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.

Importance of contacting the article subject[edit]

I'm relatively new to obtaining free images. I've read the essays and guides on contacting the article subject for getting a picture. I've searched and dug through the archives too. Then I realised about the vast difference between the copyright holder versus the image subject. I've read:

Before, I edit some of those guides, I just want to confirm if I got this right.

Contacting the image subject is futile, right?. I've tried it once and as documented in those guides, I had to do some work on their article for them. Besides that, they can only give images taken by them (selfies?) and those they hire someone else to take, correct? And there's also the chance where their representative will poke their nose. It seems that finding small-time photographers is a much much better alternative than all this. I'm sure they are even more likely to even agree with the free license thing, once they know it's being used here. -Ugog Nizdast (talk) 14:50, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

It is true that the subject of an image may not be the best person to contact for permission to use an image but most often it is the subject who knows who the photographer was and without that knowledge you are getting nowhere fast. Sometimes the metadata will record the photographer's name and on occasions the image may be a work for hire where the copyright was transferred as part of the contract: the subject is likely the only person you can contact who will know that. Images that are uploaded here under free licences are not just free to be used here but must also be free for commercial and derivative use. We do not accept images that are allowed on Wikipedia only. Many notable people will have agents or representatives who may be persuaded to release a freely licenced image if they have one when they realise it can only display their client in a good way to provide a decent free image rather than us use a poor unflattering one taken a some crowded event by a bad photographer.
There are several options and you should not exclude any one, just because it may not seem like it will get you the result you want, instead of following the easiest options or those that seems more likely to succeed. Flickr has many decent freely licenced images of well known and lesser known personalities and you can search for specifically for freely licenced Flickr images at selecting only the Attribution and Attribution-ShareAlike Licenses (the last two are being discussed right now at c:Commons:Requests for comment/Flickr and PD images). Google also allows searching of images by licence. But watch out for images that are claimed to be freely licenced which are copyright violations or copyright images that, by virtue of being US government work or some other reason, are actually in the public domain. Getting permission can sometimes be difficult and you may need quite some patience. I have waited over a year for a Flickr uses to respond and change a licence so it could be uploaded here. Good luck. ww2censor (talk) 17:01, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks at lot for your advice, I've made an account at Flickr too. -Ugog Nizdast (talk) 05:07, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
FYI, these are the changes I've made to both the essays: Acquire a free image diff and Requesting free content diff. Hope their fine. -Ugog Nizdast (talk) 07:49, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Creating an image from video of a dead person[edit]

Hello. Not entirely sure, if I'm allowed to upload an image i would create from video footage, under fair usage guidelines, for a page for a recently died person? Is this okay? Alternatively, what about using photos the person made on it's own. Thanks. prokaryotes (talk) 19:29, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

If the person was well known and deceased recently there is quite a likelihood that a free image is available somewhere so you just have to find it. If after some extensive searching no image can be found then you might be able to justify a non-free image so long as it complies with all 10 non-free content policy criteria. Good luck. ww2censor (talk) 13:13, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Well, I looked at google image and flickr and cc usage, without luck. I might wait a few more days, maybe there will be an image, it's for Dan Fredinburg. prokaryotes (talk) 23:42, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

ISIS photos copyright[edit]

Is it allowed to use the photos published by the islamic state in iraq and levant ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Amr Mostafa (talkcontribs) 11:59, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Assume that these are copyrighted like any other material you may find published. The laws of Iraq, and the other countries involved (Syria?) will be relevant. If they do grant a suitable free license then images can be used here. If not then fair use may apply in some circumstances. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 01:13, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
Also consider that even if the US doesn't share a reciprocal copyright with the country (like Iraq, etc.) and that it would be considered PD in the States, Jimmy Wales has asked us to respect those copyrights and treat them as non-free (unless it fails standard PD tests like age or threshold of originality) , --MASEM (t) 01:48, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Permission to use photo[edit]

Hello, I received a message yesterday from an administrator about a photo I used on the page, "The Smallest Penis in Brooklyn pageant." I am new here and the image copyright rules are a bit confusing to me. I have secured permission from the source -- -- to use the photo, as long as I credit Gothamist and the photographer, which I will do. (I can send a copy of this permission from Gothamist to Wikipedia administrators, if necessary.) But I'm still not sure which category this image falls under -- "fair use" or something else. The administrator said the photo might be removed if I don't address this issue, so I'm trying to avoid that.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. The Grouchy Editor

  • Hello Grouchy Editor, what we need is for the copyright holder of the photo (usually the photographer or their assignee) to follow the procedure outlined at WP:DCM. Essentially they would email a team that handles these sorts of things and agree to donate the photograph to Wikipedia under This Free License (which allows anyone anywhere to use, re-use, modify, parody, sell for a profit, or basically any purpose whatsoever provided they attribute the source). Because we essentially give away all content here, permission to use the photo on Wikipedia only is not sufficient. Once that is all complete, the photo will be categorized as "free", so will be usable anywhere (not just here). CrowCaw 21:35, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Well, the photo has been removed, apparently by a bot. It just seems like this permission process is unduly burdensome. I obtained permission to use the photo from the source, Gothamist, but instead of my simply inserting the photo and providing due credit to the source (Gothamist and the photographer), as the source requested, apparently I am supposed to ask the source to do all of the work -- register with Wikipedia, learn its permission process, and insert the photo and permission. Seems like an awful lot to ask of a source when they are kind enough to grant permission, and when I am happy to go through this process myself. But maybe I am attempting to use the photo under the wrong category -- "fair use." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Grouchy Editor (talkcontribs) 21:24, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Hello Grouchy Editor. First of all, your source of the image does not need to register with a Wikipedia account. Once you have uploaded an image, all they need to do is to write an email to wherein they confirm that the image uploaded by you has been released under a free licence. And that was actually your problem with the first upload of your file. You did upload it with a fair use rationale but according to our fair use criteria, fair use content may only be uploaded when it cannot be replaced by a free alternative. Theoretically, anyone could take a photo similar to yours and release it under a free license. That is why your file was deleted in the first place. On that note, please consider also that we do not accept content that is "for Wikipedia only" or something.
You may, however, ask your source to release the image under a free licence that permits derivative works and commercial use of their photo, e.g. using a Creative Commons licence. If your photographer is ok with that, just re-upload your image under a different, free licence and ask the photographer to send the email for confirmation. Once the mail has been sent, please put the following string on the file page: {{OTRS pending}} so other editors may know that a letter of permission has been forwarded. De728631 (talk) 21:50, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

frozen action photo show[edit]

Not a copyright issue. Please read WP:ARTIST to learn what makes a creative artist notable enough for inclusion in our encyclopedia. De728631 (talk) 22:03, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The ,, FROZEN ACTION PHOTO SHOW ,, is created and interpreted by silviu caraba from 2006 at south bank ( London eye )london ? Hi is the real first person in the world who create this type of live frozen action photo show performance in public ? And if hi is not,who is ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Studio230373 (talkcontribs) 21:27, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Hello, I don't understand what you are asking. I see that you say Silviu Caraba originated that art. Is that being mis-used somewhere on Wikipedia that we need to know about? CrowCaw 21:51, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
YES !!! I try to find the history of my art i created and named ,and i tape the name of my original show ,, FROZEN ACTION PHOTO SHOW ,,and come up the ,, FROZEN( animation ),, 2013 .........That why i post my video from youtube uploaded in 13 august 2009 , to prove is something missing !!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Studio230373 (talkcontribs) 22:14, 29 April 2015 (UTC) also i have some other video to prove my show idea,bat this is not from my youtube account
Please try to tape this words,in the search location of Wikipedia ,, FROZEN ACTION PHOTO SHOW ,, !!!! And you will see what the search WIKIPEDIA will say !!!......... I am the originator of FROZEN ACTION PHOTO SHOW,bat the wikipedia don't even think about that !!! This is what the google say
  • We don't have an article for "FROZEN ACTION PHOTO SHOW". When you start to type "Frozen..." the search box starts to narrow down pages that we do have that begin with Frozen, of which there are several. That doesn't mean any of them are claiming ownership of "FROZEN ACTION PHOTO SHOW". CrowCaw 23:34, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
When i started the first time this show,some people say,i froze in time like ,, Matrix ,, from 1999 !!!! bat is not reall !!! The Matrix from 1999 dedent froze in action !!! The Matrix dede jus slow motion in action !!! Bat is ok ,i anderstand now why the Wikipedia don t now nothing about me !!! How can i make the Wikipedia to know ? i want to find some where to post my work,bat i dont no how to do that !!!
I think you are asking why there is no article about you or your show. Well that is probably because you are not considered notable enough for someone to have written an article supported by reliable third party sources even though there are YouTube videos that show you and your show. I'm sorry to tell you that being on YouTube does not make you notable enough for an article in the encyclopaedia. ww2censor (talk) 21:40, 1 May 2015 (UTC) HA,HA,HA,HA....IS OK !!!........NOW KNOW WHAT THE WIKIPEDIA IS !!!

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Official State Portraits of US state Governors etc[edit]

The State House in my state has official paintings of nearly every governor who served this US state. I took photos ("faithful reproductions") of the paintings. I'm using the license "PD-Art|PD-old-80-1923" for art older than 1923. (So, first question: is that the right license?) Second question is: What about newer paintings? Can I assume they are public domain, since they were official portraits commissioned by a state government? I know works by the federal govt are public domain, but what about states? If they are OK, then what is the proper license? Finally, same question about official mayoral portraits in my City Hall. Thanks. - Kzirkel (talk) 01:54, 30 April 2015 (UTC) @Kzirkel:, it varies from state to state, some like California and Florida have decided that works prepared by the state are public domain. Massachusetts, hoever says anyhting appearing on a Commonwealth website (only) is public domain. So it's a pretty mixed bag but safest to say most state's works are not public domain. A way forward would be to ask if they would agree to photos of the individual portraits being licenced under a creative commons licence. Nthep (talk) 12:40, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

@Nthep:, thanks, that was good advice. I emailed the state library, and they responded right away; they unequivocally said all the paintings are public domain. I will go ahead and upload with the license "PD-author|State of Rhode Island" - Kzirkel (talk) 15:46, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

@Kzirkel: It might be a good idea to forward the email and a list of the images, once uploaded, to the OTRS team at so if there is subsequent debate the details of the permission are to hand. Nthep (talk) 15:53, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Permission to use photo[edit]

Hi, I'm kinda new to to using Wikipedia as an editor. I frequently check-out Wikipedia, but I just started recently when it comes to editing pages, so I apologize if I edited or posted certain pictures that have no copyright as I don't know what I'm doing. I understood that there are many restrictions, but I didn't expect for it to be very rigid since I'm just starting out and expanding on the content. Anyway, the picture that I posted was downloaded from the Internet. Here is the link to my photo: File:ESKAYA.jpeg

Please tell me what to do so that I can fix this immediately. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lim rex christian (talkcontribs) 11:30, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Well it looks like you will try to use this image at Eskaya_people#Beach Resort but the logo is likely copyright to the resort and using it in that article will not be acceptable. Normally copyright logos are only allowed in the infobox of article about the organisation or company per WP:NFCI. Even if it is considered to be freely licenced, which I doubt due to the stylised lettering in the first line, you need to ask yourself will it really add anything encyclopaedic to the one sentence in article in question. In fact IMHO even mentioning that is hardly useful. ww2censor (talk) 21:50, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Tagging (→‎License tagging for File:2015-05-02 0835 Edward Mellon Architect.png)[edit]

How should I tag File:2015-05-02 0835 Edward Mellon Architect.png ? Mitzi.humphrey (talk) 17:49, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Help needed with license status and tagging of File:2015-05-02 0912 William Burke Belknap the elder 1840.png[edit]

Please direct me to correct tagging of license status for File:2015-05-02 0912 William Burke Belknap the elder 1840.png. Mitzi.humphrey (talk) 17:54, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

3 QQ[edit]

Where is the tag for photos from before 1923 whose rights have run out, only at Commons? Is it possible to release a photo lacking copyright but only for wikipedia use, not into "Commons"? And does releasing for commercial use mean someone else can copyright or sell the photo itself, or deface it and use it?jzsj 02:03, 4 May 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jzsj (talkcontribs)

  • Template:PD-US is one we use here where US copyright has expired due to date. That page also has a few others named at the bottom which may be appropriate.
  • In certain rare circumstances you can specify that a file is free for use on Wikipedia, but not on commons, by using Template:Do not move to Commons. Apart from that, you can request a file not be copied to commons, but if the file is suitable there, there is nothing preventing its being copied there.
  • When you submit material here (pictures, files, or even the text you type), you are licensing it under This Free License (which allows anyone anywhere to use, re-use, modify, parody, sell for a profit, or basically any purpose whatsoever). The copyright holder always maintains copyright, so a re-user cannot then claim copyright on it, but yes all the other things you say can and do happen to uploaded files. CrowCaw 17:53, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Clarification on usage[edit]

Love Wikipedia but have some trouble understanding how to document the photo inclusions. I have photos given to me by the photo owner for use on Wikipedia. It doesn;t mean that they are free for everyone to use as they wishg, but the company has license to the pics and has allowed me to use them for the articles. How do I notate that? Which option is appropriate? THanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gary Zenker (talkcontribs) 17:17, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

None. You just can't use them. Sorry, our policy on non-free content specifies that non-free items can only be used by way of exception, in cases where free alternatives would be impossible as a matter of principle. Fut.Perf. 17:21, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Clarification on upload[edit]

I am in the process of updating the following article as it is extremely outdated:

I have permission of the copyright holder to use the logo of the current collaboration carrying out the work as well as a couple of infogaphics from the report (which is available freely online here

I have already tried through Wikimedia Commons with little success. I assume there isn't a barrier to submitting these images - and so I just need to know which page/upload system I should be using.

I'm a new user, so not auto-registered.

Any/all help appreciated.

Kind regards,


  • Hello SAnthonyR, a couple of things. One: you say the reports are "freely available", when I think you really meant they are "easily and readily available". A small semantic difference which becomes crucial: Commons only allows material "freely published", where "free" means licensed to allow anyone to do with it as they please. The report and logo are copyrighted so they cannot be put on commons. Now secondly: if the copyright holder wishes to release that material under This Free License (which allows anyone anywhere to use, re-use, modify, parody, sell for a profit, or basically any purpose whatsoever), then we can use that content here. The procedure to do so is found at WP:DCM. Wikipedia content is free for anyone to use for any purpose, so all source material must also be so licensed. CrowCaw 20:09, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Permission to use image and tagging properly[edit]

Hi-I've posted an image this link for which I have permission of the creator to use. Here is an email where he gives use of the picture:

2015-05-04 10:48 GMT-03:00 Steven Goldstein: Hello Fabio- This is Steven Goldstein here, partner of Rabbi Steve Greenberg. You took some pictures of us last year for an article in O Globo. I wanted to know if it’s ok to use one of Steve for his wikipedia page. We don’t have any other great picture of him, and someone keeps putting up a very unflattering shot of him instead. If it’s ok with you, I’ll have to figure out how to tell Wikipedia it’s ok. Let me know whenever you have a moment. Thanks so much. Steven

From: Fabio Seixo Subject: Re: Steve Greenberg Date: May 4, 2015 at 9:54:19 AM EDT To: Steven Goldstein Hi Steven, no problem at all. You guys can use the picture! Thank you for let me know. Best regards Fábio -- Fábio Seixo

What else do I need to do in the tagging of the image? Thanks so much for your help.Sgoldstein29 (talk) 15:18, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Hello. We would need the copyright holder of the photo to follow the procedure outlined at WP:DCM. Essentially they would email a team that handles these sorts of things and agree to donate the photograph to Wikipedia under This Free License (which allows anyone anywhere to use, re-use, modify, parody, sell for a profit, or basically any purpose whatsoever provided they attribute the source). Because we essentially give away all content here, permission to use the photo on Wikipedia only is not sufficient. Once that is all complete, the photo will be categorized as "free", so will be usable anywhere (not just Wikipedia), by anyone, for any purpose. CrowCaw 20:13, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Sgoldstein29; this is a regular question, and we have a helpful answer at Wikipedia:Requesting copyright permission. In short, it is not enough that we have permission to use on Wikipedia. As Crow noted, we must have the media available to use under a free license. --Hammersoft (talk)

Upload of photos of paintings by Adam Bruce Thomson[edit]

My wife and I are copyright holders of the work by this artist and we would like to upload examples of his work onto his Wikipedia entry. If possible, we would like this to be non-free content that is copyrighted, and is made available subject to restrictions of 'non-commercial use only' and 'for use on Wikipedia only'. We would be grateful for any guidance about the appropriate tags that we should use. We think that examples of his artwork would significantly improve the quality of this artist's Wikipedia entry. Thank you for your assistance. — Preceding unsigned comment added by AndrewHall1953 (talkcontribs) 21:35, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Wikipedia is published under This Free License (which allows anyone anywhere to use, re-use, modify, parody, sell for a profit, or basically any purpose whatsoever), so all contributed content needs to be released under the same license. We allow anyone to re-use our content any way they want, so a Wikipedia-only or non-commercial-only license is not sufficient. CrowCaw 21:42, 5 May 2015 (UTC)