. Typical examples are Snake teeth and Flora and fauna of Guantanamo Bay. Praise to him, he gives proper references. Many of them are .gov texts; public domain, but way too verbose for encyclopedia IMO. Not to say that many articles are orphans. Also, I stumbled upon him when detecting a possible copyvio of Butterfly odor. Please, some of vikipedia veterans, talk to this guy. Mikkalai 21:46, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

He doesn't seem to be stopping... contributions by Password - [[User:Cohesion|cohesion ]] 00:49, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The dance articles such as Castle walk, Minuet step, and Walking Boston are all possible copyvios: Rhobite 01:14, Sep 20, 2004 (UTC)
Snake teeth and Flora and fauna of Guantanamo Bay don't look too verbose to me. They need a bit of work in formatting and writing style, especially snake teeth, but I'm not sure why you would want to remove them. -- Tim Starling 03:57, Sep 20, 2004 (UTC)
These will make fine articles after the usual adaptation process. Copyvio is a definite concern though — not even all .gov sources are public domain. Derrick Coetzee 16:29, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)
"dumping" is a good term because the articles are raw dumps basically. There are procedures and methods for example on how to deal with 1911 articles. He has not even corrected the scanning errors in them (probably copyvio from an online source).Stbalbach 08:15, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Snake teeth contains text found in The Snakes of Europe. From the first page of the web edition:

This electronic edition is ©2000 by Arment Biological Press

The original text is in the public domain, however all changes, formatting and presentation of thisPublication are copyrighted by the current publisher.

ISBN 1-930585-09-08

If the text is being scanned from an actual old copy of the work than there should be no copyright problem. Otherwise Arment may have included purposeful changes, that is rephrasing, changes in punctuation, spelling, and so forth as a method of detection of coyright violation of their text. It is dubious that such things actually do provide copyright protection. Personally, I have no problem with such content being included. I'd much, much rather see this than a short stub that explains that snakes have teeth that are called snake teeth, even if it perhaps better belongs in Wikisource. This excerpt is almost like a genuine encyclopedia article. But the source should be given, especially when it is an excellent and authoritative source. Put lots and lots of old material into Wikipedia when it is in public domain and still excellent material. But sources so used should be cited. And external links should be given to full web editions if they exist.
Flora and fauna of Guantanamo Bay is from Appendix B of a work appearing at Life in Guantanamo Bay. This might be public domain. As far as I can tell, it seems to have been originally something like an unofficial publication of the US navy or maybe a vanity publication by an officer (though an excellent one). But source again is not listed in the article. That's not right when you are taking it word for word.
Jallan 19:30, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Multiple copyvio sources

I'm not sure how to deal with this example. Look at Bryzoa. It's cut-and-pasted from several different sources. The first paragraph might be original. The second paragraph is taken directly from here. The first part of the third paragraph is cut and paste from here. The next part comes from here. The next sentence is directly from here. The third paragraph is cut and paste from here again.

This isn't kosher either, is it? Occasionally one or two words are changed to make the copied sentences flow together. Yeah, it's how I did some essays when I was in a rush in high school, but I certainly never thought I was doing anything other than cheating. --jpgordon 17:34, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I encountered a related problem in Winter Soldier Investigation, where the several paragraphs in one section are clearly from another source. The editor claims they're copied under Fair Use, but it appears he's under the impression that a little plagiarism is called Fair Use. The template which I put in that section has text that the entire article is a problem. I added text to clarify for editors that the issue is just that one section, but apparently handling problematical segments of text is not yet routine. -- SEWilco 03:35, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Deletion policy?

I've looked through the reading list and the deletion policy, and haven't really been able to find one on copyrights.

  1. If an article is obviously copyrighted, but has good history, what do you do then? Just revert, or somehow excise from history? (Based on what I've read, the latter is not needed until the copyright holder actually complains)
  2. When should a /Temp article replace the copyrighted article?
  3. Am I to understand that {copyvio} is only to be used when the article does warrant a real article, but has a copyvio there instead, and the copyvio is the only history present?
    1. i.e., if it DOESN'T warrant an article, then delete it right away, and
    2. if it has a history, then simply revert?

Based on this, what I've been able to glean from the policy documents, it sounds like, well... not much needs to be done for a copyright violation? Just remove or revert it? When SHOULD something be given {copyvio}? It sounds, from the policy, like it's not designed for 100% of all copyright violations, unless WP:CP is simply a more elaborate version of Speedy Delete Candidates... delete if valid, change notice if not?

I'm just a bit confused, that's all. --Golbez 05:19, Oct 6, 2004 (UTC)

Not sure if this is written down anywhere, but here's how I do it:
  1. Article is a copyvio from the initial version on: gets the {{copyvio}} tag, even if it has a history. If it has a history, though, I do an in-depth check to figure out who copied from whom: in such cases, it may well be that the external source found copied from us. I check the talk page first, and then try to determine whose version was first using, or try to figure out what version of our content was copied by the external site, and so on. Luckily, most copyvios do not have a long history, and in most cases it is clear that the text was copied into Wikipedia, not from Wikipedia.
  2. Article had a copyvio added somewhere along the line: either revert/rollback (with an edit summary like "rv copyvio from <URL>"), if caught quickly, or excise the infringing parts manually.
  3. /Temp replaces the copyvio article when somebody goes through WP:CP, sees the reported article, decides it is a copyvio, and deletes it. After deleting the originally infringing article, I move the /Temp there, and then, if the /Temp isn't linked otherwise, delete the /Temp (which then has no history: no need to leave such artefacts lying around).
  4. If the /Temp replacement is also a copyvio, I usually delete it right away, unless it significantly differs from the original article, in which case I do move it and flag it again as a copyvio. (And list it again on WP:CP, too. But that case is rare.)
  5. The tricky case occurs when an article is flagged as a copyvio, a /Temp is written, but then the article is found not to be a copyvio at all. Strictly speaking, a merge would be in order then. However, most of the time the /Temp contains a subset of the info of the original article, and so I think it can be deleted.
  6. In no case do I speedy delete a copyvio, even if it is obvious. They're just not candidates for speedy deletion. I guess if a copyvio fell under the CSD cases, it might be speedied. However, that question doesn't come up for me: if I see a new article falling clearly under the CSD criteria, I speedy delete it without even thinking about copyvios.
  7. If somebody uploads an obvious copyvio and I catch it quickly, I also leave the uploader a message saying that uploading copyvios is not ok.
Lupo 07:04, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

What to do with a copyvio on a /temp page

Case in point: List of Charmed Good Beings/Temp. Article is currently listed as a copyvio, the temp article also seems to be a copyvio from a different source ([3]). How do I treat such a case? Place a copyvio on the temp page, which will create a temp/temp page? Or just list it on speedy to keep the article's edit history clean form copyvio text in case the temp article is kept as the new main article? -- Ferkelparade π 12:52, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

It indicates a problem user for one thing. User: needs to be told fairly and unambiguously that a) copying and pasting is not allowed and b) other users are not stupid, we spot copyvios. Pcb21| Pete 13:35, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Alright, I've left a note on the user's talk page (judging from the other entries on his talk page, it seems that this is not the first problem with his contributions) - now how to proceed with the temp page? Mark it as a copyvio or delete right away? - Ferkelparade π 17:51, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Press releases and publicity blurbs

We often get press releases and publicity blurbs such as F-Secure. These are, of course, distributed by companies with the hope of being disseminated. They are also copyrighted (or, at any rate, they show up on their companies' sites, which have copyright notices). My thought is that press releases and publicity blurbs should just get speedy deletes, but it doesn't seem to work that way; copyvio at least gets them out of our faces and destroys their advertising value. I imagine this has been discussed somewhere here; anyone have a pointer? --jpgordon {gab} 19:12, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Sorry, I don't know the correct procedure for this. It looks like the "history..." part of ferrite is a copy from (with one rather pedantic change done later). And the paragraph beginning after "discloses" is a copy from a diffent page the same site: . I dunno: maybe fair-rite is a copy of wikipedia, but I think probably not. Thanks, Dave.

Copyright infringement notice

I'd like to suggest that the infringement notice cut-and-paste stuff be either moved or copied to the bottom of WP:CP, since that's where new notices will be pasted anyway. Easier just to jump to the end of the page than hunting around for the template. --jpgordon{gab} 21:14, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

A copyright problem category for pages

If there were a category that we could add to pages, it would be simpler. We would only need to edit the offending page instead of the offending page and the list. The list generated by the category would then always be correct instead of error prone as it is now. What do others think? Bobblewik  (talk) 22:10, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Don't we have that already? Category:Possible copyright violations, which is part of the {{copyvio}} template so that all marked up copyvios are in it. The advantage of the list as it stands is that it provides space for discussion (though that could go onto talk: pages) and that it's in chronological order, so it's easy to spot the week-old copyvios which should be considered for deletion. I have been trawling through the category adding unlisted copyvios to the list; it's correct as of a couple of hours ago. --rbrwr± 22:51, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Oh yes. Now I see that the category is included in the template, as you say. That makes the process even simpler than I thought. Thanks for pointing it out. Bobblewik  (talk) 22:21, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Amazon copyrights

This section should just be removed entirely. There is no basis under copyright law for to claim copyrights over perfect scans of other works, and since they have conceded this by saying the permission is not theirs, they have effectively barred themselves from arguing otherwise. Postdlf 02:07, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Two Sentences from an Intro

I have found an article here which consists entirely of two sentences. I went to the associated site to try and get more info to add to it. I found that the two sentences were lifted entirely from the intro on this site. Is this a copyright violation worth worrying about? dpen2000 10:12, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • It depends on the sentences. If they are of substantial enough length, central enough to the original work, and the information they contain could be expressed in another way, then even two sentences may be a copyright violation. Postdlf 23:37, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    • Where is the appropriate policy or guideline that addresses what is and what is not a copyright violation? Hyacinth 18:37, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Cantometrics was listed on VfD, where people complained it was copyvio. I put a copyvio notice on the article, and discovered that the template was inappropriate. It was for text taken from a website, and Cantometrics contains text both from a website and a book. Thus I removed the template and altered its text accordingly. Should cantometrics be removed from VfD until whether its status as copyvio is determined? How is that determined? Hyacinth 18:31, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

For offline and multiple sources you can use...
*bulleted list of sources
--rbrwr± 12:55, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

12 Steps and 12 Traditions, etc.

12 Steps and 12 Traditions, English SLAA 12 Steps and Englisn SLAA 12 Traditions (note the mis-spelling on the last) were marked as copyvios some time ago. It seems to have been decided that they are not copyright violations, as the contibutor (Drgnu23) was also responsible for the website they were apparently taken from. They have now been removed from Wikipedia:Copyright problems, but they have not been reverted and still have the {{copyvio}} template on them. They are now orphaned. I am not keen to revert them myself, as they are unwikified and have no information to establish their context. Does anyone have any ideas what to do with them? --rbrwr± 12:43, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Is there a boilerplate message for new users' talk pages (or old ones, I guess) when they've submitted a probable copyvio? Joyous 17:55, Dec 5, 2004 (UTC)

Not that I know of, and there's nothing on Wikipedia:Template messages/User talk namespace for that purpose. You may have to write it yourself! --rbrwr± 18:27, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Speedy deletion of copyvios

Those who follow this page may be interested in the proposal to allow the speedy deletion of some copyvios being discussed at Wikipedia:Proposal to expand WP:CSD - SimonP 07:26, Dec 12, 2004 (UTC)

entry format

Does anybody object to the URL not being listed here on the page (ie, just *pagename, instead of *pagename from [4])? It does save some effort listing pages, and anybody wanting to verify the copyvio will have to go to the article page where the URL of the source is listed already anyway. --fvw* 13:52, 2004 Dec 15 (UTC)

How about [[pagename]][42]? I feel that the URL should be shown here, not only for the record, but also to make it easy to visit the page quickly to check the copyright status thereon. Besides, making a complaint should not be too easy. --Phil | Talk 14:23, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)
I don't really consider &larr; easier to type than from… Also, I don't think many people would contend copyvio-reporting shouldn't be too easy after doing RC patrol for a while. Especially considering the number of items that are incorrectly marked as copyvio's (near nil I think?) --fvw* 23:48, 2004 Dec 16 (UTC)

Turkish poets section

I have restored the "Turkish poets" section so that all the links are good. However, I suspect that it will get broken again the next time someone edits the whole page with a browser that doesn't cope with that character set properly. We had that problem with Vyšné Hágy, a link that was broken again after I fixed it. In that case, I added an external-style link to it with the URL encoded with percent signs, but this turned out not to be an ideal solution. I wonder if the Turkish poets, numerous as they are, should be removed to a subpage and transcluded in WP:CP like a template? --rbrwr± 21:59, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, it didn't get broken again, so forget it. --rbrwr± 13:34, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Spam filter

Ga! Wretched spam filter! I'm trying to add a comment to one of the one of the entries for December 15th, but can't save the page because of the links. I started by trying to add an underscore to the .com part of the address, and leaving a little note, but soon realized that I would have to do this for nearly all of the websites. How are we supposed to edit these pages now? Maybe the copyvio page should be exempt from this new spam filter. Asbestos | Talk 13:47, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • The spam filter was being exceptionally annoying yesterday, I think they switched it off now, it's not getting in the way anymore anyway. --fvw* 22:57, 2004 Dec 21 (UTC)

Undelete selected revisions

Sysops are now able to undelete selected versions of a page (and therefore, by deleting a page and immediately undeleting most versions of it, to delete particular versions). This potentially gives us greater flexibility in dealing with copyvios, as we don't need to worry about copyvios lurking in the history of a page. Please see Wikipedia talk:Undeletion policy#Undeleting selected revisions if you want to discuss the policy implications of this. --rbrwr± 13:39, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Bear Mountain Bridge

I've written a new Bear Mountain Bridge article on it's /temp page. When does the copyright vio page go away and the /temp page become the real page? Or are things just slow because of the holidays? Mwanner 14:56, Dec 29, 2004 (UTC)

Done. Things are slow because of a shortage of admins working in this area - Infrogmation does pretty much all of the work. I should do more. I'll do some now. --rbrwr± 15:57, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I would add: if any non-admins want to help out by analysing and making comments on the hard cases (claims that material is fair use, public domain, or used with permission), that would be good. --rbrwr± 19:54, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Minnesota government PD?

This one came and went pretty quickly on the page; I thought it was worth keeping:

  • According to [5] and various other web pages, "State agency authored documents are in the public domain", so this page may not be a copyvio. -- Kaszeta 20:50, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Actually, what it says is "State agency authored documents are in the public domain. Copyright and access restrictions apply", so I'm not sure quite what to make of that. Nevertheless, it's another bit of copyright lore that we should hang onto, in the hope of compiling a decent guide to which sources we can legitimately use in Wikipedia. The top half of this page is already getting clogged up with claims that various government pages are PD; we really need proper answers. --rbrwr± 23:52, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Can images from stock.xchng be used at Wikipedia? The images (mostly) say "There are no usage restrictions for this photo." But the terms of use indicate some restrictions. Any copyright experts here? Opinions? Dbenbenn 14:18, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC) (This comment reposted from Wikipedia talk:Image copyright tags#stock.xchng?)

Nope, not GFDL compatible I'm afraid, unless you want to claim that, seeing as there are contradictory claims, you're allowed to use the ones you want or the ones listed with the image. I don't think it'd be in Wikipedia's best interest to do that though. --fvw* 21:52, 2005 Jan 1 (UTC)
I would disagree. The restrictions under DOWNLOADING in that file are not restrictions agreed to by the contributor to stock.xchng. They are not requirements that an uploader is required to say YES to. I have contributed some photographs to that site and I have never been asked or told of those restrictions. Contributors to stock.xchng, if they select the 'no restrictions' option rather than the 'no commercial use' option, are agreeing to allow the photographs to be used with no restrictions whatsoever.
The fact that stock.xchng wants to apply a contract to you, the downloader, is a quite different matter, and is irrelevant to the image permissions IMHO. I do not believe that their "contract" has any legal validity whatsoever. The stock.xchng site does not have any copyright ownership of the images they distribute, and thus has no standing to enforce any restrictions on the permissions given by the individual photographer-contributors.
To put it another way: what matters is what permission the photographer explicitly gave, NOT any further restrictions stock.xchng subsequently tries to add to the downloader. If I upload a file and specify as "Usage rights:" the value "No restrictions", then I have agreed to license the image to others with no restrictions.
I have previously used stock.xchng 'no restrictions' photos here, will do so in future, and would encourage others to do so. The restrictions in their terms of use are nonsense and have no validity, and certainly do not attach to the copyright permission explicitly given by the site's contributors.
If you feel extremely paranoid, contact the photo's creator, who will be happy to confirm that when they said 'no restrictions', they actually meant 'no restrictions'. —Morven 21:23, Jan 21, 2005 (UTC)
Yeah. The one photographer I emailed there said he thought his pics were automatically public domain. So I guess by default, the {{CopyrightedFreeUse}} tag should be used for stock.xchng photos? Actually, we should have a {{stock.xchng}} tag that would have the same content as CopyrightedFreeUse. Actually, the Commons should have this tag... dbenbenn | talk 21:56, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

What if there's no URL to include?

100 Greatest Guitar Solos is a copyvio because it's the intellectual property of Guitar World magazine, but there's no template to add to deal with a situation like this. RickK 08:04, Jan 17, 2005 (UTC)

Just use Template:Copyvio. The parameter may be called url, but for the resulting page it doesn't matter whether you put an URL or a description of the source. --fvw* 08:11, 2005 Jan 17 (UTC)

Gandhi - fair?

Image:Mkgandhi.jpg I downloaded this image from, which says that all images there are believed to be in the public domain. I have added a "fairold" tag to it, since the photo is atleast 57 years old, used for informational purposes, and a photo of a famous personality. Could someone please take a look at the above image and let me know if the rationale I provided at the image description page is ok? And can we go ahead with using it under vintage fair use? Thanks in advance. --ashwatha 20:45, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I'd say you've covered it well enough, and the photograph is acceptable to use. —Morven 21:07, Jan 21, 2005 (UTC)

Oh, shoot!

Shoot, I messed up on "The Grey Sweatsuit Revolution"!!!!

Actions to take for images

Should the "Actions to take for images" section also recommend removing the copyright-violating image from any articles in which it is used? After all, the {{imagevio}} tag says that the image "should therefore not be used by any article". If so, should this be a recommendation or an instruction? What action should be taken at the articles in question: remove the image with an appropriate edit comment, remove and mention it on the article's talk page, or replace it with a dummy image as is done with WP:PUI cases? Any ideas? --rbrwr± 14:07, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Remove and mention on the talk page is reasonable. If the image is important to the article (it explains an important idea or is described in the article text), you might want to see about finding a replacement. If you can't come up with a replacement on your own, you could list it on Wikipedia:Requested pictures or Wikipedia:Image recreation requests.
There are plenty of cases where there really isn't a need to replace an image. Articles for people in pop culture (actors, singers etc.) tend to go overboard with photos, having three or four where one would be enough. There's really no need to find replacements for those. --iMeowbot~Mw 15:22, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(Incidentally, I'm not too wild about the Image:No image yet thing, just because it makes more places to look to see what needs images. --iMeowbot~Mw 06:24, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC))

Pages in category 'Pending deletions'.

A certain number of the pages still listed are in 'Category:Pending deletions'. Will these be automatically deleted? Can we remove them from this page? -- Walt Pohl 04:35, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I've been isolating them at top for now, but I think we could safely remove them from this page. Also, I'd like to create a new page for cases where permission is claimed where we can establish some standard operating procedures for obtaining and documenting permission. DanKeshet 01:41, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)

That would be a very good idea. Those seem to languish, probably because there is little guidance, and I'm sure the standards aren't applied evenly. Wikipedia:Copyrights is pretty clear on the requirements: "if you obtain special permission to use a copyrighted work from the copyright holder under the terms of our license, you must make a note of that fact (along with names and dates)."

While I haven't dealt with the cleanup side of things (obviously :), I have listed a fair number of potential problems on this page, and discussed solutions with various authors. I think the following outline might be a good start:

  • Easily verifiable public domain/GFDL: Delist and revert, and document the source and the license. (For instance, a Library of Congress country study that wasn't correctly labeled).
  • Permission is not claimed: Delete in 7 days.
  • Permission is documented (prior): If the permission was correctly documented in the article before it was flagged as a problem, that's an obvious example of good faith, and the article should be delisted, reverted, and an explanation put on the talk page.
  • Permission is claimed but not documented: While we should assume good faith, if someone just copies text from an external website without providing the required details, that's evidence of bad faith and needs to be investigated. In that case, I'd recommend asking the user to provided the necessary information. If they don't provide the contact, date, and whether they specifically released the material under the GFDL, the article should be deleted at the end of the standard 7 days. (In my experience, this the majority of cases. Most users who claim permission never back it up with the necessary details, and are often confused about copyrights. It might also be reasonable to allow for a slightly longer period of time, and to move it from the main page.) If they provided the necessary details, it moves to the next stage:
  • Permission is documented (after): On the other hand, if the user does provide the point of contact, date, and specifically states the owner of the copyright agreed to license it under the GFDL or released it into the pubic domain, then there is both evidence of good and bad faith (since they failed to provide the information initially). In that case, I'd recommend delisting the article temporarily, and placing it in a separate "pending verification" page or section. Once on the page, have a third party contact the copyright holder, and verify permission. If the copyright holder verifies they released the material under the GFDL/into the PD, then add a note on the talk page, revert, and delist. If permission is denied, or after an appropriate (longer) period with no response, then delete it.

This obviously doesn't go into much detail (clarifying minimum and recommended standards for documentation would be good), and doesn't deal with other sticky issues like fair use claims and possible copyvios without sources, but it's a start. 18:54, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Notifying users.

It's important to notify the uploader of an image that the image has been listed here. I've created a new template that may help called {{idw-cp}} ("Image deletion warning for copyright problems"). Whenever an image is listed here on CP, this template can be placed on the uploader's user talk page. It's eye-catching and easy to use. If the name of the image is 123.gif, then you can write it as {{idw-cp|123.gif}}. Remember not to include the "Image:" before the image name. – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 18:20, Mar 9, 2005 (UTC)

Under the radar?

I'm wondering: what's the proper procedure for dealing with an article reported at WP:CP that has slid off that page without being deleted or replaced? For example, Second Chechen War was listed back on February 4 and still has the copyvio notice. A temp non-copyvio article now exists at Second Chechen War/Temp. What's the proper way to replace the copyvio with the temp article? Is this an issue with any of the other articles that have disappeared from CP lately? --TenOfAllTrades | Talk 03:54, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Many people who place copyvio notes on pages aren't aware that they need to edit this page too. Is there a way to automate this? Duk 05:24, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

On a similar note, I listed coping saw three weeks ago, and created a replacement stub at coping saw/Temp, no-one has objected to the copyvio status, but nothing has happened. Is there anything we can do to help admins here if you're getting snowed under? Securiger 08:53, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Under the radar (script)

I wrote a little script to find pages listed on Category:Possible copyright violations and missing here. Its not a bot, it just makes and formats a list of pages to added manually.

Has this been done before? Is there a better way to make sure pages get listed here? Does anyone have any objections to me occasionally running this and adding the missing entries?

Just wanted to ask before spending much time finishing it. Duk 17:31, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. I have spent a lot of time doing this manually in the past (I don't have the free time any more). You should probably exclude any that are marked as {{pending deletion}}, as this tag is probably a result of them having been through the proces already. --rbrwr± 18:40, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The script is working well. I've only been uploading small portions of its output (and manually double checking). Haven't seen any errors in the last three runs. So I'll start uploading larger portions.

There are currently 79 copyvio pages tagged This page will be deleted. However, it cannot be deleted at the present time because of technical problems.

Let me know if you see any errors. Duk 01:42, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Protocol advice needed

What's the right protocol for when a significant amount of suspected copyvio material is added to an existing article? The case in point is the recent history of Danny Thomas, a huge hunk of which, including a photo, was grafted on from this web site. For now I've simply reverted to the pre-copyvio state, but I'm not sure if there's some other action I'm supposed to take. Adding a copyvio tag to the whole article doesn't seem right as it risks throwing the legal baby out with the illegal bathwater, but simple reversion on my own impetus seems at odds with the usual process for new articles with copyvio problems. Advice? Jgm 02:43, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Revert the page and {{imagevio}} the photo. See also Wikipedia talk:Copyright violations on history pages and Wikipedia:Copyright problems#Instructions. —Korath (Talk) 03:20, Apr 1, 2005 (UTC)

JPL status?

See Wikipedia talk:Using JPL images — What is the status of Jet Propulsion Laboratory copyright? The California Institute of Technology, a private entity, operates JPL, so as a contractor it has copyright on the materials which it produces for NASA. So are JPL materials not PD? And the JPL notice says it does not identify which materials belong to NASA and which to JPL, so we can't identify NASA PD materials in JPL sources. (SEWilco 03:57, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC))


I've started a discussion about {{copyedit}} at its talk page; please comment there with anything relevant. Thanks!msh210 16:37, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

How to spot possible copyvios

Hints for spotting possible copyvios.

If an article contains a long amount of text, isn't properly (often, not at all) wikified, and has an editorial writing style (like you'd expect from a newspaper), it "smells" to me as being written by someone else than the contributor. If this is the case, just type the first sentence (or part of it) into a Google search. If it's really a copyvio, Google should return the original source on the first page. JIP | Talk 13:29, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Addendum: No need to type it in, just copy-paste a sentence (or parts of it) into Google. Also, the first sentence is sometimes slightly changed. If a page looks like a copyvio, locating the source sometimes takes attempts with several text fragments. Rl 11:06, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Cached pages and Copyright

What is a copyright violation? Google caches everyday thousands of pages that are copyrighted, and noone complains about that. Why google caching is not considered a copyright violation, while posting a copyright page here in wikipedia is considered copyright violation? For example : a copyright page. the same page cached in google. and the same page here, considered as copyright violation. I mean, we can say we are simply caching the page, like google does, then it is not a copyright violation, isnt it? Agatharcides 08:42, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Whether Google is or is not in the clear long-term is an interesting question (see the recent case against afp). However, WP doesn't just cache. We edit articles. We change them. You can't just take someone else's copyrighted work, change a bunch of things and publish it. It's very clearcut. Greek Cross is a copyvio, plain and simple, unless we have a license for the text. Rl 11:03, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thats exactly the point! We have to respect the page and let all "wikicache" pages as they are, without editing them. So please remove your "copyvio" notice, put back my "wikicache" notice and protect the page, so that noone can edit it. Agatharcides 11:11, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
We are not only republishing the page, we are also licensing it under the GFDL, giving other people the right to distribute and modify the text; look at the bottom of every page. That is not allowed without permission from the copyright holder. That is a major difference with the Google cache: Google does not claim that it is their text, and does not change the license. We do. Eugene van der Pijll 11:29, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, I forgot it! You have to remove this damned GFDL licence at the bottom of every "wikicache" marked page, in order to be able to present the copyrighted texts. Please take care of it immediatly, and write a script to automatically remove GFDL licence notice for all "wikicache" marked articles. Thank you. I think wikipedians deserve to read copyrighted texts, like googlepedians or yahoopedians are doing. Agatharcides 11:42, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
WP is a free encyclopedia based on a wiki, not a web search engine and not an internet archive. Rl 11:51, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
And User:Agatharcides is a troll. Feeding time is over. sjorford →•← 12:24, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Typical behavior of the trolls. When their arguments are over and they have nothing else to say, they start:"You are a troll", "Wikipedia is not ..." , and finnaly they call their troll-admins friends to ban your account and supress your Free speech rights! how nice... Dear trolls, could you please wear this Blue ribbon? Agathias 15:34, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
In this case, though, I'm the troll, and a banned user and public account besides. Agathias 18:31, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)