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.

picture of fossils recreation that I have physically bought.[edit]

I a buy plastic copy of a 1 millions years old fossils from a company that produce thousand of them, do I have the right to take a picture of it and put in on wiki?

Example section fossils hominids of the left. tx. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Simon Mer (talkcontribs) 03:54, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

This depends on whether it is a 3d work of art, such as a plastic toy dinosaur (the answer is no) or a cast of a real fossil. I would still be cautious and say that the reproduction is some kind of creative work that should not be copied though. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 21:03, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I would say these 3D reproduction are just a 'slavish copies' and not deserving of copyright under copyright law. For better advice consider up loading it to Wikimedia Commons. They have a Copyright help desk here:[1] The uploaded image(s) can then be used on Wikipedia. Whilst, Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons do not allow advertising, it would be both polite and just, to mention that a Bone Clones copy provided the 'source' for your image. Together with a link to their website. That is not advertising (IMHO) but providing a provenance for any said fossil. Thus, if a palaeontologist upon seeing your image on Wikipedia decides s/he would really love to examine the real thing, then they can go direct to Bone Clones.--Aspro (talk) 11:30, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
They seem to be a bit too complete to be slavish copies. This might depend where you are though. For example the UK might consider them industrial design.©Geni (talk) 17:50, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

File:The Singing Dogs.jpg and Danish copyright law[edit]

File:The Singing Dogs.jpg The picture is a collage of photos published in the December 19, 1955 Life magazine, currently used in the article for The Singing Dogs with a fair use rationale. In the issue's masthead, those images are credited to "Mogens Amsnaes for Billedblatet, Copenhagen", so I assume they would fall under Danish copyright law. Can anyone familiar with those laws shed some light on their legal status, whether they are in the public domain already (or when they would enter it)? I was wondering if the image (or a higher-res version of it) can be copied to Commons. Don Cuan (talk) 11:17, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Per Danish copyright law, all non-artistic photos (i.e. snapshots, etc.) created before 1970 are public domain, but in this case I'd say the images are original enough to be "photographic works". Those in turn would be protected for 70 years past Mr. Amsnæs' death. So to sum it up the singing dogs are most likely not yet free of copyright. De728631 (talk) 18:47, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Image from Graces Guide says it has no copyright[edit]


Its from Graces Guide which says it has no copyright but Graces much be mentioned . I am not sure what to tag it is.

Here is it's location on Graces Guide :

Here is Graces Guide Copyright directions : Copyright. You may copy and use any of the content of this site provided you make a clear link on your web site or printed matter to Grace's Guide as the source of that information. We endeavour to ensure the information is free of other copyrights but it is essential that you check for yourself before using.

The image was taken on Feb 17th 1921 but it's title indicates Feb 23rd 1921 — Preceding unsigned comment added by RichardMcCor (talkcontribs) 21:09, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

The website itself operates under a GNU 1.2 license, see its footer line and here. Theoretically this could be tagged with template:GFDL with parameter "migration=redundant". Note: It's not completely clear from the website, if such old images are also covered by the same license (unlikely) or just the document text. Maybe some other editor with more GNU-experience can check the situation and add further advice. GermanJoe (talk) 21:46, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

I removed the image from the page until i know how to tag it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by RichardMcCor (talkcontribs) 22:27, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

To RichardMcCor: The Graces guide page is a wiki so the copyright to this image definitely doesn't belong to that site. This image is obviously lifted from a UK newspaper so the best option is to try and find which paper and see if the image in it's original publication can be seen. This will confirm two things - 1) the original date of publication and 2) the identity of the photographer (if given). On the balance of probabilities and what we currently know I'd say this image is both PD in the US and the UK. The US because it appears to have been published prior to 1 January 1923 and the UK because the photographer isn't known (and is unlikely to be known) and 70 years have elapsed since publication. However balance of probabilities isn't enough so some detective work is needed to see if the paper can be found. Nthep (talk) 10:30, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
The caption states the event was organised by Wolesley to celebrate the award of an honour to A J McCormack. According to our articles (which are referenced for these points) McCormack received two honours, the latter a CBE in 1920 and he resigned from Wolesley in November 1923. Therefore, the event and date of the photograph cannot have been later than this. However, that doesn't date the publication of the photograph (theoretically if improbably it could have been published much later). Unfortunately I can't find anything online or in JSTOR to conclusively date the dinner or picture. QuiteUnusual (talk) 11:11, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree that it's very probable that publication was prior to 1923 and the 1921 date is right but very probable isn't enough. Nthep (talk) 11:21, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I suspect the original publication of the image was Flight International, Volume 13, page 162 (published 3 March 1921) as this contains an article with the text "On February 17 the senior staff of the Wolesley Co were entertained at dinner by the directors..." then goes on to discuss McCormack. This matches the caption which also states "the function is referred to on this page." Unfortunately the image is available in the digitised copy I can see. QuiteUnusual (talk) 11:38, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
It's not Flight but you set me thinking and I had a look at the contributions of the person who uploaded it onto Grace's Guide and from the naming convention used I'm pretty certain it's from The Motor Trader & Review for February 23, 1921 (compare with this image of the cover). What a pity the images uploaded to Grace's have been trimmed so much. Nthep (talk) 15:04, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Seems like a reasonable conclusion. Looking at the original uploader's history, s/he apparently used the filename (...MoTr... in this case) to indicate the source journal. Wols is the Wolseley Company apparently. See here for the relevant part of the original upload history from February 2011. GermanJoe (talk) 15:24, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Good analysis! QuiteUnusual (talk) 16:49, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
@RichardMcCor: I have added the researched information and some templates for formatting, the file should be reasonably safe to keep now. Two quick points: I would keep the image on en-Wiki, as the UK-situation could not be completely clarified. Also, if you want to use the file in an article, I would crop the complete caption (you can just overwrite the cropped file on the same filename as new version). GermanJoe (talk) 19:32, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

copyright name holder[edit]

I found out how to do the license information, but I don't get what your supposed to put for holder. Do I use my username or what? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Carryon123 (talkcontribs) 00:27, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Hi there @Carryon123: The copyright holder is the name of the person (or other entity) that owns the copyirght (or the right to copy) the photo. Did you take the photo yourself, or get it from another source? ~SuperHamster Talk Contribs 07:19, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

File:Settela steinbach.jpg[edit]

File:Settela steinbach.jpg Shouldn't this image copyright information be changed soon to {{PD-old-70}} and {{PD-1996|NL|1996|reason}}, given that the author died in 1944 and the work is in the possession of Dutch government archives, and, I assume, in PD since right after the end of II world war? Carlotm (talk) 06:58, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Dutch copyright law follows that of many EU countries and images become PD at the end of the 70th year after the author's death so this image will be PD in Holland on 1 Jan 2015. Its US status depends on when it was first published and if any copyright was claimed at the time of that first publication. {{PD-1996}} isn't applicable as this image wasn't PD in the Netherlands or Germany in 1996. Nthep (talk) 10:59, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

File:Van Halen - Diver Down.jpg[edit]

Could anyone transfer this file on Commons? It only consists of simple geometric shapes and text.-- (talk) 12:02, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Anon126 (notify me of responses! / talk / contribs) 03:39, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Could File:Revell_Logo.png be replaced with an SVG version from de-wiki?[edit]

The File:Revell_Logo.png image is currently used on the English Wikipedia under a non-free logo rationale but is in a raster format. On the German Wikipedia, there is an SVG (i.e. vector) version of the same logo. The question is, could the SVG version from the German Wikipedia be copied to the English Wikipedia and used along with a non-free logo rationale in place of the current PNG version of the logo? (As a side note, if using the logo itself falls within fair use, does the SVG rendering have a copyright of its own or would that also fall within the English Wikipedia non-free content criteria?) --Elegie (talk) 07:43, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

To Elegie: I would actually argue that it's {{PD-logo}}, that is, too simple to be copyrighted.
But if we assume that it is non-free, then an SVG version could be used under fair use ({{SVG-Logo}} would be useful in this case).
Whether vectorization creates new copyright is unclear. If it does, though, it would fail NFCC#1|NFCC #1, as someone else could make a vector version. Anon126 (notify me of responses! / talk / contribs) 22:45, 28 October 2014 (UTC)


I used a photo from a bands facebook page. I asked the band for permission to use it and it was approved. What else do i need to do and what sort of copyright tags/formatting do I need to include? SKFB (talk) 22:13, 28 October 2014 (UTC)SKFB

To SKFB: We would need the band to send permission by e-mail according to the instructions here. It needs to be from an e-mail address that we can recognize as belonging to the band (either ending with or listed on the website). After that, we can take care of the tags. Anon126 (notify me of responses! / talk / contribs) 22:24, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
To Anon126: Thank you. The permissions email consent form has been sent to the band. SKFB (talk) 22:57, 28 October 2014 (UTC)SKFB

Informed input applying ToO and copyrightability of facts principles sought[edit]

Please pay a visit to and comment there. Although the image was challenged and kept on commons, it's being kept out of article space pending clarification of lingering copyright concerns; the article instead is linking to UNICEF's copy from article space in a rather weird way. Seeking informed input. --04:34, 29 October 2014 (UTC)


This photo was taken by Matt's dad at a speedway before one of his races. He posted it on Facebook. There is really no copyright, unless you want me to credit Facebook. What should I do? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cchristman (talkcontribs) 17:22, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

There is a copyright - Matt's dad owns it. If he'll consent to use of the photo then you're done. Nthep (talk) 19:53, 29 October 2014 (UTC)