Wikipedia:Media copyright questions

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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Chief of Army Staff Article, Tikka Khan Portrait RemovedEdit

I added a portrait in this article and it was removed, explanation linked me to this page, Why? PreserveOurHistory (talk) 09:01, 13 September 2022 (UTC)

@PreserveOurHistory: The file you added is licensed as non-free content and this means that each use of it on Wikipedia needs to satisfy Wikipedia's non-free content use policy. There are ten non-free content use criteria that each use needs to satsify in order for it to be considered acceptable, and JJMC89's bot removed the file from that article because the use didn't satisfy criterion #10c: this is why the bot added a link to WP:NFC#Implementation to the edit summary it left when removing the file. Resolve the #10c issue and the bot will stop removing the file. There are, however, other non-free content use issues that the bot is unable to assess and which are much harder to resolve. Non-free content such as this are generally OK when used for primary identification purposes at the tops of or in the main infoboxes of stand-alone articles written about the person shown in the image; this is why the non-free use in Tikka Khan seems fine. Trying to use the same non-free image in other articles or in other ways is much harder to justify, and non-free content of this type is pretty much never allowed to be used in tables like the one in Chief of Army Staff (Pakistan)#List of Chiefs of Army Staffs per WP:NFTABLES, WP:NFLISTS, WP:FREER and WP:NFC#CS. The long-standing consensus has been that "illustrating" table entries like this just to show what someone looks like is not a sufficient justification for non-free use and considered to be WP:DECORATIVE; in such cases, a link to the individuals stand-alone article where the same image can be seen is considered to be a sufficient alternative to non-free use. As for the other photos used in that table, they were all uploaded under a free or PD license; so, their use isn't subject to Wikipedia's non-free content use policy. -- Marchjuly (talk) 01:12, 14 September 2022 (UTC)

File:Network Effect.pngEdit

Why was this removed? Ebbedlila (talk) 21:14, 13 September 2022 (UTC)

It was an automated removal because the fair use rationale is for The Murderbot Diaries but it was being used in an article for a different novel. CIreland (talk) 21:26, 13 September 2022 (UTC)


This is image I uploaded from this paper.[1] The figure originally consisted of this illustration and two photographs. Original description is this, "Figure 13. (A) Ethological reconstruction of Manipulator modificaputis, drawn by Mr Jie Sun. (B,C) Zaprochilus australis, shared by Reiner Richter © CC BY-NC-SA 3.0" This just means that two photos are CC-BY-NC-SA, however it's safe to upload other illustration, right? Paper itself is CC-BY-4.0, of course. Ta-tea-two-te-to (talk) 00:45, 15 September 2022 (UTC)

Hi Ta-tea-two-te-to. Since you uploaded the file to Commons, you're probably better off asking about this at c:COM:VPC. It would seem to depend on whether the "A" image you uploaded is an original creation of one of the authors of the paper or whether they got it from another person. Since the image is attributed to someone other than the authors, the latter seems to be the case and I'm not sure it's OK to simply assume that the CC-BY-4.0 license for the paper automatically applies to it. Have you tried searching for the original image or for Jie Sun? It's possible that the image was released under a CC license that only requires attribution be given, but you're probably going to need to establish that per c:COM:EVID and c:COM:PCP if someone at Commons were to challenge the license. -- Marchjuly (talk) 03:10, 15 September 2022 (UTC)
Ok, I will move the discussion to VPC. Ta-tea-two-te-to (talk) 03:42, 15 September 2022 (UTC)

Screenshot from Youtube videoEdit

Can screenshots of individuals taken from Youtube videos be used in Wikipedia articles? This particular one, for example.

Mooonswimmer 21:19, 16 September 2022 (UTC)

Hi Mooonswimmer. They can be uploaded if their licenses are acceptable per WP:COPY#Guidelines for images and other media files and c:COM:L, but whether they should be used may depend upon the nature of the image (e.g. context, quality, WP:BLPIMAGE). The copyright status of an image largely determines whether it can be uploaded and perhaps how it may be used (e.g. non-free content). Being acceptably licensed, however, doesn't mean a file's use in an article is automatically guaranteed; sometimes, like in the case to text content, that needs to sorted out on the relevant article's talk page. Images are also content and content disputes about them need to be sorted out on article talk pages per WP:DR. Anyway, in this case, the screenshot File:Armani_White_in_2022.png was uploaded to Commons and it does appear to acceptably licensed per its source. YouTube screenshots taken from YouTube channels controlled by the copyright holder's of the content are generally considered OK since it's the copyright holder releasing the content under an acceptable license. Problems start happening when people other than the original copyright holder start uploading copyright content they don't own to their YouTube channels and then release the under an acceptable license. That's called license laundering (even if done unintentionally) and it's that type of content which isn't OK for neither Wikipedia nor Commons. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:05, 16 September 2022 (UTC)

Non-free image at commons warningEdit

Is there a templated user talk page warning/notice that non-free images must be uploaded locally instead of to Commons, and include fair-use justification? A note is on their commons talk page, but I have a feeling that the editor does not frequent Commons enough to see it. -2pou (talk) 16:53, 19 September 2022 (UTC)

Hi 2pou. There is a general user warning for non-free content use ({{uw-nonfree}}), but I'm not sure it applies in this case. You could try posting a note on the user's Wikipedia user talk page that explains the problem and asks them to take a look at their Commons' user talk page. If the image is currently being used in a Wikipedia article or on some other type of Wikipedia page, a bot might add a notification about the image to that page's corresponding talk page. I don't think there's a bot that adds notification to a Commons file uploader's Wikipedia user talk page (except perhaps when the image is being used on the uploader's Wikipedia user page). Users can receive cross-wiki notifications if they haven't set their preferences not to do so, but these can be easy to miss if you're new and not familiar with them. -- Marchjuly (talk) 23:40, 19 September 2022 (UTC)

File:Apple Desktop Bus (icon).svgEdit

I propose to move this file to Wikimedia Commons. It is quite simple so it can be there Артём 13327 (talk) 16:55, 19 September 2022 (UTC)

Image of Prince GeorgeEdit

I would like to upload the image in this BBC article to include on Prince George of Wales' Wikipedia page. However, I am not sure what the licensing for this photo should be. It was originally released by his parents on Instagram and, ostensibly, media organizations were given permission to use it widely. Would appreciate some help with this! BiscuitsToTheRescue 22:30, 19 September 2022 (UTC)

Hi BiscuitsToTheRescue. It almost certainly wouldn't be allowed to be uploaded and used as non-free content per WP:FREER. Moreover, the fact that it was released by his parents on Instagram, even for publicity purposes, doesn't mean it's not protected by copyright. Generally, the copyright on a photo like this is owned by the photographer and not the subject of the photo or the subject's representatives. It's possible that the photo was taken by either one of his parents or an "official" photographer working for his parents, but that would still not automatically mean its free from copyright protection. In the United States, photographs taken by US federal government employees as part of their official duties are considered to be within the public domain under US copyright law, which is why you find many photographs taken of US Presidents and their families uploaded to Commons under a public domain license. UK copyright laws aren't the same and it's not clear whether this photo would be automatically public domain, even if taken by one of the boy's parents, per c:COM:United Kingdom. You might want to ask about this c:COM:VPC, but the only way this photo could be uploaded and used would be either to clearly show it's be released under a free license that is accepted by Commons or that it falls within the public domain for some reason. In the first case, the photo is still considered protected by copyright, but a version of it is being made available with very few restrictions to make it easier for others to use. In the second case, the photo was never really eligible for copyright protection from the start and thus it is not subject to any copyright related restrictions. There might still be other restrictions is place per British law, but they're not related to copyright. -- Marchjuly (talk) 23:30, 19 September 2022 (UTC)
I'm also concerned about WP:Crown copyright; unless maybe you can get an email directly from the British Government authorizing such use, I'd hold off on uploading it. InvadingInvader (talk) 02:59, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
Crown Copyright doesn't apply here, this isn't a work of the UK government but is the personal copyright of the Duchess of Cambridge (Princess of Wales). Nthep (talk) 07:03, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
I appreciate the extensive reply, Marchjuly! I'll look into this a bit closer as well. Still familiarizing myself with Wikipedia's standards on fair use of images and the like. Thanks again. Thanks also to @InvadingInvader for the heads up. BiscuitsToTheRescue 03:20, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
Of course :) InvadingInvader (talk) 03:21, 20 September 2022 (UTC)

Upload of non-free media file to en-WikipediaEdit

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)

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)
@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)
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)
@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)
Ah, didn't know that. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 07:48, 23 September 2022 (UTC)
@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)

United 175 image uploadEdit


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)