Wikipedia:Media copyright questions

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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 Save page.
  6. If you still have questions, go on to "How to ask a question" below.
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  2. Please sign your question by typing ~~~~ at the end.
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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.

copyright permission for photo

Ticket#: 2017040510021232

I've emailed the copyright information to [email protected] twice now and have not received a response back. I don't know how to put a photo up without it being taken down for copyright. Please give me steps on how to fix this. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Andrew Flesher (talkcontribs) 19:09, 14 April 2017 (UTC)

@Andrew Flesher: Please try at WP:OTRS/N That is their specific noticeboard and an OTRS agent will be able to assist you there. This board is for general copyright inquiries. --Majora (talk) 21:07, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
On what date did you send in the first OTRS ? There is currently a back log in processing OTRS's. Also, it would help us to know if you are the famous Andrew Flesher himself or if you're editing on his behalf, etc. As you sent it into Commons:OTRS you will see the backlog is about two months before you get a reply from them. So a bit of extra information here may help to untangle any knots. Aspro (talk) 22:35, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Update: this question from the OP is now moot. The article has been deleted under G11. Aspro (talk) 17:25, 17 April 2017 (UTC)


Not sure why File:DowntownLogoMusicCo.png needs to be licensed as a non-free logo. The company Downtown (company) is based in the United States and this seems definitely OK as {{PD-logo}} based upon c:COM:TOO#United States. Is there something about this logo that I'm missing? -- Marchjuly (talk) 13:25, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

No, Marchjuly I don't think so. However, I would request reinstatement of the higher resolution that was removed. ww2censor (talk) 13:42, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Agreed it's PD-textlogo and the higher res version has been restored. Nthep (talk) 14:42, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for checking and sorting this out Nthep. -- Marchjuly (talk) 14:06, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

Images from Flickr

Hi, I found a file from Flickr that has a license of Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic. Is this license allowed in Wikipedia? Pacphobia (talk) 17:28, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

Greetings. Unfortunately, we do not allow noncommercial licenses. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 18:20, 16 April 2017 (UTC)


Anyone have any ideas on how to sort out File:CarminePecorelli.jpg? If it's non-free content, then it's use is probably only compliant in Carmine Pecorelli. If it's PD, then it would not be subject to WP:NFCCP. It looks like its been tagged as having license problems since 2008. -- Marchjuly (talk) 12:58, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

It was not tagged as having problems since 2008. Only since someone changed the templates to display on all files the "wrong license" tag by default. Which, of course, artificially created a ton of false positives, making all files uploaded before that change look like they had a conflict of license, when actually they don't have that problem. In general, assuming that most files had been correctly licensed, the appearance of this apparent problem tag in this manner does not indicate a problem. That said, this particular file is poorly sourced and its date of creation and publication history are not specified in the description page. There are better versions and on this site (image) it is attributed to ANSA press agency. Its status on Wikipedia depends on your evaluation of the degree of confidence to which this photograph meets the conditions for this PD tag on Wikipedia (simple photograph, created before 1976, first published in Italy before 1989 without a copyright notice). It may not be unreasonable to think that it might meet the conditions, although it's not certain without better documentation. -- Asclepias (talk) 16:06, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for taking a look Asclepias. What I meant by "having license problems" was the "This image may not have the proper copyright or licensing information, or there is a conflict of license" template which was added with an edit made in 2008 (hence the "since 2008"). Anyway, if the file is fine as is, then there's no need to treat it as non-free content. -- Marchjuly (talk) 14:05, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Marchjuly, I know what you meant. :) What I was trying to say is that you were, understandably, misled by the fact that templates were modified, long after 2008. The template that says "This image may not have ..." (the name of this template is "Wrong-license") was not added to this file in 2008. Actually, it was never added to this file. Nor to maybe thousands of valid files where it looks displayed. This apparent warning artificially popped into those files much later, through the fact that someone modified licensing templates to make them display this warning template by default on all files, valid or not, that use those licensing templates, most of which files actually do not have a problem. As such, this warning has been made quite meaningless, because when this warning looks displayed, like that, by default, on files on which it was never actually added by any user, it does not indicate a problem.
Let's take this file for a detailed example. You have already looked at the history of this file and you saw that it was uploaded in 2008. If you look at how it was tagged then by the uploader [1], you see that the uploader tagged it with the template "PD-Italy". To know what the uploader actually did and what it actually means, we must look at what the template "PD-Italy" said at that time (i.e. in 2008, before someone edited this template years later), when the uploader tagged this file with it. In 2008, the template "PD-Italy" was this. See, it's just a normal public domain status template. Even in 2013, after some minor adjustments, it was still this. That is what the description page of this file, and of the other files using this template, looked like at that time. And that is what that template still actually means. Note that the uploader of the file (nor the only two other users that edited the file description page in 2012) never tagged this file with the "This image may not have ..." ("Wrong-license") template to which you refer. This warning was never specifically added to this file. As such, it does not mean that this file has a problem. In cases like this, it tells nothing useful about the file.
Independently of the meaningless warning, we can of course examine and evaluate the status of this file, just like we can do it for any other of all the millions of files on Wikipedia and on Commons, to see if they may or may not have a problem. This file is in the same situation as any other file with a PD template. Users must evaluate if the known facts about the image meet the conditions for the template. When facts are not certain, users must evaluate with some subjectivity what the odds are that a fact likely exists or not. It depends of the level of confidence users want to have, taking in consideration the precautionary principle. In the case of this file, the odds may seem good that the file meets the conditions for the PD template, but it's not certain. Like for many other files. I'm not saying that it does or that it does not meet the conditions, but if it is decided that it does, it may be good to upload a better version. -- Asclepias (talk) 19:59, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
@Asclepias: Thanks for the information about the "Wrong license" template. I misunderstood how it worked and thought it was something added by the user, but didn't realize it could have just as easily simply been the result of a change in the template itself which has (had?) nothing at all to do with the file itself. This is a very good thing to be aware of for future reference. I wonder if there's a way to add something about this to the template's description. Perhaps a small note which states something like "this template was revised on XXXXXX and thus the "Wrong license" warning has been retroactively applied to all files uploaded prior to that date regardless."-- Marchjuly (talk) 21:32, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

"Published" but ... not really? has put out a whole bunch of field notebooks or ornithologists. As far as I can tell they are using "published" to mean the date of the book, as seen here, and not actual publication. For some of these, whether they are published or not seems to make all the difference as to PD status. Specifically regarding this one, am I correct that if only published recently it's copyrighted until 70 years after the date of death of Alexander Wetmore (so 2048), but if actually published in 1958, without renewal, its PD? And if so, what do you think about the use of "published" here? Any way we can consider this PD for uploads of these photographs?--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 12:26, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

According to Alexander Wetmore he was an employee of the Smithsonian from 1925-1952, so it may well be a moot point because his work would then be covered as US government work and therefore by PD anyway. I am assuming his field notes were part of his work. If that is the case then published or not does not come into the question but we would need to determine what his relationship with the IS was after 1952. This may not really be very helpful and you may have to do more research for each individual. ww2censor (talk) 14:22, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
Information from about publication dates and copyright status is notoriously unreliable. It should not be taken without caution, but it can be used as a starting point to find better sources or to do your own evaluation. In the case of this Wetmore field book, seems to merely reproduce the information from the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), which is usually reliable. Also, in this case, the BHL itself seems to take the information from the Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA), who own the physical object and digitized it. So, at the primary source, it seems to be an evaluation by the Smithsonian. The SIA has information about the Alexander Wetmore Papers. After his retirement in 1952, Wetmore was a research associate of the Smithsonian from 1953 until 1978. The SIA don't seem to explain exactly why they consider this field book as having no copyright restriction. Possibilities may be that Wetmore made the document for the Smithsonian, or that Wetmore donated it or bequeathed it, with the rights, to the Smitsonian, or that his wife donated it with the rights, or that the document was actually made available in 1958 to people to view or to make copies of it. If you want to go to the bottom of this matter, you might contact these people: the Digital Collections Manager for the BHL, who is the recommended contact by the BHL [2] and who is also with the Smithsonian Libraries, or the Cataloging Coordinator for the Field Book Project of the Smithsonian, who catalogued Wetmore field books. Or you can use the general inquiries form of the SIA. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:28, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
For what it's worth, the Smithsonian takes the position that copyright status of its works depends on whether the work was one produced by an employee of the Smithsonian Trust, paid with monies from the trust; or one paid by an employee paid with non-trust federal funds. It claims copyright over the former, but does not dispute the PD status of the latter. A lot of copyright attorneys think this is nonsense, but there you go. TJRC (talk) 20:30, 18 April 2017 (UTC)


File:C3cs35486e-f1.gif is used on the artificial enzyme page with a caption saying it is from Chem. Soc. Rev. (the journal Chemical Society Reviews published by the Royal Society of Chemistry). The upload indicates it is "own work" of Wiki nju001 and releases it CC-BY-SA 4.0. That editor edited en-WP on only a single day, 11 December 2015, which is also the date of the upload. I'm not sure if it was uploaded here and then moved to commons, but either way I suspect this image is copyright to the RSC and thus a copyvio. Would someone with admin permissions have a look, and if also a commons admin, act? Thanks. EdChem (talk) 14:49, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

The source of the information appears to be this PDF of supplementary materials for the 2013 Chem. Soc. Rev. article doi:10.1039/C3CS35486E. The image itself is copyright to the RSC according to the attribution where it is reprinted (with permission) on page 2 of this Springer publication from 2016. That book attributes the image to the Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers article doi:10.1039/C5QI00240K first published online on 7 December 2015, four days before its upload to WP. EdChem (talk) 23:52, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
I posted a copyvio notice to the image page at Commons, suggesting speedy deletion, and the image has subsequently been deleted from Commons as a copyvio by c:User:Sreejithk2000 (thank you) and the link to it in the artificial enzyme article has been removed by the CommonsDelinker bot. No further action needed. EdChem (talk) 05:25, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

File:IM Creator.png

Is there any particular reason why File:IM Creator.png needs to be a licensed as a {{non-free logo}} instead of {{PD-simple}}? If it really needs to be non-free, then it needs to be removed from the user sandboxes per NFCC#9. I can do that, but I just want to make sure first. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:50, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

@Marchjuly: It is PD-simple. It is a US logo and certainly nowhere near TOO. Change away. --Majora (talk) 02:06, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
OK Majora. I am unable, however, to get the source url to work and can't find the image on the company's website except for a very small icon in the top-left of the homepage. It also looks like a different logo is being used on Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps the Micronationalist1999 can help out? -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:29, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
@Marchjuly: I always go with what the company's homepage has since it is assumed that that is the most up-to-date. Here is the link taken directly from their site: [3]. That should do for the source. --Majora (talk) 03:16, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for that link Majora. -- Marchjuly (talk) 04:03, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

How to upload a picture

How to upload a picture in Wikipedia? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rupalavanyan (talkcontribs) 03:45, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

Assuming that the image you are interested in sharing is freely licensed you should use the upload wizard here: c:Special:UploadWizard. ww2censor (talk) 13:33, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

File:Jaeger Kahlen Partner logo.svg

File:Jaeger Kahlen Partner logo.svg seems simple enough for {{PD-simple}} unless there's some reason it needs to be treated as non-free content. -- Marchjuly (talk) 04:33, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

The text and image may be public domain, but when I look at the .svg file the code inside fills up a whole screen on my monitor, and would certainly qualify for copyright. So whoever generated the .svg file has the copyright on this. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 01:38, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

File:John Francis Grant circa 1860's - courtesy of Montana Historical Society - B and W photo , 942-461.jpg

Can File:John Francis Grant circa 1860's - courtesy of Montana Historical Society - B and W photo , 942-461.jpg be converted from non-free to {{PD-US}} or some other type of PD licensing? Photo is supposed to have been taken in the 1860s. -- Marchjuly (talk) 04:52, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

Just because something was created in the 1860s doesn't mean it is PD. If the estate of the author first published the photograph in 1930, for instance, it would still be a protected work. this article gives an example of a letter composed in 1755 that is still copyrighted. Without better information about publication date and author, we cannot confirm it is PD.-Ich (talk) 12:55, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

File:Lexoo logo (lawyer marketplace) - 24 June 2015.jpg

File:Lexoo logo (lawyer marketplace) - 24 June 2015.jpg is the non-free logo being used in the infobox of the UK company Lexoo. Can this be converted to {{PD-logo}} even though the UK has a much lower TOO than the US? -- Marchjuly (talk) 11:25, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

I think yes. And I am not sure that plain text without even minimal modification on a green background is copyrightable in the UK; the prototypical UK TOO case involved slightly modified letters. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 12:08, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

File:IDEAL Logo.png

This looks to me like a candidate for commons with a "PD-textlogo" and "Trademarked" tag. Is there a reason this hasn't been used already?-Ich (talk) 12:13, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

I think you are right. You would have to ask user:Benedikt Aron why they tagged it the way they did. To go on commons you would have to check if it is copyrighted in the Netherlands. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 01:34, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

Upload question

how do you upload — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:30, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

You can click on the "upload file" button at the left side of the page BUT, you must be a registered editor and be autoconfirmed which means you must have made at least 10 edits. ww2censor (talk) 19:02, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

Tags - twitter

What tags do I use if I got the picture from twitter? --Lorisa214 (talk) 01:00, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

Normally you cannot use images from twitter here. Copyright will apply, and normally copying is not permitted. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 01:32, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

File:Microsoft Windows 95 Logo.png

File:Microsoft Windows 95 Logo.png looks like a duplicate of c:File:Windows 95 logo and wordmark.png. The file names are slightly different so the non-free is not shadowing the Commons file. Should the non-free be tagged for speedy per WP:F8 or simply just replaced per WP:NFCC#1 and left to be deleted per WP:F5? Of course doing either of these things is based upon the assumption that the Commons licensing is acceptable. -- Marchjuly (talk) 01:41, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

I really dont think this would qualify as PD-textlogo, and that logo hasn't look like it has been checked appropriately for that at Commons. --MASEM (t) 02:00, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the input Masem. I started a discussion about the Commons file at c:COM:VP/C#File:Windows 95 logo and wordmark.png. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:26, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

File:MB Midvagur logo.png

File:MB Midvagur logo.png is licensed as non-free, but per c:COM:COA the blazon of coats of arms is typically not considered copyrightable and the shield imagery is quite simple. Does this really need to be non-free? -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:20, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

File:Ofo bike logo.png

Is this image eligible for copyright? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:DA8:201:3512:3439:47EA:DE81:73D7 (talk) 18:32, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

[email protected]

RE: File:ShrinivasKulkarni2016.jpg

I have tried to forward the copyright release information regarding this image 3 times, since copyright holder's permission e-mail seems not to have reached you. However, the message sent from my yahoo account always bounces back with message "the address does not exit".

Is the e-mail box working? Or do I have a typo? Or is the information on the Wiki outdated for this procedure? I am assuming that since I received a Ticket number: Ticket#2017041510012198, at one point you received something from us regarding this file or its previous uncropped version. (If possible, I want to create the thumbprint of the original and put on to the infobox. (Original was sent earlier), but do not know how to create the thumb print, so I uploaded the thumbprint the second time). I would like to know the proper procedure for this as well. I have not intentionally violated the copyright, so please understand.

Is their a site on wiki where I can upload the scanned copy of the signed document and the copyright holder's e-mail?

I am in the limbo, although I am trying to follow the legal protocol. I am also worried that I would be forbidden from uploading anything, in the future.

Sincerely, Smallshrine 9:42 22 April 2017 (UTC)

Greetings, @Smallshrine:. Have you tried with a "i" instead of "e"?
@Smallshrine: Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 20:29, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes. Actually that is a typo in the header, so I will correct it. Thank you. Smallshrine 20:35, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
Now my signature does not appear to have link... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Smallshrine (talkcontribs) 20:37, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
4 tildes, like this ~~~~ BTW, you do not actually need to reupload a different size for the infobox, unless you really need a closeup. The image size can be defined in the code of the box though some infoboxes size it automatically. The image now has a ticket number indicating contact has been made and they will deal with it in due course. Be patient as the OTRS system is backlogged. ww2censor (talk) 20:47, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

File:St. Lawrence Saints.svg

Is the combination of letters in File:St. Lawrence Saints.svg simple enough for {{PD-logo}}? St. Lawrence University is located in the US so don't think it needs to be non-free per c:COM:TOO#United States. -- Marchjuly (talk) 05:08, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

File:Subnautica logo.png

File:Subnautica logo.png is licensed as a non-free logo, but it seems to be nothing more that block lettering. Can this be converted to {{PD-logo}}? Unknown Worlds Entertainment is the creator of the game and they are headquarters in the US. -- Marchjuly (talk) 05:16, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

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