Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Images from the Romanian Communism Online Photo Collection

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This deletion debate is now closed. Please do not make any edits to this archive. You can read the deletion policy or ask a question at the Village pump. If the circumstances surrounding this file have changed in a notable manner, you may re-nominate this file or ask for it to be undeleted.

Files in Category:Images_from_the_Romanian_Communism_Online_Photo_Collection[edit]

This deletion request will affect some 200+ photos. Having previewed the links in the template, and using Google translate, and by also viewing the English language pages on the site, I see that we are faced with the great possibility that all of these images will unfortunately have to be deleted. The site does not mention anything about the copyright status of the images, merely that use of anything on the site requires citations to be given. Nowhere does it state that derivative works or commercial use are allowed. It seems to me that we are faced with a type situation, except in this case, it is even more clear cut and all of the photos and this template should be deleted. The last DR was closed with a reason of "no fixable issues". This is not how Commons operates, and when approached about the close, Jcb gave flimsy reasons for closing, such as the template was being discussed, not the photos. Now the photos are the subject of this discussion.

russavia (talk) 06:33, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

The template says:
Romanian National Archives identifies, processes, systematizes, and makes available any photographic resources, regardless of their format, created during/about the communist regime in Romania, so that anyone can use them free of charge.[1] According to existing legislation and regulations of the Romanian National Archives, anyone that uses these photographs, regardless of purpose or nature of the work, is obliged to mention:[2]
  • The number of the photo (e.g. #G008)
  • The complete name of the database (Fototeca online a comunismului românesc)
  • The date of access to the database, in round brackets (e.g. (05.02.2012))
  • The archive quota of the work: ANIC, archival database, structural part, thematic subdivision, quota (e.g. ANIC, ISISP archival database, Nicolae Ceauşescu – Portraits, 8/1966)
Oppose It doesn't really matter what you say, the copyright holder (the Romanian government hrough the Romanian National Archives) allows wikipedia to use these images for educational purposes... --Trust Is All You Need (talk) 09:41, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
You are aware that Commons only accepts content that can be used by anyone for any purpose, right? LX (talk, contribs) 09:58, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep - as usual, Commons is shooting itself and the encyclopedia projects in the foot. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 10:12, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Please note Pieter, and you surely know this already, that these discussions are not a vote. You haven't provided anything in your argument which demonstrates that my assertions are incorrect. Please provide a valid reason for keeping, otherwise, you surely know your vote is simply going to be disregarded in its entirety.
  • Comment Some of these files may be {{PD-Romania}}, however, without knowing their place and date of first publication, it is impossible to ascertain whether this is the case or not. I am going to make the same suggestion I made some 3 months ago -- someone may want to contact the archives and get an explicit release under a free licence, at which time images can be undeleted (if getting permission takes time). russavia (talk) 10:39, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep – definitely! The only issue is that the tag given to these images cites the wrong arguments and misses the actual ones. See Template:PD-RO-photo for further details; it is said there that all isolated photographs first published in Romania before March 1991 (and communism ended in December 1989!) have definitively lost their copyright according to the 1956 law. The new law issued in 1996 was able to extend the protection only for photos published after March 1991. Therefore, the solution rests in adding the arguments found in Template:PD-RO-photo to the tag under debate, Template:FOCR. – Impy4ever (talk) 13:14, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep anyone that uses these photographs, regardless of purpose or nature of the work, is obliged to mention --Teplice, Ústecko (talk) 15:15, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
    • But that does not address modifications or for possible reuse commercially. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 18:49, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep we are jumping the gun.Pernoctator (talk) 16:29, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • From what I have been able to read, the text of the template came from (or similar images) which says "© Conform legislaţiei în vigoare şi regulamentelor Arhivelor Naţionale ale României, în cazul în care utilizaţi această fotografie, indiferent de scopul ori natura lucrării, sunteţi obligat să menţionaţi sursa – „Fototeca online a comunismului românesc”, precum şi cota arhivistică." in Romanian. The gallery main page also asserts copyright with the text "Copyright © 2008 Arhivele Naţionale ale României şi Institutul de Investigare a Crimelor Comunismului în România . Toate drepturile rezervate." so any of the templates to say that commercial reuse and modifications are allowed is not correct. Template:PD-RO-photo calls for copyright protection for "artistic photographs" for only 10 years and anything between isolated photographs issued between 1956 and 1991 should be public domain under that template. That means anything before 1956 we cannot have (and not sure how it will work under current Romanian laws and if they put anything retroactively back into copyright. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 18:57, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
    • The Decree no. 321/1956 of June 18, 1956 cancelled any previous copyright law. Basically, all photos taken prior to 1956 are in PD in Romania.--Mircea87 (talk) 20:13, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
      • The last law (Decree 591 of 24 December 1955) was indeed repealed according to Article 43 of Decree nr.321 of 18 June 1956. However, if you look at Article 41 of Decree nr.321 of 18 June 1956, it said copyrights still entacted due to previous laws would continue to be enforced until their times are up according to the new terms of that law). But if I read Article 7 right, the actual term is 50 years for copyright so I do not think the term of 10 years for photographs is correct. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 20:20, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
        • What article are you talking about ("if you look at Article of Decree nr.321 of 18 June 1956")? Also, Article 7 mentions a 50 years term for all cases except those presented above (a, b and c, those with a term of 5, 10 and 20 years ) for juridical persons.--Mircea87 (talk) 20:46, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
          • Article 41, my mistake. I pressed enter too early. As for the 5 to 10 years in Article 7, it says for artistic works only. Maybe it is just me but I have a hard time believing photographs will only be given protection for 5 years (10 for an entire collection) and that law is not making sense to me. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 20:51, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
            • Article 41 doesn't really change a thing: it basically says that copyright was legal until then and any money taken from copyrights will not be refunded. Also, any sort of copyright terms appear to be prolonged, but not more than the 5/10/20 yrs of the 1956 Decree. As I already said, all pics taken prior to 1956 are in PD because it cancelled all previous copyright legislation. The law doesn't make sense because it was a law of a Communist state.--Mircea87 (talk) 21:10, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Ok. I know some of the images are PD old, but I think the others could just be dealt with individually. I found some possibly Russian or Polish works in this group of images so an individual review must be needed. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 21:14, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep. Keep, definitely, per Impy4ever : see Template:PD-RO-photo. We are indeed jumping the gun, or the shark, or whatever it is we are jumping. JJ Georges (talk) 19:49, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Some of the photos in this category are not from "isolated photographs issued between 1956 and 1991" so what do you suggest to do with those that do not fit that timeline? User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 19:54, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
      • What does "isolated photographs" means ? These are standalone works. JJ Georges (talk) 20:06, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
        • Isolated photographs is standalone works. Template:PD-RO-photo gives out copyright terms for standalone (isolated) photos and photos that are part of a collection. Yet, when you look at that template, only those terms applies to images from 1956 to 1991. Several images that are part of this DR are before that time frame so I am trying to see what should be done or what even applies (if at all). Some are PD old since they are 70 years old and are a collective work (or the author is truly unknown or never discovered). User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 20:10, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
          • What Impy4ever stressed is that images issued between 1956 and 1991 are still PD under romanian law. JJ Georges (talk) 20:19, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
            • The 10 years, if I am reading the law correctly, is not the actual copyright term for the photograph. There is still a 50 year copyright term put in Article 7 of that law. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 20:21, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
              • Since most of the photographs concerned in this archive were already PD under the previous law (as they were older than the 5-10 years period) the prolongation of time period included in the new law does not apply. Hence if I read and interpret correctly, they still are PD, which is also what was stressed by several users on this page. JJ Georges (talk) 20:28, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I honestly not so sure, so I hope we have users who speak Romanian that could clear this up. Plus I think each image needs to be looked at on their own (and also checked for the right information, since I found at least 2 that had the incorrect author information). User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 20:41, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep The freedom of those images has been confirmed with the people at the Romanian National Archives prior to starting uploading them. I found that email conversation I had with mr. Andrei Muraru from the Archives and forwarded it to OTRS, the ticket number is 2012020610003003; they are indeed free content, commercial use is allowed, so are derivative works, as long as the source is thoroughly specified. We can add the ticket number to the template if necessary.—Andrei S. Talk 08:50, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
That's the number. It exists, it's in the info-ro list.—Andrei S. Talk 15:27, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
It does exist, but I do not have permissions to see it. I'll go ahead and add the OTRS Template. Symbol keep vote.svg Keep User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 15:32, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Sorry Andrei, you are right. I tried searching for it and it came back blank. From what I can understand the "permission" says that usage can be done, for any purpose, including commercial usage, so long as they are credited inline with what is on their website. The only other thing, do they explicitly allow for "derivative" works? Because "using" and "modifying" are separate concepts as we learnt with Russian Kremlin images. Also, does the museum explicitly assert copyright over the images held in their online colllection? I hate to make editors have to jump thru these hoops, but it is the standard for allowable permissions here on Commons, something that was learned with Russian images. russavia (talk) 16:07, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep,per Impy4ever. --Olahus (talk) 14:08, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep per Impy4ever --Codrin.B (talk) 20:18, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep These pictures are totally legal and their have the Romanian National Archives license. --Rowley (talk) 20:51, 6 February
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep I think. It does appear as though the 1996 Romanian law was not retroactive (some confusion over that, but this document and some court cases seem to confirm the non-retroactivity), so anything which expired under the Communist-era law by 1996 would seem to be OK. They were a member of the Berne Convention from before the Communist era, and while their conformance with Berne with these terms seems pretty tenuous, they may have qualified under its grandfather clause to keep their shorter terms. Anyways, the law does seem fairly explicit. Shorter terms for photographs were very, very common. Am I correct that the 5 and 10 year terms start at publication of the photos, or is it creation? Google Translate works OK, but not great with the technical details of laws, and I've not seen an English translation of the 1956 decree. [As a side note, Romania's URAA date is the normal January 1, 1996, meaning that all of this stuff was not restored in the U.S. either.] Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:09, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
The 1956 Decree uses the term "apariție" which can mean either appearance or publishing. It does not specifically mention the term "publicare" which would specifically require a publication. It's a tricky one here, "apariție" could have been the term used for publishing back then.--Mircea87 (talk) 11:21, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Okay, interesting. Some copyright laws distinguish "publication" and "communication to the public" (public exhibition and broadcasting are sometimes not considered "publication" but would be "communication to the public"); would that more seem to be the sense of the word? Sounds like it is not creation, at the very least. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:23, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
See also article 2: "the copyright takes effect from the moment the work has taken [...] any concrete form" (it's the last paragraph from the article.--Strainu (talk) 21:56, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Sure, that's common, copyright exists from the moment of creation. The question though is how to calculate when it ends for photographs, which is a separate question. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:00, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understood the relation between your response about publication and communication and what Mircea said - which is that the Romanian term "apariție" can mean either appearance (as in coming into existence - the Earth appeared 5 billion years ago) or publishing (as in the book appeared at Springer). I was merely pointing out the fact that the author can use its rights from the moment the work came into existence would suggest that the first meaning would apply.--Strainu (talk) 22:54, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
No, not necessarily -- most all copyright laws say that copyright subsists from the moment of creation; that is standard under the Berne Convention. That really doesn't imply anything about the later article (and it seems they used a different word for "creation" there anyways). Things like broadcast over TV, or a museum display, are often not considered "publication", but are considered "communication to the public", particularly in the WIPO-style laws. "Appearance" could simply mean appearance to the public, without the stricter sense of "publication"... but there's not much I'm going to second guess about 1950s Romanian terminology ;-) It may be safer to use the term "appearance" and leave it undefined, but assume it means something closer to publication than creation. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:47, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep per Impy and the argument about retroactivity I made here, plus the explicit permission received from the National Archives.--Strainu (talk) 21:56, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Note: if the result of the discussion is keep, the {{permissionOTRS}} template should be restored in {{FOCR}}, as it has been changed to {{OTRS received}}.
The ticket's wording is clear: "[you] can use this photographic documents for any purposes, including commercial ones". It does not say anything about reproduction or any limitations whatsoever, except mentioning the source.
I believe russavia's action to be hastly at best. While I understand that AGF does not apply to copyright issues, I fail to see how russavia's review of the ticket would suffice to confirm its correctness.--Strainu (talk) 22:21, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
My action was done as such because Zscout simply noted that there was a ticket, but has not verified it -- being that it is in Romanian. A Romanian speaker is required, and they will need to verify whether it allows for derivative works. Unless the ticket expressly allows for "derivative" works, it isn't suffice permission unfortunately, because "use" does not expressly imply derivatives. What is stopping any of the interested editors from contacting the organisation and getting them to sign an express release of these photos. Because as it stands now, none of the photos should be kept, in no small part due to the fact that there is no first date of publication with them. Their copyright status is not known. russavia (talk) 14:26, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
As Peter Kuiper said, you just loooooove shooting yourself in the leg. I don't know what deletionist English dialect you speak, in each "any use" doesn't include derivative works, but perhaps you should think again what "use" means. But FYI, Andrei has asked for an explicit confirmation from the Archive guys. Hopefully we will get that and end this circus.--Strainu (talk) 22:02, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
  • To use the {{PD-RO-photo}} tag, we need to make sure that each photos was really published before 1986 (if it is part of a series of photos) or 1991 (if is a separate photo), not just taken before that date. If (before being published in 2008 by IICCR) the photos were held in an archive that was not accesible by the public, they do not seem published to me. Razvan Socol (talk) 08:04, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
    Răzvan, while in theory you are correct, I don't think your last phrase applies to this lot. According to the information on the website, the images come from the ISISP fund, which according to this, was a research institute for the history of communism in Romania, which had 2 reading rooms. This suggest that the photos could be consulted publicly. Even if it had no such rooms, I would say that the simple fact that the photos were used for research and documentation would suffice to consider they were publicly available (as opposed to available only to copyright owners). Furthermore, the archive was taken over in 1990 by the National Library, so at least isolated picture would be PD.
    The real reason we should not use {{PD-RO-photo}} is to protect our European reusers - which should also comply with the database owners' rights.--Strainu (talk) 10:19, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep per Impy and Andrei Stroe. Ionutzmovie (talk) 23:07, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep The stipulations are very clear: use as you wish, but with proper citation of the source. I also said on the previous attempt to delete these pictures that I contacted them via email and they stated the exact same thing. Do we have to go through this endlessly? -- 13:18, 11 February 2012 (UTC) [sorry, forgot to log on!] --Alex:D (talk) 10:17, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol delete vote.svg Delete as usual, Commons is shooting itself in the foot by keeping these. 13:47, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep per Impy4ever and Andrei Stroe — the images are in the public domain anyway; moreover, we have explicit permission to use them from the people who uploaded them to the photo archive. - Biruitorul (talk) 23:59, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep per Impy4ever and others
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep per Impy4ever and others; if there are any images 1989 (end of Communist Romania) or earlier which are not PD (highly unlikely), a request for attribution does not preclude free use (Can we close this and remove the 100's of deletion notifications?) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vecrumba (talk • contribs)
  • Note for closing admin In addition to the initial argument, it has been suggested that these images may be {{PD-RO-photo}}. Under the terms of this law, Romanian artistic photographs whose protection term expired before 1996 are now in the public domain. These include photographic series published before 1986 and isolated photographs published before 1991. In relation to these photos, each individual photo is going to have to include evidence of it being published before 1991. To satisfy this requirement, evidence of publication for each photo is going to be required. As identified by Zscout above, some of these photos are from Soviet and Polish sources. Each photo is going to require individual review. The release from the website is not enough as it does not explicitly allow for derivative works (experience from the Russian example in the nomination). The OTRS permission is not suffice as it is, and I have noted this on the template. If anyone is able to give details on further correspondence with the website concerned, and whether any formal explicit permission is going to be given, that would be great. But unfortunately, as it stands now, each photo will need individual review for compliance with our policies. russavia (talk) 19:32, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
    • There was some discussion on this -- it appears the word in the law is more "appearance" than "publication", so it may not be as stringent as the latter term often implies. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:45, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
      • So it appears we are going to require an expert in Romanian copyright law to guide us as to the intricacies of the law, and how it relates to our policies. Would you agree? russavia (talk) 20:01, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
        • And failing that, make the most reasonable assumption we can. Also, the protection was for "artistic photos" apparently non-artistic photos did not get any protection at all (perhaps something akin to Switzerland), but of course, I'm not sure there is any guidance on that either. But given the short terms of protection, unless there is indication that something was not make public at the time, it may be reasonable to think it was made available at the time. Particularly given that the archival institution thinks they are OK to distribute (which is likely due to PD status). I really don't see the need for lots of hand-wringing over this. If there are individual files with some evidence they were not made available until after 1991, then perhaps bring that up. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:48, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment - I have read over this, having been asked by Russavia. I concur that the website says people can use it for any purpose provided they are attributed in the correct manner. For me, modification is included in use, but I can see that there are arguments to be made against this, and apparently they have been before. What I propose is this: everyone who is either not a speaker of Romanian, or not an expert in Romanian copyright law, please be quiet. Let's get someone who can actually answer the issue rather than voicing uninformed opinions. -mattbuck (Talk) 20:13, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
    Well, Matt, as it happens I would very much appreciate if somebody actually laid out explicitly the arguments against including modification into use. Right now the only argument I can imagine is that the licensor simply did nor realize what "use" implies, which is in no way the fault, or the problem, of the licensee.--Strainu (talk) 20:36, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment - The issue looks rather complex. I agree with the suggestion of Mattbuck above and that "Each photo is going to require individual review" whether it falls in the PD scope if it is decided that the OTRS permission does not suffice. GreyHood Talk 20:47, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment - I wonder if the pictures covered by {{FOCR}} can be found in the database covered by {{ComInRo}} which seem to clearly be free with attribution. @Matt, if you don't mind, if you want to silence Romanian speakers, please do silence Russian speakers as well as they also have a significant bias. Thanks.--Codrin.B (talk) 21:01, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing {{ComInRo}} to our attention. Unfortunately, this is possibly going to affect all of those images as well, due to the same problems as is found with these images. First off, we need to ascertain the intricacies of Romanian copyright law. If these images are still possibly copyrighted, we then need to ascertain who the owners of said copyright are. In fact, looking at, it says "The copyright of the images from the site remains unchanged meaning that all those photos can still be used online, privately or publically, the only condition being to specify the owner, which is The National History Museum of Romania." This is an analogous situation to Commons:Deletion requests/License tags of russian websites. The statement from that website is very much different to the statement on {{ComInRo}}. russavia (talk) 22:31, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
I think you might be going too far with your assumptions and I am not sure from what page are you quoting from. I don't see that statement on the homepage. Can you point it out? The about the project page of clearly states in CC-BY-SA fashion (black and white, literally!): "Conditions for the image use: -uploaded images can be used provided the source ( is mentioned." (Romanian: "Condiţii de folosire a imaginilor: -imaginile încărcate pe site pot fi folosite cu condiţia menţionării sursei (". Which is exactly what the {{ComInRo}} does. The owner is the National History Museum of Romania (as mentioned on the same "about" page) who makes all images available publicly with the condition of the attribution, per the mentioned phrase.--Codrin.B (talk) 05:32, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
How long is this joke going to continue ? The romanian law has been examined. The people at the Romanian National Archives confirmed that the use of these images are permitted. Practically everybody has voted to keep them. Are we going to keep - excuse the vulgarity - making asses of ourselves ? There is no reason whatsoever to delete these priceless images - and I'm not saying this because they are priceless, but because the present debate is just plain useless. I suggest we put and end to it and keep them all. JJ Georges (talk) 20:57, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
I insist as I'd really like to know : how long is this going to go on ? JJ Georges (talk) 20:17, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep per all arguments - Fredy.00 19:35
    • Firstly, these discussions are not a vote. They are discussions based upon policy -- copyright policy is imperative here, and there is enough information which doubts whether these images are free or not. I am striking your "attempt" at "voting" because you have done this already back in February. russavia (talk) 18:41, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Russavia, we're all still waiting for you to show us those informations. All we've seen from you this far are unrealistic interpretations of a language you don't speak.--Strainu (talk) 19:34, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
This thing has been going on for over one month, and nobody seems to agree with Russavia, who apparently does not have the requisite knowledge of romanian, and has not submitted any substantial informations. Couldn't we just put an end to this and keep the photos ? This seems to be a waste of time. Who is supposed to close the request ? JJ Georges (talk) 14:27, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Symbol keep vote.svg Keep Our Russian theme Artur Pirojkov (talk) 20:16, 05 June 2012 (UTC)

WE EXPECT THE DECISION. 06:22, 18 March 2012 (UTC) I too agree with keeping, acording to lawsuit of Romania and status of sourcepage.

Kept: Per incontrovertible consensus. Ices2Csharp (talk) 14:28, 9 June 2012 (UTC)