Talk:Wikilegal/NASA images

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Things are a bit more complicated than this page currently sets out, I'm afraid, when it comes to images that NASA is jointly releasing with other organisations or individuals. E.g. ESA/Hubble images are CC-BY according to [1] and others may be fully copyrighted depending on the partners organisations or individuals. It's not just international partnerships - the JPL image policy at [2] also has a note about images that are displayed on the JPL websites but whose copyright is owned by others are restricted to non-commercial use only. Mike Peel (talk) 23:41, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[]

Thanks Michael. I put your text in the note itself. Feel free to edit as you see fit. Geoffbrigham (talk) 04:32, 23 April 2012 (UTC)[]
You should take into account this discussion—that a credit line on a NASA image is usually just a credit, not a copyright statement. Ruslik (talk) 07:38, 24 April 2012 (UTC)[]
Hi Ruslik0, many thanks. Please feel free to update the text of the note itself as you see appropriate (probably in the community comments section). Cheers. Geoffbrigham (talk) 13:37, 29 April 2012 (UTC)[]


Lately NASA has been working with universities and companies. This creates an interesting situation where these sources have rather restrictive copyright notice. For instance both New Horizons and Curiosity probes have this problem. -- とある白い猫 chi? 01:14, 2 May 2012 (UTC)[]

Have you read this page? Ruslik (talk) 04:06, 2 May 2012 (UTC)[]
Yes. I was the person making the initial inquiry. The post does not cover situations such as aka w:New Horizons which is a NASA mission but has contractors w:Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and w:Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). How does this influence copyright if at all is a question we need to resolve. is "The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory" which restricts usage. -- とある白い猫 chi? 15:14, 3 May 2012 (UTC)[]
You linked to a wrong image use policy. Ruslik (talk) 19:41, 3 May 2012 (UTC)[]
Which one is the correct one then? -- とある白い猫 chi? 15:18, 4 May 2012 (UTC)[]
See ref 2 on this page. Ruslik (talk) 17:58, 4 May 2012 (UTC)[]
The webpage at [3]? That page states "generally available for non-commercial educational and public information purposes" - That's essentially a -NC license, which is a restrictive copyright notice... Mike Peel (talk) 18:30, 4 May 2012 (UTC)[]
Which also is quite non-descriptive and also quite bogus. Vast majority of their photos are created in deep space. What is the copyright of a file created by a robot outside of any countries national borders (or the planet)? Owner of the hardware? If so does the contractor or NASA hold the copyright?
Then there are material (like trajectories) contractors generated using NASA tools. It would be PD work if a NASA employer had screen captured the same software. I do not believe such images hold intellectual property to be honest.
While the legal considerations appears straight out of a sci-fi episode of Star Trek, I just don't want to spend time uploading files only to get them deleted over the linked page.
-- とある白い猫 chi? 07:39, 5 May 2012 (UTC)[]
I must repeat my question. Have you read this page? Ruslik (talk) 08:48, 5 May 2012 (UTC)[]
Yup. It doesn't answer my concerns about contractors at all. -- とある白い猫 chi? 00:24, 6 May 2012 (UTC)[]
In this case I advise you to read it again. Ruslik (talk) 06:37, 6 May 2012 (UTC)[]
"Contractors" aren't mentioned once. My concerns aren't answered. Pointless advice is pointless. -- とある白い猫 chi? 14:14, 6 May 2012 (UTC)[]

Note from Geoff[edit]

Since this is intended as a normal wiki, people should feel free to edit, update, and correct the note. That said, if people find it useful, I can ask a summer intern to dive deeper on the joint release issue. Our summer interns are coming at the end of May, so a more detailed note will not be available until June, but, as I understand, we have no deadlines on this. If that doesn't make sense, feel free to let me know. These notes are a bit of an experiment, and, from the feedback that I have heard from the community, we should strive to get them out more quickly and address the issues more directly. I hope to make this a priority, though, as most of you know, our resources are limited and these notes require quite a bit of time to draft and review. Geoffbrigham (talk) 21:54, 7 May 2012 (UTC)[]

Perhaps a good approach would be (for a summer intern) to call someone at NASA and discuss the questions that arise around the copyright status of their images? It would be good to find out if they are happy that commons:Template:PD-USGov-NASA is accurate, and to figure out the issues with contractors/universities potentially jointly owning copyright with them - I'm not sure those can be done solely on-wiki and in the absence of their input... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 15:19, 10 May 2012 (UTC)[]

At Geoff's direction, I've updated the page to try to clarify some of the additional questions and concerns that were raised. Pholm (WMF) (talk) 20:58, 28 June 2012 (UTC)[]

Credit lines[edit]

FYI, there is a certain pattern to most of the credit lines that NASA uses. The following explains the pattern used by the Chandra telescope team, but it is often similar with other NASA image sources

The key to the Chandra credits is:

Organization funding or owning the telescope/PI's institution/PI's name.

So NASA/CXC/UC Berkeley/N. Smith et al. indicates NASA ownership of the telescope, we add CXC to indicate Chandra, then the PI's institution and the PI and/team for intellectual credit. If there is only one iteration of these three categories, and NASA is the name indicating ownership of the telescope, then the image or material is public domain. The other places simply give credit for the science discovery. If the first set of three is followed by a comma, and another credit in which the owner of the telescope is not named as NASA, then you have to get permission from the other organization to use that other layer or layers of the image.

I have not been able to verify to what degree all the teams adhere to this policy, but it is an interesting piece of information. TheDJ (talk) 14:41, 13 July 2012 (UTC)[]

This is how I've always interpreted NASA credit lines, and so far it seems to have held quite well across the agency in the past years. For a work from a joint ESA/NASA project, if the work has a NASA lead (say, from a NASA instrument or the research project is from a NASA contract), the credit will be "NASA/ESA/whatever"; if the work is from an ESA instrument, etc, NASA (and ESA, to a lesser extent) has been quite good in recent years in showing the credit as "ESA/NASA/whatever". You may see "JAXA/NASA" or any other entity, even including universities or private companies (such as the occasional "Malin Space Science Systems" credit for Curiosity Rover camera related images). While not a be-all end-all copyright answer, it is a great way to very quickly weed out images that are surely not copyright free. Huntster (t@c) 07:27, 31 May 2013 (UTC)[]