The Erechtheion, western side, Acropolis, Athens, Greece

In January 2021, we received a Digital Millennium Copyright (DMCA) request from a photographer. They asked us to remove one of their photos from Wikimedia Commons, which depicts a fragment of an ancient text. After conducting a thorough internal investigation, we found no copyright protection for the photo they requested. Under the current U.S. law, any work created prior to 1924 is now in the public domain. In other words, it is no longer under copyright protection. This includes the fragment of the ancient text depicted in the photograph in this case. The Wikimedia Foundation respectfully explained to the photographer that we would not remove the photograph because it does not meet the originality requirements under U.S. law, since the photograph itself is merely an accurate copy of work already in the public domain.

Photo credits