[Foundation-l] Fwd: Copyright problems of images from India
wjhonson at aol.com
Tue May 10 14:27:12 UTC 2011
As you say any photograph of a person obviously living, and yet who died before 1941 is in the Public Domain in India.? This is true regardless of any other point raised about the source of the photograph as you again say.
The first step is to get agreement on those points for the Indian portion of Wikimedia Commons.
From: Shiju Alex <shijualexonline at gmail.com>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org>; Discussion list on Indian language projects of Wikimedia. <wikimediaindia-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
Sent: Tue, May 10, 2011 3:37 am
Subject: [Foundation-l] Fwd: Copyright problems of images from India
I am forwarding the below mail on behalf of a Malayalam wikipedian who is
very active in Wikimedia Commons.
Of late it is becoming very difficult for many Wikimedians from India to
contribute to Wikimedia Commons especially if they are uploading historical
images which are in PD. We are facing lot of issues (and many a times
unnecessary controversies also) with the historic images in PD, images of
wall paintings and statues, and so on. Please see the below mail in which
Sreejith citing various examples.
It is almost impossible for the uploaders from India to show proof of the
century old images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The current policies of
Commons are not permitting many of the PD images from India citing all sorts
of policies which might be relevant only in the western world. With these
type of policies we are going to have serious issues when we try to go for
GLAM type events.
But I also do not know the solution for this issue. Requesting constructive
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sreejith K. <sreejithk2000 at gmail.com>
Date: Thu, May 5, 2011 at 12:03 PM
Subject: Copyright problems of images from India
To: Shiju Alex <shijualexonline at gmail.com>
As you might be aware already, we are having trouble keeping historical
images about India in Wikimedia commons. This pertains mostly to images
about Hindu gods and people who died before 1947.
Please see the below examples:
This is the image of Sree Narayana
a Hindu saint, social reformer and is even considered a god by certain
castes in Kerala. This image has been tagged as an image with No source.
Narayana Guru expired in 1928 and considering the conditions in which India
was in during that period and before, it is very difficult to get an image
source online. Most active Wikipedians does not have access or information
on how old the image is or where a source of it can be found. Any photograph
published before 1941 in India is in public domain as per Indian copyright
act. Common sense says that this image meets this criteria because the
person was long lead before 1941, but we still need proof of the first
publishing date. Deleting this image on grounds that no source could be
found will only reduce the informative values of all the articles which this
image is included in.
- File:Aravana.JPG: This image has already been deleted, but you can see
the amount of discussion that went in before deleting it. See
(An almost similar image can be found
image as put for deletion because it had the image of Swami
Ayyappan<in" target=_blankhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swami_Ayyappan>in it. Ayyappan,
a popular god of Kerala, has his image circulated
everywhere on the plant with no proof of copyrights. It makes sense to
believe that this image is not eligible for copyright because
Hindu deities are all common property, but again, Commons need proof that
the image is in public domain. This is the same case with all Hindu
gods/goddesses. The images can only be kept in Commons if the uploader can
provide proof that the images are in public domain.
This is a picture of Kottarathil
the author of the famous book
Kottarathil Sankunni died in 1937 and so it makes sense to believe that this
image was created on or before 1937 and thus falls in Public Domain. But
some people in Commons is refusing to believe that and is asking for proof.
Now it becomes the responsibility of the uploader to show proof that this
image was published 60 years before today. The editor who nominated the
image for deletion is on the safer side because it is not his responsibility
to prove that the image is a copyright violation. So long story short,
anyone can nominate any image for copyright violation and it becomes the
uploaders responsibility to prove that its not. The deletion nomination need
not be accompanied with a reason for disbelief.
This is the picture of Anoop
a popular actor from Kerala. A discussion is going on about the uploaders
credibility whether he is the original photographer of this image. Please
see File talk:Anoop
The reason for doubting the uploader is simple. This image has professional
quality and so the uploader cannot be the copyright owner because this is
his first upload. Strange? Now, it becomes the responsibility of the
uploader to prove that he took this image and I do not know how and nor does
the person who is arguing for it. He claims that the uploader can upload the
full resolution image with EXIF but whats even funny is that most of images
from the person who is saying this does not meet this criteria. Again, back
to round 1 in my first example. Its the responsibility of the uploader to
prove his image and anyone can doubt him for any stupid reason and commons
As you can see, it is getting quite difficult to maintain images from India
in commons. India is a country which has only started to use Internet less
than a decade ago and we still do not have many of our countries' books or
sources of information online. So any image from India which gets nominated
for deletion in Wikimedia Commons get deleted for absence of proof. Commons
is ruled by *precautionary principle*, where in they are not willing to take
any risks on copyright and will delete any image for which anyone has
doubts. This is in contrary to local wikipedia projects in India where it is
rules by the *good faith principle* where we will trust the uploader and it
becomes the responsibility of the nominator to prove that the image has
false copyright claim.
This issue is beginning to hurt the contents from India. If we can do
something, its time we act immediately. If we are just going to just spent
out time discussing about it, the pictures of all Hindu gods and people who
died before independence might get deleted by that time.
foundation-l mailing list
foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
More information about the foundation-l