Wikipedia:Media copyright questions


Media copyright questions

Welcome to the Media Copyright Questions page, a place for help with image copyrights, tagging, non-free content, and related questions. For all other questions please see Wikipedia:Questions.

How to add a copyright tag to an existing image
  1. On the description page of the image (the one whose name starts File:), click Edit this page.
  2. From the page Wikipedia:File copyright tags, choose the appropriate tag:
    • For work you created yourself, use one of the ones listed under the heading "For image creators".
    • For a work downloaded from the internet, please understand that the vast majority of images from the internet are not appropriate for use on Wikipedia. Exceptions include images from flickr that have an acceptable license, images that are in the public domain because of their age or because they were created by the United States federal government, or images used under a claim of fair use. If you do not know what you are doing, please post a link to the image here and ask BEFORE uploading it.
    • For an image created by someone else who has licensed their image under an acceptable Creative Commons or other free license, or has released their image into the public domain, this permission must be documented. Please see Requesting copyright permission for more information.
  3. Type the name of the tag (e.g.; {{Cc-by-4.0}}), not forgetting {{ before and }} after, in the edit box on the image's description page.
  4. Remove any existing tag complaining that the image has no tag (for example, {{untagged}})
  5. Hit Publish changes.
  6. If you still have questions, go on to "How to ask a question" below.
How to ask a question
  1. To ask a new question hit the "Click here to start a new discussion" link below.
  2. Please sign your question by typing ~~~~ at the end.
  3. Check this page for updates, or request to be notified on your talk page.
  4. Don't include your email address, for your own privacy. We will respond here and cannot respond by email.
Note for those replying to posted questions

If a question clearly does not belong on this page, reply to it using the template {{mcq-wrong}} and, if possible, leave a note on the poster's talk page. For copyright issues relevant to Commons where questions arising cannot be answered locally, questions may be directed to Commons:Commons:Village pump/Copyright.

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File:Logo of the New Democracy (Greece).svg


File:Logo of the New Democracy (Greece).svg and File:New Democracy Logo 2018.png are essentially the same logo with the only difference being the file format and a slight difference in the shade of blue. The png was uploaded to Commons in 2018 and the svg uploaded locally as non-free content back in May. I can't see any reason why these both shouldn't be licensed the same way; in other words, they should either both {{PD-textlogo}} or both be {{non-free logo}}, shouldn't they? If the only reason the svg version needs to be licensed as non-free is because it's svg, then that would fail WP:NFCC#1 since a non-vector PD version would work just as well as a vector non-free version. It possible the uploader of the svg version just picked a non-free license because they thought that what needed to be done. Is there really any copyright related reason why the svg needs to be non-free? --

Is posting the copyright images on wikipedia talk pages forbidden and can we make people pay for copyright images?


To the Wikipedia staff.

I'm sorry for blindly posting copyright images on the talk pages earlier, it scared me to death and caused me to take a long break from Wikipedia to prevent getting me into further trouble. I'm an autistic man and I didn't know any better before the copyright strike.

Can I ask you something? Is there a better legal way to share copyright images on the wikipedia talk pages that won't get me suspended from Wikipedia editing? Are outside website links sources okay to post on talk pages?

Can you remove the copyright strike on my Wikipedia talk page?

Is it possible to pay the Wikipedia staff gift card money like google gift card money for paying for copyright image rights for talk pages?

Also can I upload my own original artwork on my own Talk page?

Please let me know and I'll try harder to be of good faith and respectful to the wikipedia pages. CrosswalkX (talk) 16:41, 24 July 2021 (UTC)

Wikipedia editors like myself are volunteers; we do not ask, and will not accept, gifts for doing what we do. In any case, the only people whom you can pay for use of copyrighted material, are the owners of those rights, not the Wikimedia Foundation, its small staff or its myriad volunteers.
So unless copyright holders license their intellectual property for free public use, including commercial re-use: no. You can't use copyrighted content anywhere in Wikipedia or any other Wikimedia Foundation project.
And you could not upload your own original artwork here unless you're willing to license it for anybody in the world, now and in the future, to use it and re-use it, including altering it and exploiting it commercially. Many artists are more than a little reluctant to do that. --Orange Mike | Talk 20:54, 24 July 2021 (UTC)
Hi CrosswalkX. I'm just going to add a little bit to Orange Mike's answer above. Even if you're willing to release your own original artwork under a free license that Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons accepts per WP:COPY#Guidelines for images and other media files and c:Commons:Licensing, adding such files to your any of user pages might still not be OK per this. If you just added one or maybe two such images, then probably nobody would give you a hard time; however, if you try to add lots of images or try to do so in a way that is as an attempt to promote yourself or your artwork, then you're probably going to run into problems per WP:NOT. So, before you start to upload any of your own artwork, you might want to look at this and figure out if you can use them in a way that would comply with relevant Wikipedia policies and guidelines. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:38, 24 July 2021 (UTC)

Belgium FA logo/badge: PD-ineligible-USonly?


Please see c:COM:VPC#Belgium TOO for more additional details, but I would like to know what some others think about File:Belgium national football team notext.png and File:Royal Belgian FA logo 2019.svg. Can this team logo/badge be treated as {{PD-ineligible-USonly}} for local use on English Wikipedia? The two files are essentially the same with the only real difference being the file format and the additional text added to svg version uploaded to English Wikipedia. c:COM:Belgium doesn't really provide much information on Belgium's WP:TOO, but it appears to be closer to the UK's TOO than it is to the US's TOO based upon this website. If it turns out that Commons can't keep the file, then non-free svg would also not be {{PD-logo}}; however, "PD-ineligible-USonly" might still be a possible alternative to non-free.

FWIW, the png file uploaded to Commons isn't being used anywhere on English Wikipedia and appears to have been superseded by the svg version; so, deleting it from Commons wouldn't impact any English Wikipedia articles. The svg, however, was asked about here because the file was removed from some articles by a bot for WP:NFCC#10c reasons. If the opinion is that the svg can be relicensed as "PD-ineligible-USonly", then it's use would no longer be subject to WP:NFCC; if not, then a discussion might need to take place regarding WP:NFC#UUI17 and the non-free use of the file to determine whether a valid non-free use rationale can be written for any additional uses of the file. The logo/badge looks like it would be PD in the US per c:COM:TOO United States, but it's the crown at the top which might make things close. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:25, 24 July 2021 (UTC)

Doodle Champion Island Games


I want to add this image to the https://www.google.com/doodles/doodle-champion-island-games-begin to the Doodle Champion Island Games. What Template should I put.--Nosecone33 (talk) 23:21, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

@Nosecone33: There are lots of images on the webpage that you've linked to; so, it's not exactly clear which one you're referring to. In most cases, the images on that page are likely going to be considered to be protected by copyright which means it might be possible to upload them as non-free content for use on Wikipedia. Wikipedia's non-free content use policy is, however, quite restrictive and there are ten specific criteria that need to be satisfied for each use of non-free content. Assuming you want to uploaded the main logo for the games for use in the main infobox of Wikipedia article about the games, it should be OK for you to do so per WP:LOGO under the license {{Non-free logo}} with {{Non-free use rationale logo}} being used for the required non-free use rationale. The use of other types of non-free content in that article might, however, be much harder to justify and thus not be OK to upload and use. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:36, 28 July 2021 (UTC)

Status of images of pages from PD domain books on Internet Archive


I've been thinking of adding an image with examples of the individual letters of a script. I thought I could make screenshots of letters from a public domain book on the Internet Archive. However, it occurred to me that while the book itself is PD, its scanning is akin to photographing, and by using the image and not just the content, I would be using the work of the 'photographer' who scanned it (and the organisation that stood behind that activity). Would that use be OK copyright-wise?--Anonymous44 (talk) 15:08, 28 July 2021 (UTC)

I'm not sure that the scanning of something is generally going to be considered a creative act eligible for its own copyright (at least not under US copyright law) per c:COM:2D copying; the person doing the scanning might try to claim it is, but doing so might be seen as a type of copyfraud by some. If the original source material is within the PD, then the act of "converting" it to some other (perhaps more easily accessible format) is probably insufficient to establish a new copyright as a WP:Derivative work. The scanner in such a case might try to place other restrictions on the re-use of the material, but these would most likely be considered non-copyrightable restrictions that would be a matter to be resolved between the scanner and the uploader of the content to Wikipedia or Commons. I think what a person needs to be careful with in cases like this is to make sure to not enter (even unintentionally) into any sort of contract with the provider of the content that's more related to the "service" being provided than the copyright of the content. It might not be a copyright violation to upload the images per se, but it might be a violation of the "Terms of use" established by the provider of the content. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:26, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
The thing that I can imagine being a possible restriction in the Internet Archive's terms of use is the initial statement that 'Access to the Archive’s Collections is provided at no cost to you and is granted for scholarship and research purposes only.' Does encylopedic work such as the provision of an illustration for Wikipedia qualify as scholarship, in your opinion? In addition, I now see that the Internet Archive page says that the 1868 book, which is 'in the collections of Oxford University', was originally digitised by Google and uploaded to Google Books, then just reuploaded to the Internet Archive. In principle, I could have made the same screenshots from Google Books, too. Google Books has Terms of Service, but they only seem to apply to 'digital content you purchase through the Google Books service'. The terms of service of Google itself don't seem to include any relevant restriction. --Anonymous44 (talk) 06:19, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
Wikipedia would probably be considered "educational" as the term applies to fair use#U.S. fair use factors, but whether it would be considered a form of "scholarship" by the people at the Internet Archive is anybody's guess. Even so, Wikipedia doesn't accept any types of free licenses which say "for scholarship or research use only" and Commons is the same way. Basically, the only type of free licenses that Wikipedia and Commons accept are ones that pretty much allow anyone anywhere in the world to reuse its content for any purpose at anytime. FWIW, I'm not a copyright lawyer and nobody on Wikipedia really can or should be giving you any type of legal advice. All I can say is that I don't believe the digitalization of a work within the public domain creates a new copyright in and of itself, and I don't think claiming you own the copyright of something automatically means you do. However, there are lots of businesses who make lots of money off claiming they own the copyright over works that are in the public domain and there's no way to tell how they will respond if they start finding images they believe they "own" being uploaded to Wikipedia or Commons. If you want to read what happened in one particular case, then take a look at National Portrait Gallery and Wikimedia Foundation copyright dispute. Then, there's also Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. which seems to be the case law that most people on Wikipedia or Commons quote when discussing this type of thing. Since PD images are generally recommended to be uploaded to Commons, you might want to ask about this at c:COM:VPC; in the end, however, I guess it might come down to how much of risk you're willing to assume by uploading the content since you're likely going to be on your own if anything happens as well as where you live since the courts in Germany at least seem to feel differently about digitalization per Reiss Engelhorn Museum and Wikimedia Foundation copyright dispute (see this and this as well). -- Marchjuly (talk) 13:07, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
OK, thanks, I suppose I'll ask at the Village pump then. Apart from that - I understand that Wikipedia does not allow such restrictions in free licenses, but the Terms of Use of a site don't per se imply a license and create restrictions for images on Commons, do they? It's as if I were to steal a camera and used it to make a photo, which I then released into the PD - it wouldn't stop being PD and permissible on Wikipedia because I've used illegal means to create it, would it? It would just be a problem between me and the authorities. And it would surprise me if Internet Archive were to sue either me or Wikipedia over this, given their stated purpose of 'universal access to all knowledge' and 'a free and open internet'. The problem is what you said about Germany, b/c I'm in the EU, the images could be claimed to be copyrighted by Google, and I wouldn't trust Google 'not to be evil'.--Anonymous44 (talk) 15:21, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
I think your concerns about the images have already been answered over at c:COM:VPC#Status of images of pages from PD domain books on Internet Archive and Google Books. As for the Terms of Use of a site don't per se imply a license and create restrictions for images on Commons, do they?, I think websites can pretty much decide their "Terms of Use" as they please, but how legally binding they are is anyone's guess. However, if you click on something which states you agree to a website's "Terms of Use" and then knowingly violate those terms, then I guess it's up to the website to decide if they want to try and pursue action against you. Commons only accepts content that is 100% freely licensed or 100% PD per its "Terms of Use", and content which is deemed to not be as such can be removed per c:COM:DG. As to whether "illegally" procured content can be kept by Commons, that might depend upon c:COM:PCP and c:COM:NCR, and how they are applied by the Commons community. If you're concerned about the legality of doing a particular thing and how it might affect you personally, then you probably should seek outside input from a lawyer or someone familiar with such things and not rely on what anyone posts on Wikipedia or Commons. -- Marchjuly (talk) 23:10, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
I don't think I have ever even been asked to click on Internet Archive's Terms of Use in order to use it, I sought it out only b/c you brought it up. However, I'm still a little confused by two of the things you said. First, 'Commons only accepts content that is 100% PD per its "Terms of Use"' - do the 'Terms of Use' really determine whether the content provided is in the PD? In this case, Internet Archive has Terms of Use, but I don't think this means that it owns the copyright over the works (or even the German courts' 'copyright of scans') that it provides. Or perhaps by 'its Terms of Use' you mean 'Commons' Terms of Use' (although the relevant page seems to be a redirect to Wikimedia as a whole)? Second, as to illegally procured content - as far as I can see, the c:COM:PCP and c:COM:NCR are both exclusively about copyright, not about a general legality that applies to every step of the process. I might have used a pirated version of Microsoft Paint to create the image, a stolen laptop to upload the image, resided in a house obtained by fraud, used a stolen sandwich to power my brain cells, maybe I'm an escaped convict with a death sentence under a jurisdiction with capital punishment and have no legal right to be alive in order to upload the image, etc. As to asking a lawyer - well, frankly, I'm fine with volunteering my time and effort in order to contribute to the world's knowledge, but also having to pay for a lawyer's advice just to be able to afford this luxury is where I personally would draw the line. I get that nobody here on Wiki can assume the legal responsibility for my actions, but if I literally paid a lawyer each time in my life I wanted to know what the law says, I would be a lot poorer now. --Anonymous44 (talk) 02:41, 30 July 2021 (UTC)
When I posted Commons only accepts content that is 100% freely licensed or 100% PD per its "Terms of Use, the its was intended to mean "Commons"; I thought that was fairly clear, but my apologies if it wasn't. As for "Commons Terms of Use" if it's the same as the Wikimedia Foundation's Terms of Use, then it's the same and that's what you're agreeing to anytime you edit Commons or any WMF project. The other stuff you're asking about are hypothetical moral questions that I don't have any idea as to how to answer or how they might pertain to image copyirght. If you want a more definitive answer and don't want to contact a copyright lawyer, then maybe there's a university near you has faculty member who specializes in copyright law or maybe there's a free legal consultation service where you live who can help. You could also always search online and see what you come up with. -- Marchjuly (talk) 05:13, 30 July 2021 (UTC)
I was interested not in the moral aspect of the hypothetical questions, but in their Wikipedia policy aspect, since they were analogous to my possible violation of IA's Terms of Use. But in any case, I think that by this point I've got as much clarity about my issue as it's possible to get. Thank you very much and happy editing.--Anonymous44 (talk) 11:40, 1 August 2021 (UTC)

Peru Olympic Committee Logo


The Peru Olympic football team (a.k.a. Peru under-23 football team) uses the same logo of the Peruvian Olympic Committee as do many other Olympic football teams (for example: Honduras national under-23 football team or Brazil national under-23 football team) I added the Peruvian Olympic Committee logo to the Peruvian Olympic football team infobox. A few days later, User:JJMC89 bot removed the logo stating that "Removed WP:NFCC violation(s). No valid non-free use rationale for this page." The issue to be WP:NFCC#7. In other words, because the non-free use rationale template for the logo does not include both the Peruvian Olympic football team AND the Peruvian Olympic Committee under WP:NFCC#7 then there is no rationale for the logo to be used in both. Reading the actual text of WP:NFCC#7 it states that "Non-free content is used in at least one article." In this case the logo would be used in TWO articles and thus meet the WP:NFCC#7 standard. The problem is that the current non-free use rationale template only seems to allow the name of ONE article and not too. So, if I am not able to add the name of the second article then JJMC89 will probably erase the logo again if I try to add it again. Is there any way to have rationale under one logo that can justify its use in more than one article? Preceding unsigned comment added by Critviz (talkcontribs) 00:50, 29 July 2021 (UTC)

Hi Critviz. Not all images the images you see used on Wikipedia are licensed the same, and how an image is licensed is largely going to determine how it may be used. The articles for Hondurus and Brazil that you've referenced above are using images that have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons under public domain licenses, while the one you want to use in the Peru article was uploaded to Wikipedia as non-free content. This is an improtant difference and is often why it can be hard to try and compare image use on Wikipedia as explained in WP:OTHERIMAGE because only images uploaded as non-free content are required to comply with Wikipedia's non-free content use policy and there are lots of restrictions placed on how such files may be used. JJMC89's bot's removal of the file didn't really have anything to do with WP:NFCC#7, but rather with WP:NFCC#10c. That particular bot looks for non-free files added to articles for which a corresponding non-free use rationale has not been provided on the file's page. As you correctly state, NFCC#7 doesn't say that a non-free file can be used only once, but NFCC#10c states that a non-free file is required to be provided with a separate and specific non-free use rationale for each use; moreover, it's the responsibility of the person wanting to add a non-free file to an article to provide valid rationale for its use per WP:NFCCE. There are ten non-free content criteria which need to be met for each use and if you feel that the file's non-free use can be justified in the Peru Olympic team's article, then you will need to provide a separate specific non-free use rationale for that particular use to stop the bot from removing the file again. However, simply providing a rationale doesn't mean it's a valid rationale as explained in WP:JUSTONE; so, you might stop the bot from removing the file, but another editor can challenge the rationale. FWIW, the most likely reason for such a challenge is going to be item 17 of WP:NFC#UUI. Generally, when dealing with non-free logos of organizations (like an national Olympic commitee), the use of the logo in the primary Wikipedia article about the organization is considered OK; however, additional uses in articles about sub-entities of the same parent organization are generally not considered OK. How this should be applied to Olympic sports teams is not always clear, but in this case the "Peru Olympic Commitee" would be considered the parent entity and the "Peru Olympic football team" would be considered a child entity; so, even though Peru might choose to use the same branding for both for whatever reason, relevant Wikipedia policy might limit the logos use to only the article about the committee. Some Olympic teams have their own separate non-free logo that is different from their national Olympic committee and in such cases such a logo would be acceptable to uses. In cases where different logos don't exist though, the default is not just to automatically use the logo of the Olympic committee in the individual team articles. -- Marchjuly (talk) 04:21, 29 July 2021 (UTC)

Newspapers.com photo copyright question


I have recently gained access to Newspapers.com through Wikipedia Library. Newspapers.com is a premium newspaper archive. Would it be general acceptable to use images from Newspapers.com from newspapers that were printed before 1926? The photos from the newspapers would considered public domain for sure, but I'm wondering if there is any legal weirdness involved, as Newspapers.com is typically a service which is paid for. RoundSquare (talk) 19:59, 29 July 2021 (UTC)

I think you're better asking this at Wikipedia talk:The Wikipedia Library. Copying the content, public domain or not, may breach the site's T&Cs and jeopardise Wikipedia's entire relationship with newspapers.com. Nthep (talk) 20:25, 29 July 2021 (UTC)

Talk:Science (journal)#Cover image


There's a discussion about fair use on cover images that would benefit from more eyes. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:02, 29 July 2021 (UTC)

Upload on behalf of someone not on the internet


Hi folks! If I have media from someone who does not have an account (and does not want to get one), how do I properly upload it to commons. Specifically I have photos of a lead hammer which my stepfather took. He doesn’t have a website to upload them to and put a license statement on, nor could I get him interested in uploading them to commons himself. Do I have him email the VRT to release them? Or can I credit him while uploading from my account? I apologize if these are answered elsewhere I’ve been away for some time and searching Wikipedia documentation is not like riding a bike. Protonk (talk) 13:55, 2 August 2021 (UTC)

Protonk: You can upload the image to the wikimedia commons attributing your stepfather, assuming he owns the copyright. He can then send the Volunteer Response Team an email, without needing a wikipedia account, verifying his release of the image under a free licence we accept. Details for doing that are found here and you should add this template {{OTRS pending}} to the image when you upload it so they know a verification email is on the way. ww2censor (talk) 22:07, 2 August 2021 (UTC)
Thanks! Protonk (talk) 23:24, 2 August 2021 (UTC)

use of logos


Dear all,

i want to use three logos of ekyklos (KYKLOS IDEON) https://ekyklos.gr/whoweare.html because i will create an page for this think tank. i have already uploaded the files https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kyklos_logo.png https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ElladaMeta_IV_Sept_2020_a.png and https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ekyklos.watch_a.png but the files have been nominated for deletion. What can i do? Msofianop (talk) 08:06, 4 August 2021 (UTC)

Msofianop: The images are on the commons so their status must be addressed there, not here. If you did not create these logos yourself, then you cannot release them under a free licence just by copying them from a website. This appear to be what you did by adding them to Flickr and then uploading here. We would need the copyright holder's permission and besides which there does not appear, as yet, to be an article where they might be used. Even then the organisation may not be considered notable enough for an article. ww2censor (talk) 11:48, 4 August 2021 (UTC)