[WikiEN-l] Public Domain and Non-Commercial at the same time

Alphax (Wikipedia email) alphasigmax at gmail.com
Sun Oct 15 02:35:48 UTC 2006

Andrew Gray wrote:
> On 14/10/06, Bogdan Giusca <liste at dapyx.com> wrote:
>> There's a peculiar copyright case for the governmental works
>> from Philippines.
>> Apparently, they are at the same time in the Public Domain
>> and under a Non-Commercial/Permission license, or at least
>> the current template claims so:
>>    "this work is only available in the public domain under a
>>    non-commercial and permission-based license"
>> Also, it claims that the images should be used "in accordance with
>> Wikipedia's fair use policy", but none of the 500+ images have any
>> fair-use rationale...
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:PD-PhilippinesGov
> This may well be a mistranslation or misconception. "Public domain"
> only means "free without restrictions and out of copyright" when used
> to talk about copyright; however, it's perfectly possible to, say,
> call a recent publication "in the public domain" in that it is
> *available* to the public, it's not restricted by secrecy legislation
> or the like.
> In other words, it can mean "is not copyrighted" or "is not an
> official secret" or - often - both.
> I see this a lot with various Freedom of Information / Access to
> Information legislation - the laws themselves, or the explanatory
> material, often talk about "putting material in the public domain"
> without ever mentioning copyright issues, and people jump to the
> conclusion that it means the former and not just the latter, because
> we communally get a bit hung up on copyright and assume people are
> talking about it all the time...

MOST of the population don't know the copyright meaning of "public
domain". They assume that it is the same as "available to the public"
and hence, we get horrible copyright violations tagged as "PD-self" - as
in, "I took a photo of copyrighted book/movie/whatever, and I'll let you
see it". There's a similar issue with "Copyright free use" too - "It's
probably copyrighted, but hey, they didn't charge me anything to look at
it on Google images!".

Alphax - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax
Contributor to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
"We make the internet not suck" - Jimbo Wales
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