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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I tried to upload an image, but it was rejected for having no tag.Edit

I created the image. It appears to me that I should use the "Attribution" tag (whatever that means). I feel blinded by a blizzard of information. So what do I do? Please notify me on my talk page. Thanks. Chuckage (talk) 20:36, 1 June 2021 (UTC)

Hi Chuckage. It would help if you could be more specific and provide a link or at least the name of the file you're asking about. There is a notification on your user talk page related to File:HKG5k.png, but it's from 2018. Is that the file you're asking ahout? That file was deleted by an administrator named Explicit in July 2018 per speedy deletion criteria F4. Files deleted for this reason are usually ones which aren't provided with a proper source or of unclear provenance. I'm not a Wikipedia administrator and am unable to see the file, but you can post a message at User talk:Explicit if you would like further clarification. A file which has been deleted isn't gone forever, but rather it's only hidden from public view; moreover, a deleted file can be restored by an administrator if the issue(s) that led to its deletion are subsequently sorted out. So, perhaps if you explain things to Explicit, he will restore the file or at least explan what you will need to do to get the file restored (if possible). -- Marchjuly (talk) 13:24, 2 June 2021 (UTC)
Yes, the file I'm talking about is File:HKG5k.png. I created the chart in excel and converted it to png for the purpose of posting it on my Earth section paths page. Chuckage (talk) 20:59, 2 June 2021 (UTC)
@Chuckage: As I posted above, that file was deleted by an administrator named Explicit back in 2018; so, if you want further clarification, you can ask him about it on his user talk page. Finally, perhaps it was just a natural choice of words, but Wikipedia articles aren't really technically our pages per se. So, even if you're able to sort out the file's licensing, you still may have to establish that the file should be used in the article for contextual reasons per WP:IUP#Adding images to articles and sometimes article talk page discussion is required to do so. -- Marchjuly (talk) 15:46, 5 June 2021 (UTC)

File:Milwaukee Brewers logo.svgEdit

File:Milwaukee Brewers logo.svg is essentially nothing more than File:Milwaukee Brewers cap logo on navy.png with a few additional non-copyrightable elements. The Commons file was uploaded after the non-free one and it's quite possible it's not correctly licensed and needs to be deleted. However, if there's a chance of the Commons file being OK, then there's no reason for the local file to remain non-free since simply being in svg format is not enough to justify a non-free license per WP:NFCC#1. Either both file's are PD or both are non-free. In the former case, whether both are need is more of editorial decision; if the latter case, however, both shouldn't be used per WP:NFCC#3a. Is there any way the Brewers logo is PD? -- Marchjuly (talk) 03:14, 5 June 2021 (UTC)

File:Babak khoramdin2.jpgEdit

File:Babak khoramdin2.jpg seems to be too simple to be licensed as {{Non-free book cover}} and should be at least OK as {{PD-ineligible-USonly}} for local use on Wikipedia if it's still protected per c:COM:Iran. There's also File:Babak khoramdin1.jpg which appears to be the same cover art that has been tagged for speedy deletion per WP:F5 and WP:F6. Any there any reasons why these need to remain non-free? -- Marchjuly (talk) 15:37, 5 June 2021 (UTC)

Just to update: The uploader of these file's has been indefinitely blocked per a SPI, and the account has been globally locked as well; so, they aren't coming back anytime soon. So, it makes no difference what happens to these files really because one has been tagged for speedy deletion per WP:G5 and the other will eventually end up being deleted per WP:F5 once the article it's being used in has been deleted. I can't see any other possible way to use them, and moving files not being used anywhere or with a very low likelihood of ever being used to Commons seems to be pointless. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:07, 5 June 2021 (UTC)


The logo for the Xuzhou Metro is uploaded both to the English Wikipedia as non-free (File:Xuzhou Metro 2019.png) and to Commons as {{PD-textlogo}} (c:File:Xuzhou Metro Logo.svg). It's not obvious to me whether the file is above or below the threshold or originality. Thoughts? * Pppery * it has begun... 20:01, 6 June 2021 (UTC)

File:Company Logo of Assure Quality.pngEdit

Anyone think File:Company Logo of Assure Quality.png is {{PD-logo}} or at least {{PD-ineligible-USonly}}? It's bascially nothing more than a bunch of letters, thought the first too might have a tad bit creativity to them to meet sweat of the brow. c:COM:TOO New Zealand state that NZ's TOO is not high, but not sure if that means it closer to the UK's than it is to the US's. -- Marchjuly (talk) 07:14, 8 June 2021 (UTC)

File:Screenshot 2021-06-09 11.47.56 AM.pngEdit

I need help with this: I uploaded this picture this no license, and I want to put a license on it before it gets deleted after 1 week, how can i add a license to an already-uploaded photo of mine? Please help, DinosaurTrexXX33 (talk) 16:13, 9 June 2021 (UTC)

DinosaurTrexXX33: we need to know the source, the author and the copyright status of the image before we can advise you. Likely it is copyright and can't be used. Also, you should give your files a descriptive title because this one is meaningless but it can be renamed if we keep it. ww2censor (talk) 21:16, 9 June 2021 (UTC)
Ww2censor It was from my friend's youtube video, here.— Preceding unsigned comment added by ‎ DinosaurTrexXX33 (talkcontribs) 22:05, 10 June 2021 (UTC)
Hi DinosaurTrexXX33. Your notification of Ww2censor won't go through because you didn't WP:SIGN your post the first time around. I've notified him in my post so perhaps he'll respond. However, most likely he's going to ask is that whether your friend actually created the video that they uploaded to YouTube. Lots of people upload stuff to YouTube, but that doesn't necessarily make them the original copyright holder of what they upload. Is that an original avatar/character that your friend created or does it come from somewhere else? For example, I might create my own avatar from start to finish and if it was my own original idea, then I would own the copyright on it. If, however, I borrowed the image (either totally or partially) from somewhere else, then the copyright of the original work also needs to be considered. So, either the original copyright is held by your friend or it isn't. In the first case, Wikipedia would need to verify that your friend gave their constent for their work to be uploaded to Wikipedia in order for the file to avoid deletion; in the second case, Wikipedia would need the to verify the consent of the original copyright holder, whomever that may be. So, ask your friend to clarify where the image came from. If they're the original creator, then someone can help you figure out what needs to be done; if they're not the original creator, then things are much more difficult to resolve because they involve asking the original copyright holder for their permission. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:35, 9 June 2021 (UTC)
Marchjuly Hello, sorry for not signing my post. I completely forgot! His avatar creation of me was made by this site called "Wrapper Offline". I took a screenshot of it so that I can put it on my Wikipedia page, but my friend, neither did I ask for permission to upload it. I am very sorry about this, Regards, DinosaurTrexXX33 (talk) 22:49, 9 June 2021 (UTC)
It might depend upon the terms of the licensing offered by "Wrapper Offline". I don't know much about software licensing per se, but there might be something that states you can create something for you yourself to use, but you can't create something, uploaded to another website and release it under a license that allows everyone else everywhere in the world to use anyway they want (including using it to make money). That's pretty much what you or your friend will be doing if you upload a file to Wikipedia under one of the free licenses that Wikipedia accepts. You can upload the file just so for use on Wikipedia or for use only by you under one of the free licenses that Wikipedia allows, and there's no way this type of file could be uploaded as non-free content for use on Wikipedia, unless perhaps there was a Wikipedia article written about you where it could be used.
If you uploaded the file by mistake, don't worry about because lots of people make similar mistakes. You can just do nothing and the file will be deleted in a few days, or you can add the syntax {{Db-g7}} to the top of the file's page and it will probably be deleted a little sooner per WP:G7. -- Marchjuly (talk) 23:01, 9 June 2021 (UTC)
Thank you so much for helping me! Signed, DinosaurTrexXX33 (talk) 11:58, 10 June 2021 (UTC)

Embedding a (c) img from an external sourceEdit

Hi. Wondering about embedding copyrighted images (e.g. linking from the publisher's website) without uploading them to WP and claiming a fair-use exception. Where is the policy & templates for that? Thanks, — kwami (talk) 22:02, 9 June 2021 (UTC)

If Wikipedia isn't hosting the file, then I don't think it's subject to WP:NFCC. There may be an issue with WP:COPYLINK and WP:CONVENIENCE if the image is sourced to a site which might itself be violating someone's copyright, but there also some allowances made for websites to reliable sources used as citations that contain embedded images (e.g. newspapers, magazines) because it's generally assumed that the website is using the image under fair use or fair dealing. User-generated websites like blogs and video hosting sites are the ones which seem to be the most problematic, unless they are controlled by the original copyright holder of whatever content they host. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:49, 9 June 2021 (UTC)
The image is from a book, on a site selling the book, so that should be fair dealing. It's been up for years.
What's the proper format/template?
kwami (talk) 00:18, 10 June 2021 (UTC)
Do you want to upload the image to Wikipedia or Commons? You cannot upload the image to Commons as fair use, but Wikipedia does allow certain types of copyrighted content to be uploaded locally as non-free content. If you just want to add a link to the website, then maybe it can be done as a citation or as an external link. That won't display the image on in whatever article you add the link to though. You could try {{External media}}, but that once again is only a way to link to external website and won't display the image in the article. Finally, as for It's been up for years., that doesn't really matter when it comes to COPYLINK; there's lots of stuff online that's probably a copyvio but that's been there for years. It could simply be there because nobody noticed or wanted to go through the hassle of getting it removed. If you've got any doubts, you might want to ask at WP:ELN since this noticeboard tends to deal with issues related to media either already uploaded to Wikipedia or that someone wants to upload to Wikipedia. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:33, 10 June 2021 (UTC)
I don't want to upload it, just embed it so it displays in the article. I've seen that done, but forget how.
As for it being up for years, I just meant that the link should be stable.
Thanks — kwami (talk) 00:38, 10 June 2021 (UTC)
There is no way to embed an image from a third party site on Wikipedia. Only link. Stifle (talk) 08:22, 11 June 2021 (UTC)

Copyright of UK Government Sub-committee report from c.1946Edit

Hi all, in List of WWII Maybach engines I cite Estes, Kenneth W. (2018). German Heavy Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War. From Tiger to E-100. Fonthill. ISBN 9781781556467. In Appendix III there is a reproduction of the 5-page typewritten Report on the Interrogation of Dipl.-Ing. Ernest Kniepkamp (a.F.Vs.) by W. J. Semmons for British Intelligence Objectives Sub-committee (BIOS) c.1946 (Final Report No. 34). I'm wondering about its copyright status, since I am thinking about linking to a faithful transcription of the report at Kedoki. "Report on Interrogation of Dipl.-Ing. Ernest Kniepkamp (tank engines)". Retrieved 8 June 2021. for those who don't have access to the printed source. I realise it's a Russian blog and all that entails for an article, but in any case I wouldn't want to link to a page which might contravene any copyright. Could you please advise on the status of the original 1946 report? Cheers, MinorProphet (talk) 01:27, 10 June 2021 (UTC)

Sorry, this might be better off at WP:ELN. MinorProphet (talk) 01:35, 10 June 2021 (UTC)

File:Dick, Kerr's Ladies Programme.jpgEdit

This was removed from Huddersfield Atalanta Ladies F.C. with the edit summary "Removed WP:NFCC violation(s). No valid non-free use rationale for this page. See WP:NFC#Implementation. Questions? Ask here." The file now appears to have a statement saying it is PD in the US. Could someone have a look and confirm whether or not that image could be used in the Atalanta article? Thanks. PamD 11:55, 12 June 2021 (UTC)

@PamD: A UK handbill produced in 1921 and presumably not published in the US I think is {{PD-US-expired-abroad|1992}} (see File:UK_non-Crown_copyright_flowchart.pdf for the UK copyright process and as such is eligible for transfer to Commons. Nthep (talk)

logo from a defunct sports team: Richmond RoostersEdit

Hello and I'm appreciative of any help and insight in doing this correctly as someone new to Wikipedia. There is a logo from a defunct sports team, the Richmond Roosters, that I would like to add to the page for information purposes. There is a lot of precedent it seems for the use of a logo in this way, but I'm not sure how to do this correctly. Any advice is appreciated. Gonzaga15 (talk) 19:23, 12 June 2021 (UTC)

Just for a reference a similar question was asked on my user talk page at User talk:Marchjuly#Advice, but I wasn't online at the time. So, it appears that the OP then asked about it here as well. As I explained on my use talk, I think the file that was uploaded (File:Roosters Logo.jpg) is probably OK, except for perhaps a bit of questionable sourcing. If others think the sourcing isn't such a big issue but have other concerns, then feel free to clarify. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:50, 13 June 2021 (UTC)

Who can set the 'image has rationale' field?Edit

Some of the non-free tags (Ex. {{Non-free 2D art}}) say that 'image has rationale' can be set to 'yes' if there's a good rationale, and that patrollers and admins can set it. Of course we know who admins are, but is there anything special/formal about being a patroller, or can anyone with experience do it? I know Commons has some special folks that review certain licensing issues, but I'm not aware of anything like that here, and wanted to check before reviewing rationales. Sunmist (talk) 07:51, 13 June 2021 (UTC)

Is The Golem: How He Came into the World in the Public Domain?Edit

Is the movie The Golem: How He Came into the World in the public domain for our purposes? Please notify me on my talk page, and thanks :) Tyrone Madera (talk) 20:18, 16 June 2021 (UTC)