Page MenuHomePhabricator

CommonsMetadata cannot differentiate between license of the image and other licenses
Open, LowPublic


Some images use license templates for works other than the actual image. There is no way to select the right license currently.


When CommonsMetadata selects the wrong license, that could result in a copyright violation.

See this proposal for a possible way of representing license targets in HTML.

Event Timeline

Tgr created this task.Feb 17 2015, 3:08 AM
Tgr raised the priority of this task from to Needs Triage.
Tgr updated the task description. (Show Details)
Tgr added projects: CommonsMetadata, WMF-Legal.
Tgr added a subscriber: Tgr.
Restricted Application added a project: Multimedia. · View Herald TranscriptFeb 17 2015, 3:08 AM
Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald Transcript
FDMS added a subscriber: FDMS.Feb 17 2015, 3:10 AM
Jarekt added a subscriber: Jarekt.Jun 17 2015, 7:29 PM

A little background for those not that familiar with Commons and copyright licenses:

  • License templates (aka Copyright tags) are required for each author
    • In case of derivative works like photographs of artworks we require an license template for artist and for the photographer. In case of 2D artworks (like paintings) we do not required copyrights for the photographer because of Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. law. However all sculptures and other 3D artworks should have separate copyright statements for each author.
    • Some media like recordings of music also might have multiple authors: composer, lyrics author, performers, etc. and we could have copyright licenses for each
  • Media is supposed to be in Public Domain (PD) or freely licensed in both US and in the country of origin often resulting in separate copyright tags for US and the country of origin
  • Some media is multilicensed where user can pick one of the licenses like GFDL and CC. See Commons:Multi-licensing

As a result a single image can have a lot of separate license templates. Some licenses should be treated as if they were connected by "AND" operator where you have to meet legal requirements of both licenses and some need to treated as if they were connected by "OR" operator where you can pick one. As long as all license templates belong to Public Domain "family" than Media Viewer usually can deal with them properly, but when some licenses are PD and some are not (like in case of CC photo of PD sculpture) than many things are wrong:

  • Media Viewer might be giving incorrect attributions
  • All PD templates call {{Cc-pd-mark-footer}} which adds"This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights." statement to the template which is not correct if CC licenses are present
  • Each license adds a tracking category, so people looking for PD images might be tempted to use them to find PD images. Which would be wrong if image is also CC.

Discussions related to this issue:

Jdforrester-WMF triaged this task as Low priority.Sep 4 2015, 6:56 PM
Restricted Application added subscribers: Steinsplitter, Matanya. · View Herald TranscriptSep 4 2015, 6:56 PM
Jdforrester-WMF moved this task from Untriaged to Backlog on the Multimedia board.Sep 4 2015, 7:03 PM
Restricted Application added a subscriber: JEumerus. · View Herald TranscriptApr 14 2016, 1:19 AM
ZhouZ moved this task from Backlog to Assigned on the WMF-Legal board.Apr 14 2016, 1:20 AM
Asahiko added a subscriber: Asahiko.Feb 9 2017, 2:36 AM