WIKIPEDIA- and the trouble of posting images there

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JFK

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WIKIPEDIA- and the trouble of posting images there

PostTue Aug 23, 2016 9:49 pm

FROM JOHN BROWN ESTATE
Below are scans of the front and back covers of The Flying Grouse Volume 1 Number 1
The Journal of The Group Theatre
Among the signers are Jules Garfield, Cheryl Crawford, John Howard Lawson, Luther Adler,
Morris Carnovsky, Lee Strasberg, Phoebe Brand, and Dawn Powell -who wrote at least one play for the Group.
Certainly you can identify more.

The images- which, when clicked, produce larger versions- are stored on eBay's image service,
which means that, after a few weeks or months, they will go poof into the atmosphere,
unless you make copies for your own use.
Most of the earliest images I posted on this site were done via eBay, which means they
eventually vanished, to my dismay, in short order.

Most recently, my Nitrateville images were stored on Wikipedia or Wikipedia Commons -
they were posted for me there by two friends;
once my pals uploaded the images onto Wikipedia,
I'd copy the images and post them here.

But many of these images have been recently removed-
often in mass quantities by copyright novices in faraway lands-
from Wikipedia/Wikipedia Commons and thus from my Nitrateville posts.

My shaky understanding - which I, or course, picked up from Wikipedia-
was that vintage studio stills, posters, press books, coming attraction reels,
and other publicity of the era were now, by court decision, public domain-
at least for material up until the 1980s.

But it is just such images, posted by my chums, that are being deleted.
Is my original assumption about these materials being public domain incorrect,
or are my friends using the wrong sort of "licenses" when they upload them?

Any answers, or reports of similar experiences, would be appreciated.

Image
Image
Last edited by JFK on Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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missdupont

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Re: WIKIPEDIA- and the trouble of posting images there

PostTue Aug 23, 2016 11:40 pm

Studios never sent stills to the Copyright Office to establish copyright. In fact, they produced tens of thousands of images and deluged newspapers and magazines with them, showing they had no intention to form copyright. Daily Variety states that Fox distributed over 50,000 stills to publicity outlets on THE ROBE. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that stills were in the public domain, using testimony from Warner's own archivist that the stills were never copyrighted, were never demanded or asked to be returned by distributors, exhibitors, or the like, were given away by exhibitors, and were happily promoted by the studios in showing that millions of people had seen images of the films before they even opened in theatres (testimony regarding both WIZARD OF OZ and GWTW). Warner's lost this part of the suit and did not appeal it to the Supreme Court.
Last edited by missdupont on Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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missdupont

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Re: WIKIPEDIA- and the trouble of posting images there

PostTue Aug 23, 2016 11:44 pm

Many ebay dealers pull their images immediately after they sell, trying to prevent people from copying them and then selling poor imitations. If the link is gone, then yes, the images go poof. Perhaps dealers/sellers are reaching out to places and showing that items they sold or now own were posted by someone else, and thus having them removed. As in many things, might thinks it is right, and sometimes just a little threat, even wrong, will make people pull things even though they are in the right.
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JFK

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WIKIPEDIA- and the trouble of posting images there

PostWed Aug 24, 2016 8:44 am

Thanks. That was very helpful.

Then why does Wikipedia, or its volunteers, delete such images?
From what little I know about Wikipedia Commons,
with few exceptions, only pre-1923 images are allowed as public domain.

And my friends have even had pre-1923 images deleted as non-PD
(e.g. images of photos that were signed by folks who died pre-1923).

Does anyone have contact info for Wikipedia's copyright bigwigs?

By the way, the two images I posted above should last a few months-
they are "stored" at eBay in a pal's draft auction.
(You can go on eBay, prepare an auction as if for sale,
but instead of starting the auction, you merely save the
auction as a draft, and the images accompanying your draft
auction are temporarily stored with it).
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missdupont

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Re: WIKIPEDIA- and the trouble of posting images there

PostWed Aug 24, 2016 8:55 am

I could see Wikipedia pulling any images of Harold Lloyd, even pre-1923, since the Lloyd estate had his image trademarked, which is even stronger than copyright, meaning that really nothing of him should be posted without their approval. Perhaps estates are reaching out to them, but since no one is asking for money to post them, it's not a licensing issue. Who knows? I don't really go to Wikipedia, since most of what they post on a subject is goobledy gook entered in by idiots with agendas. Plenty of friends of mine who are authors have gone in in the past to correct the falsehoods written about the people they've written biographies on, only to have the idiots re-install the lies, and they've just given up going there.
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Feufollet

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Re: WIKIPEDIA- and the trouble of posting images there

PostWed Aug 24, 2016 9:05 am

I'm not a copyright lawyer (and have never even played one on TV), but in theory, this template should cover most of the images in question:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template:PD-US-no_notice

(Clicking "What links here" in the left column will demonstrate that there are, literally, thousands of images that use this permission template.)

If the image has been autographed, there's another layer of complexity, but in many cases the image is still acceptable. See this page for details:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:When_to_use_the_PD-signature_tag
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JFK

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WIKIPEDIA- and the trouble of posting images there

PostWed Aug 24, 2016 12:09 pm

Thanks... great info.
Alas, some Wikipedia image-deleters think the copyright notice on a vintage still applies to the photo itself,
when the notice actually applies only to the film which the still promotes....
I will now try to see if I can get some of my missing Nitrateville images restored
by having my pals post images with the template you provided:
{{PD-US-no notice |1= }}
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Mike Gebert

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Re: WIKIPEDIA- and the trouble of posting images there

PostWed Aug 24, 2016 2:24 pm

Why are you messing with sites over which you have no control?

Go get a free Flickr account and upload them there. Never had an issue in ten years, easy enough to post them here once you know how.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
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bobfells

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Re: WIKIPEDIA- and the trouble of posting images there

PostTue Aug 30, 2016 10:05 am

I had a similar experience with wiki a few years ago when I read its post on George Arliss. Lots of errors and gaps. I rewrote and expanded much of it and added some of my own colorized photos. Some time later I checked it. While my writing was still there my photos were gone. I inquired stating the photos are from my personal collection and in any event they were never copyrighted by the studios. Somebody replied, "I don't think so," and that was the end of that. So to hell with them. The links to my Arliss blogs and my books are there so I am content with that.
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Re: WIKIPEDIA- and the trouble of posting images there

PostTue Oct 11, 2016 9:57 pm

missdupont -- Are you sure that all those many glossy b/w prints (with the code numbers in the lower-right corner) are P.R. buzz-builders and not copyright-filing requirements? Two authors of two books definitive in their subjects said that a copyright application package in the '20s and '30s would include a script, a continuity and a set of still photos showing every set-up with every player on their mark, keyed to the continuity. Hence the hyphenated numbers -- first one denotes the film, second keys it to the scene.

I've seen the b/w publicity photos, and they usually have the title and some quick credits down at the bottom.

I used to take particular glee in submitting a copyright-seeking photo along with my rationale for public domain status!

Harry
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silentfilm

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Re: WIKIPEDIA- and the trouble of posting images there

PostThu Oct 13, 2016 11:48 am

Miss Dupont is correct. I've had silent-era and early-sound movie stills on my website for 16+ years, and never received a complaint about them. I've also supplied photos to authors writing film history or biographies, and have never had an issue with having the film stills published. The publishers do want to know if I've copied them from somewhere else. Since I have the originals in my possession, it has not been a problem.

I have had people steal photos from my website and submit them to Wikipedia and the IMDB! :evil: I'm OK with them being shared on Pinterest.
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Re: WIKIPEDIA- and the trouble of posting images there

PostThu Nov 03, 2016 11:08 am

And a federal appeals court just upheld the original ruling...

http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-warner-bros-copyright-20161101-story.html

'Gone With the Wind' and 'Wizard of Oz' protected by copyright in merchandising suit

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh play Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone With the Wind." (New Line Cinema)
David NgDavid NgContact Reporter

Warner Bros. scored a $2.6-million legal victory Tuesday when a federal appeals court in Missouri upheld a ruling in a copyright case involving images from the classic movies “The Wizard of Oz” and “Gone with the Wind,” as well as several “Tom and Jerry” shorts.

The decade-old case could set an important precedent in the entertainment industry because it addresses the boundaries of public domain material, and gives studios a legal upper hand in protecting their intellectual property.

At the center of the dispute is Leo Valencia, the head of several nostalgia and vintage companies that obtained images of the films from publicity materials, including posters and lobby cards. He licensed those images for a range of consumer products, such as shirts and lunchboxes, according to the complaint.

Warner filed a suit against Valencia and his companies in 2006, claiming copyright and trademark infringement. But the defense has argued that the images in question fall within the public domain because they were publicity material.

In 2009, a court ruled in the studio’s favor and issued an injunction, but the decision was appealed. Two years later, the Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in St. Louis ruled that copyright infringement occurred in two circumstances — when the publicity images were used in three-dimensional objects, such as a statuette or action figure, or were combined with other images or text to create a composite image.

But the court said that reproducing publicity material as an identical two-dimensional image didn’t constitute copyright infringement.

The defense filed another appeal, but this week, a court upheld the ruling as well as damages amounting to $10,000 for 257 copyright infractions, resulting in an award of nearly $2.6 million.

The judgment “sends a strong message about the risk of engaging in copyright and trademark infringement,” said Frederick J. Sperling, a partner at the law firm Schiff Hardin LLP, who represented Warner Bros.

Valencia, the defendant, didn’t respond to a request for comment sent through a lawyer.

The case was filed in Missouri because some of the licensees selling the products in question were based in the state.

In upholding the damages amount, the appeals court cited a 2012 Capitol Records case in which the label sued an individual for putting copyrighted songs on the Kazaa file-sharing platform. In that case, a court awarded damages of $9,250 per infringed work.

Damages for copyright infringement range between $750 and $30,000 per instance, according to U.S. law.

In its 2011 decision, the 8th Circuit court ruled that characters such as Dorothy and the Scarecrow, as well as Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler, are “sufficiently distinctive to merit character protection under the respective film copyrights.”

Court documents show that the defendants licensed the film images for use on shirts, lunchboxes, music box lids and playing cards. They were also used as models for three-dimensional objects such as statuettes, busts, figurines inside water globes and action figures.

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