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Upload wizard should automatically update public domain year in mwe-upwiz-license-pd-old-70-1923 and mwe-upwiz-license-pd-us
Open, Needs TriagePublicFeature

Description

Steps to Reproduce: Go to the Commons Upload Wizard, begin uploading a file, select "not my own work" > "the copyright has definitely expired in the USA"

Actual Results: 1925

Expected Results: 1926

Description and proposed solution: It appears that the Commons Upload Wizard is not updating the year in which works enter the public domain automatically. The hardcoded "1925" should be replaced with "{{#time:Y|-95 years}}", which will update it to 1926 (the current correct year) and get it automatically updating in future years.

Event Timeline

Oops, it looks like another phab task for this same issue was just created; please merge with https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T271966.

The message that needs to be updated appears to be mwe-upwiz-license-pd-old-70-1923.

It appears this has actually been fixed for 2021 by @Jdforrester-WMF in T271766: Update UploadWizard's "1925" messages for so-old-they're-PD-in-the-US to 1926, now that it's 2021 with https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/655530. This update should arrive on commons on 2021-01-13 with the deployment of MediaWiki 1.36.0-wmf.26.

I like the idea of changing the message strings to remove the need for this sort of annual code update. I'm not sure if using {{#time:Y|-95 years}} in the message itself would be appropriate, or if it would be better to make the year a message parameter ($1) and have the PHP code provide the computed year directly. I have a hunch that a parameter version could be a bit more performant than adding a parser extension call into the message itself.

Aklapper renamed this task from Commons upload wizard does not automatically update public domain year to Upload wizard should automatically update public domain year in mwe-upwiz-license-pd-old-70-1923 and mwe-upwiz-license-pd-us.Jan 13 2021, 6:55 PM
Aklapper changed the subtype of this task from "Bug Report" to "Feature Request".

I'm not sure I like the idea of programmatically updating texts with legal ramifications; it's not much work to manually update, but it'd be a lot of work to retrospectively review months of uploads if we work out that it was giving bad advice.

The fact that something is automatic does not mean that it gives bad advice. As for "it is not much work to manually update": I do not know if it is much or little, but apparently nobody wants to do such work. Two weeks after the new year began it was still not done, and in the beginning of 2020 it was even much worse. People point it out at various talk and feedback pages and nothing helps, nobody cares about it. If somebody wants to upload a work that has newly entered the public domain, the software must not discourage them, not even one day after it got into the PD.

The fact that something is automatic does not mean that it gives bad advice. As for "it is not much work to manually update": I do not know if it is much or little, but apparently nobody wants to do such work.

I literally did this work, this year and last year.

Two weeks after the new year began it was still not done, and in the beginning of 2020 it was even much worse. People point it out at various talk and feedback pages and nothing helps, nobody cares about it.

Yes, the correct venue to highlight this is here, on Phabricator, as was done.

We have https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:Not-PD-US-expired-min-year and https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:PD-US-expired-max-year for this exact purpose. They are used by the license templates themselves, and if they start giving the wrong year we have much bigger problems.

If an experienced contributor notices that the date was not updated in time, they may report it at phabricator, but it is too late anyway: such a situation should not happen at all and we will never know how many works Commons lost meanwhile because of it. If unexperienced editors encounter the problem, we cannot expect them to report it at phabricator and because nobody reacts at feedback pages, they simply do not upload what they wanted to upload.

The templates AntiCompositeNumber pointed to sound like a perfectly good solution, as they update automatically but are also in widespread enough use that if anything about U.S. copyright law ever changes they will be quickly updated. I agree that it is unacceptable to have to wait weeks and go through the hassle of making a phab ticket every year just to get the date updated.

@Jdforrester-WMF, is using the templates ACN identified acceptable to you? If so, could you please implement?

@Jdforrester-WMF , following up yet again. This should not be a hard ticket to resolve—could you give us an update, please?

@Jdforrester-WMF, is using the templates ACN identified acceptable to you? If so, could you please implement?

Sorry, my team doesn't own UploadWizard. You should speak to the product owner, who is the expert on asking for meetings with Legal to decide if this is OK (and other choices).

@Jdforrester-WMF , who would that be?

Per the list it is owned by the Structured Data Team, so @toberto I think? You should follow whatever on-wiki process Commons has for making technical change requests first, though, rather than bypassing it; other community members might want different changes?