Wikipedia:Media copyright questions

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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:Image 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 the GFDL, an acceptable Creative Commons 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.; {{GFDL-self}}), 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 Save page.
  6. If you still have questions, go on to "How to ask a question" below.
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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.

Adding file-links to list pages[edit]

I added some file links to the page List of World War II flying aces earlier, but my changes were reversed by Werieth because of copyright issues. However, I did not upload any of these pictures myself, I merely added links to the same pictures that are used as the main picture on the personal pages of the various aces in question. If any of these pictures violate copyrights, should they not be deleted from Commons rather than these links removed? If they do not violate copyrights, can they not be used on this list, as many similar pictures already are? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Arildto (talkcontribs)

The files are not from commons, they are in fact classified as non-free media and as such their usage is restricted, in most cases it means the file can only be used on the article about the person. Werieth (talk) 12:26, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, Werieth is correct. And if I remember right (but I may be confusing you with someone else), you didn't provide 'rationales' for your uploads (if you had used the Wizard for your upload that would have been be taken care of automatically), grounds for immediate deletion.
The issue is "no lists" i.e. it's automatically assumed a violation of the "minimality" requirement if Fair Use images appear in lists. I'm sorry it's enforced so pro-actively here. It's not really something I would lose sleep on myself. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 19:14, 9 April 2014 (UTC)


what can I do to play music on Wikipedia — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:52, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

This does not sound like a copyright question, but some pages include a player box for music, eg Messiah (Handel). Click the play button to hear it. Or you can click through to the hosting page eg at File:Handel - messiah - 44 hallelujah.ogg and then download or play from there. They use .ogg format. Some music may be free to copy, other may be only under fair use. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:43, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Climb and Collapse in population systems.jpg[edit]

How can file:Climb and Collapse in population systems.jpg be released when it is apparently from Scientific Monthly?The Ukulele Dude - Aggie80 (talk) 11:21, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Only the data came from there, and Sustainability1 claims that the graph is their own work. The style certainly does not look like a 1951 publication. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:45, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
That said, some of the non-data visual elements are derivative of choices made in the original report, so there might be derivative work issues there. A raw plain graph just using the published data would not have that problem. --MASEM (t) 14:24, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Now nomianted for deletion at Commons as a copyvio. Nthep (talk) 14:39, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

File:City Airport Train Logo.svg[edit]

Does this cross the threshold of originality, or should it be recategorized as {{PD-textlogo}}? Useddenim (talk) 23:24, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Austria is a civil law country and as a rough rule-of-thumb, has a very low threshold of originality, meaning this should be presumed copyrighted unless proven otherwise. --MASEM (t) 23:47, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Can an administrator please review this pic[edit]

The image File:Charles&CamillaWeddingpic.jpg has been tagged for deletion, I uploaded it as a non-free and to me it met the criteria, I made my explanation while uploading and on the picture's talk page Can another administrator review the picture and have a final say on this, the sooner the better, thanks. (Monkelese (talk) 19:54, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

It's an obvious NFCC#8 failure, as thousands upon thousands of Wikipedia articles which assert that famous or not-so-famous couples are married do so without images, and no one has ever said "I don't understand that that. Do you have a picture to provide context?" Sorry to be blunt, but that's what your nfcc rationale boils down to. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 20:39, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

File:Bensel Yankee Leviathan structural design chart recreated.jpg[edit]

Are diagrams subject to copyright, and is it possible to create a free-use reproduction of a diagram from a copyrighted textbook? czar  00:52, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Depends what kind of diagram you're talking about. Some aren't; there's only one correct way to draw any specific structural formula, so unless you make a mistake, your diagram will look just like everyone else's. This one, however, could be done in numerous ways: you could put boxes in various places, change their size, move them to random spots, etc. There's no need for the organs of government to be located within a building-shaped area. In short, you could redraw this image and convey precisely the same information with a substantially different picture, so yes, this diagram is definitely subject to copyright. Nyttend (talk) 02:29, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Nyttend presents one issue on the copyright of presentation. Another consideration - if this diagram is representing the author's unique connectivity of these elements as opposed to something that is factual or data-driven, there is copyright in that core idea as well and even recreating the diagram in a unique orientation but keeping the same connectivity/topography of concepts will not remove that copyright. If, on the other hand, the connectivity is a factual/date or readily-accepted premise in the field, then you're okay to redo the diagram in a manner different enough to avoid similar presentation per Nyttend's suggestion. --MASEM (t) 02:46, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Mujaddid Ahmed Ijaz images -- Copyright issue[edit]

Nyttend tagged File:Dr. Mujaddid Ahmed Ijaz, 1983.png and File:MujaddidAhmedIjaz1987.jpg due to the creation of the images by a professional photographer in the local town in Virginia where we all grew up with my father and mother. We routinely had Olan Mills come in and for historical purposes prepare annual photographic images of the family. I would ask that Wikipedia Media Copyright administrators give me a few days to contact Olan Mills in Virginia and obtain a proper permission release for free use from them. We know the company well and I am confident we can obtain a release for this particular image. In fact, their website allows many images to be used in mediums such as this, so I just need to contact them and get the right data. To whom should someone at Olan Mills send directly their release permission if it is agreed? Nyttend explained at Mansoor Ijaz's talk page that it would be best to have the permission release sent directly to you. I ask therefore, as I am re-developing the subject article at the moment, that you allow me the time to obtain the release permission from Olan Mills studios. Thank you. --Mansoor Ijaz (talk) 04:27, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Just a quick note to anyone who wonders: User:Mansoor Ijaz is the subject of the article (verified by OTRS), and we've been working together for weeks to get pages improved while avoiding COI problems. He's familiar with the COI policy and has been careful to respect it. I know that the images in question are on Commons, but the old equivalent to this page there, Commons talk:Licensing, has been changed so that it's just a talk page for the licensing policy, and I couldn't remember where to send him over there. I assume people here and there will have the same standard for OTRS proof of professional images. Nyttend (talk) 04:31, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Actually, my father is the subject of the article for whom we are discussing the image copyright issue. Just to insure we have the facts square. --Mansoor Ijaz (talk) 08:29, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
It is the same standard of proof needed for here and Commons. The emal address is and the standard template at WP:CONSENT can be used. Nthep (talk) 08:37, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Time magazine cover usage[edit]

Hello, not entirely sure if this is considered valid under fair usage guidelines, but would it be ok to add this image to Barry Commoner? Is usage considered valid with this template? prokaryotes (talk) 18:12, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Striking as the Time cover is, it's very unlikely to pass the full set of non free use criteria. There is already a non free use image of Commoner on the page and the Time cover, unless that image itself has been the subject of critical commentary, is unlikely to be agreed as meeting NFCC#8. Nthep (talk) 18:29, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Not sure from which year this is but i guess early 70s, the cover story appears to be related to his bestselling books and theories, which had considerable influence in the literature, decision making and i guess was also criticized. The current image is released under a fair use policy by the University of Columbia. As long there is only one image i thought we can add this, till we find something else, to better illustrate his work and the media coverage from the past. prokaryotes (talk) 18:35, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Not going to fly for two reasons
  1. The amount of free use files should be kept to a minimum and there is already a free use image on the page (NFCC#3a)
  2. How does this picture add to an understanding of his work or it's omission be detrimental to a reader's understanding of his work (NFCC#8)
I appreciate your frustration as I've been there, done that and got the t-shirt but the non free use policy is deliberately restrictive and actually tighter than US free use law. Nthep (talk) 18:43, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, ok :) Though, i think images are important to transport content and this image is in the suggested resolution, small and a good depiction of his work and the relation to the environment. If anybody is interested, here is the original image and magazine content (It contains a few bits about him). prokaryotes (talk) 19:04, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Look, this article preview, which might be noteworthy in regards to the Union Message and Nixon (Who founded the EPA at the time). prokaryotes (talk) 19:10, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
We don't allow non-free images like book or magazine covers to show that there's an article or book written/by a person, unless the cover art itself is shown to be the subject of critical commentary. The fact that a Time cover story was dedicated to him should be a highlight of the article but one does not need to see the cover to understand that aspect (eg it fails NFCC#8). --MASEM (t) 19:16, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

I found now evidence that the cover is subject to critical commentary, it was the first environmental cover by the Time, because this issue introduced the environment section for the magazine. What do you think now? Might as well be included at Time Magazine. prokaryotes (talk) 19:27, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

That's good, and that led me to this: [1] which gives more insight on the cover. That would be appropriate to include now. --MASEM (t) 19:28, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Good, and thank you both for helping me to figure this out. prokaryotes (talk) 19:33, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Great, you need to make sure that this commentary on the cover gets included in the article to make the upload stick. Nthep (talk) 19:53, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Uploaded it here and followed your advice. prokaryotes (talk) 20:02, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

British Pathe: Is this footage available for us to use or adapt and use?[edit]

The page in question.] --Orange Mike | Talk 22:58, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Initial inspection says the general answer is no. There's no clear indication these are in public domain and their website talks about licensing. There may be films that are in the public domain due to age, but the usual rules to check on these would have to be checked. --MASEM (t) 23:19, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Image for Biographical Wiki?[edit]

Hi, I created a biographical page for someone in the entertainment industry - the director of a documentary I've been following. There were no copyright free pictures of her that I could find, so I actually was in touch with her and asked about an image, and she sent me one. I uploaded it, but I think I'm confused about how this works. Perhaps I'm not allowed to upload an image of that type? Or perhaps there is a copyright tag I can use in this situation? I thought it would be really nice to have a picture on the page, but I'm new to Wiki and I guess I don't quite get how it works... help, please! Thank you! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Amr0327 (talkcontribs) 23:37, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

You need to have the copyright holder, who may be the photographer and not the subject, to follow the procedure found at WP:CONSENT to verify their permission to our OTRS Team under a free licence. They may agree to licence the image under the one you removed but verification is required. You may also find it useful to read my image copyright information page. Good luck. ww2censor (talk) 09:11, 18 April 2014 (UTC)


I am planning to include this photo, which was published on GMA News' Facebook page (but not on its website or other publications), on the Noynoying article, but I need to make sure that this indeed qualifies under non-free. Starczamora (talk) 05:43, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

No, sorry. Please read WP:NFC#UUI. Specifically, this fails #3 and #7, and possibly #1 as well. howcheng {chat} 19:18, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Help With An Image[edit]

I need some admin help with this one. I am working on the WINC (AM) article, the station where Patsy Cline got her start. I have found an excellent photo of her standing next to a WINC microphone.

The website the image comes from is a fan page about Patsy Cline. It has alot of stories, old pictures and what not. At the bottom, it says the information is copyright "EllisNassour", but I'm wondering if this person really owns the copyright to that photo. The photo would be from or just after 1948 (maybe '49), when Patsy first performed on WINC.

I found a cropped (and cleaned up) version of the same image on a Blogspot blog. In this case, no mention of a copyright is made, which further leads me to believe that "EllisNassour" does not own the copyright on the previously linked photo.

My question, since there isn't a confirmable copyright (and since anyone can snag a photo and put it on their fan page), is it possible for me to use this photo or even the cropped (and cleaned up) version, here on Wikipedia, specifically on the WINC (AM) article? - NeutralhomerTalk • 00:19, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Give we have a free image of her within the same time period, if this was a non-free image, we would not be able to use it as duplicate of the free image in terms of identifying her. Thus, it really only can be used if it is free. To be free, we need strong proof that it is free - in this case, we'd likely be looking for if the image was published without copyright notice. And searching around (Google Image search helps), I found the same basic image used over at Brittanca [2], [3] and cited to be owned by "Frank Driggs Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images". As such, we should considered this copyrighted, non-free, and per NFCC, unusable due to the existing free image of her. --MASEM (t) 00:37, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
@User:Masem: Well, that proves that "EllisNassour" didn't own the copyright to that image. Though, it stinks because we can't use it. :( Unfortunately, I believe that is the only image out there of her in front of a WINC microphone. Thanks, though, for your help. - NeutralhomerTalk • 00:55, 20 April 2014 (UTC)