Template talk:Non-free video game cover

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WikiProject Fair use    (Inactive)
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WikiProject Video games (Rated Template-class)
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Template change[edit]

The original template here was better than most fair use templates, but missed a few important things. Here is the original:

This image is cover art for a computer or video game and the copyright for it is most likely owned by the publisher or developer of the game. It is believed that cover art may be displayed on Wikipedia under the fair use provision of United States copyright law as such display does not significantly impede the right of the copyright holder to sell the copyrighted material, is not being used to turn a profit in this context, and presents ideas that cannot be exhibited otherwise. See Copyrights and fair use rationale for more information.

The problem I have with this is that doesn't specify at all the use which would be "fair use", it only says that the use of these images as a category are fair use. This is not true -- there are plenty of un-fair ways these images could be used, even on Wikipedia. The new template clearly specifies that these images should be used to depict the game in question and not for anything else.

I don't think all of that other rationale needs to be stated explicitly on this page -- it is implicit in the other text. The image does not impede the selling of copyrighted material because it is low-res (you couldn't use it to make duplicate covers); it does not get us any profit because we are non-profit; and if it is used to depict the game itself then there is no other way to do such a thing without such an image. To add both wordings would be highly redundant, I think, and I think the advantage of my wording is that it lets the uploader clearly see what their image must be and how it must be used if they are to use this tag. --Fastfission 22:28, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

How about this?

This image is cover art for a computer or video game and the copyright for it is most likely owned by the publisher or developer of the game. It is believed that cover art may be displayed on Wikipedia under the fair use provision of United States copyright law as a depiction of the cover of the game because such display does not significantly impede the right of the copyright holder to sell the copyrighted material, is not being used to turn a profit in this context, and presents ideas that cannot be exhibited otherwise. See Copyrights and fair use rationale for more information.

:) Also, the copyright examination page doesn't seem very active. I don't know that we can rely on that for answers. The one posted right before us doesn't have any responses and it's been on there at least a couple of weeks. Cookiecaper 07:07, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

I think it is better but I still think it is arranged too much as a message to potential copyright holders than as instructions to the users. Eventually I think every tag should have a little link to a fair use rationale (for copyright holders) but I don't think the link above does that clearly enough. --Fastfission 12:36, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Low resolution[edit]

The template has recently been changed so that it specifies that only low-resolution images can be considered to be fair use. My policy in the past has been to upload high-res images wherever possible, so lot's of covers that I uploaded would have to be deleted. However, I really don't see how any reading of the law regarding fair use says anything about the resolution of images. What constitutes a high resolution? I feel this is nonsense. Either an image can be used under fair use, or it cannot. Resolution is irrelivent. Jacoplane 00:13, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

They wouldn't be deleted, they'd be downsized to a more appropriate resolution (not immediately, of course, but eventually, in an ideal world). Print-resolution copyrighted covers have no place on Wikipedia. Fair use does take into account the substantiality of the work used, and in at least one case this has been interpretted along the lines of resolution in computer images (a low res image is an inferior copy of the original and thus does not adequately replace the original).[1] "Low resolution" in my mind means "as low as it needs to be to be adequate for the goals of creating an online encyclopedia", which in a general sense means "web rather than print resolution". But hey, let's put the shoe on the other foot: what's the justification for high resolution images here? Why would you possibly need an image of more than, say, 500px width to illustrate a computer game cover on Wikipedia? --Fastfission 02:17, 4 September 2005 (UTC)
Right now I run my screen resolution at 1400*1050. Who knows what it's be in 3 years. I read the brief you linked to, which is not entirely relevant in this situation. First of all this was done for commercial purposes. Secondly, on the "image attributes" page that is at issue on that page, the image was included through "deep linking" and was not stored on the Arriba servers, but on Kelly's servers. The EFF disagreed with this ruling, and finally the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reconsidered that part[2]. So, the conclusion from the case you pointed to is that copying thumbnailed images falls under fair use, and nothing else. It says nothing about high resolution. Finally, in this case the products were photographs. Isn't it fair to say that these box covers are a part of a copyrighted package that is the entire game. There is no market for the box-covers alone, and we are certainly not removing the market for the entire games. Why one would need an image larger than 500px though? Why would we need to impose restrictions on ourselves when they are not necessary. Still, I'll cede this point to you for now, as I'm not entirely certain. Jacoplane 02:07, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

I don't buy Fastfission's argument about resolution. It is based on a case involving google image search that is at most tangentially related to what we do here. Our fair use claims are stronger than google's, we are not an index, we don't link to the original content. There are other differences. In essence, I don't believe that our fair use case is any stronger at a lower resolution than at a higher one. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 19:38, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

The idea behind limiting the size of images of things like box covers and CD covers is so that copyright owners cannot claim that Wikipedia has a library of high-resolution images ready to be printed out and applied to the jewelcases of pirated CDs. Screen resolution is fairly standard at 96dpi, regardless of the number of pixels on the screen. Print resolution needs to be at least 300dpi in order to look acceptable. A 450x450 pixel album cover image looks good on screen but nowhere else; a 1500x1500 scan is good enough to apply to a jewelcase, thus failing point 4 of the fair-use test ("the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work"). --Carnildo 20:39, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

I posted some more discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Fair use, which is a better place to have this discussion. --Fastfission 19:15, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

Software cover?[edit]

Is there a template for (reduced-quality) software box graphics? I'm going to use this one right now, but which would be the right one? --tyomitch 01:39, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Other games[edit]

What about covers of boardgames and such? Should we have a separate template for them, or - as the name implies - can we make this a generic game cover template?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:02, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

There is a {{boardgamecover}}. JYolkowski // talk 23:11, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Distinguish between consoles?[edit]

Since Category:Video game covers is getting kind of large (the point was raised on its talk page not too long ago), could we perhaps bring this template more in line with the {{logo}} template, which allows for specifying of categories (for example, {{gamecover|insert category here}})? That way, we can have different categories for GameCube, Xbox, PS2, and other consoles.

Or would separate templates for each console be better? Robert 03:58, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Having seen no discussion, I went ahead and made the change. I also created the categories Category:GameCube game covers, Category:Xbox game covers, and Category:PlayStation 2 game covers. Robert 01:28, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

new catetory code here[edit]

Here is the new category code:

[[Category:{{{1|Video}}} game covers|<noinclude> </noinclude>{{PAGENAME}}]] Dread Lord CyberSkull ✎☠ 04:35, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for noticing my screw-up. I'll put it in. Robert 04:37, 15 May 2006 (UTC)


I'd like to propose that this template (Game-cover); Template:Boardgamecover, and Template:RPG-artwork, along with any other game-cover related fair use templates out there all be merged into a single fair use template. Why do we need seperate templates for video games, board games, and RPG games when a generic template that says something along the lines of "This image is artwork from a game, and the copyright for it is... blah blah blah" will work nicely for all of them as well as for card games and other games that, as far as I know, do not currently have their own templates? There is at least one card game that is currently tagged with the board game tag; and the RPG tag is currently up for deletion. If no one objects to the merger I'd like to do it in a week or so. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs) 19:39, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

It is not because there is a different legal status, it is just a housekeeping issue. There are enough images in each category that keeping them separate allows for easier management of them. I'm not sure what the advantage to merging them is. One of the reasons we have differentiated fair use templates so that one can hypothetically quickly see what does not belong in what category. --Fastfission 02:19, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, one advantage to merging them would be to make it easier and less confusing for the uploaders. A fairly new user uploading their first image is already confronted with an imposing form and a lengthy and not-intuitivly organized drop-down menu that does not contain all of the fair use templates floating around out there. If what they are uploading is a board game or a video game, they might find the appropriate template; but if it's a card game there is no template. If it's an RPG game and the RPG template gets deleted, then there will be no temlpate. If it's some other kind of game, there is no template. A generic template for all games would make it easier on the uploader.
Let's take it out of games for a moment; right now there is Template:Book cover. There is also Template:Comiccover and various sub-templates for comic book panels; this makes sense as comic books are a very different thing than other books, requiring scans of the inside, etc. However, would it make sense to break the book cover template up into Template:Cookbookcover and Template:Romancebookcover and Template:Textbookcover and Template:Mysterybookcover and Template:Children'sbookcover, but neglect to make Template:Sciencefictionbookcover? All those different templates would confuse the heck out of anyone, and someone uploading a sci-fi cover might stick the romance book template on it because there isn't an appropriate template. Better to just have the generic book cover template and leave it there. Same with games. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs) 16:07, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Merge attempted[edit]

Well, after the discussion on tfd and the notable lack of complaint here (just one voice in opposition that never responded to my response to their objection) I have attempted the merge. This is the first time I've attempted to work with such a large or important template; so I hope I haven't irrepairably screwed anything up. If so; let me know. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 21:48, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

You should have brought up the merge with the various projects that manage those covers. Dread Lord CyberSkull ✎☠ 22:26, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
I did. I brought it up at TFD, Talk:Image copyright tags, Village pump proposals, WikiProject Fair use, and Villiage pump assistance, as well as both the main template pages and the talk pages for all three templates. I screamed about it everywhere I could think to scream about it for a solid month before attempting it. I also asked for help in attempting it, to no avail. Now, why did you just revert the merge? ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 14:38, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Do you have an objection to the merge? Because if so you haven't stated it yet and I find it somewhat inconsiderate of you to simply revert it, scold me for not discussing something I made a through effort to discuss, and then not respond to me when I ask why you reverted it. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 20:20, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm opposed to this merger as constructed (merger to "boardgame-cover") If you wanted to make a "Game packaging cover" template that all of these would fall under, that would make more sense, but even then there probably needs to be some level of segregation from a sorting standpoint. Also would this proposal scoop up images of D&D book covers which I presume would be under RPG-Covers, yet are not package covers? I think this issue needs more thought. As it stands there is also an outstanding issue on the language used in these gaming templates in regards to video games as the templates are being misused to improperly justify fair-use of video game related images that are not available for fair-use. BcRIPster 21:52, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I'm wanting to combine board-game cover and the other one at Game-cover - not the other way around as you seem to infer. The idea was to make Game-cover a generic "Game packaging cover" template, as you say. As for the sorting issue; see below. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving

Oppose, mainly because I think it's useful to have them sorted. I think the difference between video games and board games is similar more similar to your comparison between books and comic books than your comparison between romance novels and mystery novels. -- Norvy (talk) 01:17, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

So far nearly all objections have centered around the sorting issue - which is understandable. However, when I started looking at Game-cover in preparation for the first attempt at merging I noticed that Game-cover has some optional parameters to allow video games tagged with it to be sorted based on platform. I thought it would be possible (and unsuccessfully attempted to set it up this way) to modify that to allow sorting by type; i.e. board, card, video, RPG, other; and still allow the video ones to be sorted by platform. This ought to satisfy the sorting objections, however I'd need to find someone more experienced with template language to help in that endevor. If the new template functioned as I have described it, would you still object? ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 16:53, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
It's likely that I would still oppose because it's still unecessarily complicated, and likely wouldn't be used correctly by the uploading user. -- Norvy (talk) 17:14, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Do you think it would be too complicates to write {{gamecover|RPG}}. I agree the merge.

Nethac DIU, would never stop to talk here
23:25, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

(de-indenting) Other than coding the template to begin with (which I'll probably need to ask for help with at the villiage pump or somewhere), how is it unecessarily complicated? You do have a good point that uploaders would probably not use it correctly - but it seems that uploaders don't use image tags correctly a great deal of the time anyhow. At any rate, my main concern is that there is no suitable tag for non-video, non-board, non-RPG games. How about an alternate proposal of moving the video-game tag to Videogame-cover, and creating a generic tag at Game-cover? I'd still prefer the merge, personally - but that would, in my mind, work as an alternate proposal. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 20:34, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Just so I can know what exactly we're discussing here, can you give a few examples of some non-video, non-board, or non-RPG games that need image tags? Off the top of my head, I'm not sure what kind of games that leaves. -- Norvy (talk) 14:58, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Image:Phase 10.jpg, Image:Slip-boCard.jpg, Image:Skip-boDeck.jpg - right now these are tagged as pd-self because the uploaders took the photograph themselves, but I think that they would do better to be tagged as fair use. Image:Magic the gathering-card back.jpg was tagged as a board game when I first proposed this merge back in December - now it's tagged with {{Cardimage}}, which didn't exist until 20:29, 12 February 2007 see history. Since {{Cardimage}} has been created I'll go around and change the Phase 10 and Skipbo pages after I post this. I do strongly encourage you to read the tfd discussion that started this. I'm glad that {{Cardimage}} has been made as that will take care of most of the ones I can easily think of - but I still think it would be easier to have a master games tag that the rest of these would fall under. The more I think of it, the more I like the idea of moving this one and creating a master one. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 16:05, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I re-tagged about 100 card images yesterday. A great many of them were previously tagged as board games. Most of the rest were erroneously tagged as pd-self or GFDL or somesuch. Some are on Commons and must be sorted out there. Even now that we have the card game tag I still think a generic game tag is needed, and this is the name for it. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 14:38, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

I pretty much oppose a merge at this point. {{game-cover}} is too well entrenched to be changed easily. It can be done, but if you don't have a bot or two it's really impossible. Dread Lord CyberSkull ✎☠ 01:59, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

It's easy enough to request a bot to re-tag stuff. What do you think of a move instead of a merge? ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 16:05, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Strongly oppose. Video games and board games are hardly the same thing and the "RPG" that Template:RPG-artwork refers to are pen and paper RPGs (like D&D, not like Final Fantasy) and is more closely related to Template:Character-artwork. I do however think that this template should be moved to Template:Videogame-cover instead.--SeizureDog 12:28, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

oppose i apologize that no one has yet attempted to explain what is so complicated about this idea... basically because most templates use parameters to fill in information, not to compare. A simple example would be {{main}} which merely augments whatever text you put into its parameter (a more complicated endeavor could be {{Pokeinfobox}}).

{{main|Foo}} =
''Main article:[[Foo]]''

What you are proposing would require code that checked every single possible entry and then wrote the correct categorization. This needs a function that can evaluate the parameter and check it against multiple possiblities and then execute the correct code - a function that does this does not exist. Additionally, this specific template uses multiple parameters to better categorize the image and it would be even more complex, as the code would then need to look for extra paramters and decide what to do with them depending on the first. It's just simpler this way. if your concern is for newbies, i suggest increasing awareness of different templates - you could borrow the code from this one to make a drop down list that offers alternatives to the more general tags out there (see {{Pokeimage}} for an example). -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 23:36, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

How to use the template[edit]

Please, somebody add a guide on using the template (what different options it has, etc). Somebody is pestering me over the tagging of Monkey Island 1 cover.--Wormsie 09:04, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Whoops, terribly sorry! I'm blind, apparently. :)--Wormsie 09:14, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

More parameters[edit]


Requesting the adding of a 4th and 5th parameter with the platform game cover links ({{#if:{{{2|}}}|[[Category:{{{2}}} game covers|{{PAGENAME}}]]|}}). There are files, like this, where 4 different platform is needed, so it would be nice. Thanks.

--drhlajos (talk) 11:49, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done I added two more for a total of 5, like you requested. --CapitalR (talk) 07:20, 1 April 2009 (UTC)


How about even more, say 7 or 9? Look what someone did here just to get all the categories in. Ntsimp (talk) 04:27, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Done, plus some other stuff. --- RockMFR 05:53, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Link fixes[edit]

{{editprotect}} Since this template is used in hundreds of images, all of the links should be correct. [[computer game]] should be changed to [[Personal computer game|computer game]] and [[en:wikipedia:Main Page|English-language Wikipedia]] should be changed to [[Main Page|English-language Wikipedia]]. Thank you. TJ Spyke 22:30, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thanks. Skier Dude (talk) 04:21, 22 September 2009 (UTC)


{{sudo}} I'd like to suggest a bit of extra wording for the usage box on the template, to go after "if the platform is unknown.":

For the platform names you can use, see the subcategories of Category:Video game covers.

(or some text to that effect). Also in the usage box: "parameter" -> "parameters". • Anakin (talk) 21:07, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 16:45, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! • Anakin (talk) 20:43, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Categorization error[edit]

{{editprotected}}Using {{Non-free game cover|arcade}} on a page results in the page being placed in Category:Arcade game covers; but that category is a redirect to Category:Arcade flyer images. The template should be fixed to classify pages directly into the target category. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 09:47, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Aren't you a sysop? fetch·comms 22:01, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but that doesn't mean I am familiar enough with the code used in this template to monkey around with it. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 09:14, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Currently the template can only populate categories of the form Category:XXX game covers. It might be simpler just to add the category manually. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 06:04, 3 June 2010 (UTC)


This template puts Desktop Dungeons logo.jpg into Category:Game covers, which was deleted in favor of Category:Computer and video game covers. Paradoctor (talk) 19:23, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Edit request from Marcus Qwertyus, 13 August 2011[edit]

[[Personal computer game|computer game]] needs to be changed to [[PC game|computer game]] on this page and Template:Non-free game screenshot

Marcus Qwertyus 19:24, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Skier Dude (talk) 05:35, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Bad HTML closure: Edit request from , 4 November 2011[edit]

The line:


appears to have one too many closure tags going for it. Maybe doesn't harm Wikipedia, but breaks other MediaWiki installs upon copying. (talk) 02:41, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Done Anomie 15:27, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Turkish InterWiki[edit]

  • Turkish InterWiki link: [[tr:Şablon:Video oyunu kapağı adil kullanım]] Emperyan-message/ileti 21:24, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 17 December 2012[edit]

As far as I can tell, the change to this template made by SchuminWeb on November 19 was never discussed, and thus there was no consensus for it established. This makes it a Bold edit. I would like to take the next step in WP:BRD and Revert it, but I cannot, since I am not an admin. Therefore I request that an admin revert SchuminWeb's edit of November 19. Thanks. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:54, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

I don't know about discussion, but it was just one of 70 similar edits made using AWB. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:58, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Done. See discussion at User talk:SchuminWeb#Changes in the wording of "Non-free" templates. — Mr. Stradivarius (have a chat) 10:34, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 24 March 2016 - new logo, simplify wording[edit]

Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games has adopted a new project logo which can be seen at the top of this talk page. This edit request updates replaces an image derived from the old logo with the new logo, and separates the copyright symbol for clarity. I have also simplified the wording slightly, but it should not change the meaning. I believe this edit request is uncontroversial. Replace the image parameter with the following

[[File:WPVG icon 2016.svg|40px|WikiProject Video games]]<br/><br/>[[File:Red copyright.svg|40px|Copyrighted content]]

Replace the text parameter with the following

This image is cover art for a video game, and its copyright is most likely held by the game's publisher or developer. It is believed that the use of low-resolution images of game cover art

constitutes fair use under United States copyright law. Other uses of this image may be copyright infringement. For more information, see Wikipedia:Non-free content.
Agreed, some of this wording is an artifact of the way WP described video games nearly 10 years. As an admin, doing. --PresN 22:00, 25 March 2016 (UTC)