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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 adding new listings can be found at Instructions for listing 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 once 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.

Instructions for listing 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 info-en-c@wikimedia.org. 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 the infringing text or revert the page to a non-copyrighted version if you can.
    The infringing text will remain in the page history for archival reasons unless the copyright holder asks the Wikimedia Foundation to remove it (unless it is 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/2015 October 25:

  • Pictogram voting keep.svg Article cleaned by investigator or others. No remaining infringement. Yikes, Justlettersandnumbers! Do we still need to spot-check other edits? That one was pretty bad. If I had known how widespread it was, I might have stubbed it to begin with. :( I thinkI got it all. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 02:09, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
Moonriddengirl, I haven't looked at this recently. But the quick off-the-top-of-my-head reply from what I recall is "yes, definitely". I'll try to dig a bit later today. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 09:02, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Justlettersandnumbers, I've found copy-pasting in Ethnicity (album). That was an unsourced copy-paste, so we have plagiarism going on here as well. That means, sadly, that we can't rely on this user to identify where he copied his content from. :( I don't have time to look through it at the moment, but there's definitely copy-pasting in this edit (and close paraphrase) at least from [1] (the epiphany line and subsequent.) We may be heading towards a CCI here. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:32, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Here is a link to all contributions. I didn't immediately see other copyright violations but I didn't look thoroughly. Calliopejen1 (talk) 12:57, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2015 November 28:

  • Psychonaut, I'm not managing to access that page, either directly or via archive.org. Can you provide a different link? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 14:46, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
  • [2]. That particular section was removed, though there is possibly more to be concerned about. MER-C 12:18, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2016 January 13:

  • Shake Hands Forever (history · last edit · rewrite) from http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/9780007159444/shake-hands-for-ever. I'm really not skilled enough to know who added this and when so I can't inform the original editor. I was (very nicely) requested to stop reporting copyvios until I learnt how to do this and so far I have. But... well... that seems weird to me. Trey Maturin (talk) 22:42, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting keep.svg Article cleaned by investigator or others. No remaining infringement. Revdelete request added for admin attention. As Trey Maturin has said, the editor wasn't notified; but he/she has been indeffed since 2012, so I don't think that matters. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 18:58, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
  • This editor, Barbara Osgood, may need looking at more carefully. She has text-copyvio warnings going back to 2008 (from Moonriddengirl) and 2011 (from Shirt58), and appears to have copied publisher's blurbs (or descriptions from Amazon or somewhere) as plot summaries in several articles, including the one above and The Killing Doll, partly from the book itself. I'm having some trouble seeing whether there's enough to justify a CCI request. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 18:58, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Here is a list of contributions. Calliopejen1 (talk) 13:00, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2016 May 20:

Looks as if there may be around 234 articles to be checked, Doc James. If you've already identified about five instances of infringement, the next step could be a WP:CCI request. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 22:28, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
User says they will rewrit [3] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:01, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2017 April 25:

  • New Orleans Police Department (history · last edit · rewrite) from http://www.nola.gov/nopd/about-us/history/. That url is now dead, but archive.org has the content as early as 24 July 2013 (https://web-beta.archive.org/web/20130724051321/http://www.nola.gov/nopd/about-us/history/). There is also an archive.is version of a different url with slightly different wording, apparently dating back to 1 June 2006 (http://archive.is/PQCY0), which would be before the creation of New Orleans Police Department, and certainly before the insertion of the content here. (I seem to recall a project-space discussion about the use of archive.is, but I can't remember the outcome, and don't know whether it's considered a reliable "archival source" for copyright purposes.) The article's text closely paraphrases the archived versions at times and outright copies at other times. /wiae /tlk 00:58, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Also, a point of order: the text has been removed and reinserted several times over the life of New Orleans Police Department. I've notified the original contributor, but should I notify individually every editor who has reinstated the content at some point? /wiae /tlk 01:02, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Older than 7 days

21 July 2017

  • List of World Heritage Sites in the Philippines (history · last edit · rewrite) from http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/3860/ and other whc.unesco sites. I cut out a bunch of text in the previous edit, but some of it might be okay, and conversely there may be some copyrighted content remaining in the article. Would appreciate more eyes on this one as there is a lot of text. /wiae /tlk 12:17, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
  • 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. [4]. The tentative listings do not have this license. MER-C 03:36, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

19 August 2017

  • Pictogram voting delete.svg Article deleted due to copyright concerns. Hut 8.5 20:52, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
    Hut 8.5 20:52, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, Calliopejen1! However, I'm not sure how much that will help, as the user's sandbox (which as I recall had the initial translation) has been deleted. I speak and read Italian without difficulty, so I'm confident that there was enough copying to justify listing here; but at this remove of time, I no longer remember how much of the text was affected. Perhaps you with your x-ray admin eyes could look at this version of the sandbox and compare it with a Google translation of the source? Or, if you email me the text of that version of the sandbox, I could give you an estimate of the percentage of overlap. My concern is of course not this specific article, but whether it's an indicator of a wider problem – the editor has more than 20000 edits. Regards, Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 21:05, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
@Justlettersandnumbers: Yes, the original version in the sandbox is clearly a direct translation. But the article was entirely rewritten in sandbox before the article was created in mainspace, so no copyvio remains, and no copyvio ever existed in mainspace (at least from that initial website -- I haven't attempted to compare every reference in Italian to determine whether portions of any of them have been translated into the article. It looks like the user thought it didn't matter what he did in the sandbox, and that has now been clarified (see discussion). The sandbox has also been deleted. Is there anything more to do here? Calliopejen1 (talk) 14:15, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
Calliopejen1, if you're reasonably satisfied that this hasn't happened with other articles, then, no, we're done, thank you! I looked at a few in August without finding any further problems, or I'd have listed them here. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 09:50, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

29 September 2017

  • @Lin linao: It appears to me that this article is an unattributed translation from sr.wiki. Is this what you were alerting us to? I don't see any obvious copying from external sites. Calliopejen1 (talk) 13:58, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
@Calliopejen1:, compare the text of this article and http://beogradskonasledje.rs/kd/zavod/obrenovac/stara-zadruzna-kuca-rankovic.html . In my opinion, this article and sr.wp article were taken from there. The first edition in sr.wp already had a link to http://beogradskonasledje.rs/ and that page has pictures and more information. It seems more probable a copyvio in Wikipedia than a complete Serbian webpage with pictures and extra information copying from Wikipedia. Regards. Lin linao (talk) 22:24, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
@Lin linao: It looks to me that the sr.wiki article was likely a copyright violation (in part), and that the English article was translated from there. Here is the Earwig comparison for the sr.wiki for when it was created by its initial author[5], and here is the Earwig comparison for sr.wiki today[6]. Here is the Earwig comparison for the en.wiki article [7]. I'm guessing it's actually a better translation of the Serbian content than the English on the external website and that is why it doesn't match up well per Earwig. My plan would be to identify what was translated from sr.wiki and delete it, and then leave a notification of some sort on sr.wiki so they can deal with the problem on their end. Calliopejen1 (talk) 23:15, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

4 October 2017

  • Social security in Australia (history · last edit · rewrite) from http://www.peacekeepers.asn.au/veterans/Fact%20Sheets/IS122%20Imprisonment.pdf http://www.humanservices.gov.au/business/services/centrelink/paid-parental-leave-scheme-for-employers/ https://web.archive.org/web/20101222084710/http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/payments/ya_independent.htm. NB: the page is a mess, seems to have been cobbled together from different sites. I've just added a selection. Some Earwig results are probably copied from the article but it's quite challenging to tell. Triptothecottage (talk) 11:19, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

5 October 2017

  • I didn't finish investigating this one, but it goes back at least until 2010.[8] This article is that copying user's only substantive contribution. Calliopejen1 (talk) 14:45, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting keep.svg Article cleaned by investigator or others. No remaining infringement. MER-C 07:03, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

8 October 2017

New listings

New listings are not added directly to this page but are instead on daily reports. To add a new listing, please go to today's section. Instructions for adding new listings can be found at Instructions for listing text-based copyright concerns. Entries may not be reviewed and are not closed for at least 7 days to give the original authors of the article time to deal with the problem.

Older than 5 days

11 October 2017

Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2017 October 12

Recent listings

13 October 2017

Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2017 October 14 Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2017 October 15

16 October 2017

17 October 2017

Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2017 October 18

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Wikipedia's current date is 18 October 2017. Put new article listings in Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2017 October 18. Images should be handled by speedy deletion or Wikipedia:Files for discussion.

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