Wikipedia talk:Finding images tutorial

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wikipedia Help Project  
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of the Wikipedia Help Project, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's help documentation for readers and contributors. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks. To browse help related resources see the Help Menu or Help Directory. Or ask for help on your talk page and a volunteer will visit you there.
 ???  This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This page has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

I need an image ...[edit]

... is a frequent request at Wikipedia. Last month there was a discussion on the VP (here, section How to get images permission?), and some wikipedians were happy to receive tips about how to get an image from Google or somewhere else. I think there is the need for a summary of such kind of advice, and since I was doing a lot of work on Wikipedia:Requested pictures, I had some experience and wrote a Wikipedia:Finding images tutorial. Please let me know if this is useful, and feel free to add links and (hust) fix my grammar and spelling (hust). happy editing -- Chris 73 | Talk 05:07, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for the note on my talk page directing me here Chris. I really like the page, thank you for the good work. At first I thought it was a bit Google Images-centric, but then again finding images is generally a bit Google Images-centric! And of course you mention Wikipedia:Public domain image resources which has a further reach than Google in some ways.
I think you've covered my usual routes to image success - the " OR" trick, and selecting the right person to ask for permission. The only other thing I've done is scan in public domain images from books. (I asked about this on one of copyright pages, and the feeling amongst legally-minded folks was that this was legit even if the book is a recent print, so long as the pictures/photos are old). Thanks again. Pcb21| Pete 07:48, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Something to beware of is being liable for a reproduction fee, even though the picture is out of copyright. I am associated with a UK publsher and we have had projects bite the dust because the library fees asked were more than the probable profit from the print run, so much so that eminently respectable and scholarly well illustrated work becomes unpublishable. Many museum and library collections make their money this way with sales for varying print runs and also CDs. No doubt websites are included as well. I have known a website post local history pix(which were in copyright) from one of our books, the thinking being that if one owns, or borrows, the book then one can do what one likes. It aint't so I am afraid. Having said that, this is an excellent page, Many thanks.Apwoolrich 20:30, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Pleased to meet you AP, I am pleased to know we have people who know about publishing on board. A quick question for you: Under what circumstances is a production fee due on a public domain image? Just so I understand, let's say only the British Museum has some image, and you pay them to get a digital copy of the image. Then you put it on your website with a public domain notice. I see it, and copy it to use in Wikipedia - can there be fees to pay even then? Pcb21| Pete 07:33, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Hi Pete, the situation as I read it is that even though the image is out of copyright, the fact that you pay the library for a print means they can then charge you a separate fee, over the cost of making the copy, for you to reproduce that copy elsewhere. For example the Science and Society Picture Library (part of the Science Musuem in London) issues a schedule along the lines of the following.
Type of product (Book, CD etc)
Print run, 2000, 2,000-5,000 and to on up to over 50,000.
Territory rights UK or one country only, UK and commonwealth but not Canada, and so on up to World Rights in all languages.
Web page use is not specifically listed on this particular form but I expect they will catch on to it.
One fills in the form and they send you a quotation. Maybe they are up for a dignified haggle if its not for profit!
I might add it is my experience that in the UK, libraries do vary. Some academic libraries have rules that not for profit is free but you send them a copy of the publication. On others is nominal with no restriction on numbers (up to 20 UKP per pix). Others are down right greedy more (in some cases a lot more) than 80 UKP per image. You can see that if one wishes to produce a picture book based on a particular collection, then if the costs are far more than the likely profit, its a non-starter.
There are also commercial picture libraries who exist to make a profit.
Maybe it would be worth the WikiFoundation having conversations with a major academic library like the BL to see is we might come to an arrangement with them. Otherwise individual editors might be faced with an earful if they step out of line, especially if its some esoteric stuff which cannot reasonably be found elsewhere.
Copyright violation of images is a serious problem, especially on the web and on CD-repoduction and I would hate to see Wikipedia being mired in a law suit through ignorance of editors of what the rules are. Cheers Apwoolrich 13:21, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Repro fees #2

Since the above I have been doing some work on the Web. Its not very scientific but it appears that image-providers have scales of fees depending on the time the image in on the web page (3mo, 6mo, perpetial etc) The only discussion I was able to find on the morality of it, in the time I was searching, is a very interesting 1999 article from the perspective of a publisher of art books See

Also some providers of web images like the Science and Society Picture Library (see above) use a very coarse screen when digitising (75DPI for example) so its impossible to make usable prints. They are perfectly legible on screen but cannot be used for anything else.

Maybe we should try and ensure the editors own the images and books they copy, or elso only use explictly copyright free images such as the Dover Series. Or build up a list of editors in specialist fields who would be willing to provide pix from their collections for free.

I hope this helps. Cheers Apwoolrich 18:35, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)


It's a two click process.

  1. Visit Commons, Free media repository [1].
  2. On the top right corner you could see links to 'images', 'sounds' and 'videos'. Just click on the 'Images' link.
  3. Now, you could search right from the search box or browse images via category.



I recommend:

  • Use Altavista Image Search instead of Google Image Search. The former will give you better results.
  • When asking the copyright owner permission to use their work, don't say you want to use it; say Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, wants to use it for its article on x. You may want to provide a url to the article and mention the proposed caption. 17:14, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Fort Hood stetson image link now dead[edit]

I fear this link now responds with a 404 notice. Apwoolrich 19:39, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Misleading information[edit]

The section "Do I need to know the copyright and licensing status of the image?" needs to be rewritten; it confuses "published pre-1923" with "created pre-1923" (and the Buffalo Bill example doesn't work for me - no Buffalo Bill image in sight). Also, the "foreign country" advice is patently false: not everything in the PD in some other country is also in the PD in the U.S. See Wikipedia:Public domain for some of the subtleties involved. Lupo 09:29, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Yeah! I Got an image, what's next?[edit]

It says to up load the image but doesn't say how. Otterman 21:20, 24 February 2007 (UTC). I don't even know where it says that and how do i get the picture on an article, James Scalia.

Sentence fragment[edit]

The copyright section has a sentence that is only a fragment, and seems unintelligible to me. Perhaps User:Chris 73 or someone else could fix it? The sentence, which is in a blue box, reads:

  • Limiting the search to grayscale, and say hello to Buffalo Bill.

Thanks, --rich<Rich Janis 07:45, 1 July 2007 (UTC)>

Requesting photo and licenses (a method proposal)[edit]

Discussion at Wikipedia talk:Uploading images#Requesting photo and licenses (a method proposal).

How to Use an existing Wikipedia Image that is NOT in Commons[edit]

There is an image of the Nova Scotia Provincial Flag on the page Nova_Scotia, but it does not appear in the list of flags in the Wikimedia Commons site Category:Flags_of_Canada, nor in several places where lists of provincial flag images are displayed. Can the existing image be used directly, or must it be obtained (or copied) again and then uploaded to the Commons page? --Tito-gil 05:16, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

If the image is already on here, just put it in the article. It's really easy. See Wikipedia:Picture tutorial for a step by step how-to. MECUtalk 19:27, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
How about if the image is in another language wikipedia? How do I link to an image already uploaded to the Japanese site?--Timtak (talk) 06:46, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
You cannot use an image that is on any other project on Wikipedia (and vice versa). The only exception is for images on Commons. Any image on Commons can be used on any project (this is why free (and only free) images should be put on Commons!). Images that are free can be moved to Commons by humans with some bot assistance [2] but it's very time consuming and waste of resources, so starting with the image on Commons is best. If you don't want to move the image yourself, you can mark it as a candidate to be moved to Commons by putting {{Copy to Wikimedia Commons}} on the image page, but it may take some time so if you can do it (it's fairly easy!) you should. If the image is free (see the power of free?) on another project, you could move it from the other project to Commons and then use it here. MECUtalk 19:27, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Copyright use question[edit]

I'm trying to get a picture for the Skeletal Eroding Band article and found one at but their copyright notice states:"This work is copyright. Permission is given for non-profit electronic viewing, via the Internet. Apart from this, and any use as permitted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 no part may be reproduced or copied by any process, without written permission. A person who breaches copyright may be subject to penalties. Requests in the first instance should be addressed to The Director, Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3 Townsville MC, Townsville QLD 4810, or email to"

Would this be considered a use for a non-profit electronic viewing? It says this on the main page "Wikipedia is a registered trademark of the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, which has created an entire family of free-content projects." so I think it would be, but I just want to be sure. Esoxid (talk) 21:03, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

No. While Wikipedia (WikiMedia Foundation) is a non-profit organization, we are creating an encyclopedia for everyone to use which includes commercial users. Images that are uploaded and marked "for Wikipedia use" or "for Non-profit use" or "for education use only" will be quickly deleted, perhaps without warning. However, if someone is already granting non-commercial or non-profit usage, then they may be willing to license the image freely to us and you should contact them and request a free license. The worst that happens is they never respond. It only takes 5 minutes to compose the email and the possible reward is huge. MECUtalk 19:32, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Flickr images[edit]

One of the more common sources for images are going to be Flickr images with Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic rights, there should be an example of how to use such images correctly Litch (talk) 00:58, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

I made a diagram on Microsoft powerpoint and I want to insert it into a Wikipedia article that I was going to create, but it completly ignores the image I try to paste, is there an answer to my problem? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scholar of Knowledge (talkcontribs) 16:33, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

How to actually USE interwiki images?[edit]

The instructions say "Check foreign language links for the article and related articles, as they may have a photo already." I did so, and found an image I want to use. What does the wiki markup look like for using an interwiki image...? (Those instructions should be on this article).

If the answer is, "copy the image to wikipedia yourself", there's a problem - I can't read the page it's from, so I have no idea how it's licensed, so how do I know what license to put it under?

FWIW, the image in question is the one discussed in Talk:Spree -- stillnotelf is invisible 05:12, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

you are correct it is not possible to link directly to an image on another language wikipedia. The recommend method is to upload it to Wikimedia Commons by first downloading to your machine. As you say the problem is understanding the copyright text in a foreign language but in many cases there are icons next to the text that are the same as the English. In the case of the image your are talking about you are lucky. Under the image there is a text block with links and the Commons icon. This shows the file is on Wikimedia commons at You can therefore simply type in the file name as if the image is on English Wikipedia, it will be automatically transferred. --Traveler100 (talk) 06:42, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! I edited the tutorial to explain this. -- stillnotelf is invisible 02:06, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Big white space in ==Create your own==[edit]

Can this white space be deleted? There's code in it, not just line returns. (talk) 00:57, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

How does this tie up with the "No original research" policy?[edit]

Wikipedia:No_original_research says

  • Wikipedia does not publish original thought: all material in Wikipedia must be attributable to a reliable, published source.

If you take a photo yourself, as suggested at Wikipedia:Finding_images_tutorial#Create_your_own, then that is not using a reliable, published source. -- Occultations (talk) 17:30, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

The first sentence of the policy defines what it means by "material": "material—such as facts, allegations, and ideas—" so images are not in scope. In the far future when we have enough images for everything the policy may be changed to include images, but we are very far from it :-) Cheers! Syced (talk) 04:44, 23 October 2015 (UTC)