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Sprigman: If you take a photo of a public domain painting then you own the photo and can do whatever you wish with it - use it in an article, book, display it, etc.What is Wikimedia Commons?
The Wikimedia Commons (also called "Wikicommons," "the Commons", "Wikipedia Commons" or just "Commons") is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files.Are Wikipedia images public domain?
Public domain images are not copyrighted, and copyright law does not restrict their use in any way. Wikipedia pages, including non-English language pages, are hosted on a server in the United States, so U.S. law governs whether a Wikipedia image is in the public domain.What is a public domain picture?
A public domain image is defined as a photo, clip art or vector whose copyright has expired or never existed in the first place. These images can be used by almost anyone for personal and commercial purposes.