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: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 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.

Macaque image no longer public domain[edit]

Apparently the US 9th circuit court has now ruled that the famous macaque selfie is the property of the photographer. PETA and the photographer came to an amicable settlement. I'm curious about why it is still up, in so many versions, on Wikimedia servers. I did tag some of the image talk pages with the recent news that of the ruling. Thoughts? See this LA Times article, another in the New York Times, and this article from the BBC. (talk) 03:43, 12 September 2017 (UTC)

That's an issue for Commons, not here. --MASEM (t) 03:46, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
If it's not public domain, as now seems obvious, shouldn't we remove it from pages on the Wikipedia side? The copies on the Wikipedia side violate the very essence of the author's copyright-- i.e. the right to make copies. Wikipedia and Commons no longer have that right. (talk) 03:51, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
There are still some legal complexities as a settlement is not the same as a case ruling. Commons needs to figure that out. Even though if Commons did remove it, we would very much likely still use a version of it under non-free, since the image is definitely the subject of discussion. --MASEM (t) 03:54, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
We'd use a very tiny version, not the high-res version that is up there, which is now blatant infringement. (talk) 03:56, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
A low-res version would be required per WP:NFCC#3 if the file was non-free content, but there's not much we can do about a Commons file here on Wikipedia. You can be bold and remove the file from any articles/pages it's being used on if you like, but that's likely to be reverted as long as the file is licensed as PD. So, if you think the licensing is now incorrect, you need to resolve it on Commons since that's where the file is hosted. You can ask for opinions at c:COM:VP/C on how to best do this, or be bold and tag the file per c:COM:CSD or start a c:COM:DR discussion. If, by chance, the file is deleted from Commons, a low-res version can be uploaded locally as non-free content to Wikipedia if its usage meets WP:NFCCP. -- Marchjuly (talk) 04:48, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Sorry but the above replies are confused. The previous judicial decision found that the copyright is not held by the monkey. It did not expressly consider whether the photo was in the public domain or whether the photographer holds a copyright. A settlement between PETA and David Slater has no legal impact outside of the parties involved and also says nothing about whether the image was in the public domain, because, again - that was not an issue in the case. The status of whether or not this image is public domain and can be treated as such by us therefore hasn't been affected by this news at all. So it would be incorrect to open deletion discussions or remove/downsize images from articles here on the basis of this news, which has no impact on the copyright status of the image. AlasdairEdits (talk) 09:20, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
  • One thing we can say with certainty is that the status of these images is unclear. Commons also has the rigid Precautionary Principle that "where there is significant doubt about the freedom of a particular file, it should be deleted." When there are international lawsuits flying about, that is significant doubt. These have to go from Commons. Andy Dingley (talk) 23:31, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
That is precisely right. (talk) 02:13, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
It's no less clear than it was before the lawsuit was filed. There's no more significant doubt about the file than there was before PETA filed its ill-considered lawsuit that it's now scrambling to get out of, likely out of fear of having to pay attorney's fees. But if you think it's unclear, open a deletion discussion on Commons. Assuming the Ninth Circuit grants the requested vacatur, we'll be at the same posture we were during the last deletion request in February 2015 before the spurious lawsuit was filed.
Either way, there's nothing to discuss on EnWikipedia, which is not hosting the file. TJRC (talk) 03:26, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

These discussions are not going anywhere. the recent settlement has not changed the status of this image, This image is hosted on Commons, so any deletion discussion or copyright status discussion should happen over there. AlasdairEdits (talk) 11:02, 13 September 2017 (UTC)}}

research paper diagram[edit]

sorry - i'm an absolute wikipedia newbie. i assume diagrams from research papers are unusable in wikipedia, right? eg

if i want create an original work based of copyrighted work, how original does it have to be? could you please direct me to some samples?

thanks, SilverJaw (talk) 20:10, 12 September 2017 (UTC)

This is probably the wrong place to start. You might be better at Wikimedia Commons (and could benefit from at least knowing about it). Try Commons:COM:L.
The difference is that Commons is there to be an open repository of freely-licensed content, available for re-use by anyone. If it's on Commons, then anyone can re-use it, for anything, even commercially (or someone has goofed, which is a possibility). That is not the goal of Wikipedia: the goal of Wikipedia is to be an encyclopedia. In general, these two goals coincide, and Wikipedia offers a freely-licensed encyclopedia. But, in some cases there is no such free content and so "fair use" content might be employed on the encyclopedia instead - Wikipedia recognises that it can be better to give a more complete encyclopedia than a more free encyclopedia. Commons though is rigid - free or nothing.
So, if you can, it's better to upload content to Commons. It gives a more useful resource to the world.
If you can't, maybe you can upload it to Wikipedia alone, under fair use and subject to WP:NFC. This is complex and not somewhere to start out.
Maybe you can talk to the author or copyright holder of a work and ask them for their permission, as a licence, to upload that work to Commons. This is often a successful strategy for all parties.
Please keep asking questions though, and reading the background pages, because this stuff is well known to be complicated. Andy Dingley (talk) 00:03, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

i see. i hadn't made the connection between wikipedia and commons. thanks for the pointer and i'll try contacting the author. SilverJaw (talk) 07:20, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

New Stadium Design/Artist Impression[edit]

Hi, I'm currently working on a sandbox for new football stadium that is currently under construction. I have access to various design documents (as they are public record because it's a government project, although not public domain as they were created by a private company who did the design) that includes 2 low resolution (I've since cropped them to 450 wide x 250 high) 3d renders as a kind of "artists impression". 1 of the interior & 1 of the exterior. My question is about if it is appropriate/possible to use these two images for the article, and if so what criteria best apply. The stadium has only just begun construction so there is no ability to take photos of a non-existent interior or exterior. Thank you. Macktheknifeau (talk) 10:39, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

I think the first thing you need to determine is whether the stadium is notable enough for a stand-alone article because it might make justifying non-free use a bit easier to do if it is. I am not sure if there are specific notability guidelines for buildings under construction, but WP:GNG lists the basic criterion that typically need to be met. Using the image in a sub-section of another article is not totally impossible, but it can be harder to justify non-free use per WP:NFCC#8 for such a usage than when the image is being used as the primary means of identification in a stand-alone article. In any case, the copyright license that I think you should use is Template:Non-free architectural work and a non-free use rationale you could possibly use (if you want) is Template:Non-free use rationale 2, but you might prefer another template or even writing out your own rationale. If you want to see some examples of what others have done, check Category:Non-free architectural works, but try and remember that WP:OTHERIMAGE is not a justification for non-free use. One last thing is that you shouldn't upload anything that is non-free content until it's ready to be added to the article namespace; otherwise, it's likely going to get tagged for speedy deletion per WP:F5 because of WP:NFCC#7 or WP:NFCC#9. -- Marchjuly (talk) 12:09, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

Thank you for that explanation. You have a good point regarding notability. I'll look into that, while working on the sandbox article. I will also keep in mind to not upload anything until the article itself is ready. Thank you. Macktheknifeau (talk) 08:24, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

File:Genius Wordmark Logo.svg[edit]

Can this be relicensed as {{PD-logo}}? The company is based in the US and this appears to be text with a 3d-effect. -- Marchjuly (talk) 04:41, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

I don't see any reason why not AlasdairEdits (talk) 17:53, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

File:Boxline Logo1.png[edit]

There's not much information given on China's TOO in c:COM:TOO#China (PRC), so I'm not sure whether this would be considered protected in the country of origin, but it seems like it might be OK as {{PD-ineligible-USonly}} and kept locally on Wikipedia. If this does need to be non-free then it is missing a non-free use rationale and was only previously being used in User:TonyHuang/sandbox. This means it will either eventually be deleted per WP:F5 or WP:F6, Any feedback would be appreciated. -- Marchjuly (talk) 10:42, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

I don't think these small deviations from standard lettering would create a copyright in the US, so I'd concur with PD-ineligible-USonly. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 14:55, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for taking a look Jo-Jo Eumerus. I've gone ahead and converted the licensing to "PD-ineligible-USonly". Please correct any mistakes I made or add anything I might've forgotten to add. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:45, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Deletion request[edit]

Request for the deletion of two images as soon as possible. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Punith331994 (talkcontribs) 01:18, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

HiPunith331994. Deletion requests are not typically made on this page. Moreover, nobody here will be able to determine whether the files you're referring to actually need to be deleted without knowing exactly which files they are. Can you provide the names of the files so that others can at least look at them to see if there's a problem? -- Marchjuly (talk) 04:43, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
@Punith331994: I don't see that you uploaded any images here on the enwiki, but I do see that in 2012 on the commons you uploaded several images but they all seem to be properly licensed, so any issue you have will need to be dealt with on the commons. So what's your problem? BTW, you cannot just decide to withdraw your images once you have released them under a license we accept. ww2censor (talk) 11:21, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
- request related to two non-free images lacking information; now deleted. Nthep (talk) 14:21, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
See also Special:Log/Punith331994. -- Asclepias (talk) 15:24, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

deletion request[edit]

I found this image as a profile picture on Twitter: File:Elsamni.jpg. I do not know how to tag it so the copyright is ok with wikipedia. Source: — Preceding unsigned comment added by AbdulRahman14 (talkcontribs) 21:28, 16 September 2017

AbdulRahman14: Because there is no verification of the copyright status of the image you would need to get the copyright holder, who is usually the photographer, to verify their permission by following the procedure found at WP:CONSENT. Neither you nor we can decide the copyright tag to apply until we know under what copyright the image is being released by the copyright holder. ww2censor (talk) 21:30, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

Pictures of my Grandfather for an article about his life (Archie League)[edit]

Dear Wikipedia,

Why do the pictures continue to be deleted with no comments?

First some were deleted and some were saved, then the others were deleted with no further explanation.

I would like to challenge this opinion as I have received permission from the newspaper they were copied from to publish them on Wikipedia.

Others pictures were family photos taken by my Uncle (now deceased). What are the next steps.


William Byrd

Bestword57 (talk) 20:35, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

Images are almost never deleted without comment, although if you are not able regular editor you may not have realized where the comments appeared. Are you talking about these images?:
If so, the deletion discussion is here:
Commons:Commons:Deletion_requests/Files_uploaded_by_Bestword57--S Philbrick(Talk) 21:39, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

When I click your link, I get the message: This page does not currently exist. You can search for this page title in other pages or create this page.



Sorry, I malformed the link, now fixed. --S Philbrick(Talk) 00:17, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Bestword57 (talk) 21:56, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

@Bestword57: the link you want is Commons:Commons:Deletion_requests/Files_uploaded_by_Bestword57. Nthep (talk) 22:15, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) ::@Bestword57: William, Nthep has provided the correct link, but you replied on 13 August last. You will see that the deleting admin tells you to send the permission to the commons OTRS team but you will have to be patient as the OTRS are currently backlogged at 47 days. ww2censor (talk) 22:26, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
@Bestword57:Just as an FYI, and sorry in advance for what may be discouraging news, if I were to see the permission statement from Mark Russell in an OTRS permission filing I would not accept it. I do understand that you asked for permission to reprint the article and you got a response that says "this is fine. Permission granted." But that newspaper may have no idea that you are not simply looking to reprint it personally or in a blog, but wish to post it in one of the most highly trafficked websites in the world, and furthermore that it can be subsequently reused by anyone for any purpose anywhere for whatever reason. It is not uncommon for a newspaper to grant permission to an individual thinking it is a not a big deal but reconsider when they find the scope of the license. The copyright holder must fill out a permission statement consistent with the wording in the box on this page (and it is best to use the exact wording):OTRS

File:BMW Sauber F1 Team logo.png[edit]

If the primary BMW roundel/logo (File:BMW.svg) is considered to be PD, then it seems that the BMW Sauber F1 logo should also be PD since the the only possible copyrightable element is the roundel itself. Is there a reason the team logo needs to be non-free content, while the files in c:Category:BMW roundel logos are not? -- Marchjuly (talk) 01:43, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

File:Seal of the California State University.png[edit]

Does this logo for California State University need to be treated as non-free content or can it be converted to {{PD-CAGov}}? It will have to be removed from Template:Portal/doc/all per WP:NFCC#9 if it needs to be non-free. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:36, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

PD-CAGOV is pretty ambiguous and hard to understand. My instinct says it is not covered by PD-CAGOV but think we would need someone familiar with CA copyright law and state law to get a proper answer say which we are unlikley to get. As a starting point it would be good to find out when was the seal designed? if the CU system has been in place since 1857 there is a goodce it is just PD by reason of age. AlasdairEdits (talk) 18:49, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
The seal was designed in 1962 and CSU asserts copyright here. StarryGrandma (talk) 19:39, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Thanks AlasdairEdits and StarryGrandma for taking a look. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:11, 21 September 2017 (UTC)


Not sure why this needs to be licensed as non-free content when it seems simple enough for {{PD-simple}} or even {{PD-logo}}. Even if it's copyrightable in Finland (the home of HIM (Finnish band)), it still seems OK to be {{PD-ineligible-USonly}}. Any reason why this needs to be non-free? -- Marchjuly (talk) 05:01, 20 September 2017 (UTC)


The licensing for this image indicates that it has been effectively placed into the public domain by the copyright holder. Indeed, the image has also been tagged (possibly by a bot) as being an image that would be OK to copy to Wikimedia Commons. At the same time, it is not clear that the SoundEdit software icon was in fact placed into the public domain or that the uploader is the copyright holder. Right now, the icon is used in the main infobox in the SoundEdit article. (I recently added an infobox to the article though the icon was present in the article before then.) Would it be possible to treat the image as non-free content (such as with the {{Non-free use rationale icon}} rationale and the {{non-free icon}} license tag)? --Elegie (talk) 12:18, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

Yes, Elegie. Please convert the license to use the non-free license tag and rationale. There is no evidence that the copyright holder of SoundEdit has released this into the public domain. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 13:28, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Finnusertop Thanks for the feedback. The license info for the image has been adjusted accordingly. --Elegie (talk) 23:02, 20 September 2017 (UTC)