Wikidata:Property proposal/copyright status

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copyright status[edit]

Originally proposed at Wikidata:Property proposal/Generic


Currently copyright license (P275) is used, but public domain (Q19652) is not a license. Neither is copyrighted (Q50423863). There was a failed proposal before: Wikidata:Property proposal/Archive/48#Copyright status. There is also a (stalled) discussion on Wikidata talk:WikiProject sum of all paintings#Shall we introduce properties indicating copyright status. Yann (talk) 15:27, 19 July 2018 (UTC)


Multichill (talk) 11:28, 8 August 2014 (UTC), focus on the Netherlands Husky (talk) 11:38, 8 August 2014 (UTC) - Cool, i'd like to focus on building tools to visualise progress. Spinster (talk) 07:00, 9 August 2014 (UTC) Happy to help with manual finetuning that can't be done by bots, and anything else on the 'soft/wet' side of this project. I'm dreaming of complete artists' oeuvres on Wikidata! Rich Farmbrough (talk) Time to learn2Wikidata Jheald (talk) 12:33, 17 August 2014 (UTC) Kippelboy (talk) 07:01, 21 August 2014 (UTC) (Focus on Catalan paintings (subdivision of Spain) Mushroom (talk) 12:27, 21 August 2014 (UTC) Jane023 (talk) 09:11, 3 October 2014 (UTC) work on Dutch 17th-century paintings and landscapes of Haarlem; Most recently, the sum of all "attributed" paintings by Frans Hals, which is nearly done Missvain (talk) 18:51, 18 October 2014 (UTC) (talk) 13:27, 15 November 2014 (UTC) Zolo (talk) 14:57, 23 November 2014 (UTC) Beat Estermann (talk) 10:33, 3 December 2014 (UTC) (Focus on Swiss heritage institutions) Vladimir Alexiev (talk) 15:07, 23 January 2015 (UTC) KRLS (talk) 11:26, 11 February 2015 (UTC) (Focus on Catalan area museums) DivadH (talk) 11:35, 1 March 2015 (UTC) ,happy to help out with any questions in regards to the Europeana API, how to best query it, and/or our metadata Xcia0069 (talk) 11:49, 8 March 2015 (UTC), Work on data related to Gianlorenzo Bernini and Artemisia Gentileschi. Work at Europeana too ! Susannaanas (talk) 07:29, 9 March 2015 (UTC) Wittylama (talk) 17:29, 20 March 2015 (UTC) Fabrice Florin (talk) 02:35, 26 June 2015 (UTC) I can help in California later this year. Vaughn88 (talk) 15:58, 15 July 2015 (UTC) I can help! Raymond Ellis (talk) 19:31, 17 August 2015 (UTC) Hsarrazin (talk) 14:11, 29 August 2015 (UTC) - will give a hand with Creators and AC :) louis-garden (talk) 14:21, 31 August 2015 (UTC) for italian paintings (XIIe-XVIIe) Olivier (talk) 21:46, 8 September 2015 (UTC) Kopiersperre (talk) 11:33, 20 November 2015 (UTC) ProtoplasmaKid (talk) 03:49, 23 February 2016 (UTC) Micru (talk) 11:19, 29 February 2016 (UTC) Stuart Prior (WMUK) (talk) 11:04, 28 April 2016 (UTC) Hannolans (talk) 23:14, 22 October 2016 (UTC) Geraki (talk) 09:52, 24 October 2016 (UTC) (Focus on Greece) PatHadley (talk) 12:16, 3 January 2017 (UTC) MartinPoulter (talk) 14:54, 11 January 2017 (UTC) Working to get data from the University of Oxford (Q34433) and its component institutions shared on Wikidata. Pablísima (talk) 18:07, 8 February 2017 (UTC) Carl Ha (talk) 22:10, 9 February 2017 (UTC) Marsupium (talk) 19:44, 22 May 2017 (UTC) Mauricio V. Genta (talk) 16:15, 26 June 2017 (UTC) Shani Evenstein (talk) 10:26, 26 July 2017 (UTC) Nasty nas (talk) 07:45, 24 August 2017 (UTC) Bodhisattwa (talk) 14:28, 28 October 2017 (UTC) Joalpe (talk) 18:39, 9 November 2017 (UTC) Fuzheado (talk) 18:33, 30 November 2017 (UTC) Sarasays (talk) 20:00, 1 December 2017 (UTC) Thierry Caro (talk) 07:30, 9 December 2017 (UTC) John Samuel 18:29, 21 December 2017 (UTC) Jklamo (talk) 12:06, 31 December 2017 (UTC) Reosarevok (talk) 10:28, 15 February 2018 (UTC), focus on Estonia Ambrosia10 (talk) 19:48, 19 February 2018 (UTC) Subsublibrary (talk) 03:17, 22 February 2018 (UTC) Martingggg (talk) 07:00, 22 February 2018 (UTC), focus on Argentine and Hispanic America Kruusamägi (talk) 16:42, 13 March 2018 (UTC), focus on Estonia SIryn (talk) 10:36, 9 June 2018 (UTC) Jarekt (talk) 13:49, 7 September 2018 (UTC), focus on moving metadata from Commons to Wikidata Walkuraxx (talk) 10:00, 30 November 2018 (UTC) Omotecho (talk) 22:11, 21 January 2019 (UTC), focus on Japan GualdimG (talk) 16:19, 19 February 2019 (UTC) Léna (talk) 08:57, 4 April 2019 (UTC) Yann (talk) 09:53, 9 June 2019 (UTC) Paul Cézanne (Q35548) for a start... Abbe98 (talk) 19:25, 18 June 2019 (UTC) Daniel Mietchen (talk) 15:36, 23 July 2019 (UTC) Have been doing small things here and there — especially improving items around what is depicted on paintings — so might as well sign up. Jbandrews (talk) 02:14, 16 October 2019 (UTC) Product Manager at the Art Institute of Chicago. Amadalvarez (talk) 06:19, 19 October 2019 (UTC) Meresquared (talk) 14:51, 22 October 2019 (UTC) I'm interested in adding depiction descriptions to paintings, and improving data around women and POC. Clifford Anderson (talk) 01:47, 25 November 2019 (UTC) --Villy Fink Isaksen (talk) 21:14, 17 March 2020 (UTC) focus on danish paintings. Pictogram voting comment.svg Notified participants of WikiProject sum of all paintings - Aubrey
Viswaprabha (talk)
Maximilianklein (talk)
Jane023 (talk) 08:21, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
Alexander Doria (talk)
Ruud 23:15, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Jayanta Nath
Yann (talk)
John Vandenberg (talk) 09:14, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
Danmichaelo (talk) 19:30, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
Ravi (talk)
Mvolz (talk) 08:21, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Hsarrazin (talk) 07:56, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
PKM (talk) 19:58, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Revi 16:54, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Giftzwerg 88 (talk) 23:36, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
Almondega (talk) 00:17, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
Jura to help sort out issues with other projects
Skim (talk) 13:52, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
Marchitelli (talk) 12:29, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
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Ivanhercaz | Discusión Plume pen w.png 15:30, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
YULdigitalpreservation (talk) 17:35, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
PatHadley (talk) 21:51, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
Erica (ohmyerica) (talk) 19:26, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
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Sam Wilson 09:24, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
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MartinPoulter (talk) 09:21, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
ThelmadatterThelmadatter (talk) 01:11, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Zeroth (talk) 15:01, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
Beat Estermann (talk) 20:07, 12 November 2017 (UTC)
Shilonite - specialize in cataloging Jewish & Hebrew books
Elena moz
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 徵國單  (討論 🀄) (方孔錢 💴) 14:35, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
Alicia Fagerving (WMSE)
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Tris T7 TT me
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Pictogram voting comment.svg Notified participants of WikiProject Books - User:Zolo
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User:Vincent Steenberg
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Multichill (talk) 19:13, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Susannaanas (talk) 11:32, 12 August 2014 (UTC) I want to synchronize the handling of maps with this initiative
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Pictogram voting comment.svg Notified participants of WikiProject Visual arts --Hsarrazin (talk) 11:50, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I think there's a little too much overlap with copyright license (P275) here, and essentially this is just adding a Boolean field to that, which isn't terribly helpful in my opinion. Also in general we have avoided "status"-like properties as they inherently have a present-time bias, but time passes and "status" changes, which necessitates updates to every such property as time goes by. I think better than a "status" would be a date property - "copyright expiry date" perhaps (which may need to be qualified by jurisdiction). I would support a date-related property for this. ArthurPSmith (talk) 18:52, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
  • There is overlap only because copyright license (P275) is badly used. In many cases, as examples I cited above, copyright license (P275) is absolutely not suitable to indicate the copyright status. A license indicates rights or permission given by the copyright owner. It should not be used when there isn't any copyright owner, or worse, for elements created before the concept of copyright was created. "copyright expiry date" would be a qualifier of the proposed property, but the date is often unknown, and/or irrelevant. Examples: what date would you use for One Thousand and One Nights (Q8258) or Mahabharata (Q8276)? As for the changing state of a status, we need a way to update automatically some data (with a bot?) when the status changes. Incompleteness of the system should not be a reason not to create a useful property, otherwise we are blocked in a chicken-and-egg circle. Regards, Yann (talk) 08:38, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
  • You could use the same date as the publication date for old works, for example "10. century" for One Thousand and One Nights (Q8258). However, copyright generally applies not to the work as a whole but to particular editions or translations - Le Mille ed una Notti (Q18913375) was published in 1852 so the copyright expiry for that (or another edition in the language of your choice) is probably a more relevant question. Automatically changing a status doesn't address the issue of how one can use the database to determine copyright status at a particular point in time (before or after present), so a date-based property is more generally useful than a status one. ArthurPSmith (talk) 18:51, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I agree with Yann, a date-based property needs computation (which is totally useless for old works, which could just be indicated as Public Domain). Also, "copyright expiry date" is alright for US-type "copyright", but is not applicable for works by still living people according to EU regulations or '"author's rights". A status type like "Author's death+70 year" would be clearer, and allow for automatic retrieving of the authors P570, when they are added. Also, if regulations change (to prolong the delay) it would be easier to apply to all authors concerned by it. It would be very useful for wikisource to easily know which writers rise to Public Domain every January 1st. --Hsarrazin (talk) 09:21, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Will we mark the individual copyright status of the work for each and every country? Laws differ considerably in each nation.
We'd also have to have a means of differentiating the status of content within a volume. Sometimes the text is in public domain, but the illustrations are still under copyright. Or a volume may contain multiple works, some of which are under copyright and some of which are not. Sometimes the primary work is free of copyright, but the annotations, or the introduction are copyrighted. We'd have to have a system that indicates the status of individual components of a work before we can handle copyright issues. --EncycloPetey (talk) 14:41, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
of course, you can put the copyright status on work items, instead of the "book" item. Thus, allowing to know the status of each part. But not all editions are composite. Most are single works. and you do not "have to"... it would "allow to" which is quite different. --Hsarrazin (talk) 17:11, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
« Most are single works. » Is it? Composition is quite common, paratext being the most common editing. For instance, most recent editions have a cover who are works with their own rights. And translation are edition (per FRBR at least) who have a translator with -again- its own rights. Their is a lot of other examples. If we create this property, I feel it would be easier to put it only on editions and not on works.
I totally agree for the "allow to" and not "have to", indicating the status of text in French according to laws of France, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland and other francophone country make sense and could be useful/relevant, adding the status of a text in Japanese according to the law of Lichtenstein could be done if needed but doesn't have to.
Cheers, VIGNERON (talk) 21:09, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
I still have a major concern about updating (document entering or leaving the public domain). How this property could deal with it? Cdlt, VIGNERON (talk) 21:09, 30 July 2018 (UTC)


Symbol strong support vote.svg Strong support --Hsarrazin (talk) 09:58, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Implementation does not allow marking which locations have a particular copyright status. A book may be under copyright in the UK, but not in the US. Or may be PD in Canada, but copyrighted in the US. It is also possible that individual portions of a book are copyrighted, such as the illustrations, the annotations, or the introduction, while the main text is free of copyright. We also need to be able to mark the status of individual poems within a collected volume, or the individual stories in a magazine. Sometimes a work is in public domain, but a translation of that work is not. We can't handle all these situations under the current proposal. A great deal of work will be required first. --EncycloPetey (talk) 14:49, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
    • Maybe I'm missing something, but all the things you listed seem possible with this proposal: For the location, use applies to jurisdiction (P1001) as a qualifier. When it only applies to a part of the work, use applies to part, aspect, or form (P518) as a qualifier. Translations, individual poems and individual stories in a magazine would already need their own items anyway to enter titles, authors, creation dates, etc - the copyright status can be added the individual items. - Nikki (talk) 15:20, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
      • Re: "can be added the individual items": You're missing how WikiProject:Books has book data items structured. A magazine is a simple example compared to a book. If we have a book containing 12 short stories, that's a minimum of 26 data items, provided the book has only a single edition: there will be one data item for the "work", one for each story as a "work", and one additional data item each for the particular "edition" of the book and story. For each additional edition, there will be an additional 13 data items. Can we be sure that the copyright status will be the same for the editions as for the original work? No. Each edition can have editorial changes that warrant a separate copyright status. Each edition can have a foreword, introduction, or notes that are copyrighted. Each edition can have new illustrations that are copyrighted.
      • When we add new items to Wikisource, it often involves long and complicated research for a single edition and a community discussion to decide whether a particular work is (a) copyrighted in the US, and (b) copyrighted in its country of origin. To add every individual nation's copyright status on top of that will generate millions of discussions to resolve and track.
      • For a novel that was serialized in a magazine initially, then published as a book in the US/UK simultaneously, then multiple additional editions, we have to track the status of the original story separately from each and every edition, because each edition may or may not have additional copyrighted material, and we have to have the copyright status on every individual edition, with no guarantee that they are the same. And for a poem, there won't be just one data item; there will be a data item for each and every time that poem was published, each of which will have individual copyright status depending on when and where it was published and whether or not that edition had editorial changes, notes, or other associated material that falls under copyright. Popular poems can run into the hundreds of different editions to track. And once you add to that the translations and any illustrations that may or may not have appeared under the edition, I don't see how we can hope to track it all.
      • And Wikiproject:Books is now in a discussion to decide what data structure we need for our purposes, so we don't even have a set model yet on which to add copyright status.
      • And once the copyright status is added, is it a static value? No. The copyright status is time dependent, and subject to changes in law. The current proposal offers no means to track changes that happen as the result of the passage of time, or to indicate which law and what registration affects the current status. --EncycloPetey (talk) 17:11, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
        • None of these is a valid reason not to create this property. Anyway it is not just because it can't be used in some cases, that it should not be created, as it is useful in other cases. Regards, Yann (talk) 10:38, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
          • It is a valid reason if the proposal is not designed to handle these situations, and the proposal clearly isn't capable of doing so. The proposal is a naive implementation that assumes a single data item for a book, with two possible settings. The situations I've described cannot be handled under the proposal as it was submitted. A proposal that purports to handle copyright status, that isn't even designed to handle a book is not going to be useful, and will create more problems than it solves. The proposal should be voted down, and a new proposal that can handle the needs of Wikidata should be drafted. --EncycloPetey (talk) 14:29, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
            • The proposition is not a 2-possible settings one. It allows for adding specific qualifiers for specific values, and to create more possible values than "copyrighted" or "public domain". Moreover, it allows for adding info on "work" items, not only on "edition" items. The mere notion of "book" items is a nightmaire chimera, that should be divided into the previous two types of items. Being able to know, for each "work" whether it is or not PD, is a progress to being able to know if a specific edition is or not, considering each part, including foreword, preface, etc. could have the info "as a work". --Hsarrazin (talk) 16:07, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
              • I'm looking at the proposal as it's given above. All six examples have only one of two values, and that's all. The proposal lists only two allowed values, so it is clearly a two-settings proposal. I'm evaluating the proposal as it is stated, not as I imagine it might be and not as other people imagine it might be. I cannot evaluate people's imagination, only the proposal as it was stated. --EncycloPetey (talk) 18:57, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose per EncycloPetey. Mahir256 (talk) 17:31, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Opposechanged to Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment isn't public domain date (P3893) enough and even better as more perennial (per EncycloPetey (talkcontribslogs) last point). Cdlt, VIGNERON (talk) 17:41, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
    • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment @VIGNERON: for old work (19th century of before), you would need to give a date which means nothing, or would be difficult to compute. how would you propose to do in those cases ? --Hsarrazin (talk) 19:48, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
      • @Hsarrazin: why would the date means nothing? or why would it means more (or less) than the proposed property? And old publications are obviously in the public domain (except for few strange cases like Peter Pan or posthumous editions). My concern is that for edition entering in the public domain now, it would means that we would need to monitor and change the data on thousands of items, meanwhile a date doesn't have to be changed (again, with exceptions). By the way, "work" is not really an appropriate term here, a work is intangible so it's never under copyright law, legally it's never under copyright or in the public domain, only publications are. Cdlt, VIGNERON (talk) 20:33, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
@VIGNERON: I disagree with you about work. You know as well as me that in French (and European) law, works are protected from their inception, whether they are published or not. And that the period of protection does not run from edition, but from the death of the author. When a work is PD, all its editions (if there is not added work, translation, illustration, etc.) is automatically PD too ^^ --Hsarrazin (talk) 20:42, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
@Hsarrazin: Well, law is complicated. It depends on what we call "work" and "inception", as long as it is intangible (for instance still in someone mind), it's not protected (idea are free), but true as soon as it's written down (published or not) it's protected. The duration of protection is not always PMA, not even in France (it's not the case for posthumous works for instance). And no, not all editions of a "PD work" are automatically PD (not if there is addition or modifications). Anyway, why not just use public domain date (P3893)? (especially as it can be in the future, which could be very useful for Wikisources ;) ) Cdlt, VIGNERON (talk) 21:47, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
  • and using "no value" (combined with public domain date (P3893)) for those works that were never under copyright? strakhov (talk) 16:58, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
  • @Strakhov: yes, it could work. That said, qualifiers would still be needed. Cdlt, VIGNERON (talk) 19:13, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
  • @Strakhov: While I initially thought it could work, I see 3 problems with that: 1. "no value" means "there is no value for the date of accession to public domain", and is not equivalent to "being in the public domain". It can be interpreted as "it will never enter in the public domain". 2. Copyright is quite complex, and determining if a document is in the public domain today is sometimes complicated. Knowing when it entered the public domain is even worse, and useless as a practical matter. I don't see any reason to make things even more difficult than they are. 3. If the author is still alive, we can't give a date when the work will enter in the public domain. Regards, Yann (talk) 19:18, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose better to extend copyright license (P275) usages instead. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 10:40, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
@Liuxinyu970226: do you mean inputing public domain (Q19652) in copyright license (P275) ? - this value would have to be explicitely authorized, then, and a redefinition of copyright license (P275) to be accepted. --Hsarrazin (talk) 11:39, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
@Hsarrazin: By simply searching "Q19652" I found 845 items that are having copyright license (P275) public domain (Q19652) e.g. Mahabharata (Q8276). --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 11:42, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
indeed, but this is not considered proper for now, see this discussion — what counts for me is that it is possible to use this value somewhere. If it was agreed to extend and rename P275, it would be ok for me :) --Hsarrazin (talk) 12:01, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I proposed a more generic property: Wikidata:Property proposal/legal status.--GZWDer (talk) 10:50, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I like GZWDer's legal status as it's more generic --Sabas88 (talk) 13:08, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Clarifies existing data. "Legal status" is incredibly vague, it could mean anything from immigration statuses to tax statuses. The only think I would change is that this property should be called "intellectual property status" or something like that.Mr. Guye (talk) 19:03, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
That kind of thing shematically represented by :
Property "author's rights" :
public domain (Q19652) or
copyrighted (Q50423863)
All Rights Reserved (Q1752207) or
license (Q79719)
→license needed


Property "author's rights" :
public domain (Q19652) or
All Rights Reserved (Q1752207) or
license (Q79719)
→license needed
The second solution is better IMO. Christian Ferrer (talk) 18:01, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
@Christian Ferrer: I don't think "author's rights" properly captures many common issues with copyright - the right originates with the author, yes, but it can be transferred to another owner. The copyright owner may provide content under a variety of different licenses - more than one license can apply to given content at one time, it may for instance vary by legal jurisdiction. Not that this proposal for a "copyright status" property is quite right either - copyright is unfortunately quite complicated. ArthurPSmith (talk) 17:56, 23 September 2018 (UTC)
@ArthurPSmith: Note that by author's rights, I mean the "the rights of the owner of the author's rights". That was implicit. But indeed, that is quite complicated. It also depend here on how you want to display it, of course inside a specific said jurisdiction. I mean if you have the publication date + the place of publication then you just need ()a query(ies) to determine if a work is in PD in USA or/and in it's country of origin. A solution is maybe to talk about specific jurisdictions, two concept are specially interesting : "status of the rights related to intellectual property concerning this artwork in U.S.A." and "status of the rights related to intellectual property concerning this artwork in its country of origin" Christian Ferrer (talk) 18:46, 23 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment On another side, there is widely enough work for the Wikimedia Commons volunteers to check/control the file's copyright status or claims about these statuses, we must avoid extending this problem on another project(s). What to do when the copyright status will be definite in a different way in Wikidata and in Wikimedia Commons? who will have the last word, where will it be discussed? Don't we have enough job in Commons? The license tags or (PD tags) are/will be stored in Wikibase (and it is well like that), therefore of what is firstly needed are items for those tags, then you have to define the needed properties for those items. Items for the tags is the only thing we need, the the rest will come from itself Christian Ferrer (talk) 21:51, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support as per my comment Christian Ferrer (talk) 06:03, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

Three Options[edit]

  • @Christian Ferrer: Can you clarify what you are expecting to happen with Structured Data on Commons? I just chatted with some people working on that project, and they think they really need this property or some solution here. As far as I can tell we have 3 possible options here:
    1. Modify the definition of copyright license (P275) so that public domain (Q19652) (and copyrighted (Q50423863)?) can be used. See the discussion that has been going on a while at Property talk:P275.
    2. Adopt this proposal, with the known limitations that it may not work for some works as discussed above
    3. Adopt the more general legal status proposal
  • I think I favor the first. @Yann, Hsarrazin, EncycloPetey, VIGNERON, Strakhov, Liuxinyu970226: @Mahir256, Nikki, GZWDer, Sabas88, Mr. Guye: Where do you stand? ArthurPSmith (talk) 00:04, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
    • @ArthurPSmith: like you, a modification of copyright license (P275) would be alright with me :) --Hsarrazin (talk) 00:08, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
    • I don't have any strong opinions either way, as long as we have a proper way of saying something is public domain. #1 is probably the simplest option. It works for my use case (indicating that a dataset can be used in Wikidata), so if it also works for what Commons needs, I have no objections to it. - Nikki (talk) 09:23, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment It is not only the author's rights, but also the rights of the translator that matter for a published translation. Translations of Ancient Greek dramas may be under copyright, even though the author died millenia ago. I also still have issue with where this information would be placed for a published literary work. The work? Editions? Volumes? Components of editions? And what happens when a work (or edition, etc.) has multiple authors? And how do we track different licenses for different countries, regions, etc? --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:21, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
EncycloPetey Then, in case of translations that have differents or/and additional author's rights, an item for the original work and an item for the (each copyrightable) translation(s) are needed.
ArthurPSmith, regarding Structured Data on Commons, this exemple is not bad, why not a property "Usage rights"? with a suitable series of qualifiers? such property can be used for the items that depict something in Commons, as well as for the items that have no entry in Commons. Christian Ferrer (talk) 06:14, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
User:Christian Ferrer That section of the page you link to is title "Licensing", and that is exactly what proposal 1 here is proposing: change the label on copyright license (P275) to "licensing", and the associated description and constraints (actually it looks like somebody already relaxed the constraints on that property given the de facto existing usage in this manner). I suppose "usage rights" could be an alias. But it doesn't seem to be a fundamentally different thing that requires a new property, unless you can point to a clear distinction? And note that the people who want this ARE coming from Commons (User:Yann here for instance). ArthurPSmith (talk) 13:27, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
In answer to [1] "Usage rights" can of course includes licenses but "Usage rights" should, IMO, also have as possible value "public domain" which is literally not very compatible with license or licensed. "Usage rights" for a family of projects, as the Wikimedia projects, that are turned to the possibility of the "reuse" of content is IMO the best explicit choice. Example:
Usage rights
Public Domain
Usage justification
(Public domain given)
Own work
External source
Official governments works
(Public domain old)
Usage juridiction
year of creation
year of publication
date of author's death
Usage justification
Own work
External source

Christian Ferrer (talk) 21:59, 28 November 2018 (UTC)

So we may need a separate "usage justification" property? But the intent here with proposal 1 is to allow both licensed and public domain to be represented, so as far as I can tell we're on the same page with that. ArthurPSmith (talk) 15:13, 29 November 2018 (UTC)
In my understanding for the Structured Data for Commons we will need to store severals infos such as the ones listed above, not only if a work is copyrighted or not. "Usage rights" in the sense "what rights do you have for the reuse of this item" is enough neutral to properly serve the ontology proper to wikidata, and to prepare for future developments such as "Structured Data for Commons". Example for a work made in 1699 "Licensing (or license) =Public Domain" will likely be understood by almost everybody but literally or ontologically this is wrong, because as far I know there was no such licenses in 1699. However "Usage rights=Public Domain ; why? (Usage justification) = created in 1699" is, though simplified, more suitable for ontology and for Wikimedia Commons. That said this is just my point of view, and I guess I could live with such a property called "license" or "licensed". Just hope that before to create such a property which is meant to be used a number more than consistently, the Wikidata community will chose the best possible property for all potential future uses. Note that I am not a Wikidata specialist, I just try to help. Regards, Christian Ferrer (talk) 18:03, 29 November 2018 (UTC)
For what it's worth, the development team is anticipating some sort of usage justification/copyright rationale property will be needed. If you can find a place for it in the ontology, it's likely going to be well used. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 18:30, 29 November 2018 (UTC)
I think "usage rights" does not correspond exactly with the same concept as copyright status. There are many legal reasons use of a work could be restricted or not, and copyright is just one of them. A work could have trademark status, regardless of its copyright status. Usage of some works could be restricted due to privacy, national security/classification status, contractual/donor restrictions, or specific laws governing that work. I have the same issue with "legal status," and "author's rights" is just as problematic, since authorship is not the same as holding copyright in many situations. I am a little confused as to why this discussion in this proposal has moved away from using the term "copyright" as the property, since that is really what we are trying to describe. And, from a user experience standpoint, alternative terms like "___ rights" or even "licensing" are far less understandable to the public. Ultimately, we still do need a good way to describe a work's copyright status. Dominic (talk) 15:30, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

At the risk of further complicating an already messy conversation, I think we need at least three properties to properly model issues around copyright and use rights/restrictions.

  1. We do need one property specifically for "copyright status". This could take values such as copyrighted (Q50423863), public domain (Q19652), unknown (Q24238356), "not yet determined" (is there a suitable item for this?).
  2. We should also keep the copyright license (P275) for cases in which a work does have a license, but it could simply be absent in cases of public domain works (with the possible exception of Creative Commons Public Domain Mark (Q7257361), but that doesn't need to be decided here) or in-copyright works with no specific license.
  3. A third property should be the "rights statement," preferably using the model, which would allow users to describe the specific rights situations of works, especially those that do not otherwise have licenses. For why this third one is important, think about some of the situations already identified by, such as NoC-CR (non-copyright contractual restrictions) or InC-EDU (works in copyright but holder givers permission for educational use).

Where appropriate, each of these could take qualifiers such as rationale/justification, jurisdiction, and time period. Dominic (talk) 16:03, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

I don't disagree with the analysis above. If we don't create a property such as "usage right" then we need a property "copyright status" with the 3 possible values listed above and copyright license (P275) should accept as values only license (Q79719), and IMO there was no special need to rename it from "license" to "licensing", but well. Also agree with something like rights statement, it involves creating afterwards items for these statements. Christian Ferrer (talk) 05:59, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
Sounds good. Where do we go from here? Leave this proposal behind and start a few fresh ones with this organization in mind? Re-adjust this proposal? Keegan (WMF) (talk) 23:26, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
The creation of a property "copyright status" involve to remove the "copyright status" relative items as allowed values from copyright license (P275) example The Albatross (Q3201688), otherwise it's duplicate. Maybe that copyright license (P275) should be a qualifier of property "copyright status" Christian Ferrer (talk) 06:27, 4 December 2018 (UTC) I strike the last part of my comment. Christian Ferrer (talk) 11:52, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
Yes better start a few fresh one, too many things to be understandable, in my opinion. Christian Ferrer (talk) 11:55, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
Is there anyone that can take this proposal on, then? Or particular folks who are adept at this process we could ping? It's important to the Structured Data project that this gets sorted out as soon as possible, and I know I am not well enough acquainted with the process to do so myself as a volunteer. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 23:45, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
@Keegan (WMF): I'm happy to help (and I made the change to copyright license (P275) hoping that would be sufficient, but apparently not). But what we need is a concrete proposal for 1 or 2 or however many new properties you need, with clear examples of how they would be used, and then to hopefully find consensus on that proposal, or modify it if needed. It might be helpful to experiment with where you can create properties yourself, and create something you can point the rest of us to that would show exactly what you are trying to do. It might also be helpful to have one person or a project representing the Commons point of view on this for communication purposes (I was assuming User:Yann who proposed this was the one, but maybe not?) ArthurPSmith (talk) 19:29, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
Regarding a Commons perspective, I am interested in this issue primarily from the perspective of Wikimedia Commons and structured data, as well. I have uploaded over 200,000 files to Wikimedia Commons from the US National Archives holdings, so I am definitely very engaged, though I'm not sure I'd call myself a leader in the Commons community specifically. My goal is definitely to be able to upload file metadata, including copyright information, in such a way that information necessary for Wikimedia Commons is present in Wikidata. I think we are not there yet.
For what it's worth, I am happy to work on #3 of what I wrote above, the rights statements aspect of this. That is a project I am deeply involved in already. It looks like we still need to reproduce the statements as Wikidata items before there can be a property. After that, if no one else has yet done so, I will look at the other aspects, as well. Dominic (talk) 20:44, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
@ArthurPSmith: thanks for the pointers. I agree that it would be most helpful having some folks from Commmons working to shape these proposals. The WMF does not have a position on what the model should look like; we need to know what the community thinks, so that can be applied to the software development. @Dominic: that would be great, thank you! @Jarekt: we have some movement here on sorting out the ontology, any thoughts? Keegan (WMF) (talk) 21:41, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I agree, after some initial back and forth and few early opposes, it looks we have a consensus. Also let me mention earlier discussions and proposals:

To rephrase, my take on above discussion (with some details from the earlier ones):

  • we use name copyright status to indicate that this property is only for copyright related rights, not other legal restrictions, for which we might need additional properties. Author's rights favored by User:Christian Ferrer is a good name too and maybe should be an alias, but that one do not convey the message that it only relates to copyright rights and not other ones
  • copyright status should take only few values: copyrighted (Q50423863), public domain (Q19652), unknown (Q24238356), "not yet determined"
  • each one of the values above will come with different set of qualifiers or expected additional properties
  • we will need additional property for copyright status justification where we can indicate justifications, like "own work" released by the author in case of CC license, or "copyright expiration 70 years after author's death" in case of PD work.
  • one can have multiple copyright statuses for different jurisdictions (use applies to jurisdiction (P1001) qualifier) and time periods (use start time (P580)/end time (P582) qualifier). If copyright status changes than we keep the old one and add end time (P582) qualifier. Because of that the best practice might be to use copyright status as an anchor property with additional qualifiers bundled within. In case of single universal copyright status for example for {{Q|12418} we could place copyright status justification as a separate property, but it might be more clear as qualifier.
  • with creation of copyright status we should narrow down the scope of copyright license (P275) so it is only used for copyrighted works. We should perhaps restore original name and description.

With the above understanding I will approve the creation of this property, which is also crucial for development of Structured data on Commons. --Jarekt (talk) 14:53, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

✓ Done with creating the page copyright status (P6216) and I will work on constraints and cleanup tonight. Feel free to help with setting of copyright status (P6216). --Jarekt (talk) 15:06, 6 December 2018 (UTC)
@Jarekt: Thanks for sorting this out! I have created not yet determined (Q59496158) as well. Dominic (talk) 15:37, 6 December 2018 (UTC)
That's fine, thanks. Do we have somebody prepared to create a proposal for copyright status justification? ArthurPSmith (talk) 19:01, 6 December 2018 (UTC)
Let's put any future conversation on Property talk:P6216. I will move the copyright status justification question there. Multichill (talk) 23:14, 6 December 2018 (UTC)