Wikipedia talk:Guide to image deletion

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I believe that the processes whereby images may be listed for examination or tagged for speedy deletion are sufficiently complex and confusing enough that Wikipedia's users would benefit from a collected explanation of process. I know I myself mistagged an image directly for WP:CSD#I11 a few months ago by putting {{subst:db-i11}} on it. I did not realize that {{subst:Di-no permission}} was the template users should place. I have seen another admin place an image at IfD for copyright examination, even though the "what not to list here" section of that page indicates different handling. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 10:50, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

I think this would be a great start page to gather information about image use/policy however I have a question/comment. Guidelines of inclusion vs Guidelines of exclusion. In other words Wikipedia has a set of guidelines on how images may be uploaded and there are various links, depending on what option was chosen, to the "inclusion" criteria. As currently written your proposed article on image deletion contains three main category's - "For images claimed under free license", "For images of uncertain or restricted license" an "For images claimed under fair use". At face value this seems simple enough but it does not follow the same "inclusion" steps. For example if you upload an image of your own there is no "fair use" option, yet the image can be deleted using a lack-of "fair use" guideline. I think that needs to be addressed. Soundvisions1 (talk) 12:47, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. :) As images are not really my area, I'm a bit perplexed by the uploading rationales myself. I've only uploaded album images, a book cover or two and one or two pictures of dead people. But uploading would be more something to be addressed at the image use guidelines, I should imagine. The sole purpose of this document is to explain to people who encounter problematic images how to address them. It isn't intended to replace Wikipedia:Image use policy, but only to expand on the one subsection: Wikipedia:Image_use#Deleting_images. This document isn't creating any new steps, but only collecting together the processes already in place. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:44, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Correct about the "image use guidelines" not being addressed here however I do feel the Guidelines of inclusion vs Guidelines of exclusion should be addressed somehow to better reflect the inclusion guidelines. Perhaps a "For user created images" header with guidelines that state what criteria an image should be used, or not used, for deletion such as:
  1. the "non-free use rationale" should not be used
  2. "lacks a license" can be used
  3. "copyright infringement" could be used if it were discovered the user did not create the image
I appreciate to work you are putting into this. Soundvisions1 (talk) 11:42, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, and I appreciate your feedback. Otherwise, it's a mite quiet in here. :) I'd be happy to try to incorporate that, but please don't hesitate to edit the page just because it's in my sandbox. I've hosted it here for convenience, but would happily welcome your improvements. I'll see if I can work that in somewhere, and if you don't like it, please fix it or expand it. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:47, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

←If I'm understanding you correctly, what you're saying is that images that have been uploaded as user created may be deleted as copyright infringements or lacking a license, if those situations apply, but should not be deleted for failing the non-free content guidelines. If that's what you mean (I don't know this stuff "cold" by any means, so I may be missing what's obvious to those who regularly work in the area), do you think it would be sufficient to place a note at the top of the section "For images claimed under fair use" saying:

If I'm misunderstanding the circumstances or the intent here, please let me know. I think that's what you mean, but I'm not familiar with the conventions for addressing user uploaded images. (I've only handled blatant infringements.) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:01, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

The short answer is yes. The longer answer was actually being crafted as you posted the question so I figure why not put it here anyway - As currently written their is no "fair use" wording in the criteria for user uploaded images. The important thing is "as currently written". So when an image is uploaded as a user created image there is currently no way for the user to cite "Fair use". As you know this is already being discussed elsewhere so the "as currently written" part might change. However as this relates to the Wikipedia:Image_use#Deleting_images guidelines if someone uploaded an image that is their own work it currently can be deleted, or nominated for deletion, citing the image had "no non-free use rationale" attached. So if the image is going to deleted using that criteria, aside from what I already suggested, perhaps it might be worded something like: "Before deletion of a user created image consider whether it can be properly brought into compliance with our non-free content policy. If it can, please suggest the user (editor/image unloader)use the {{subst:Non-free use rationale}} template." Soundvisions1 (talk) 12:31, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your patience in clarifying. I didn't realize it was being discussed elsewhere. My sole participation in images lately has been cleaning up WP:CP references. :) I have some professional training with text copyright issues, but none whatsoever with images. This makes me less than ideal for this job, but there seems to be need, so I'm giving it a shot anyway. Would it better address the nuances here if instead of the statement proposed above, the following were placed at "Addressing suspected copyright infringement":
That would seem to me to cover it. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:51, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
I made one addition in relation to what we were talking about above and did one minor rewrite to another section. Soundvisions1 (talk) 18:35, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Looks all right to me, although there may be nuances here I miss. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:04, 3 October 2008 (UTC)


Hey Moonriddengirl, this looks great, I think it's developed well. :-) I did a cursory review to identify anything out of line with what I know about the process. There's more that could be said about image copyright law, but I think the main point is just to emphasize how widespread copyright is. Keep up the good work. :-) Dcoetzee 01:33, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Thank you so much for your feedback. I'm not sure how long to wait for more contributors. Do you (or anybody) have any idea how this goes? At some point does this get moved into project space with the proposed policy/guideline tag still on it? The only response I had at VP(Policy) was positive, though it thought too much detail was given on copyrights. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:46, 6 October 2008 (UTC)


I think this document should be titled Wikipedia:Guide to image deletion, as it seems analogous to Wikipedia:Guide to deletion. Presuming it meets consensus, I'm thinking to link it at various image pages as well as wherever deletions are discussed, such as including it in this box at WP:DP: {{policy|WP:DP|WP:DEL|WP:DELETE|WP:IMAGEDELETE}}. Thoughts? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:46, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I do agree. All roads should lead to Rome as it were. I think it should also be added to all the "Why was my image deleted" pages. I know that may be wishful thinking but if everyone has the exact same starting location on their "journey" of "why was my image deleted" there is less likely a chance for conflicts and confusion. Soundvisions1 (talk) 18:03, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia and Commons duplicates[edit]

Strong oppose to "automatic" deletion of duplicates found on Wikipedia and Commons. Commons is full of images that are against commons' own copyright policy. Either the license is plain bogus, or it was posted in good faith but then the law/policy/interpretation changed and it's there just because nobody cares. These, ideally, should be resized and moved to language wikis. NVO (talk) 19:19, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

This document isn't proposing any new policies, but only recording existing policy. Images redundant to commons are already speedily deleted as recorded at WP:CSD. As this guideline notes, the full text with all requisite conditions is found at Wikipedia:CSD#I8. I'm not sure if it will be an issue for you, though, given your objection, since one of those conditions is "The image's license and source status is beyond reasonable doubt, and the license is undoubtedly accepted at Commons." But if it is, and you want to dispute that deletion policy, you might want to do it at WT:CSD. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:09, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

"used with permission"[edit]

Firstoff - how are things going in here? Active? Quiet?

Second - In reading over things I was confused by this:

For images of uncertain or restricted license
If the image:

  • claims non-commercial use, non-derivative use or used with permission...


Maybe I missed something but if the image is "used with permission" where would it normally be? I am probably not being clear but when you upload the image you get asked if it is someone else's work and depending on what you choose you would have to pick a license that would already state somewhere in it that it was someone else's work. And somewhere in there there is the "used with permission" notice.

Of course in trying to find some example the best I can come up with is this:
# Image:LEITHEAD.jpg : a.a. chandler, copyrighted family photograph, contact if interested in use.

In this case the image looks like a "poster" or such, not an actual photograph. However the license is not claimed under fair use but uses GNU Free Documentation License and a CCL. Would this be a case where the License in uncertain because it is "used with permission"?

It's late, I think I may just be really overlooking something obvious here in the wording. Soundvisions1 (talk) 04:37, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Things are going slowly. :) My intention is to publicize it further as time progresses. It's linked at a couple of policies/guidelines now, and so far seems to be going okay. Feedback has generally been all positive. The fact that there hasn't been much of it isn't a huge surprise.
I have no idea what the story is with that particular image. If it had popped up at WP:CP in the days before images were removed from there, I'd have taken it to WP:MCQ to ask. From the few examples I've seen, "used with permission" comes up when somebody gets permission from an external site to use an image. The one I specifically remember involved a show dog. The copyright holder specifically granted permission for Wikipedia only to use it. As to your question of where it would normally be, I'm not sure I'm following it. You mean the permission? In that case, it was at the external site. The copyright holder, when asked, declined to release the image under a more general license, so it was (AIR) deleted. This relates to WP:CSD#I3. Would the wording be clearer, do you think, if it were altered to read:
Clarification much beyond that would probably need to be done first to WP:CSD, since this is a mirror of other policies and not a point of policy development itself. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:03, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Yeah that makes it more clear, however it also reads as though any image that is "used by permission" is "improperly licensed" which I do not think is the intent. I was going over the uploads section and maybe this might help - "it will be necessary for the copyright holder to release the image into the public domain or release it under a free license, such as the GFDL or an appropriate Creative Commons license" So it is saying/implying that the only acceptable licenses are either a GFDL or CCL if the image is "used by permission". So would this work:

I know - a lot of "and" "if" "or" in there now but it defines what license is accepted for "used with permission", as well as NC and ND. Soundvisions1 (talk) 12:23, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Current state of proposal[edit]

So far, all feedback I've received at the various forums where this has been exposed has been positive to the idea of such a guideline, although there have been points raised about wording or various policies (such as above, where I pointed the contributor to the place for suggesting a revision to policy). It has been publicized twice at WP:VP. It has been publicized at Wikipedia talk:Images and media for deletion, Wikipedia talk:Image use policy, and WT:CSD. It is currently linked at Wikipedia:Deletion policy#Processes, Wikipedia:Guide to deletion, Wikipedia:Deletion guidelines for administrators#See also and Wikipedia:Image use policy#Deleting images. It has also since October 2nd been listed at RfC, here. I think it has received sufficiently widespread exposure. I will probably also list at WP:AN, after a day or so at VP, just to invite further comments. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:09, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

I've also now publicized it at Wikipedia talk:Media copyright questions. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:14, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Replaceable with text?[edit]

I object to the notion that fair use images can be deleted if they are "replaceable ... with text." I don't find this mentioned in Wikipedia:Non-free content.It says "Copyrighted images that reasonably can be replaced by free/libre images are not suitable for Wikipedia." Certainly the content of any image can be described by text, however I don't think many people would consider this an adequate substitute. And describing subtler aspects of an image, such as emotional content, would generally require OR. Of course there are situations where an image is not needed in an article, but that is an editorial judgement that should be made on the article's talk page, not second guessed in a deletion process. --agr (talk) 12:53, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Hi. Thanks for the feedback. :) The language there is taken from the template itself, Template:Di-replaceable fair use, which indicates that the tagged image "may fail Wikipedia's first non-free content criterion in that it illustrates a subject for which a free image might reasonably be found or created that adequately provides the same information, or which could be adequately covered with text alone" The reference to text was added to the template in August of this year, here, by User:Future Perfect at Sunrise. Glancing at the talk page, it seems he did so with the intention of bringing it in line with WP:NFCC#1. (here). If this interpretation of NFCC#1 is incorrect, the template needs to be modified. Of course, language here would need to be modified to reflect that. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:06, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
A quick read of NFCC#1 suggests that this interpretation may not be incorrect, as it asks us to consider "Could the subject be adequately conveyed by text without using the non-free content at all?" I could invite the admin who modified the template to weigh in, if you like. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:13, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to see a pair of examples, one of an image that otherwise met our fair use guidelines, but whose subject can be adequately conveyed by text and and another where that would not be possible. That would be helpful in this draft guideline. As it is, I cannot see a basis for such a distinction beyond personal opinion.--agr (talk) 16:52, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Though I'm trying to assemble this guideline, I've really had very little to do with images. :) On further reading, I note that there is a discrepancy between the actual deletion wording at WP:CSD#I7 and what the template says. That criterion says "Non-free images or media that are replaceable by a free image and tagged with {{di-replaceable fair use}} may be deleted two days after they are tagged, if no explanation as to how the images are not replaceable is added." It doesn't say anything there about text, so it could be that the alteration to the template takes it beyond the scope of consensus at WP:CSD. It seems reasonable to me as you suggest that it would be hard to determine through the speedy deletion process if a text replacement could be adequate. I think I'll bring this one up at WT:CSD. Once the template and the policy are in accord, it should be a simple matter to get this guideline into line with them. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 17:56, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

CSD or IfD ?[edit]

Can I suggest it would be helpful if the guideline gave some guidance on when to use CSD and when to use AfD, particularly in cases of disputed fair use ({{subst|dfu}})?

My view is firmly that CSD should be reserved for non-controversial cases only, understood in the sense recently given by DGG (talk · contribs), that "nobody reasonable could object, or that nobody who understands the issue could in good faith object" [1].

It is a fact that there is more than one school of thought even on the philosophical fundamentals of WP:NFC, and that different admins and editors in good standing with extensive experience of WP:NFC issues can still come to different assessments of whether usages are appropriate or not.

I'd therefore suggest that if an editor is aware that others familiar with the policy might disagree with his/her assessment, the guideline should strongly encourage the editor to send that image should go to IfD, (even if the editor personally thinks that such an understanding of WP:NFC is wholly misguided), rather than go down the CSD (a.k.a. "delayed CSD") route of {{subst|dfu}}. Jheald (talk) 11:57, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Hi. :) Personally, I'm all about clarification; I do have to note that this how-to guide doesn't have the effect of policy, but simply reflects information given in the various policies governing image deletion. :) If you think this tag is being misapplied, and images are being deleted because of it, you should probably bring that up at WT:CSD. I don't know what the answer would be; admins need to be more familiar with what constitutes a controversial FUR deletion? But that would be the major problem, not the taggers. The end-point of dfu should be intelligent evaluation, not automatic deletion. That said, I don't think given the whole existing CSD language on "reasonable doubt" that there'd be any problem with adding something like a parenthetical "(If you are unclear if the justification meets non-free content guidelines, you may wish instead to list the image at Wikipedia:Non-free content review.)" (I'd recommend sending them to NFR, since it is specifically for evaluating such questions; I wish it weren't backlogged. I wonder if a mention at WT:NFC could increase presence there.) Do you think that would be helpful? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:55, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
You know as well as I do that the end-point of dfu is usually "clearing the backlog", typically carried out with power-assisted tools at 6 edits a minute; usually without anyone other than the tagger and maybe the original uploader having had any idea that the image had been marked for demolition (and as often as not the original uploader may since have gone away).
There are recent-ish threads that touch on this at WT:CSD#.22Non_controversial.22 and WT:CSD/Archive_33#CSD_for_WP:NFC_.238_deletions; but neither were very conclusive, with people who like to delete these things easily tending to take the view that they like to delete these things easily. Jheald (talk) 16:27, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, I don't know if I do know it as well as you do; :) I don't hang out much at image CSD and don't tend to follow those threads most of the time at WT:CSD. But the point remains that this page doesn't have any real influence over that policy. This is only a compendium of processes. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:06, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

No consensus on non-free images; defaults to ... ?[edit]

Please participate in a discussion about no consensus FfD results for non-free images at Wikipedia talk:Files for deletion#No consensus. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:09, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Privacy of image subject[edit]

Hi. What if an image depicts a recognizable person, or otherwise depicts matter that is private to a particular person? Does that person need to consent to release the image into the public domain, or can the photographer do it without consent, or even against protest? Does it matter whether the image was taken in a public or private place?

I have not found a policy page that addresses this issue, but it may very well be that I am just missing it. Thanks, --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 20:06, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

Never mind. I found what I was looking for here. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 01:56, 10 December 2012 (UTC)