Wikipedia:Media copyright questions

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Media copyright questions

Welcome to the Media Copyright Questions page, a place for help with image copyrights, tagging, non-free content, and related questions. For all other questions please see Wikipedia:Questions.

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 an acceptable Creative Commons or other free 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.; {{Cc-by-4.0}}), 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 Publish changes.
  6. If you still have questions, go on to "How to ask a question" below.
How to ask a question
  1. To ask a new question hit the "Click here to start a new discussion" link below.
  2. Please sign your question by typing ~~~~ at the end.
  3. Check this page for updates, or request to be notified on your talk page.
  4. Don't include your email address, for your own privacy. We will respond here and cannot respond by email.
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.

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Upload of non-free media file to en-Wikipedia[edit]

Hello everyone, I have been working on the article Yuzuru Hanyu Olympic seasons, which is currently undergoing a review for FAC. For that page, I photographed two monuments and a handprint memorial, which were installed in Hanyu's hometown of Sendai, Japan, in memory of his Olympic victories. However, I did not consider that the "Freedom of Panorama" (FoP) doesn't apply to 2D artworks by Japanese copyright law. So the files probably need to get removed from Commons (see discussion on respective deletion request page).

I was informed that under special conditions it is possible to upload the files here to en-Wikipedia, following the rules of non-free use rationale, but I am not familiar with this procedure at all, and user Gråbergs Gråa Sång reminded me to check the contextual significance of the images in accordance with WP:NFCCP before uploading. It is true that the existence of these images is not essential to the global understanding of the article, but since the monuments are mentioned in two sections, it would be nice to have them included in a visual form as well. However, I don't want to cause another unnecessary deletion procedure, so I'd like to hear the opinion of some more experienced users before a re-upload under fair use conditions. Thank you very much in advance. Henni147 (talk) 12:14, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Henni147. The sentence It is true that the existence of these images is not essential to the global understanding of the article, but since the monuments are mentioned in two sections, it would be nice to have them included in a visual form as well. makes me think that the way you'd like to use the images would be considered WP:DECORATIVE non-free use and likely not be considered to meet WP:NFCC#8 (WP:NFC#CS). In addition, non-free images are very rarely considered OK to use in an image gallery per WP:NFG like you seem to want to do in Yuzuru Hanyu Olympic seasons#2018 post-Olympic events and after season honors and the single sentence at the end of Yuzuru Hanyu Olympic seasons#2014 post-Olympic events and after season honors about the two monuments seems sufficiently understandable per WP:FREER without the readers of the article needing to see either image. It would be nice to use them perhaps, but Wikipedia's non-free content is quite restrictive and "looks nice" usually isn't considered a sufficient justification for non-free use. This is just my opinion though and others might feel differently. -- Marchjuly (talk) 12:53, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Marchjuly: Thank you very much for the quick reply. Unless there is an opposing opinion, I will refrain from uploading the images under fair use conditions then. Henni147 (talk) 13:00, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Plan B: Make Commons consider these 3D. I'd say there is a case, but that belongs on Commons. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 14:00, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Gråbergs Gråa Sång: I fear that this won't make a big difference. In Japan, FoP neither applies to 2D nor 3D artworks, unfortunately. Only architectural works can be uploaded with an FoP tag. Henni147 (talk) 07:43, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ah, didn't know that. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 07:48, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Gråbergs Gråa Sång: Yes, that was my issue too. Here in Germany, FoP applies to both architecture and artworks, and I did not consider that copyright law might be different for Japan or other countries. So I boldly uploaded those images to Commons, but now I know better and will take care next time. Again, thank you very much for your help. Henni147 (talk) 10:43, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

United 175 image upload[edit]


We are seeing if a new photo depicting the impact of the 2nd plane would be able to be uploaded onto the page for the 9/11 attacks.

The photo does have full editorial rights. Would a Wikipedia article qualify as use of the photo under those rights? That Coptic Guy 19:50, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@That Coptic Guy no, images from Getty and other press agencies do not allow unrestricted reuse by others so fail the image use policy. Nthep (talk) 20:43, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Shoot... I figured. Thanks. That Coptic Guy 20:51, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I wonder if there's another picture we can use that doesn't have such restrictions on it. Hmm1994 (talk) 03:58, 25 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmm1994: did you review this commons category, and it sub-categories, for a suitable image? ww2censor (talk) 11:20, 25 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Having had a look through the gallery, I think it's a toss between these three photographs. Which one would you guys go for? --Hmm1994 (talk) 11:29, 25 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmm1994: That depends entirely on the article. Perhaps post the selection on the article talk page and see what interested editors think. ww2censor (talk) 11:54, 25 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How can I fix this copyright issue?[edit]

I uploaded the image: Apostolos Serletis photo2.jpeg for the professor's profile.

This is from his profile at the University of Calgary. I got the message that copyright info is missing, and it will be deleted in 3 days?

What should I do? Periklis Gogas (talk) 08:19, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Perrygogas I assume you uploaded this image? Any uploaded image needs to show why it is either in the public domain or why fair use is claimed. Fair use doesn't apply here so you need to show why the image is in the public domain. Being published on the internet is not the same as being in the public domain. For Wikipedia purposes you need to show that the image is licenced under a suitable licence e.g. {{cc-by-sa-4.0}} or is out of copyright. The University of Calgary website doesn't appear to release any materials under a suitable licence. Nthep (talk) 16:12, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:Medal Luther Goldschmidt Hind.jpg[edit]

I'd like to update this existing image with a higher quality version taken from the internet archive's scan of the same newspaper. It's available in much higher quality, but the licensing is unclear.

My questions regarding this:

  • is the original, paper version of this in public domain already? (published in 1869, in the UK)
  • can we use the internet archive's scan of this to replace the existing version?

Kuschku (talk) 13:51, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Both original and scan would be public domain due to age (153 years ago). Graeme Bartlett (talk) 21:39, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:Euro Series Banknotes (2019).gif[edit]

File:Euro Series Banknotes (2019).gif is currently tagged with {{Wrong license}} and that's probably because of the conflict existing between {{Non-free currency}} and {{CC-by-sa-3.0}} licenses. If EU currency is considered to be PD per c:COM:CUR European Union, then this may not need to be treated as non-free. The CC license seems to be necessary because this is a WP:DERIVATIVE incorporating PD curreny images from Commons in the form of a "slide show": the order the images are displayed is probably enough to establish a "new" copyright for the derivative work. My guess is that the non-free license subsequently added was just a good-faith mistake and should be OK to remove. Any opinions on whether this should remain licensed as non-free? Maybe all that needs to be done here is to add a PD license for the currency images and then tag the file for a WP:MTC. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:44, 27 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Images owned by the subject of my article[edit]

I have uploaded a couple of pictures that I want to use. How do I tag the picture when I got it directly from the subject (Abe Fogle) of my article? Thank you. Blairsmom (talk) 15:23, 28 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Blairsmom Wikipedia is very careful about copyright, and the pic from [1] is marked "Photo by Jim Trocchio", so the default assumption is that he is the copyright holder (he may have legally given it to someone else, I guess), and the one who must give the pic a WP-usable license. It's not at all sure this is something that he wants to do, but if so, try directing him to Commons:Wikimedia VRT release generator. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 18:58, 28 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you. Actually Jim Trocchio gave Abe Fogle the picture and permission to use it. He is the band's photographer. I will see if he is able to complete the "release generator". Blairsmom (talk) 14:14, 30 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Blairsmom. Unless Tocchio is also willing to give everyone in the world the same permission as he gave Fogle so that they can download the photo from Wikipedia at anytime they want and reuse it for pretty much any purpose they want (including to make money off of), you might want to advise him not to do so. Basically, Tocchio is going to need to give his WP:CONSENT (or c:COM:CONSENT) in order for the files to be kept. Before he does that, you might want to suggest that he looks at c:Commons:Licensing, c:Commons:License revocation and c:Commons:Enforcing license terms. Sometimes copyright holders don't understand what it means to upload their creative work to Wikipedia until its too late. -- Marchjuly (talk) 14:48, 30 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can I use a picture?[edit]

Good day, I am trying to use a picture for an article, however the city of Dubuque seems to not know how to help me and this is my first time. The person I was talking said, "We ask that you give photo credit to the City of Dubuque. I'm am not familiar with what makes a photo free license or public domain. However, you do have permission to use them as long as you credit the City properly." How would I go about getting the proper license for the picture. Also, I don't know if this matters but I was redirected here by the Treehouse. Marshmallo3535 (talk) 20:28, 28 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello, Marshmallo3535. Crediting the city is no problem, but the wording of that email is way too vague. If it is a contemporary photo, it is almost certainly copyrighted, and the copyright holder must freely license it properly. If it is a historic photo, the copyright may have expired. Tell us more about the photo. Do you know when it was taken? Cullen328 (talk) 20:35, 28 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
She sent me multiple images, sort of like a catalog, that I could pick through. The one I want to use (and why I contacted the City) is a map. As the project I am covering is new-ish I highly doubt this is over 70 years old. The only time stamp I have is when she sent me it at 09/28/2022 11:58AM. Marshmallo3535 (talk) 20:42, 28 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The map must be presumed copyrighted. Please read Wikipedia:Donating copyrighted materials. Cullen328 (talk) 20:56, 28 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do I just send her that link saying all images on Wikipedia are 100%, etc. etc. or should I do something else?
Marshmallo3535 (talk) 21:25, 28 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Marshmallo3535: More information is needed about the provenance of the images you were sent in order to their copyright status to be assessed. Since none of us answering questions at WP:MCQ are professional WMF staff and probably none of us are professionally licensed copyright lawyers, most of the copyright assessments you get here are just educated guesses based upon whatever information is known; however, without knowing some basics, it's hard to even given you a general assessment. That is why, as Cullen328 stated above, common practice is to presume that an image is protected by copyright unless it can reasonably demonstrated that it's not; moreover, it's expected that person uploading a file to Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons will exercise due dilligance when doing so and make every effort to demonstrate the uploaded file can be licensed as claimed. So, if you can find out who originally created the image (e.g. who drew the map) since the creator of an image is generally considered the copyright holder and when it was first published (or even whether it was ever published) since date of first publication is often the determining factor when assessing copyright, then that would be helpful. If the person you spoke to at the City of Dubuque can provide that information, then a general assessment can probably be made. If they can't and you otherwise can't find it on your own, then it's probably best to not try and upload the files to Wikipedia. Even if the best that can be assumed is that the map was created by an unknown person with an unknown publication date, it would likely still be considered protected under US copyright law until 120 years after the date of creation as explained here. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:33, 29 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Non-free image and free image have the same name[edit]

Hello, I'm trying to add an image to the page Kraken Regiment, the problem is that "Kraken logo.png" links to two different images: one is this one ( and the non-free one is this one (File:Kraken logo.png) from Kraken (roller coaster). How I can make the first one show up and not the other? LordLoko (talk) 17:37, 1 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@LordLoko I've renamed the non-free file to file:Kraken roller coaster logo.png so you should find using file:Kraken logo.png in the article on the regiment should work fine now. Nthep (talk) 18:18, 1 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks my man. Added the image. Cheers! LordLoko (talk) 18:34, 1 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A company logo: simple design rule?[edit]


(Broektoe logo)

I uploaded a Belgian company logo. (Company was closed in 2017)

As it's mainly only letters, I was thinking it's ok... Or not?! Thanks, YAOUMFA (talk) 23:47, 1 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I had the Commons:Licensing "Simple Design" rule in mind here. YAOUMFA (talk) 01:09, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
FWIW, it looks like Belgium/Netherlands has a relatively higher standard for simple logos to be considered copyright - certainly not Sweat of the Brow like in the UK (not has high as the US, but specifically iterates to unique character, the zipper in this logo not being as such)) So this would appear to be ok to tag as free. c:TOO is a good place to check. --Masem (t) 01:15, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bots and composite images[edit]

I'm having trouble with File:Axiom Verge 2 parallel worlds.png, a composite image of two screenshots from a video game. The image itself is at a high resolution, but the two screenshots that make it up are only at around 240-360p. (I can't remember exactly, and regrettably I deleted them from my device after uploading.)

These images are necessary to illustrate one of the game's fundamental mechanics, and I believe fair use criteria are met because of the low individual resolutions described above. Unfortunately, bots can only see the image's master resolution, so they keep reducing it to a point where the screenshots within are barely legible. Can we resolve this in a way that keeps the image at a balanced resolution? I've considered reducing the master resolution to something like 512p, but bots wouldn't understand that anyway. Glades12 (talk) 14:20, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Add {{Non-free no reduce}} to the image and make sure in your rationale or someplace on the file page you explain your attempt to minimizing as much as possible. --Masem (t) 14:22, 2 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Image possibly in the public domain[edit]

Is this image in the public domain? I'm specifically thinking about the before 1989 rule. 𝙨𝙥𝙞𝙙𝙚𝙧-𝙬𝙞𝙣𝙚-𝙗𝙤𝙩𝙩𝙡𝙚(🕷) - (✉) 16:35, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Generally with a photo like this, being able to see the border and being able to see the back are the easiest ways to verify whether there ever was a copyright notice provided. Under US copyright law, works published prior to March 1, 1989 were required to have a copyright notice in order to be considered protected. If a notice was mistakenly left out, then a claim for copyright could subsequently be made at a later date within five years. The file you've linked to shows the border and the back, and it doesn't look like there's a visible copyright notice in either place. So, it would certainly be OK if first published before Janaury 1, 1978. It's the last part about subsequent registration, however, which is unclear. You could try checking something like to see if a copyright for the photo was ever registered. "Action for Children's Television" gets several hits, but none of them seem to be for works created in 1987. You might want to ask about this at c:COM:VPC to see if anyone else can find out anything further since that's most likely where the photo should be uploaded if it's c:Template:PD-US-1978-1989 . -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:17, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you!! I'll make a post there :) 𝙨𝙥𝙞𝙙𝙚𝙧-𝙬𝙞𝙣𝙚-𝙗𝙤𝙩𝙩𝙡𝙚(🕷) - (✉) 07:24, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Any opinions on whether it would be OK to convert the licensing of File:1007wrdu.png from {{non-free logo}} to {{PD-logo}}. It's a former logo of the US radio station WRDU and the way it's currently being used fails WP:NFG and WP:NFC#cite_note-4. However, it's bascially nothing more than the station's call letters and slogan plus one other element which looks like a guitar pick. The guitar pick element looks simple enough, but it could also be just enough to push this logo above c:COM:TOO United States. -- Marchjuly (talk) 01:52, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Certainly on the border. I would say it falls below the threshold of originality. The guitar pick is represented by a relatively simple shape with no elements of shading or other complexity. Whpq (talk) 12:45, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for looking at this Whpq. It does seem close, but it's not too different from some of the examples given in c:COM:TOO United States; so, maybe it's OK as "PD-logo". -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:34, 5 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:RC Modeler 197311.jpg[edit]

File:RC Modeler 197311.jpg is currently being used in Mark Smith (R/C modeling pioneer) uncer a non-free license. The subject of the article may have died in 2011, but that's unsourced and so the article is still listed as BLP. I don't think the non-free use of this file could be justified if the subject is still living either per WP:FREER or item 9 of WP:NFC#UUI. It's possible,though, that this might be {{PD-US-no notice}}. Anyone have any ideas on how to try and check on that? -- Marchjuly (talk) 06:22, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I was able to look at a scan of the November 1973 issue of R/C Modeler from which the image was taken. It does have the notice Contents copyright 1973 by R/C Modeler Corporation. All rights reserved. Reproductions in whole or part, without written permission of the publisher, is prohibited.. I was unable to reliably source that the subject is deceased, but it can be unreliably sourced. Whpq (talk) 13:14, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for looking at this Whpq. Even if we were to assume that subject is deceased, I'm not sure this would meet item 9 of UUI and purpose for using the cover art seems to be more to show him holding a RC seagull than it's to identify him. The image is pretty poor if the main purpose is primary identification. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:32, 5 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The image in the magazine I saw was clearer and in colour. There are also other images in the article as well. One big problem with the image is that it includes some of the text of the article and is not just a photo. Whpq (talk) 01:21, 5 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Porvoo Communion[edit]

Hello! I was just wondering what your reasons might haven been to remove the church logos and heraldry? I don't really understand why, so if you could explain what your reasons were, then that would be very helpfull. King of Arrogance2001 (talk) 16:53, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi King of Arrogance2001. If you re-check the edit summary left by the WP:BOT that removed those files from Porvoo Communion, you find that it also included a link to WP:NFC#Implementation in addition to a link to this noticeboard. That particular bot has been tasked to do mainly two things with respect to non-free content: (1) lookk for non-free content that is being used outside of the article namespace (e.g. being used on userpages, drafts, templates) which isn't allowed per non-free content use criterion #9 and (2) look for non-free content being used in articles which doesn't have a separate specific non-free use rationale for all of its uses which isn't allowed per non-free content use criterion #10c. In this case, the bot removed the files for reason (2) because you or someone else added them to the "Provoo Communion" article withour adding a corresponding non-free use rationale explaining how the use is justified to each file's page. Often a way to resolve this type of issue is to simply add the missing rationale to a file's page and then re-add the file to the desired article. That will stop the bot from removing the file again, but just adding a missing rationale doesn't automatically make a particular non-free use policy compliant. There are actually ten non-free content use criteria that each use of non-free content is expected to satisfy and failing even one of the ten means the use is not going to be allowed. After looking at the way the files were being used in the "Porvoo Communion" article, I don't think you'll be able to establish a consensus for their use in the article. Non-free content is pretty much never allowed to be used in a WP:DECORATIVE manner and trying to use non-free content as sort of "quasi-icons" in lists embedded within articles is not allowed per non-free content use criterion #8, WP:NFLISTS and MOS:LOGO. Non-free logos do tend to be allowed when they are being used for primary identification purposes at the top of or in the main infoboxes of stand-alone articles about the organizations, companies, teams, etc. they represent, but using them in other articles or in other ways tends to be much harder to justify per relevant Wikipedia policy. The bot that removed the files, for reference, is incapable of assessing whether a use complies with WP:NFCC#8, but, once again, I doubt a consensus could be established in favor of such use. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:26, 5 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]