WPCLipart.com
Sources of images and
legal information for WPClipart
Terms of use
These images are public domain (PD), and that means they can be used and edited for whatever purpose you wish, personal or commercial. (You can even apply for Trademark status in the US starting with a PD image.) No attribution or linking is required.
(although a link would be nice...)
I only make one request:
I don't want folks to copy the collection to repost online (basically mirroring my site.) I spend a lot of time finding, researching copyright status and editing/retouching as well as donating hundreds of my own images, so I believe that should warrant some consideration.
Allowed Usage Summary:
that said...
If you wish to include the collection within a GPL-ed Linux distribution or create a package for that distribution, you are more than welcome to do so. I am a big proponent of Open Source and originally created this collection for my kids to use on Linux with AbiWord. (That's why, many years ago, the collection was originally called AbiClipart.)
Purpose
First and foremost, the clipart was made as a resource for school kids and others to use without fear of copyright infringement or the risk of running into all sorts of "inappropriate" pictures when searching the web for graphics.
No user generated content
Uploading of images by visitors is Not Allowed. There is a risk that uploads of this kind may not be appropriate or may not truly be public domain. (Thus defeating the very purpose of the collection.)
Regarding possible errors in PD status
Wpclipart.com respects the intellectual property rights of others, and I ask our users to do the same. If you believe that your copyrighted work has been copied and is accessible on the wpclipart.com web site in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please send a notice providing the following information:
  1. The electronic or physical signature of the owner of the copyright or the person authorized to act on the owner's behalf;

  2. A description of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed;

  3. A description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located, such as the URL where it is posted;

  4. Your name, address, telephone number and email address;

  5. A statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use of the material is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent or the law; and

  6. A statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or are authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf.


Send this information to:
	Paul Sherman
	628 N Main Ave
	Erwin, TN 37650
	

This is in accordance with the The Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Any requests which do not adhere to these procedures will be ignored.
Section 512(c)(3) sets out the elements for notification under the DMCA. Subsection A (17 U.S.C. 512(c)(3)(A)) states that to be effective a notification must include: 1) a physical/electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the infringed right; 2) identification of the copyrighted works claimed to have been infringed; 3) identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed; 4) information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party (e.g., the address, telephone number, or email address); 5) a statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material is not authorized by the copyright owner; and 6) a statement that information in the complaint is accurate and that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner. Subsection B (17 U.S.C. 512(c)(3)(B)) states that if the complaining party does not substantially comply with these requirements the notice will not serve as actual notice for the purpose of Section 512.

Regarding trademarks and public domain images...
Much to my original surprise, you CAN take a public domain image and apply to use it (or a derivative) as a trademark in the United States. And although this may sound horrible to someone who wants the art to "stay free", there are two reasons this can actually be a good thing.
  1. Folks get to use public domain artwork for their business

  2. The rest of us can still use the same original public domain image for anything we wish, except to use to sell products which would compete with the product the person trademarked... in other words, the trademark is only good to protect the product/brand it is trademarked for, it does not otherwise limit the useage of the public domain image.


Concerning Paintings: The following is quoted from the WikiPedia Public Domain page -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain_image_resources

Accurate photographs of visual artworks lack expressive content and are automatically in the public domain once the painting's copyright has expired (which it has in the US if it was published before 1923). All other copyright notices can safely be ignored.**

Remember, the two sentences above are about photos of paintings. For more detailed information regarding paintings and Public Domain status see
the legal case from 1999:
Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp.

And for a good discussion of paintings, museums and copyrights see:
Photographs of Public Domain Paintings
by law professor A Reese.





** The absolute part about "published prior to 1923, Public Domain in the U.S."
-- turns out not to be completely true.


Recently (2013) I had an inquiry concerning a painting (the Scream) by Edward Munch. It was painted in the 1800s, so it clearly (I felt) fell into the United States public domain status. However, due to international treaties, think again. In Norway copyright for the paintings extend 70 years after artist's death (in the case of Munch, he died in 1945, so copyright in Norway runs until 2015.)
I read third paragraph in "Traps and Pitfalls" section by the lawyer Lloyd J. Jassin on this page:
http://www.copylaw.com/new_articles/PublicDomain.html

Worrisome.

I teased some info out of a WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) publication
Learn from the Past, Create the Future - The Arts and Copyright
which pointed me to Berne...
Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
I finally had to break down and read much of the Berne Convention (as the summary was a bit confusing -- especially the part I had read elsewhere concerning the "rule of shorter term", which did not mean what I had previously thought...) Article 5 is the pertinent section.

So after my research I came to the conclusion that since Norway was the country of origin, and a signee (as is the US) of the Berne Convention, then it follows that the United States must respect the copyright evaluation of Norway. That Edvard Munch works are NOT Public Domain in the United States until the 70th anniversary of his death in 2015.

So if you go by the copyright laws in the Unitd States, you could be wrong about the PD status in the United States. And what's worse is that many works that once WERE of public domain status, have been taken OUT of public domain status. -- Frustrating!



One last note

Many, many sites claim "free" clipart, but most require accreditation, or a link, or at least that the images NOT be redistributed without permission. NONE of the images from such sites are included here at WPClipart. I also do not accept user-uploaded submissions, because this would risk having inappropriate images, as well as images that might not be PD.