On 27 March 2017 at 14:27 Steve Bowbrick <steve.bowbrick@bbc.co.uk> wrote:

Safe, principally, from the legal/rights perspective.

A fair amount of discussion can be simplified, by not trying to push the envelope too much (which is inevitably what Wikimedia Commons will do), but keeping to the "fairway". For example:

*Images that are old enough (How old? 1867 means the photographer is probably dead by 1947, which allows for 70 year copyright).

*Known photographer who died by 1947.

*Geograph, for example, which has been imported on a large scale to Wikimedia Commons: their FAQ page http://www.geograph.org.uk/faq3.php? says they require a CC-by-SA licence.

The "due diligence" required in these and similar cases can be kept under control.

Where people just donate their own pictures to Wikimedia Commons, then the licensing information will be explicit. Art works and mass uploads from institutions might present problems that it would be wrong to slur over.