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.

Roscoe Rowe[edit]

Not really an image question, but I didn't want to start a formal full-blown copyright investigation about a possibly trivial misunderstanding on my side. Bear with me please.

The article's content is copy/pasted from here, most likely in good faith by an unexperienced, now inactive, editor. The website states near the bottom: "This information resource of the Maryland State Archives is presented here for fair use in the public domain." That's clear as mud: is it "fair use" (restricted for certain use cases) or "in the public domain" (do whatever you want with it)? Is such a vague statement sufficient to treat the content as fully released public domain content? Maryland State Archives don't count as "USGov" institution copyright-wise, do they? GermanJoe (talk) 22:35, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

This suggests that they mean it is presented to the public, rather than an actual copyright release. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 23:36, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification - I have nominated the article for speedy deletion as copy/paste from the source. GermanJoe (talk) 00:12, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

I cannot find any copyright information for this photo but would like to use it.[edit]

I cannot find the copyright information for Shubha Tole's images on google but would like to use one to help her page be fleshed out. Here is the image i have gone for, sized 212x238.File:shubha.jpg, taken from google images. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dathava (talkcontribs) 19:02, 18 November 2015

Because Shubha Tole is still alive we can only use image that are clearly freely licensed. Most images you will find on the internat are copyright which was the reason the image you uploaded has already been deleted. ww2censor (talk) 22:38, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
If you want good, current, up-to date images Dathava, why not try emailing her directly (E.G., Hi, I edit Wikipedia and you deserve better photos) and asking if she can send Wikimedia Commons a photo(s) with a OTRS. You can bet that Shubha is IT savvy, so if she dose not reply she is not really interested in her professional and public image - so end of story. Should you wish, she can be contacted at टाटा मूलभूत अनुसंधान संस्थान She has a gmail address there but we don't disclose these here. Hope this helps.--Aspro (talk) 01:50, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Aside: A copyvio also appears (like it says its not licensed appropriately) to be on this Telugu language WP article on Shubha: [1]. --Aspro (talk) 03:17, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
The image source page has a copyright notice but do they allow non-free on the Telugu wiki? ww2censor (talk) 12:43, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Poem about Saigon[edit]

my teacher gave me an assignment she said that the poem that we read the Saigon is gone and a text In our text book the forgotten ship in the text what is the message each author is intending to convey about the fall of Saigon? explain how specific word choice help create a tone that contributes to the text's meaning — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:42, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

We don't do you home work here. THis question would be more appropriate at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities. We do have articles at Fall of Saigon, Operation Frequent Wind which has a large list of the ships involved, and Operation Babylift which will give you the background history. You will have to read the poem and look at the word choice yourself! Graeme Bartlett (talk) 23:34, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

Using pictures and Images[edit]

I am writing a book. As well as using some Wikipedia content, I would like to use the pictures included in the article. For example. King James I,II; King George I,II, III; Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Charlotte. Am I allowed to use them as long as I give credit to Wikipedia? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:14C:8201:FF00:B12B:A1F9:A970:7976 (talk) 20:44, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

What you really need is Wikipedia:Reusing Wikipedia content and c:Commons:Reusing content outside Wikimedia. You need to credit images per their licence not us. ww2censor (talk) 22:57, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

What if I modified a file from Wikipedia?ChizzleDonkey (talk) 23:50, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

Then you have made a derivative. You would have to comply with the terms of the license. So if it was a CC-BY license you still have to credit the earlier author, and link to the license. And the -SA bit would mean that you have to have the same license on your derivative. So you can do cropping or make a collage, change contrast etc. For public domain images you are free to use them without credit, but claiming your own copyright is a fraud. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 20:13, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Image missing evidence of permission[edit]

The image is for a band that were only active for a short amount of time, and the band and their website and this the evidence of permission haves long since disappeared. What should be folded in this instance? Thanks Mattsephton (talkcontribs) 23:38, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

What image? File:Murry-the-hump.jpg? One can look at an archived copy of the source page [2], where one can see that there was no permission. -- Asclepias (talk) 02:04, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Potential image for Nevado Tres Cruces[edit]

So, I was thinking that using the map at the bottom of this page may significantly increase the understandability of the Nevado Tres Cruces article by illustrating the extent and location of various geological features, things that can't be easily explained in text for a volcano that isn't a simple cone. I was wondering if using that map under fair use would be acceptable; I don't think there are freely licensed maps of that type and content.Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 14:54, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

You can't use that image. It fails WP:NFCC#1 because, although no freely licensed maps with that information exist, you can create one. Finnusertop (talk | guestbook | contribs) 15:29, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I sort of expected that. No image, then, seeing as I don't have the requisite image making skills.Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 15:37, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
You could always request one at WP:GL/M, Jo-Jo Eumerus. Finnusertop (talk | guestbook | contribs) 15:42, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Oh, thanks. I've moved my query over there.Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 09:47, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Michael Richards[edit]

I noticed that in the article, Michael Richards, there is this video link being used as reference. The video link is an episode of Jerry Seinfeld's web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, titled "It's Bubbly Time, Jerry". Is this episode under copyright?Hitcher vs. Candyman (talk) 16:12, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

I don't see any indication that it's not under copyright. The link is to the official website. -- Asclepias (talk) 21:37, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

file:simona castricum.png[edit]

I asked the artist for an image they have permission to use and she sent me this. Not sure how to make it allowable on Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:33, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

The photographer, not the artist, is usually the copyright holder and we need their permission under a free licence. The best thing to do is have them verify their permission by following the procedure found at WP:CONSENT. Good luck. ww2censor (talk) 23:11, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

I have a photograph that I took of Johnny Pate. Can I send it to you, he loves it.[edit]

How do I submit a photo of Johnny Pate for Wikipedia. I photographed Johnny and he loves the shot!-- (talk) 04:43, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Go to then register an account. Then you can click on upload. Make sure you add a good description and give a free license. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 20:27, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

deena dayala.jpg[edit]

I am unable to add copyright info for the image deena dayala.jpg. its self created design for the audio album. No copyrights for this please. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Canvasartrajaram (talkcontribs) 05:44, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Everything created has copyright, so you will have to grant a license. Also do you own the copyright, or does your employer own it? Graeme Bartlett (talk) 20:27, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
You will have to prove that the photographer Dr. Choudary Voleti has given a free license to use the photo, And who is B S Rajaram, is that you? Normally use the template:information to add the information. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 20:33, 25 November 2015 (UTC)



File:Strømsgodset IF logo.svg has been in use for the page of the sports club Strømsgodset IF and Strømsgodset Toppfotball, citing fair use. User Marchjuly recently removed it from the latter page, and I don't understand why? Strømsgodset Toppfotball is a division of Strømsgodset IF and uses the same logo, in the same way as several Norwegian football clubs, such as Stabæk Fotball and Stabæk IF. Cashewnøtt (talk) 14:03, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

If they use the same logo and have no logo of their own, fair-use is okay so long as you write separate rationales for both articles on the image description page. Currently, only Strømsgodset IF is covered by one. Finnusertop (talk | guestbook | contribs) 15:27, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm not sure how to do it. When I try to edit File:Strømsgodset IF logo.svg, I cannot see the existing rationale, it's just a bunch of empty fields.Cashewnøtt (talk) 15:37, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
No, we generally don't allow the use of parent logos in child organizational articles just because that child organization might happen to use the parent's logo. It is presumed that if the parent/child organizational relationship is defined, that the parent organization will be very clear on the child organization's WP page and the reader can click through the logo to see it in use there. This is to satisfy WP:NFCC#3. --MASEM (t) 15:38, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Masem, can you give some examples of acceptable use across many articles? A strict interpretation of WP:NFCC#3a risks it becoming a de facto "one article maximum". Finnusertop (talk | guestbook | contribs) 16:01, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • There's a line in the sand stated by WP:NFC#UUI #6, which indicates that if an image has an article about that image, we should link to that article rather than re-use the image. A good example of this type of use is File:WW2 Iwo Jima flag raising.jpg. This file has, in the past, been used on many articles. It is a very iconic image that is emblematic of World War II, the Battle of Iwo Jima, the United States Marines, Rosenthal (the photographer) himself, even as highly iconic of the Pulitzer Prize (which it won). There are few images on the same iconic level, and none (in my opinion) that exceed it. But, there is an article about the image. So, we use the image only on that article, and elsewhere we make links to that article. A counter example, one answering your request, is another highly iconic image: File:Saigon-hubert-van-es.jpg. This image does not have an article strictly dedicated to just itself, yet it is iconic. It is iconic for representing the Fall of Saigon and the building depicted. The building would now be of any interest without the image, and the image became iconic of the entire fall of Vietnam. It could be used in a variety of articles, but is limited to those two. So, that demonstrates a case where an image might be used in more than one place, yet still not fall afoul of #3. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:20, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
  • There's also cases of some types of paintings and other art (like Picasso's) where the painting might have a page itself, it might be considered the strongest example of a certain school of art, and might be considered the painter's most significant work, so multiple uses on three articles can be justified.
The key here, common to both mine and Hammersoft's examples, is that there is a unique rational to each use, clearly satisfying NFCC#8. Logos, on the other hand, only meet NFCC#8 (for the most part, there are common exceptions) through virtue of identification, marketing, and branding, and repeated logo use typically makes the same claim on logo and branding across many articles, weakening the claim of meeting NFCC#8 on each subsequent use. Hence why we strongly encourage avoiding logo reuse. --MASEM (t) 16:37, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Very well, I agree with the two of you. Naturally, this renders thousands upon thousands of present NFC uses of logos invalid. Finnusertop (talk | guestbook | contribs) 16:47, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
@Finnusertop, Masem, and Hammersoft: Thanks for your answers and clarification provided regarding NFCC#10c and No. 17 of NFC#UUI. I hope that sufficiently answers the OP's question. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:01, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, everyone. I understand now. Cashewnøtt (talk) 08:12, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

File:Metro Transit logo.svg[edit]

IIHO, this should be licensed as {{PD-textlogo}}. Any other opinions? Useddenim (talk) 15:37, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes, its clearly uncopyrightable in the US, and can even be moved to commons. --MASEM (t) 15:42, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Ditto. Not original enough. The underlying SVG may be copyrightable as software independently from the image design, though - is that an issue? (If so we'd have to recreate the SVG as an user-made version that imitates the appearance of the official one).Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 15:45, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
There's no strong case law (though there has been considerations) about SVG (which is XML at its base), as the case law around computer code isn't tight yet. Since most people generate the SVG by manipulating objects in a graphics program, and the program spits out the SVG mechanically, that process itself is not copyrightable. It can't hurt to recreate the logo as a user-made image that is truly under a free license, but its doubtful that this version off the website would be an issue presently. --MASEM (t) 15:50, 26 November 2015 (UTC)


Hi there, I want to upload our school's logo but everytime I use it they keep on deleting it. Why? What should I do? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Idiots1234 (talkcontribs) 05:37, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

The problem is that you uploaded it to Wikimedia Commons, where all content must be licensed to allow reuse by anyone anywhere for anything. Since you are not the copyright owner, you cannot grant such a license. What you need to do is upload the logo to English Wikipedia with a non-free tag {{Non-free logo}} and a non-free use rationale {{Non-free use rationale logo}}. See File:Princeton shield.svg for how someone did it for the Princeton University logo. —teb728 t c 06:22, 27 November 2015 (UTC)