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If Martians photograph Ottomans on Soviet missions to Antarctica, where do we bury the survivors?

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Attention all thrill-seekers and armchair explorers! Are you tired of the same old boring vacation destinations? Well, pack your bags and get ready for the trip of a lifetime, to the most obscure and disputed territories, uninhabited islands, and former breakaway states that you've never heard of. And the cherry on top? They all have their own specific copyright guidance pages on Wikimedia Commons! That's right, folks, we're taking you on a journey to the weirdest places on Earth, where the only thing crazier than the location is the copyright laws. So put on your hiking boots, slide in your international SIM card, and get ready for an adventure that'll make your head spin, both literally and legally.

Thanks, ChatGPT, we're bound to get some social media clickthroughs with a lead like that.

Anyway: Wikimedia Commons is a vast library of multimedia content, used to supplement articles on Wikipedia as well as other Wikimedia projects, with over 87 million media files ripe for the picking. But since its goal is to provide a repository of free content, suitable for use anywhere and by anyone, its inclusion criteria are far stricter than that on Wikipedia. Fair use rationales are verboten, for example, and fair use media is a no-go, no matter how high-importance or low-resolution it is.

Due to the wide range of subjects and topics covered on the site, there is a need for a large number of copyright guidance pages to ensure that the content is being used legally and appropriately. Additionally, many of the world's countries and territories have complex and unique legal systems, which can make determining copyright status difficult. To ensure that the content used on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects is legally sound, specific guidance pages are created for every conceivable location under which a work could be considered subject to copyright law. Some countries have freedom of panorama, and some don't. Some countries allow you to release things into the public domain, and some don't. And some countries are oppressive dictatorships, ruled with an iron fist by cartoon mice who have only permitted their subjects to watch public-domain talkies in 2023!

But we all know all about that stuff. Snore. Our mission today is to go boldly where no Signpost column has gone before: If there were two guys on the moon and one killed the other with a moon rock, would that be fucked up or what? And, more importantly: would it be subject to the Berne convention?

The goods

The vast library of Commons copyright guidance pages cover normal places, like France, Japan, Germany, China, and the United States. Okay, maybe "normal" is not the word to use here. You know what I mean.

The rest tends to fall into a few broad categories: fallen empires, disputed territories (oops! better drop some {{Ds/alert}} templates), and overseas dependencies of larger nations with strangely divergent legal systems; the last of which includes a startling number of uninhabited rocks in the middle of the ocean with special administrative status.

Disputed territories and unrecognized states



No longer exist



brit islands

french islands




Weird international law shit


maybe work in "Extraterrestrial copyright: it's complicated" by the U.S. Library of Congress's Copyright Office – would cover at least astronaut photography at the Moon and low Earth orbit; and solar system bodies visited by U.S. robotic spacecraft including Mars, Jupiter and Saturn

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