Wikipedia:Media copyright questions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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 ask your question" link above.
  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)

File:McGill University CoA.svg[edit]

This file is licensed as non-free, but it seems to be essentially the same as the public domain File:Mcgill CoA.jpg. I don't think the difference in coloring and the lack of the "McGill" name and ribbon are sufficient to establish the non-free version as a derivative work eligible for it's own copyright; however, even if it is, I don't think the non-free would satisfy WP:FREER. The licensing of File:McGill Wordmark.svg may also be affected by this because it's basically the same coat-of-arms with the university's name. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:42, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

You know, is that really a logo or a coat of arms? A coat of arms is not an image; it is a description of an image and it's up to an individual artist to generate the corresponding image. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 10:15, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Coats of arms for families, a free recreation from the description makes sense, but for entities that have branding, using a user-created version of the CoA from the heraldry would very much cause a problem. Imaging replacing the Harvard University with a CoA made by a user. That would completely mis-represent the current logo (which is trademarked) and be a problem. --Masem (t) 20:37, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the input Jo-Jo Eumerus and Masem. Do we need to keep this as non-free then? If so, then it seems to fail NFCC#1. -- Marchjuly (talk) 08:09, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

File:Jolanta Antas.jpg[edit]

This file is not really a good quality image and it's hard to make out (even looking at the source), but it appears to be a book cover that's nothing but text. It looks like there something handwritten the cover as well, but I cannot make it out. Does this really need to be licensed as {{Non-free book cover}}? If it does, then it doesn't seem to meet WP:NFC#cite_note-3. -- Marchjuly (talk) 06:02, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

It's the title page of a library copy of the book with library markings: the library's stamp and the classification number. StarryGrandma (talk) 16:06, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the additional clarification StarryGrandma. It seems, therefore, that this is really too simple to be licensed as a non-free book cover. The question then is whether it should be kept due to its poor quality even if converted to PD. -- Marchjuly (talk) 08:12, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Marchjuly that the quality of this image is so low as to be useless. IF we can't even read it, what is the point? Perhaps someone can find a better version, though I have looked around, otherwise I think it should be deleted. ww2censor (talk) 10:33, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Copyright status of File:ShrewsburySixthFormCollegeLogo.jpg[edit]

I do not know if this has been asked before but I am curious to whether the logo of Shrewsbury Sixth Form College (File:ShrewsburySixthFormCollegeLogo.jpg) in the United Kingdom meets the threhold of originality in the United States so I can tag it as being public domain in the US only if it does not. Tk420 (talk) 20:14, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

I have just edited the copyright tags for the image in question to attract attention to this debate according to Wikipedia:BOLD, revert, discuss cycle in the absence of earlier contributions. Tk420 (talk) 20:56, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

Virgin Media One#On-air identity[edit]

Multiple non-free logos are being used in an image gallery which is a problem per WP:NFC#cite_note-4 and WP:NFG. The question is whether they need to be licensed as non-free content, but rather as {{PD-ineligible-USonly}} instead. The files are File:Tv3ireland 1998.jpg, File:Tv3IREALND2006.jpg and File:TV3 Ireland 2017.png. These all appear to have been originally intended for use in TV3 (Ireland), and were just moved (without any updating/reassessing of their respective non-free use rationales) to "Virgin Media One" as part of redirect or mreger. I'm pretty sure the 2017 logo is below c:COM:TOO#United States, but not sure about the other two. The remaining file used in the gallery is File:TV3 Ireland.svg from Commons; that too is probably below c:COM:TOO#United States though I'm not so sure about c:COM:TOO#United Kingdom. If the Commons file is OK as {{PD-logo}} than the 2017 logo should also be "PD-logo". Would appreciate some other input on this. -- Marchjuly (talk) 08:07, 12 November 2018 (UTC)


I've created an image of 2 musical chords using notation software that I have access to. However, the chords are taken from a published book, where they appear as examples of what the pianist Art Tatum could play. (The images of the chords in the book are very fuzzy, so I reproduced them to make them clearer.) I'd like to upload the image I created, to use in the Tatum article. Using Wikipedia:File Upload Wizard, I have to choose a) free work; b) copyrighted, non-free, but fair use; or c) I don't know who made it or who owns it. Which is it? Or should it not be uploaded? EddieHugh (talk) 13:09, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Just update it as "own work" and {{PD-music-ineligible}}. You are not using any copyrighted material from your source, since what you have been using is the mere information about the chords, not any copyrightable visual expression. Fut.Perf. 13:27, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Individual chords to put this...mathematically extant. A C#9 is just the result of the math that forms the definition of what a C#9 is. Obviously complex arrangements of chords (read "songs") can be copyrighted, but so can arrangements of simple geometric shapes if sufficiently complex. So showing the chord itself is fine. Having said that, if you show any of the unique aspects of the software you are using, and the software is non-free, then the screen shot would be covered under the copyright of the software. But if you are showing something unoriginal, like presentation on sheet music or a representation of a keyboard, those wouldn't in any way be unique to the program, and so wouldn't be problematic. GMGtalk 13:28, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick replies. There's nothing special about what the software produces. To be clear, should I go through option 'a' (free work) at Wikipedia:File Upload Wizard (it's been a while since I did it)? EddieHugh (talk) 13:46, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Yes, "free work" will do fine. You can then select "public domain" and just paste the template code {{PD-music-ineligible|chord}} into the box at "It is in the Public Domain for some other reason" (or select one of the not-quite-fitting standard templates first and then exchange it after uploading). Fut.Perf. 13:55, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I would disagree. May as well make it "own work" and license it as CC0 or public domain dedication. It avoids any potential complications in some backward country in some corner of the world that has stupid laws with regard to originality and copyright. No reason to ever not go with own-work-public-domain-dedication if possible because it's legally simpler. GMGtalk 13:57, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Ok, I opted for "free work", then "This file is in the Public Domain for some other reason", as the "own work" option states that I wasn't basing it on something already published. EddieHugh (talk) 17:21, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

CC license[edit]

Are there any restrictions for usage of images licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 in Wikipedia? Can they be used for collages?--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:07, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Yes, you may adapt CC works, including forming a collage. Of course you must attribute every creator and apply a CC licence to your result. Here's someone's essay on commons: Commons:Collages. 20:33, 12 November 2018 (UTC)Thincat (talk)
Thanks. Did I understand correct that there is no limitation for usage of CC images in Wikipedia articles? I mean, they are not considered non-free images, right?--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:29, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Yes, but be aware: we don't want WP pages to become galleries (that's better suited at commons), and overloading a page with images can be a WP:SIZE issue. --Masem (t) 21:37, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

File:Growth of the Soil.jpg[edit]

This is simple book cover of black text on a plain background, so I don't think it needs to be licensed as non-free content (at least not per c:COM:TOO#United States and possibly not per c:COM:TOO#Norway. The book it's for was first published in 1917 according to Growth of the Soil, so it might also even be old enough to no longer be protected by copyright (assuming this is the cover used on the first edition). Can this be converted to WP:PD and if which license should be used? -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:57, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

File:Valley of Mo'ara mountains.jpg and File:Toy Story Land, WDW.jpg[edit]

These files are licensed as free works (taken by me), but they have both been marked as derivative works. Why exactly is that? Many similar pictures appear across Wikipedia related to these two subjects without any issues. What needs to be done to keep these images? ~ Jedi94 (Want to tell me something?) 03:15, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

Hi Jedi94. You can find out more about derivative works at WP:Derivative work and c:COM:DW, but basically it has to do with using copyright-protected content created by someone else to create a new work which is also protected by copyright. If you create a derivative work using someone elses copyrighted work, you can claim copyright ownership over the derivative but not over the other person's work; this means you cannot release your creation under a free license without their permission. What I posted is a very general explanation, and things are often much more complicated depending upon the nature of the original work and where it's located. In some countries publicly displayed artwork/sculptures/architectural structures may be protected by copyright depending upon their age, installation location, and how the country interprets or applies the concept of freedom of panorama. Anyway, Ronhjones is the editor who tagged these files for review; so, maybe he can better explain exactly why he did so. -- Marchjuly (talk) 04:39, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
There is no c:Commons:Freedom_of_panorama#United_States in the US for 3D artworks. In a lot of countries this would be fine as a permanent sculpture, but not the US. One might claim that the objects in File:Toy Story Land, WDW.jpg, are not that large - the test could one could one blur them all out and retain the subject c:COM:DM - since it's about Toy Story, I don't think that's valid - and how many articles does one need to blur - there is a lot of 3D items, which are directly related to Toy Story. The Valley of Mo'ara mountains in File:Valley of Mo'ara mountains.jpg have been created by people for the theme park based on a fictional story, since they are not natural, then they become sculptures. I found a similar file on commons - now up for deletion. Ronhjones  (Talk) 16:53, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
Is there any way we could change the free license into one that states it as a copyrighted work so that we can retain the images for use? I think the Valley of Mo'ara mountains are crucial in providing supplemental scope and a visual aid for the Pandora – The World of Avatar article. ~ Jedi94 (Want to tell me something?) 18:01, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Files for upload[edit]

I figure the kind of folks who weigh in here are the types of folks who can weigh in there. I've been doing a lot of the clearing there for a while, but I feel like I work on something else for a little while and turn around and there's two dozen requests pending. So anyone who wants to watchlist and answer a request here or there would be much appreciated. GMGtalk 00:06, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

Svenska Scoutrådet#Emblems[edit]

Any opinions on whether any or all of the files used in this image gallery need to be licensed as non-free? The Fleur-de-lis which is used in most scout logos is public domain; so I'm wondering if the four files using it might also be considered as such. The one not using it (File:Svenska Missionskyrkans Ungdom Scout.svg) appears to be simple enough to be PD at least in the United States. Anyway, if these need to be treated as non-free, they need to go per WP:NFG and WP:NFCC#8 since none of the individual organizations/chapters they represent appear to be notable enough for their own Wikipedia article. -- Marchjuly (talk) 08:01, 16 November 2018 (UTC)