Wikipedia:Media copyright questions

Jump to navigation Jump to search
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.

Click here to purge this page
(For help, see Wikipedia:Purge)

Egypt copyright law (1954)[edit]

Hi there. I see User:Ashashyou has placed this image Mahmoud Khalil Al-Housary under public domain by the virtue of Egypt's 1954 law that was applicable on works published prior to 2002.

So, would the Qur'an (audio) recitations of the famous Egyptian reciters (El Minshawi, Al Hussary, Abdul Basit Abdus Samad, Mustafa Ismail) fall under public domain too, especially since most of them published their works well before 2002 regardless of whether anyone claims legal rights to the recitals (record companies or firms that acquired rights to the recordings post their deaths or secured rights in other countries)?


Originally asked here: User_talk:Ashashyou#Egypt_copyright_laws and here Wikipedia:Teahouse/Questions/Archive_1068#Egypt_copyright_law_(1954).


The uploader claims this qualifies as {{PD-textlogo}} but I think it has too much creative content to qualify.

If it DOES qualify, it should be moved to the Commons. If it does NOT qualify, it should be reduced in scope and the appropriate non-free fair use rationale added for its use in Grease (franchise).

So, is this in the public domain, or not? davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 02:45, 15 November 2020 (UTC)

davidwr: Usually text logos are composed of regular text and simple shapes while in this logo some design has gone into creating the flowing connected text of the single word "Grease" superimposed on the car shape. Personally this is too complex to go to the commons but each use must have its own non-free rationale justifying that specific use. ww2censor (talk) 14:57, 15 November 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll leave this open a few more days or until I see WP:SNOW then change the license and request a size reduction. Note that I am not the file uploader, I have no particular "stake" in the outcome one way or the other. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 15:31, 15 November 2020 (UTC)
I have replaced the licensing and description and added {{Non-free reduce}}. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 18:13, 23 November 2020 (UTC)

Question on multi-licensing photos[edit]

I have taken some photos and would like to upload them to Wikipedia for use in some articles. However, I would like them to be released under some restrictive licenses.

If, per WP:IUP, non-commercial licenses are not accepted as free licenses (and thus CC BY-SA is the most restrictive CC license allowed on Wikipedia), can I dual-license the photos as CC BY-SA and CC BY-NC? (c:Commons:Licensing allows such practice, but I would like to be sure here as the photos would not be suitable for Commons.) Ntx61 (talk) 08:27, 23 November 2020 (UTC)

If it's licensed by CC-BY-SA, you remain free to release it under any additional licences you like, whether more restrictive, less, or the same. You still own the copyright under CC-BY-SA, so you can do what you like. The CC-BY-SA is just telling other people what they can do. WilyD 10:51, 23 November 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) You seem to want to apply c:Commons:Multi-licensing to a file uploaded locally to Wikipedia, but it's not clear why and what benefit you think you'd obtain from doing so. Wikipedia seems, in principle, to follow Commons for the most part when it comes to file licensing with the exception of non-free content (which Commons doesn't accept at all per c:COM:FAIR). So, if the file is OK to be uploaded to Commons, then it will probably end up there some day per WP:MTC. Wikipedia is not really an file hosting site à la Commons and most of the files uploaded here tend to be those that Commons won't accept for some reason but which have encyclopedic value (i.e. are used in some article) to Wikipedia. Perhaps the NC part of the licensing you're describing might mean such a file would be treated locally on Wikipedia as non-free content, but this type of licensing is quite restrictive per Wikipedia's non-free content use policy and there are ten specific criteria that need to be met for each use of the file. There seems to be a convention of letting editors upload Commons acceptable files locally to Wikipedia under a request of {{Keep local}} because they don't want their images to eventually end up on Commons for some reason, but I'm not sure how often that's done these days or whether it would apply here. Even if that was possible, I think people would still be able to download the file (much in the same way as the would be able to do if you uploaded it to Commons) and reuse it as long as they complied with the terms of the licenses; so, it's not sure what's gained by not uploading the file to Commons. -- Marchjuly (talk) 11:11, 23 November 2020 (UTC)
@Marchjuly: Uploading locally has nothing to do with the NC license. Because the photos in question are buildings in the Philippines (which has no freedom of panorama per c:COM:FOP Philippines), I have to upload them locally and tag them with {{FoP-USonly}}. Ntx61 (talk) 14:07, 23 November 2020 (UTC)
If you give multiple licences a reuser will be legally able to use whichever suits them, generally the least restrictive. It is the reusers who select which of your offered licences they wish to use. Hence the NC licence will not have any legal effect. Whether it would have an ethical effect on Wikipedia or Commons I'm less sure. Anyway, if anyone used one of your photos for commercial purposes they would not be in breach of CC BY-SA even if you also issued CC BY-NC. A few years ago some commercial photographers uploaded lowish resolution photos under CC BY-SA in the hope that they would maintain commercial control over their full resolution photos which they did not upload. This provided publicity for the photographer by the required attribution. I don't know the upshot of that but you could ask at Commons:Village pump/Copyright or search the archives there. Thincat (talk) 13:36, 23 November 2020 (UTC)
@WilyD and Thincat: Thanks. I would just like to reduce hassle for those who can't comply with the CC BY-SA license but still want to legally use my uploads for noncommercial purposes. (Unless I changed my mind,) full-resolution images will be licensed under CC BY-SA. Also, I could even drop the NC license altogether if I changed my mind. Ntx61 (talk) 14:07, 23 November 2020 (UTC) —updated Ntx61 (talk) 14:12, 23 November 2020 (UTC)
I'm not positive how it'd play out in practice, but by the licence terms, you can't drop them. Once it's licensed CC-WHATEVER, it's so licensed irrevocably. Otherwise, the licenses wouldn't be workable. WilyD 14:20, 23 November 2020 (UTC)
@WilyD: I meant not licensing under CC BY-NC at all on release (and thus CC BY-SA only) if I changed my mind. Ntx61 (talk) 16:19, 23 November 2020 (UTC)
Sure, you can release by CC-BY-SA now, and later release it by any other licence (including CC BY-NC, but also one where you give very limited rights, including ones where you're paid) as well. But everyone will always be able to use the CC-BY-SA licence regardless. WilyD 16:32, 23 November 2020 (UTC)

Question on orphaned non-free image[edit]

Hello. I am drafting an article (Draft:DispteSoft) and recently uploaded a logo for the infobox (File:DisputeSoft Logo for Wikipedia SMALL.jpg), but @B-bot keeps deleting the image as orphaned, claiming that it is not used in any articles. But I am using it on Draft:DisputeSoft. This is a draft form of the article, as I am adjusting content before posting. Why does the bot keep removing the image? AvdITSoftware (talk) 17:41, 23 November 2020 (UTC)

Draft space is not considered an allowed space for non-free images (see WP:NFCC#9). Once the article is moved into mainspace you will be able to use it but not before. If you need an image placeholder to check layout you can use a random free placeholder and replace once moved. But be aware that the orphaned image will be up for deletion until the draft is accepted into mainspace. --Masem (t) 17:54, 23 November 2020 (UTC)

BBC photo of Alasdair Milne - deceased person but no identification of photographer[edit]

I would like to use the following photo - under his obit would it be fair use?

Many thanks,

Greenpark79 (talk) 18:34, 25 November 2020 (UTC)

Similar to what you asked below, Alasdair Milne is dead so a non-free photo of him is, in principle, allowed per item 10 WP:NFCI. However, unlike the case below, there appear to be lots of photos of Milne available online which were taken at various times, which makes WP:FREER a bit more of a concern. Wikipedia could most likely use the photo you want to use per fair use, but fair use and non-free content are not really the same thing when it comes to Wikipedia. Wikipedia's non-free content use policy is what needs to be satisfied and this policy can be quite restrictive. -- Marchjuly (talk) 23:34, 25 November 2020 (UTC)

No photos are available of Tom Burns (sociologist) except via the British Academy[edit]

The only photo that appears of him is linked here -

Is it worth contacting Charlotte MacDonald via the University of Edinburgh for a photo?

Greenpark79 (talk) 16:20, 25 November 2020 (UTC)

Since Tom Burns (sociologist) died in 2001, a non-free photo of him used for primary identification purposes at the top of the stand-alone article about him would seem to be OK per item 10 of WP:NFCI as long as there are no WP:FREER concerns. It would be great if the university has a better photo of him that they would give their WP:PERMISSION to upload; so, perhaps contacting them is worth a shot. It seems a little unlikely that the link you've provided for this photo is the original copyright holder of the photo, but most likely that the author who wrote the piece got it from somewhere else since it can also be seen here. Perhaps if the original provenance of that photo can be narrowed down a bit, it might turn out to be something that actually is no longer protected by copyright for some reason. -- Marchjuly (talk) 23:23, 25 November 2020 (UTC)

A book cover source and resolution[edit]

Hi, I'm interested in uploading book cover images, however it's not clear whether I can use book covers from external sites like Amazon or any other online bookstore as a source. (for example en:File:A Masculine Ending.jpg states Amazon as a source). Or maybe I must scan the cover myself?

2nd question - usually I see fair-use images are cropped to resolution 200x... or 250x... . Is it set as a standard somewhere? Can I upload 300, 400 or 500 px version?

Thanks. Please, ping me on reply. --Kanzat (talk) 10:05, 26 November 2020 (UTC)

You can use any storefront as long as its reputable. We prefer Amazon because they either start with the cover art direct from the publisher or if they have to scan it they have high quality scan systems.
As most book cover art is non-free (copyrighted), it must meet the non-free requirements. And that for size, that means it shouldn't have more than 100,000 pixels total. For the typical aspect ratio of a book, this will usually mean that a 250 pixel wide image will be the largest size we can accept. But that will depend on each book. --Masem (t) 14:51, 26 November 2020 (UTC)

Disputed non-free use rationale for File:PDO-Logo.svg[edit]

I uploaded File:PDO-Logo.svg three years ago and used boilerplate text for the "Non-free media information and use rationale" template. Today, I got a message on my talk page challenging that rationale. I really do think the image is used in the spirit of the WP:FUR guidelines. However, I'm not sure how to change/clarify the text in the template to convey that.

Any guidance y'all can offer would be much appreciated. Notification of replies on my talk page would also be appreciated.

-Dπ (talk) 15:42, 26 November 2020 (UTC)

Hi Dave314159. Generally, non-free logos can be uploaded and used per item 2 of WP:NFCI when they are used for primary identification purposes at the top of or in the main infobox of stand-alone articles about whatever the logo is intended to represent; so, an organization's logo might be OK to use in the infobox of an article solely about the organization for primary identification purposes and because there is (or there could be) some encyclopedic critical commentary about the organization's choice of branding (e.g. its logo) included somewhere later on in the article. Trying to use such logos in other ways or in other articles tends to be much harder to justify per WP:NFC#CS, WP:FREER and WP:DECORATIVE because the logo itself is often not really the subject of any critical commentary and omitting it is often not really detrimental to the reader's understanding of the relevant section.
When I look at the section where those three files are being used, I don't really see any information being lost to the reader by not seeing each logo. There's really nothing specific about each logo (i.e. its design, origin) which require the reader see the logo for that reason and there's really nothing indirectly about the logo which discusses how its use makes things easier for consumers to know what they're buying, etc. The logos also seem quite similar to each other, except for some minor differences in color and text (which are generally not elements considered copyrightable), which also means there might be an issue per WP:NFC#Number of items. So, if you can find a way to add specific information about each logo to those sections, then perhaps that would clarify the reason why you feel using them meets all ten non-free content criteria. You can of course challenge the tagging of the file's for speedy deletion by posting on their respective talk pages and perhaps ask for clarification from JJMC89, the editor who tagged the files.
Finally, another possibility might be that these logos are considered to be too simple to be eligible for copyright protection (at least here in the US) or are considered to be public domain for some other reason. If that's established through consensus, then the files wouldn't be subject to Wikipedia's non-free content use policy. Perhaps some others who often watch this page will have an opinion on that. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:16, 26 November 2020 (UTC)

Help desk question[edit]

Hi everyone, @NightBird1029 left a question at the Help desk (here) about photo copyright, but hasn't got a response there, so I'm leaving this message here in the hope that someone can help them. Thanks! Seagull123 Φ 18:04, 1 December 2020 (UTC)

I've responded there. ww2censor (talk) 20:25, 1 December 2020 (UTC)

Team logos for B teams[edit]

Hi, so when I added the team logo for UD Logroñés B, I used the same file that was on the UD Logroñés since they are the same club and use the same logo. However, it was removed because the image was approved for the A team page, not the B team page. How do I make it approved for both pages? Or would I have to upload it again specifically for the second page? Thanks. RedPatchBoy (talk) 15:03, 3 December 2020 (UTC)

For sports teams in the same "family" where there is a separate article for the main body or team and each other team in that (as your A/B team, but would also include things like college teams, etc.) and which each all share the same logo, we generally do not allow the same non-free logo to be replicated across each team page per WP:NFCC#3 minimal use. We do allow the logo to be used on the main team or "family" page, but on other pages it can be a problem since you are likely linking back to the main team/"family" page where the logo can be found. --Masem (t) 15:26, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
@Masem and T: I'm running into this issue with recently removed logos for the women's teams in the W-League (Australia). What do you recommend? Upload a separate file? No logo in the infobox for the women's teams (seems imbalanced)?
  1. File:Perth Glory FC logo.svg deleted 3 December from Perth Glory FC (W-League)
  2. File:Newcastle United Jets Logo.svg deleted 3 December from Newcastle Jets FC (W-League)
  3. File:Melbourne Victory.svg deleted 3 December from Melbourne Victory FC (W-League)
  4. File:Melbourne City FC.svg deleted 3 December from Melbourne City FC (W-League)
  5. File:Logo of Western Sydney Wanderers FC.svg deleted 3 December from Western Sydney Wanderers FC (W-League)
Hmlarson (talk) 00:39, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
But , for example, in the Perth Glory case, the logo is also not being used on the Youth League team as well, which is equally "fair". Ideally, there should be a parent article on the Perth Glory "family" that discusses all three teams (mens, womens, and youth) which the logo would go to, but I recognize that seems an odd structure because it does appear the womens and youth are adjunct teams, and not "equal" in importance as the mens FC. Hence, not including the logo is still the right answer for the reason I gave above. --Masem (t) 00:48, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
Just to add to what Masem posted, the reason the above files all seem to have been removed (the files were removed from articles; they weren't deleted from Wikipedia) by JJMC89 bot was because they were lacking a separate, specific non-free use rationale for those particular uses. WP:NFCC#10c (as well as WP:NFCCE and WP:NFC#Implementation) require a non-free use rationale be provided for each use of a non-free file; so, if a file is being used more than once (even in the same article), it needs a non-free use rationale specific to each of those uses. This is a common mistake since many editors seem to think that a file only needs a one rationale and that rationale then is sufficient to cover all uses of the file. A simple fix would be to simply provide the missing rationales; this will stop the bot from removing the file and will satisfy NFCC#10c. However, there are ten non-free content use criteria which need to be satisfied for a rationale to be considered valid; so, only satisfying NFCC#10c doesn't automatically mean the file is now OK to use.
As Masem pointed out above, there are other criteria (in particular WP:NFCC#3) which need to be met, and failing even one of the ten criteria means that the use is not going to be considered policy compliant. This type of logo use has to do with item #17 of WP:NFC#UUI because it has been interpreted that the use of "parent" team logos for primary identification purposes in articles about "child" entities is not policy compliant and thus shouldn't be allowed; not everyone, however, agrees with this interpretations and there've quite a number of discussions over it in recent years, but nothing has been resolved. In other words, no new consensus or new consensus has been estbalished. Personally, based upon these discussions, I think it's probably OK to treat the main men's and women's team as the parent's of each family tree, which means I could see how using the same logo in each of those articles could be justified as long as it can be clearly shown that both teams use the same branding; however, I don't feel the same way with respect to "B", youth or reserve teams since these teams seem to be "feeder" teams that essentially are grooming players to join the two top-level teams. At the same time, if there are separate logos being used by the main men's and women's teams or logos specific to the other "child" teams, then it should be OK to upload those logos and use them in their respective articles.
One other thing to consider are the use of stars, etc. in such logos. Some teams seem to add stars to their logo when they win some important competition so in a way that makes the logo specific to a particular team. So, even if teams in the same family are using that logo, it might not be considered appropriate for Wikipedia if the other teams in the family haven't had the same success. That, however, may depend on whether you see the championship as an individual team's success or a "family" success. -- Marchjuly (talk) 01:16, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
For reference, I uploaded quite a number of non-free file a few years ago that I thought were specific enough to the various W-League women's teams to justify their use on Wikipedia. Those logos were all being used until quite recently when they were removed with edits like this. I thought about re-adding the files after I received WP:F5 notifications about them on my user talk page, but decided not to since (1) it wasn't clear whether all the teams were still being run by the W-League (like they were when I originally uploaded the logos) and (2) it wasn't clear whether the teams were still using logos like File:Newcastle Jets FC W-League logo.png on their kits anymore. If you want to go back and re-add those logos, and then start a discussion about them somewhere (e.g. article talk pages, WT:FOOTY, WP:FFD) then you can, but you will need to do so before the files are deleted as orphaned free use. There should be no problem temporarily restoring them to the article while this is further discussed since they can always be deleted at a later date if it turns out their use doesn't comply with relevant policy. -- Marchjuly (talk) 01:27, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
@Masem and T: and @Marchjuly: Shouldn't the logos be removed from the A-League articles if they have no fair-use rationale templates? See File:Perth Glory FC logo.svg on Perth Glory FC for example. Hmlarson (talk) 01:44, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
Two things: (1) WP:PING templates don't work if you add them after the fact to an already signed post. So, if you want to try and ping someone like you did above, you need to re-sign your post. I'll pin @Masem: for you so that he sees your last post just in case he misses it on his watchlist. (2) File:Perth Glory FC logo.svg and the other files do have non-free use rationales for the A-League articles; so, that's why the bot didn't remove the files from those articles. They didn't have corresponding rationales for the W-League articles (most likely because whomever added the files to those articles didn't realize a separate rationale was needed); that's why the bot removed the files from those articles. The bot is only looking for non-free use rationales being added to articles without a correpsonding rationale for the use; the bot isn't capable of assessing why the rationale is missing or whether a rationale could be added. That's where editors like you and I come in. Generally, if you're going to add a non-file file to an article, then it's your responsibility to also add a rationale to the file's page for the use. Sometimes when you don't and it seems fairly obvious that use complies with WP:NFCC, another editor may add the missing rationale; you shouldn't count of this though which is why it's good practice to add the required rationale to the file's page before you actually add the file to an article. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:10, 4 December 2020 (UTC)