Wikipedia:Copyright problems

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This page is for listing and discussing possible copyright problems involving text on Wikipedia, including pages which are suspected to be copyright violations. Listings typically remain for at least five days before review and closure by a copyright problems clerk or administrator. During this time, interested contributors are invited to offer feedback about the problem at the relevant talk page, to propose revisions to the material, or to request copyright permission. After the listing period, a copyright problems board clerk or administrator will review the listing and take what further action may be necessary.

Pages listed for copyright review appear in the bottom section of the page. The top includes information for people who have copyright concerns about pages or images, for those whose pages have been tagged for concerns, for community volunteers who'd like to help resolve concerns and for the clerks and administrators who volunteer here.

To add a new listing, please go to today's section. Instructions for dealing with copyright concerns can be found at Instructions for dealing with text-based copyright concerns.

Handling previously published text on Wikipedia

Under the United States law that governs Wikipedia, copyright is automatically assumed as soon as any content (text or other media) is created in a physical form. An author does not need to apply for or even claim copyright, for a copyright to exist.

Only one of the following allows works to be reused in Wikimedia projects:

A) Explicit Statement. An explicit statement (by the author, or by the holder of the rights to the work) that the material is either:

B) Public Domain. If the work is inherently in the public domain, due to its age, source or lack of originality (such as Copyright-free logos); or

C) Fair Use. United States law allows for fair use of copyrighted content, and (within limits) Wikipedia does as well. Under guidelines for non-free content, brief selections of copyrighted text may be used, but only if clearly marked and with full attribution.

Even if a source is public domain or compatibly licensed, material should be properly attributed in accordance with Wikipedia:Plagiarism. This is not only a matter of respecting local custom. When content is under a license that is compatible with Wikipedia's license, proper attribution may be required. If the terms of the compatible license are not met, use of the content can constitute a violation of copyright even if the license is compatible.

Repeated copyright violations

Contributors who repeatedly post copyrighted material (text or images) may be subject to contributor copyright investigations, to help ensure the removal from the project of all copyrighted material posted in contravention of policy. Contributors who repeatedly post copyrighted material after appropriate warnings will be blocked from editing, to protect the project; see 17 United States Code § 512.

Backwards copying: when Wikipedia had (or may have had) it first

In some instances, it is clear that two pieces of text (one on Wikipedia, and one elsewhere) are copies of each other, but not clear which piece is the original and which is the copy. "Compliant" sites that copy Wikipedia text note that they have done so, but not all of our re-users are compliant.

If you've found such a case, you might first check the discussion page to see if a note has been added to the top of the talk page to allay people's concerns. If not, you can look for clues. Do other pages in the other website copy other Wikipedia articles? Did the content show up on Wikipedia all in one piece, placed by a single editor? If you don't see good evidence that Wikipedia had it first, it's a good idea to bring it up for investigation. You might follow the Instructions for listing below or tag the article {{copy-paste|url=possible source}} so that others can evaluate.

If you confirm definitely that the content was on Wikipedia first, please consider adding {{backwardscopy}} to the article's talk page with an explanation of how you know. If you see an article somewhere else which was copied from Wikipedia without attribution, you might visit the CC-BY-SA compliance page or Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks. There are well-documented cases of plagiarism from Wikipedia by external publications.

Instructions for dealing with text-based copyright concerns

Copyright owners: If you believe Wikipedia is infringing your copyright, you may request immediate removal of the copyright violation by emailing us at Please provide the address or title of the page, and evidence to show that you are the legitimate copyright holder. Alternatively, you may contact Wikipedia's designated agent under the terms of the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act. You are also welcome to follow the procedures here. See the copyright policy for more information.

Blatant infringement

Pages exhibiting blatant copyright infringements may be speedily deleted if:

  • Content was copied from a source which does not have a license compatible with Wikipedia, and the content was copied from that source to Wikipedia and not the other way around (Wikipedia has numerous mirrors);
  • The page can neither be restored to a previous revision without infringing content, nor would the page be viable if the infringing content were removed.
  • There is no credible assertion of public domain, fair use, or a free license.

To nominate an article for speedy deletion for copyright concerns, add one of these to the page:

Both of these templates will generate a notice that you should give the contributor of the content. This is important to help ensure that they do not continue to add copyrighted content to Wikipedia. An administrator will examine the article and decide whether to delete it or not. You should not blank the page in this instance.

Suspected or complicated infringement

If infringement is not blatant or the speedy deletion criteria do not apply:

  • Remove or rewrite the infringing text avoiding violations of copyright or revert the page to a non-copyrighted version if you can.
    The infringing text will remain in the page history for archival reasons (allowing evaluation by non-administrative editors) unless the copyright holder asks the Wikimedia Foundation to remove it. After determination that it is a copyvio, it should be tagged for {{copyvio-revdel}}. Please note the reason for removal in the edit summary and at the article's talk page (you may wish to use {{subst:cclean}}). When possible, please identify and alert the contributor of the material to the problem. The template {{Uw-copyright}} may be used for this purpose.
  • However, if all revisions have copyright problems, the removal of the copyright problem is contested, or reversion/removal is otherwise complicated:
  • Replace the text with one of the following:

    {{subst:copyvio|url=insert URL here}}{{subst:copyvio|identify non-web source here}}

  • Go to today's section and add

    * {{subst:article-cv|PageName}} from [insert URL or identify non-web source here] ~~~~

    to the bottom of the list. Put the page's name in place of "PageName". If you do not have a URL, enter a description of the source. (This text can be copied from the top of the template after substituting it and the page name and url will be filled for you.) If there is not already a page for the day, as yours would be the first listing, please add a header to the top of the page using the page for another date as an example.
  • Advise the contributor of the material at their talk page. The template on the now blanked page supplies a notice you may use for that purpose.

Instructions for special cases

  • Probable copyvios without a known source: If you suspect that a page contains a copyright violation, but you cannot find a source for the violation (so you can't be sure that it's a violation), do not list it here. Instead, place {{cv-unsure|~~~|2=FULL_URL}} on the page's talk page, but replace FULL_URL with the full URL of the page version that you believe contains a violation. (To determine the URL, click on "Permanent link" in the toolbox area, and copy the URL.)
  • Instances where one contributor has verifiably introduced copyright problems into multiple pages or files and assistance is needed in further review: See Wikipedia:Contributor copyright investigations.

Instructions for handling image copyright concerns

Image copyright concerns are not handled on this board. For images that are clear copyright violations, follow the procedure for speedy deletion; otherwise list at Files for Discussion. To request assistance with contributors who have infringed copyright in multiple articles or files, see Wikipedia:Contributor copyright investigations.

Responding to articles listed for copyright investigation

Copyright owners and people editing on their behalf or with their permission, please see below.

Any contributor is welcome to help investigate articles listed for copyright concerns, although only administrators, copyright problems board clerks, and OTRS team members should remove {{copyvio}} tags and mark listings resolved.

Assistance might include supplying evidence of non-infringement (or, conversely, of infringement) or obtaining and verifying permission of license. You might also help by rewriting problematic articles.

Supplying evidence of non-infringement

Articles are listed for copyright investigation because contributors have reason to suspect they constitute a copyright concern, but not every article listed here is actually a copyright problem. Sometimes, the content was on Wikipedia first. Sometimes, the article is public domain or compatibly licensed and can be easily fixed by supplying attribution (e.g. through a dummy edit). Sometimes, the person who placed it here is the copyright owner of freely-licensed material and this simply needs to be verified.

If you can provide information to prove license or public domain status of the article, please do. It doesn't matter if you do it under the listing for the article on the copyright problems board or on the talk page of the article; a link or a clear explanation can be very helpful when a clerk or administrator evaluates the matter. (As listings are not immediately addressed on the board, it may take a few days after you make your note before a response is provided.)

If the article is tagged for {{copyvio}}, you should allow an administrator or copyright problems clerk to remove the tag. If the article is tagged for {{copy-paste}} or {{close paraphrasing}}, you may remove the tag from the article when the problem is addressed (or disproven), but please do not close the listing on the copyright problems board itself.

Obtaining/verifying permission

Sometimes material was placed on Wikipedia with the permission of the copyright owner. Sometimes copyright owners are willing to give permission (and proper license!) even if it was not.

Any contributor can write to the owner of copyright and check whether they gave or will give permission (or maybe they in fact posted it here!). See Wikipedia:Example requests for permission. In either case, unless a statement authorizing the material under compatible license is placed online at the point of original publication, permission will need to be confirmed through e-mail to the Wikimedia Foundation. See Wikipedia:Confirmation of permission. If a compatible license is placed online at the point of original publication, please provide a link to that under the listing for the article on the copyright problems board or on the talk page of the article.

Please note that it may take a few days for letters to clear once they are sent. Do not worry if the content is deleted prematurely; it can be restored at any point usable permission is logged.

Rewriting content

Any contributor may rewrite articles that are or seem to be copyight problems to exclude duplicated or closely paraphrased text. When articles or sections of articles are blanked as copyright problems, this is done on a temporary page at Talk:PAGENAME/Temp so that the new material can be copied over the old. (The template blanking the article will link to the specific temporary page.)

Please do not copy over the version of the article that is a copyright problem as your base. All copied content, or material derived from it, should be removed first. Other content from the article can be used, if there is no reason to believe that it may be a copyright issue as well. It is often a good idea – and essential when the content is copied from an inaccessible source such as a book – to locate the point where the material entered the article and eliminate all text added by that contributor. This will help avoid inadvertently continuing the copyright issues in your rewrite. If you use any text at all from the earlier version of the article, please leave a note at the talk page of the article to alert the administrator or clerk who addresses the listing. The history of the old article will then have to be retained. (If the original turns out to be non-infringing, the two versions of the article can be merged.)

Rewrites can be done directly in articles that have been tagged for {{close paraphrasing}} and {{copy-paste}}, with those tags removed after the rewrite is complete.

Please review Wikipedia:Copy-paste and the linked guidelines and policies within it if necessary to review Wikipedia's practices for handling non-free text. Reviewing Wikipedia:Plagiarism is also helpful, particularly where content is compatibly licensed or public domain. Repairing these issues can sometimes be as simple as supplying proper attribution.

Copyright owners who submitted their own work to Wikipedia (or people editing on their behalf)

If you submitted work to Wikipedia which you had previously published and your submission was marked as a potential infringement of copyright, then stating on the article's talk page that you are the copyright holder of the work (or acting as his or her agent), while not likely to prevent deletion, helps. To completely resolve copyright concerns, it is sufficient to either:

See also Wikipedia:Donating copyrighted materials.

Please note that it may take a bit of time for letters and e-mails to clear once they are sent. Do not worry if the content is deleted prematurely; it can be restored at any point usable permission is logged. Your e-mail will receive a response whether the permission is usable or not. If you have not received a response to your letter within two weeks, it is a good idea to follow up.

One other factor you should consider, however, is that content that has been previously published elsewhere may not meet Wikipedia's specific guidelines and policies. If you are not familiar with these policies and guidelines, please review especially the core policies that govern the project. This may help prepare you to deal with any other issues with the text that may arise.

Should you choose to rewrite the content rather than release it under the requisite license, please see above.

Information about the people who process copyright problems listed on the board

Copyright problems board clerks

For a more complete description of clerks and their duties, as well as a list of active clerks, please see Wikipedia:Copyright problems/Clerks.

Copyright problems board clerks are experienced editors on Wikipedia who have demonstrated familiarity with Wikipedia's approach to non-free text and its processes for dealing with them. They are trusted to evaluate and close listings, although their closures may sometimes require completion by administrators, when use of administrative tools is required. Clerks are periodically reviewed by the administrators who work in copyright areas on Wikipedia.

Copyright problems board administrators

For a more complete description of administrators on Wikipedia, please see Wikipedia:Administrators.

Any administrator may work the copyright problems board. Working the copyright problems board may involve evaluating listings personally or using tools as necessary to complete closures by clerks. Clerks have been evaluated in their work, and their recommendations may be implemented without double-checking, although any administrator is welcome to review recommendations and discuss them with the clerks in question.

Closing listings

Pages should stay listed for a minimum of 5 days before they are checked and processed by copyright problems board clerks, 7 days before they are checked or processed by administrators, who close the daily listings. OTRS agents who verify images may close listings at any time.

For advice for resolving listings, see:

The templates collected at Template:CPC may be useful for administrators, clerks and OTRS agents noting resolution.

Listings of possible copyright problems

Very old issues

From Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2017 July 21:

  • To complicate things, the official listings are now licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0-IGO. MER-C 12:39, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
  • See e.g. [1]. The tentative listings do not have this license. MER-C 03:36, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2019 July 1:

We have over 400 pages of Meanings of minor planet names that may have the same issue, so I picked the 100001–101000 example at random. For most of the entries, the description in the This minor planet was named for... column was copied or very closely paraphrased from the "JPL" source linked in the Ref · Catalog column. This was previously discussed at a tangentially related AfD where some editors felt it was a copyright violation while others argued that the data was "freely available from NASA" and not subject to copyright. JPL's copyright statements [2] [3] may be of use. –dlthewave 21:36, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
Simple phrases such as "This minor planet was named for <name>" cannot be copyrighted. I don't know how many entries fall outside this "simple" phrasing, but it's something to consider. Primefac (talk) 19:40, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
A random selection indicates to me that we have to either (a) determine that the "Discovery Circumstances" prose within the JPL Small-Body Database Browser is not subject to copyright; or (b) check and possibly re-phrase a huge number of pages. It's not as simple as "This is named for <name>. We perhaps should say that in a lot of the entries. --jpgordon𝄢𝄆 𝄐𝄇 19:21, 23 March 2020 (UTC)

Older than 7 days

14 January 2020

19 January 2020

3 February 2020

5 February 2020

14 February 2020

15 February 2020

  • Nezahualcoyotl (tlatoani) Specifically, the text in the Poetry section attributed to the 100 peso note in Spanish and an English translation; source given: Miguel León=Portilla (1967). Trece poetas del mundo azteca [Thirteen poets of the Aztec world] (in Spanish) (2nd, 1972 ed.). Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. pp. 39–75. The English translation also appeared briefly at Northern mockingbird, reverted for lack of source. BiologicalMe (talk) 15:44, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
  • HITRAP (history · last edit · rewrite) from Foundational. I found this through the random article feature. I'm going to look through the user's other contribs. 💵Money💵emoji💵Talk💸Help out at CCI! 00:02, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
      Article deleted due to copyright concerns. MER-C 10:50, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
  • CRYSIS (history · last edit · rewrite) from Foundational. From the same contributor as above. 💵Money💵emoji💵Talk💸Help out at CCI! 00:26, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
      Article deleted due to copyright concerns. MER-C 10:50, 23 February 2020 (UTC)

17 February 2020

Author is attempting a rewrite at SSAE No. 18/Temp. Hut 8.5 07:43, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
Author is concerned that there has been No progress in review and final decision in several months. Author intends to learn the rules of the review and approval process and begin participating, as there must be a terrible backlog and shortage of volunteers. I know this stuff isn’t much fun. Thanks to all participating in this process. Stephen Charles Thompson (talk) 17:36, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
@Anon lynx: I don't think there's any rule stopping you from moving the rewrite to mainspace. If it is a copyright violation then it is liable to be deleted again but there's nothing saying you can't rewrite stuff which was deleted as a copyright violation. I should point out that the listings on this page can only be reviewed by admins or approved clerks. Hut 8.5 19:37, 23 July 2020 (UTC)

28 February 2020

The other three look a bit fishy but if they were copy/pasted, I couldn't find the source. Note the big thalidomide addition has references numbers in it because the text was added to Grünenthal with refs, then copy/pasted from that article into Thalidomide. Ajpolino (talk) 19:10, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

7 March 2020

19 April 2020

2020 May 1

14 June 2020

  • As an afterthough from an edit to the Juillard School article (diff) a web search on the anterior sentence L&M was Schuman's reaction against more formal theory and ear training, and as a result did not have a formal structure is leading me to the evidence of possible copypasting: Juilliard+report+on+teaching+the+literature+and+materials+of+music is named Juilliard report on teaching the literature and materials of music. The second other match on the sentence ([6]) links to the institution's website. I do not know how to date those two occurrences. --Askedonty (talk) 12:55, 14 June 2020 (UTC)
  • Draft:Ohio Tuition Trust Authority (history · last edit · rewrite) from Signed,The4lines |||| (You Asked?) (What I have Done.) 18:14, 14 June 2020 (UTC)
      Article deleted due to copyright concerns. MER-C 17:25, 24 June 2020 (UTC)

24 June 2020

7 July 2020

Do you have access to the Telegraph, Crookesmoor? If so, would kindly either email me the text or quote the copied part of it here or on the talk-page of the article? That'd be a big help, thanks, Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 10:48, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

9 July 2020

I did the section on education, so I am comfortable with that. John NH (talk) 15:58, 9 July 2020 (UTC)

12 July 2020

If you run Wards of Kolkata Municipal Corporation through Earwig you’ll see it contains a copyvio. The curation tool and Twinkle won’t let me send this to G12 because the external link is in a spam blacklist, and I can’t post the source link here for the same reason. Thanks Mccapra (talk) 06:12, 12 July 2020 (UTC)

Urgh sorry about the formatting. I posted this to July 12 but it’s showing as 11 for some reason. I got a bit lost with the other formatting. A bit fiddly with an iPad. Mccapra (talk) 06:16, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
This was copied from Kolkata Municipal Corporation. The text was added in 2008 with line break formatting typically associated with copyvio. But it comes back clean. I'm leaving this up for a second opinion. MER-C 09:12, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
Thanks it comes up clean for me now too. Possibly the other page (I don’t remember what it was) was a mirror of Wikipedia and had scraped to content from our article on the corporation. Anyway it’s vanished. Mccapra (talk) 11:43, 20 July 2020 (UTC)

16 July 2020

26 July 2020

Per notes on the talkpage, this looks like a backwards copy, albeit a very old one - it was lifted from Wikipedia in early 2007, sometime between this edit in January and this edit in August, based on the wording. A version of it was originally posted to WP in late 2006. Andrew Gray (talk) 12:04, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
  •   Backwardscopy. Tag and explanation placed at talk page. MER-C 17:33, 6 August 2020 (UTC)

13 August 2020

22 August 2020

Hi, I've cleaned it before I finished the editing. I can delete more from the article if you see it's a Copyright problems, thanks. -Imad_J (talk) 09:13, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
TomStar81 For how long the article will stay closed. ? --Imad_J (talk) 13:15, 27 August 2020 (UTC)

24 August 2020

A number of articles were tagged with {{copypaste}} (not by me) in 2014, and have yet to be resolved:

and in 2015:

-- Beland (talk) 23:40, 24 August 2020 (UTC)

28 August 2020

30 August 2020

"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2014-03-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
As you can see the source is dead but the page shows that the text is ~identical and has a copyright annotation. Some of the content survives on this page from the same website. The copyvio was added in these three edits in March 2014. I would normally simply tag for revdel, but since it's hundreds of revisions, the source is dead, and the chances of anybody caring about the copyright on what is basically a tourist leaflet seems minimal, I'm bringing it here to check what the best approach is. Wham2001 (talk) 07:07, 30 August 2020 (UTC)
  • I agree - this copyvio isn't large enough to revdel given many revisions it is in. MER-C 17:56, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Ascension Parish Burial Ground (history · last edit · rewrite) from Goldie, Mark (2000). A Cambridge Necropolis.. This is a new problem, highlighted by the removal of unreliably-sourced and unsourced items. The list seems to be taken from Goldie's text, which was a selective list of famous people buried in the Ascension Parish Burial Ground so the criteria for inclusion are his - given the overlap, there's a risk that we could be violating WP:Copyright in lists. Unfortunately I can't find an online copy of the source to give you, but you will see the references in the list. The Parson's Cat (talk) 10:31, 30 August 2020 (UTC)

2 September 2020

  Article cleaned by investigator or others. No remaining infringement. MER-C 08:04, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
Thank you! —I'llbeyourbeach (talk) 22:29, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
See in talk page Talk:Stanisław Michalkiewicz#Career_in_PRL, The content that I removed appeared to be word-for-word translation of and is thus a copyvio. In addition, it's unclear how reliable this source is. from K.e.coffman
Gbear605 (talk) 16:34, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
See User_talk:Kvng#The_artist_has_agreed_to_the_CC_BY-SA_4.0._(Draft:Hu_Zhiying) for possible resolution. ~Kvng (talk) 01:11, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
The website has claimed "These works (text, images and videos) are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License." And it's been tagged with this copyright mark. See here. Thank you.--Jujiang (talk) 14:51, 3 September 2020 (UTC)

5 September 2020

15 September 2020

21 September 2020

24 September 2020

25 September 2020

26 September 2020

29 September 2020

30 September 2020

@AmandaNP: both appears to be spam-reverse copyvio sites, with parts of the text originally coming from here (first link) and here (second link). Pinging the article's primary editor @BlackShadowG just in case, too. FMecha (to talk|to see log) 14:20, 3 October 2020 (UTC)
@FMecha: That helps, but then would they still not be copyvios as those articles were published in way before the August and September revisions I noticed? (I think when it got copied over from zhwiki) This isn't the first round of copyvios. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 21:13, 6 October 2020 (UTC)
This doesn't look like a copyvio to me - girlsgilmore appears to be a site that allows people to illegally view episodes of the show and was only registered in August 2020. Wikipedia's text has been there since at least 2017. I very much hope this is a mistake by @Opalzukor: and not an attempt to promote an illegal streaming site Cavie78 (talk) 20:36, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
@Cavie78: Thank you very much for checking the link. I was just reverting vandalism and I thought I might, per chance, run a toolforge copyvio check. The check came up with a high accuaracy, so I was rash and added the template. I will try and avoid this in the future. Do you have any advice on how to proceed from here? Opalzukor (talk) 06:54, 1 October 2020 (UTC)
I've reinstated the content - yes this is a reverse copyvio. Opalzukor - automated checking tools like that are at best an aid to manual checking, the fact that one of them flags up an article doesn't necessarily mean it's copyvio without further checking. There are an awful lot of sites on the internet which copy Wikipedia content. Hut 8.5 12:11, 1 October 2020 (UTC)

6 October 2020

9 October 2020

I've blanked the affected articles for now and directed interested editors to comment here. Ajpolino (talk) 20:41, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

10 October 2020

14 October 2020

22 October 2020

28 October 2020

  • List of compositions by Fanny Mendelssohn (history · last edit · rewrite) from Hellwig-Unruh, Renate: "Fanny Hensel geb. Mendelssohn Bartholdy: thematisches Verzeichnis der Kompositionen", Adliswil : Kunzelmann, 2000. (The listing and numbering is taken entirely from this copyright work). Smerus (talk) 13:27, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
    • I there a copyright issue? See Talk:List of compositions by Fanny Mendelssohn#Copyright issues? Anyhow, restoring the tag that says "Please do not remove or change this Copyvio message until the issue is settled", because afaik the issue isn't settled yet. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:24, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
    • Note that, for instance, also RISM uses the numbers of Hellwig-Unruh's catalogue (there indicated with the abbreviation "HelH") in conjunction with names of Fanny Mendelssohn's compositions, see e.g. list concluding the RISM No. 462016300 page. I suppose RISM couldn't do that if it were a copyright infringement... --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:00, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
    • The notice was up there, and here, for over seven days without being challenged. And therefore it was appropriate to delete. (WP:DCV). I don't know, and apparently neither do you, what RISM's copyright arrangements are, but that has nothing to do with WP. If you can show that there is copyright permission for WP, you are welcome to reinstate. --Smerus (talk) 09:57, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
      • ... which is admitting you never proved there is a copyright infringement in the first place. I suspect it is better not to delete on the basis of some all-in-all rather vague aspersions. I think this needs more input. Pinging,
        • @Fram: whom I believe has some experience with copyrighted material, and might shed a light on how to handle this one;
        • @Voceditenore: who is a copyright clerk, and I suppose also familiar with copyrighted and non-copyrighted lists and catalogues of works by classical composers.
      Also, note that most catalogues listed at Catalogues of classical compositions are still under copyright (if not the original catalogue then at least its most recent edition), which has never prevented Wikipedia from creating lists of compositions such as Köchel catalogue, using K6 numbers (from a version of that catalogue that is still under copyright), and List of cantatas by Christoph Graupner (based on the numbering & listing from a catalogue which was first copyrighted in 2005). So, posting an invitation to participate in this discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Classical music#Lists of compositions based on copyrighted catalogues? as this may fundamentally disturb how this has been approached on Wikipedia thus far. --Francis Schonken (talk) 11:19, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
      Wikipedia:Copyright in lists may be of interest. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:06, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
      Indeed, that essay does not seem to indicate any copyright problem whatsoever for listing compositions according to a published catalogue of a composer's compositions. --Francis Schonken (talk) 13:17, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
      As it says on the page, "Copyright does not protect facts", which makes this pretty open and shut that there's no copyright issues here. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 13:40, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
Answering the ping above. My own judgement is that a list containing mere facts, i.e. name of composition and date is not copyrightable. There is no creativity in the ordering. It is simply chronological. I would have removed the copyright blanking tag had it still been there. Having said that, it is not appropriate to remove that tag and restore the blanked material unless you are either a copyright clerk or an administrator, no matter how much time has passed. It's moot now, but in future please do not do that and please do not edit war over it. I'm going to consult another admin who is very experienced in copyright issues, Justlettersandnumbers, for a possible second opinion, just in case. For now, the list can remain as it is. Voceditenore (talk) 14:37, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
VdT, it seemed to me that the point here is that it is not just the listing of compositons which is given (which might be "mere facts"), but the numbering created by a musicologist, which would seem to me to be copyright if the list and numbering are both given (as here) wholesale. The WP essay Wikipedia:Copyright in lists cited above states "Copyright in a list may exist in the content of the list or in the way that the content was selected and arranged. Copyright does not protect facts, but it does protect opinion. If a source is based on "value judgments", it may be protected by copyright, even if it looks very similar to fact. And even if the source is fact, copyright may still protect its selection and arrangement if these are creative." In this case, a scholar has dedicated effort into ascertaining an order and chronology for the list items; information which is not "mere fact" but which has been obtained through individual research. RISM and other sources use individual numbers created by Hellwig-Unruh = but they do not reprint her entire list. Francis Schonken's men tion of RISM as a validating example therefore seems to me inappropriate. --Smerus (talk) 15:28, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
While you may have a point, this runs into the the issue of, how SHOULD Wikipedia, then, catalog these myriad of composition lists that are still in copyright? Should K6 just be ignored? How would that make sense to not even include? Should the many many catalogs done that are still from a copyrighted source stricken? Lesure numbers for Debussy are as standard as K is for Mozart or S is for Liszt, should they just not be there? What of individual composition pages? Honestly I think a case could easily be made for fair use, if nothing else, even if somehow the lists (just a series of numbers, note) is considered actually copyrighted. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 05:55, 27 November 2020 (UTC)
I must say it's a fine line here in terms of the copyrightability the Opus numbers and the determination of the date of the compositions. That's why I'm seeking a second opinion. The problem with "Fair use" is that only a very small proportion of a list can used, as is the case with quoted copyright text. Voceditenore (talk) 15:26, 27 November 2020 (UTC)
Surely you are right about fair use. Where we quote e.g Köchel number(s) (or indeed Hellwig-Unruh number(s)) in an article about a particular piece, or group of pieces, or attached to individual pieces when writing the life of a composer, that is clearly "fair use" and doesn't I think present any problem. It is the same when RISM uses them in this way. But to, in effect, reprint a complete list of pieces and such numbers without permission (which, pace Francis Schonken, RISM doesn't do), seems to me a step too far. As you say "The problem with "Fair use" is that only a very small proportion of a list can used". --Smerus (talk) 16:42, 27 November 2020 (UTC)

Thanks to Voceditenore for the ping; I'm sorry to have been slow to respond, but wanted to give some time and thought to this before doing so. Basically, I think that VdT is right – it's probably OK, and it's certainly a fine line.

I've always found copyright in lists particularly tricky; anything I know about it I learnt from the (highly expert) author of WP:Copyright in lists, and so am inclined to give that page more weight than an ordinary essay. As I understand it, a list of facts is not copyrightable unless it is either selective, or is ordered in a way that could not easily be reproduced by anybody on the basis of freely-available data. So I believe that a "list of countries by GDP" would not be copyrightable, but a list of "our ten best tourist destinations" or a "list of countries by sustainability" might be – the first because it is a subjective selection, the second because it is based on some proprietary evaluation and ordering of sustainability.

In this case, a chronological list of works seems to fall into the first, non-copyrightable, case. But, since we're here, I have to ask: is Hellwig-Unruh's ordering of works within each year based on a precise date of composition, or is it to some extent arbitrary? (I don't have access to that source). A glance at the Grove entry on Hensel suggests that it is not definitively chronological ("396 Pf piece, E♭, 1843 or earlier" follows "395 Sonata, g, Fall 1843", for example). If there's any doubt at all that it is ordered precisely by date, I'd suggest, out of an excess of caution:

  • alphabetically re-order entries within each year, and
  • put the H-U number after the entry rather than before

By establishing our own ordering of the works – even if not strictly necessary – we avoid any possible accusation of plagiarism. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 21:02, 27 November 2020 (UTC)

Well...the thing is this issue goes far beyond the list for just Fanny Mendelssohn, it's an issue for quite a percentage of composer composition lists. But that's an interesting solution; however, the ideal for these lists is to have a table anyway, in which does one avoid it? Would it be 'make sure the default isn't by catalog order' perhaps? That said, it'd be /extremely confusing/ for anyone to come across this (or a similar) list only to have it out of catalog order. Sure alphabetical within each year might avoid copyright (which still seems a bit dubious to me despite the above, given they were still only guessing based on known data rather rather than any sort of opinion about it), but since it's supposed to be 'chronological' that would be misleading. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 05:56, 28 November 2020 (UTC)
For clarity, I think I sorted any copyright-related remaining issues with Hellwig-Unruh's list by referencing Wikipedia's *summary* of it (currently at List of compositions by Fanny Mendelssohn#Chronological) to reliable *secondary* sources about it. For clarity:
  • Writing a summary of a primary source (this one has 452 pages) in Wikipedia can be unproblematic (compare MOS:PLOT), but since this one has been turned into a problem, and I don't have access to the actual primary source anyhow, the summary is entirely based on how reliable *secondary* sources summarize that primary source.
  • I agree with Voceditenore that "fair use" is probably not the approach we're looking for in this case: IMHO, this is rather about WP:LIMITED: there are only a limited number of ways how it can be expressed that a certain composition has a certain number in a catalogue that is used in multiple reliable secondary sources. Some call it "H-U" numbers, others (i.e. RISM) call it "HelH" numbers, I've even seen "H." being used as abbreviation of the catalogue (in IMSLP), but the number itself and its representation of a composition can only be summarized by naming both the number and the composition, there's no other way of doing that. It is not possible to summarize the Star Wars saga without naming the chief characters: we don't do that as "Luke" "Han" and "Princess" (out of fear that their full names are copyrighted), but as "Luke Skywalker", "Han Solo" and "Princess Leia" – similarly when summarizing the catalogue we don't write "219", but "219 Sehnsucht" to identify an entry in the catalogue.
  • The amount of "dedicated effort" approach is a strawman. A poet can write a Haiku in half a minute (completely copyrighted); compared to that, hordes of scientists and craftsmen, and a lot of dedicated effort, including expensive techniques, were needed to establish that Dull Gret was painted in 1563. You can't summarize all that research, however it is published in copyrighted publications, without naming both "Dull Gret" and "1563", and such fact is not copyrightable.
I'd add some more detail, if needed, but don't want to write a wall of text, so I'll see whether I was clear enough before adding more. --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:45, 28 November 2020 (UTC)

31 October 2020

4 November 2020

6 November 2020

11 November 2020

Here are the earwig results, if needed.  Bait30  Talk 2 me pls? 03:46, 11 November 2020 (UTC)

18 November 2020

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21 November 2020

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23 November 2020

Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2020 November 28


Wikipedia's current date is 28 November 2020. Put new article listings in Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2020 November 28. Files should be handled by speedy deletion or Wikipedia:Files for discussion.