Wikipedia:Media copyright questions

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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.
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Is this image suitable for non-free use, or is it in the public domain?[edit]

Hi, I have found this photo of a coin. It was struck by Shah Suwar, one of the rulers of the medieval principality of Dulkadir in Anatolia. Rulers of this state almost never issued any coins with the exception of the aforementioned monarch, and surviving specimens are very rare, at most 3. So, the addition of this image to the project would be quite valuable in my opinion. I wish to use it in Shah Suwar, Beylik of Dulkadir, and maybe Gaziantep, where it was minted. Although I have read the relevant pages, such as WP:FUC, I am unsure about the copyright status and would appreciate any comments on whether this would be suitable for non-free use, or if the picture could be considered in the public domain. Aintabli (talk) 02:38, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Aintabli. This is probably a good question to ask at c:COM:VPC since any such public domain image would be best hosted at Commons. Objects dating that far back in time are certainly no longer eligible for copyright protection of their own accord; however, photographs of such object may be eligible depending upon various factors as explained in c:COM:Currency and c:COM:When to use the PD-Art tag#Photograph of an old coin found on the Internet. Coins are typically considered 3D objects so any photograph of them is likely going to need to be treated as non-free content for Wikipedia's purposes and would be subject to WP:NFCC. Such a photo would almost certainly be OK if used for primary identification purposes at the top of or in the main infobox of a stand-alone article about the coin itself, but justification becomes much harder when trying to use the photo in other articles or in other ways per WP:DECORATIVE and WP:NFC#CS. -- Marchjuly (talk) 09:29, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Marchjuly, thank you very much for the links you've shared. So, this cannot be considered in the public domain and may be uploaded as part of non-free use to be displayed only on Shah Suwar (within the infobox) and no other articles. Am I correct, and may I upload it for that purpose? Aintabli (talk) 22:13, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In my opinion, the best place to try and justify the non-free use of such an image would be in the main infobox or at the top of a stand-alone article about the coin itself or perhaps an about the currency used in that region at that time. Trying to justify the non-free use in an article about Shah Suwar just because the coin was minted during his rule seems like it would be nearly impossible to do from a non-free content use policy standpoint and using such an image in the main infobox would make zero sense encyclopedically. Even if Suwar's visage appears on the coin's obverse/reverse, it still seems questionable encyclopedically to use such an image in the main infobox (given how unclear it is) and it would hard to justify even using the image in the body of the article absent and sourced critical commentary about the coin and its connection him that would be really quite hard for readers to understand without actually seeing this particular image. Once agin, this is only my opinion and others might feel differently. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:54, 20 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Marchjuly, bear with me as it appears that I skipped the part you referred to an article about the "coin itself" in your first comment (which you have now repeated; sorry for that). But there are also parts in your second comment that I didn't quite understand. Coins are often used in the main infoboxes of the articles of royalties, where there are no available depictions, so I am not sure if it would be encyclopedically nonsensical to use the coin in the infobox as what you stated.
Moreover, could you possibly rephrase the second to last sentence of your latest comment, especially even using the image in the body of the article absent and sourced critical commentary about the coin and its connection him. There are possibly some missing prepositions here, which prevents me from understanding this bit. According to WP:NFC#CS, the use may be appropriate if that image is the subject of sourced commentary in the article, and actually, there are a multitude of sources I can add to the article. (There is even one full paper published in an academic journal that focuses on this coin.or a different specimen.) Is this what you tried to point out: There should be a sourced commentary that elucidates the connection? Would that mean that the article the image will be used in doesn't necessarily have to be about the coin itself? Aintabli (talk) 22:19, 20 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My apologies for the poor wording of that particular sentence. It should've been as follows: "it would hard to justify even using the image in the body of the article absent anyd sourced critical commentary about the coin and its connection to him so that would be really quite hard for readers to understand such content without actually seeing this particular image."I hope that clarifies what I meant.
Perhaps you can provide an example of articles where non-free images of coins are being used in the main infobox of articles about royalties for primary identification purposes since it's hard to comment on such a thing without actually seeing an example.My comments were mainly about the particular image you linked to and how unclear it is. It's not like we're discussing some like the US dollar or British pound, where the image appearing on the currency is much clearer.
WP:NFC#CS is related to WP:NFCC#8 and there are two things (or one thing with two parts) that generally need to be satisfied for tha criterion to be considered satisfied. The first is that the additon of non-free content needs to significantly improve the reader's understanding of article, while the second is that the omission of non-free content would be detrimental to the reader's understanding of the article. The question is then would adding a non-free image of this coin to Shah Suwar improve the reader's understanding of him to such a degree that not seeing such a non-free image would be detrimental to that understanding. Given the current state of the article, I would say no that, but if you feel you can expand the article to the point where non-free would be justified, then perhaps the situation would be different. If whatever content you add about the coin to the article can just as easily be understood without seeing an image of the coin, then most likely non-free use isn't justified. If not seeing the coin really does affect the reader's understanding, then perhaps NFCC#8 is being met. NFCC#8 can be hard to assess because it's a bit subjective and individual bias can creep in which is usually why concerns about NFCC#8 usually end up at WP:FFD. If you want to try and expand the article to include content about the coin and can do so in way that doesn't through the article out of balance, then maybe do so first before worrying about adding any images. Once you expanded the article, then you can self-assess whether you think a non-free image is justified. Someone might disagree with your assessment, but at least there will then be something to discuss. Right now, there's currently nothing about the coin in the article to justify any type of non-free use, which means there's not a lot to discuss.
Finally, NFCC#8 is only one of the non-free content criteria that need to be satisfied, and just meeting it isn't enough. There might also be WP:FREER issues due to the possibilty of alternatives to non-free use; for example, just using text content about the coin or possibly even finding/creating a free image of the coin. -- Marchjuly (talk) 01:13, 21 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will get back to the rest of your comment, but there are no free alternatives, because this image is the only one accessible on the Internet. As I have touched on before, this ruler is the only one that minted his own coins, and his coins are themselves rare to find. One is included in the paper I mentioned, which doesn't appear to be available as a free PDF. Another specimen may have been kept in a German museum. At best, there are 3 known specimens. Aintabli (talk) 16:36, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council logo.png is the official logo from Majlis Sukan Angkatan Bersenjata Diraja Brunei (MS ABDB, Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council) of both their association football team (MS ABDB FT), and their futsal team (MS ABDB Perwira Futsal Club). The file image is included in the appropriate infoboxes within appropriate sections of Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council article.

Its football team (MS ABDB FT) play in the Brunei Super League (BSL, or Liga Super Brunei), and crucially, are the most successful team in the BSL. I added the file to the BSL article (its notability being obvious), having earlier updated the file description to justify its rationale for use in the Brunei Super League article. The file was subsequently removed from the BSL article by a bot account - but its edit summary is neither accurate, nor reflects the actual rationale for including the logo depicting its most successful team!

Can I revert the bot edit? Or can someone please clarify in plain English why its justification failed for the BSL article - when other non-free media can get justification for use on more than one page. Thanks in advance. Militum professio scriniarii (talk) 17:09, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've reverted your changes to the non-free rationale for the logo. Per WP:NFCC#10c, a separate non-free usage rationale is required for every usage of a on-free file. You cannot just lump them into a single non-free usage rationale. Having said that, adding non-free usage rationales for the other articles will not likely be sufficient to use the logo in those articles. See WP:NFC#UUI point 17. These other articles would be child entities and their usage would not be acceptable. -- Whpq (talk) 18:27, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Militum professio scriniarii: Perhaps you hadn't seen Whpq's response to your question when you reverted them. Whpq's not implying you're acting in bad faith; they're stating that what you're trying to do won't stop the bot from removing the file because a separate, specific non-free use rationale needs to be provided to justify each use of non-free content per WP:NFC#Implementation and WP:NFCC#10c. Trying to combine multiple of a onn-free file into a single rationale is not acceptable because not all file use is equivalent and the bot (or a human reviewer) will just keep removing the file per WP:NFCCE. In addition, the reason Whpq didn't "fix" the problem was that they felt the problem was not just that file was lacking non-free use rationales for those other uses (i.e. more that a simple syntax error), but also that there's was no way to justify those other non-free uses. Simply adding a non-free use rationale for a particular use doesn't make the use policy compliant as explained here. Now, if you disagree with Whpq's assessment and feel the non-free uses of the file in those other article's can be justified, add rationales for them to the file's page. Then, if Whpq or anyone else disagrees with those rationales, they can start a discussion about the file at WP:FFD. For reference, as Whpq points, they way you're trying to use the file in individual articles about teams is generally not allowed per relevant policy. Again, if you feel there's something different about this case, you should make that clear in the rationales you add to the file's page. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:02, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dream's YouTube icon (File:Dream icon.svg)[edit]

I'm somewhat doubting this is copyrighted at all. It seems that it could be in the public domain due to how simple it is. — Davest3r08 >:) (talk) 13:44, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:Savez izviđača Hrvatske.svg[edit]

I don't believe File:Savez izviđača Hrvatske.svg needs to be treated as non-free, at least not under US copyright law per c:COM:TOO US. The fleur-de-lis imagery seems to be considered either too simple or too old to be eligible for copyright protection under US copyright law and adding a red-and-white checker board pattern to it doesn't seem creative enough to change that. Whether it's copyright eligible per c:COM:Croatia isn't clear, but it seems at least OK to change the file's licensing to {{PD-ineligible-USonly}}. If the NFL felt decide to not pursue a claim of copyright ownership over a similar logo used by the New Orleans Saints, then it seems really unlikely that any US copyright court would consider essentially an equivalent logo to be eligible for copyright protection under US copyright law. The fleur-de-lis is a common element in heraldry that's been around for hundreds of years; so, it seems likely that anything that logo that is essentially an outline of it without any other creative elements would be considered copyrightable. -- Marchjuly (talk) 04:10, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes I think this would be too simple for copyright in the US. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 03:07, 30 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

using your own cloud for providing documents which cannot be found otherwise in the web[edit]

I have raised this issue at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#using your own cloud for providing documents which cannot be found otherwise in the web. and myself and a number of other editors have raised concerns regarding copyright. Therefore I am raising the issue on this board.

In a recent discussion on Talk:Space Race#German influence on Soviet space program SchmiAlf has confirmed he has been using his own cloud website at “” for providing documents which cannot be found otherwise in the web. SchmiAlf has provided the following information:

All of them are courtesy links to make these documents available for Wikipedia users and discussions. None of them is my own work or own source. In detail this is explained as follows:
German influence on the Soviet space program
This document can be publicly found in the archive of the Deutsches Museum as part of "Nachlass Helmut Gröttrup (NL 281)" (Gröttrup's inhereditary), see also DM archive info 2/2017
Talk:Space Race,
Talk:German influence on the Soviet space program &
Helmut Gröttrup
This is the transcript of Ursula Gröttrup's commemorative address on behalf of her fathers 100th anniversary (held on Feb 3, 2017).
This is the transcript of Olaf Przybilski's commemorative address on behalf of Helmut Gröttrup's 100th anniversary (held on Feb 3, 2017).
  • The transcripts are of secondary relevance and not used as arguments in our dispute. The speeches (in front of about 200 people) were recorded and later the personal scripts were aligned to the speeches, approved by the authors and put on the web for interested people.
This is the Russian Zvezda document "70 Years Gorodomlya" together with a German translation. The pure Russian version is available via Звездные страницы and was scanned from an original which was handed over to Ursula Gröttrup. (The Zvezda document was handed over as a printed copy to Ursula Gröttrup, Helmut Gröttrup's daugther who grew up on Gorodomlya.) Unfortunately, the document was never published on the web. However, an 2016 archived version of the Zwezda plant news is available here to reference this 70 years event.
  • The Zvezda document was printed with an edition of 2,000 copies (which is noted on the bottom of page 11 together with the name and address of the printing work). It has been distributed to Zvezda employees, business partners and other people (like Ursula Gröttrup). She lent me here sample for scanning. So we both can affirm that it exists as a real printed document.
To add for future discussions:
Helmut Gröttrup's publication of April 1958 "Aus den Arbeiten des deutschen Raketenkollektivs in der Sowjet-Union" in DGRR (also part of "Nachlass Helmut Gröttrup (NL 281)" and now fully quoted in Helmut Gröttrup#Publications
Helmut Gröttrup's 1959 publication "Über Raketen - Allgemeinverständliche Einführung in Physik und Technik der Rakete" (About rockets - General introduction to the physics and technology of rockets) (also part of "Nachlass Helmut Gröttrup (NL 281)" and fully quoted in Helmut Gröttrup#Publications
Due to Wikipedia guidelines, none of these documents could be shared via Wikipedia Commons.
With regard to your copyright concerns: I thought you are interested in finding Russian sources (which Anatoly Zak was still missing in 2012) "to collaborate claims about the extensive influence of the Gorodomlya team on the Soviet rocketry". So it is not a copyright issue, just a question of putting things together under the conditions of fair use.

Copyright concerns that myself and other editors have raised include wp:COPYLINK, WP:ELNEVER and WP:LINKVIO. Request other Editors views. I also invite @SchmiAlf to provide further comments on these documents. Ilenart626 (talk) 14:02, 28 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gröttrup's documents are out of print since more than 40 years, no publisher is willing to reprint the books or offer an ebook due to missing demand. Therefore Ursula Gröttrup, Helmut Gröttrup's daugther, is the holder of the author's copyright and willing to testify that I'm offering a PDF version of these works on my cloud service with her consent. SchmiAlf (talk) 17:44, 28 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Copyright infringement in a redirect[edit]

At Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2023 November 30, there's an RfD for a redirect consisting of the full lyrics of a copyrighted song associated with the topic of the redirect target. Any advice on redacting this, once the redirect is deleted? –LaundryPizza03 (d) 02:56, 30 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The text is so short, that it could be used under fair use here. If we try to obscure the title for discussion, it will make it hard to see the arguments or basis for deletion. If you think G12 applies you should tag the redirect with that, so that it can be speedy deleted rather than wait for a discussion closure. Log entries or discussion text can be hidden or blanked if necessary if there was a serious violation, eg an offensive personal attack. But likely not warranted here. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 03:02, 30 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2023 December 4 § Category:Fair use images. -- Marchjuly (talk) 05:15, 4 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removal from Article[edit]

I am really struggling to figure out why my image keeps being removed from my article, I have a non-free use rationale and a copyright tag but cannot figure out why it always gets taken down. The message left by the bots is "No valid non-free use rationale for this page" but I think I have one?? The file name is hillagency2.jpeg. Is there something I'm missing that needs to be included in the article when I upload an image???? Mch2001 (talk) 22:03, 4 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Drafts (not in the main namespace) may not display non-free content. Before the draft was moved to the main namespace, the removals were done for that reason, according to the bot edit comments. Your latest insertion of the file was made one minute after the move to the main namespace, but the file did not have a non-free use rationale template. The bot removed the file at 21:10 (UTC) apparently for that reason, according to the bot edit comment. You added the rationale template to the file at 21:58 (UTC), after that removal was already done. -- Asclepias (talk) 02:44, 5 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Mch2001: I've re-added the file to the article's infobox. Most likely, as Ascleias mentioned above, the bot checking on such files just had it on their list of things to do and got to the file before you could add the rationale to the file's page. This bot not only looks for WP:NFCC#9 violations, but also WP:NFCC#10c violations, and it will remove files from articles when it's unable to find a rationale corresponding to the file's use in an article on the file's page. You can, of course, ask the bot's operator JJMC89 about this if you really want to know why. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:54, 5 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]