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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 the GFDL, an acceptable Creative Commons 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.; {{GFDL-self}}), 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 picture under fair-useEdit

Effects of LUC on Ecology and Food Security (Data from the alleged original draft of the IPCC special report on CC&Land,data source)
Effects of LUC on Ecology and Food Security (Data from the final draft of the IPCC special report on CC&Land, auxiliary data source)

Hello, I want to upload this picture to I think that the terms of the General rationale are met: @1: According to it was part of the original draft of the IPCC assessment for policymakers. Presumed that this is true it is thereby of scientific interest: What do the scientists at the IPCC think about the topics? @2: As the picture bears no hint of the IPCC (let alone a proof) it has to be attributed to as publisher. But in either case, it was basically intended as an information for public use. @3 and @4: It is (or would be) only a very small part of the original IPCC report and would have no effect upon the potential market for or value of the original work.

As I've never uploaded non-free content before, I want to inquire if it would be proper use of fair-use.--Moreevo (talk) 16:02, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

I am presuming the interesting factor is the weight assessments by category? In this case, you can freely recreate this table based on the cited data from (data cannot be copyrighted, only presentation format. Keep in mind IPCC publishes under a copyright). See Wikipedia:Graphs and charts for potential guides for creating your own graphs. Just make sure that if you make this an image, you include the reference to the data source, while definitely cite that when used in mainspace. --Masem (t) 16:13, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
The recreated table would have the benefit to be free content but the drawback is that it would be the recreation of a part of the original draft that hasn't been published by the IPCC but spoiled/leaked/published by (*)
Led by Brazil, a group including the US, Canada, Sweden and the United Kingdom pushed back against a diagram in the draft that flagged several trade-offs in red. The final version separated out the contested elements, highlighting areas of scientific uncertainty and how best practice can bring dual benefits.[1]
Therefore I wanted to upload it with fair-use and attribute the image only to Only the link to this webpage would be stored with the image. (*) This website is referenced by many other websites and is even referenced in books and the IPCC draft was given to other news media, too. --Moreevo (talk) 19:51, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
Update: The picture and its webpage could be included in the article with a reference to this article from the same website. And this statement from the IPCC --Moreevo (talk) 21:46, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
The IPCC takes the leak quite seriously. I didn't know up to now that it actually includes this strong discouragement:[2][3] (emphasis added)
... Draft reports are provided as working documents for the approval session. They are not intended for public distribution, and must not be quoted or cited, because the text can change between the drafts and the final version once the IPCC has carefully considered every line. ... The latest draft of the report was circulated to governments for comment on the Summary for Policymakers between 29 April and 24 June 2019. ...
--Moreevo (talk) 22:17, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
Moreevo, I am afraid you cannot use nonfree content just because you find it to be preferable. Since there is any way of replacing the content with free material, that would fail NFCC #1. If there is a free option, we must use it instead. Seraphimblade Talk to me 22:20, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
But is the redraw really free material? Coloring something blue (and light blue) for positive and red (and light red) for negative gives information about how the scientists see the impact of the actions and how the scientists wanted to present it to the world audience. A recreation of this information would require the reproduction of the important parts of form i.e. the colors. Wouldn't it be basically a copy then? --Moreevo (talk) 22:44, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
If you used the exact colors, fonts, and other elements, then you would be running into problems. You can use different colors sets, different fonts, different ways of arrangement of the presentation to get a free image. There are only so many ways this data can be presented with creativity. --Masem (t) 22:49, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
Now I've reproduced it with Word.exe and created a png image file via screen copy and paint.exe, look at the text in User talk:Moreevo/image (the vertical lines in Word are indicated here with |). Would that recreation be ok for upload in Commons with reference to the webpage [4] and the web-resource [5] for comparison? I'm not a native speaker of English: How could I formulate the origin of the data with reference to (a) climatechangenews only or (b) climatechangenews and IPCC original draft? What would be better? (My opinion is (a)) --Moreevo (talk) 09:35, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Is it ok? --Moreevo (talk) 22:44, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
I've uploaded it now. --Moreevo (talk) 15:12, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
And for comparison with data from the final draft from the IPCC --Moreevo (talk) 10:40, 17 August 2019 (UTC)--Moreevo) with links --Moreevo (talk) 14:07, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

Are any of these flags of tribal nations under copyright?Edit

Hello Wikipedia Media copyright team,

The page Recognition of same-sex unions in the Americas includes a section on Tribal Nations in the United States. Because of precedent on pages like this, we have listed the country/state/territory and placed an image of the flag to identify it. I wanted to treat tribal nations as equals, so I thought I might add flags of the tribes. I was worried about the copyright implications of adding said images, but I am not very knowledgeable about Wikipedia/Wikimedia and copyright procedures. I noticed that one flag was already removed citing copyright policies and I am sorry for any damages I have caused. And if it does violate copyright policies or if the Sovereign Nations do not want the flag of their Nation depicted on the page, I will certainly understand, particularly on such a contentious topic that some may see as counter or non-essential to their indigenous identity.

I am wondering if any of the other flag images I added also violate copyright policies. I did notice that many of the flag images used were created by one Wikimedia user User:Xasartha and were not added by the tribes themselves. Multiple images created by said editor were not found on the Flags of Native Americans in the United States page on Wikimedia. I am also concerned that some of said flag images look like they were edited on Microsoft Paint or something of the sort in which text "curves" aren't always precise. I am concerned that said flag images may have been placed on Wikimedia without the tribes' consent. Granted I only chose ones that looked nearly identical to the flag if I noticed a difference. I don't know how to navigate copyright issues on this and would like you to audit the use (and existence on Wikip/media) of the 14 images of the flags of Sovereign Nations I added to the page. I sense to a certain extent I don't know what I'm doing. Can you help?

Thank you,

-TenorTwelve (talk) 02:49, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

TenorTwelve, the wishes of the people the flag represents would be irrelevant. However, that particular flag icon is nonfree, so using it simply to put on an entry where the entity it represents is mentioned is decorative (fails NFCC #8), and replaceable by simply mentioning the entity in text (fails NFCC #1). Seraphimblade Talk to me 07:36, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Are any of the other tribal flags I added on Recognition of same-sex unions in the Americas also non-free? -TenorTwelve (talk) 07:44, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
No, it looks like the rest are free licensed. Most flags are, or at least can have a freely drawn version from the flag's description. That particular one seems to be an outlier for some reason. Seraphimblade Talk to me 08:00, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

New guideline on image age?Edit

I've been uploading images for years now, and recently I've noticed a new section on the upload form concerning copyrights. Has there been a recent change in copyright policy? Thanks for informing me, or telling me where to find the answer. Sincerely, BeenAroundAWhile (talk) 07:04, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

BeenAroundAWhile, could you please be clear about exactly what you're seeing, and which upload form you're seeing it on? Seraphimblade Talk to me 13:20, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
The place is: Wikipedia:File Upload Wizard. And the wording is It was first published in the USA before 1989, and its copyright expired because it was published without a copyright notice and/or without the necessary copyright registration. Please look up the exact rules at [2]. Thanks. BeenAroundAWhile (talk) 06:28, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

Replacing a non-free-seal with a free image of lower qualityEdit

Is it desirable to replace File:Augusta Seal.png with File:Annals of Augusta County (page 9 crop).jpg? Beleg Tâl (talk) 00:14, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Hi Beleg Tâl. WP:FREER advises us to use free images whenever possible, and that non-free images are more for exceptional cases where a free image can neither be found or created to serve the same essential encylopedic purpose. This doesn't mean that the free image has to be identical to the non-free one; it's just means it has to be sufficient enough to provide the same basic information as the non-free one. Non-free files are, per WP:NFCC#3b, already required to be low-resolution, etc. so non-free files are pretty much never considered acceptable just because they are of a higher quality than a free equivalent. The two files you've provided look to be pretty much the same except that one is colorized. I'm not quite sure whether the licensing of the Commons file is correct; however, if it is, then I don't see the colorized non-free version being much different in terms of the information it provides to the reader, unless there's something particularly about the coloring of the logo which was discussed for some reason in reliable sources.
At the same time, coloring seems in many cases not to be something considered in and of itself to be eligible for copyright protection (at least in the US); so if the original seal imagery is considered to be in the public domain, then the colorized version would also seem to be within the public domain; this means the the non-free file might not really need to be non-free. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:32, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
I can vouch for the licensing on the Commons file. I'll leave the existing one alone since I do not know whether the coloration makes it subject to copyright. Beleg Tâl (talk) 21:26, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

Copyright date question - Russian photographsEdit


I'm hoping that someone might be able to clarify something for me so that I don't upload anything which would be against Wikipedia's copyright policies.

The specific scenario relates to photographs of a Russian composer who died in August 1946, so each photograph itself would have been taken at least more than 73 years ago. When I check the copyright by country information page, it lists Russia as designating a 70 year copyright on works, would this be from the date the work (in this case, photograph of the composer) was created? Or from the date of the photographer's death?

Specifically: I do not know who the photographer for any of the photographs would be, I obtained the works by paying for scans from the Russian State Archives of Literature and Art, of the direct photographs in their possession. Each photograph would date from earlier than 1946, and would only be of the composer himself. Would these be considered to have fallen out of copyright?

Similarly, could the same be said of scans of the autograph manuscript copies of musical scores written out by the composer? Again, they would all date from 1946 or earlier, none are in active publication by any known copyright holder, and the creator died in 1946. Would excerpts from these scans no longer be under copyright, and suitable for upload? Thank you for any advice you can offer!

ChrisMansi (talk) 13:57, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

ChrisMansi, you've certainly found an awfully complex case here, but some of them are indeed! For the photographs, do you know if they were ever published? It looks like that's going to make a substantial difference in this instance. Seraphimblade Talk to me 15:28, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Seraphimblade, Thank you for your response! At least some of the photographs were personal, family photos donated to the State Archives along with his other documents and affairs in 1995 by the composer's widow. I've also never seen them reproduced anywhere (it's notoriously difficult to find photographs of the composer in general), so I think the personal ones would be safe to say are not published. There are a few other photographs I have which I believe I've seen included in booklets for his operas and whatnot from the mid-30's, but I think I'd need to double-check the more commonly seen ones to ensure they are not in any more recent publications.
Would the personal photographs then qualify as "public domain" when uploading? Thank you! ChrisMansi (talk) 15:41, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
No, I'm afraid that makes things more complicated, not less. According to the Russian copyright regulations, if any of the images had been published anonymously, and the name of the author had not subsequently become known, they might be PD. If they're unpublished, however, that means the regular term of 70 years from date of the author's death, and if the author is unknown, that in practice means we have to wait until 70 years after the author could not possibly have lived that long. Since a photographer who took photos in the 1940s could easily have lived until fairly recently, we cannot yet definitively say they're PD. If you could find out who the photographer was and when their actual date of death was, that might be quite helpful. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:45, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
That being said, if some photos were used in opera booklets that were distributed to the public, that would almost certainly qualify as publication. If they were published without credit to the photographer, that may well fall under the "published anonymously" rules. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:50, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

Eco Fighters and possible cover artEdit

For the Eco Fighters video game article, would it be possible to use this image (at considerably lower resolution) from this page in the article's main infobox (along with a proper non-free license tag and rationale)?

Two concerns come to mind:

Firstly, as a repository of arcade game flyers, there is no indication that The Arcade Flyer Archive has been officially authorized or licensed by the copyright holders of the flyers that are hosted. (The site footer has a note claiming that Gottlieb Development LLC has licensed "All copyrighted and trademarked Gottlieb® material" on the site; however, that would likely not cover the Eco Fighters game material.)

Secondly, for a flyer image on The Arcade Flyer Archive, is there a need to consider a possible additional copyright that would be held by a party who scanned or photographed a physical flyer in order to covert it into digital form, in addition to any copyright on the flyer itself? (With this image, there appears to be some shading in the lighter strip along the top where the Capcom logo is, with the center area being lighter than the area at each end. Is that effect a part of the flyer design or was it was caused by digitizing a physical flyer? In addition, when looking at the image at high resolution, it appears that there may be a vertical crease that is slightly to the right of the Capcom logo with the crease going all the way down the image from top to bottom.)

--Elegie (talk) 06:48, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

How should I upload this image?Edit

Hi there! I'm trying to add the official school crest for La Cañada High School to its page, but I'm new to Wikipedia and can't figure out how to upload the image. I tried to use the upload wizard, but I ran into an issue—the image isn't hosted anywhere, it's just a local file I have on my computer. The crest is used on official school documents, but isn't directly found on the school's website anywhere. I do believe that even though I am not the copyright holder, the image can be upload under the {{PD-CAGov}} license's terms as it was created by a local agency of the State of California for official business. How should I proceed? Do I just upload the image directly to Wikipedia somehow, or do I need to have it on some image hosting site? Thanks.

JustAnotherHappyWikipedian (talk) 16:10, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

Use of ImagesEdit

Can we use the profile picture from Facebook page for the use of Wikipedia articles? User:Manakpreet Singh

Great coat of arms of Count of Ýñigo-GenioEdit

Hello Goodnight. I have problems with the authorship and the license of that image:   Could you help me? My English is basic, so it is very difficult I am the author of the image. And I want it to appear as a free image. Make the design based on the oral description of the shield, it does not exist anywhere on the web.


--ElSeñorDeLaNoche (talk) 03:14, 21 August 2019 (UTC)