Commons:Credit line

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Credit line or attribution line holds information that the author of the work requests all users to include with the work, as a condition of use enforced by the license. Specifically widely used Creative Commons CC-BY licenses and GFDL licenses require all users of the work to attribute the author.

Although the term "credit line" is used here, the required attribution need not be specified as a credit line, neither is the format of the attribution specified.

Some works might have specific instructions from the author on how they would like their work to be attributed. Those requests must be honored, as long as they fall within what is required by the license, and should be honored, if reasonable, otherwise. In case author did not gave explicit instructions, they still needs to be attributed and the minimal and suggested forms of attribution can be found below.

Credit lines required by license[edit]

Creative Commons[edit]

CC-BY and CC-BY-SA licenses[edit]

According to Creative Commons CC BY and CC BY-SA licenses, reusers must attribute the work by providing a credit line. Section 4b (Section 4c in CC BY-SA 3.0) of full license provides the details. Included below are the most relevant fragments:

If You Distribute [] the Work or any Adaptations or Collections, You must, unless a request has been made [not to], keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and provide, reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing:

  • (i) the name of the Original Author (or pseudonym, if applicable) if supplied, and/or if the Original Author and/or Licensor designate another party or parties (e.g., a sponsor institute, publishing entity, journal) for attribution ("Attribution Parties") in Licensor's copyright notice, terms of service or by other reasonable means, the name of such party or parties;
  • (ii) the title of the Work if supplied;
  • (iii) to the extent reasonably practicable, the URI, if any, that Licensor specifies to be associated with the Work, unless such URI does not refer to the copyright notice or licensing information for the Work;

In other words, unless author or licensor asks not to be credited, reusers distributing files found at Wikimedia Commons must provide credit line with license and author. Also author might request for credit line to include: other "Attribution Parties" (like Wikimedia Commons), URI (like web pages), or title. Reusers can choose format of the credit line "reasonable to the medium or means" as long as all required components are present. Example Credit lines in minimal format:

License Author Source Credit line Notes
{{cc-by-sa-3.0}} John Doe Own work John Doe / CC-BY-SA-3.0 Minimum information required by the license for files without explicit Credit line field specified by the author
{{self|cc-by-sa-3.0|GFDL}} John Doe Own work © John Doe / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL Example credit line for dual license file with Wikimedia Commons as extra "Attribution Party"
{{cc-by-sa-3.0}} User:Example Own work © User:Example / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0 Example credit line for users who do not provide their real names.
{{cc-by-sa-3.0}} John Doe Own work © John Doe / http://example.com / CC-BY-SA-3.0 Example credit line with external website specified by the author.
{{cc-by-2.5}} John Doe Own work Marble Lady by John Doe / CC-BY-2.5 Example credit line with title specified by the author.

CC-SA licenses[edit]

License Author Source Credit line Notes
{{cc-sa-1.0}} John Doe Own work CC-SA-1.0 Minimum information required by the license

Note that attribution in accordance with best practices may be demanded by law in many European countries (cf "moral rights"), regardless of any general weavers such as CC-SA.

CC-PD licenses[edit]

CC Licenses not requiring attributions: {{Cc-zero}}. Please consider using optional Courtesy credit line.

Note that attribution in accordance with best practices may be demanded by law in many European countries (cf "moral rights"), regardless of any general waivers such as CC-zero.

GNU Licenses[edit]

License Author Source Credit line Notes
{{self|cc-by-sa-3.0|GFDL}}
{{GFDL|migration=relicense}}
John Doe Own work © John Doe / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL
{{GFDL}} only (now called {{GFDL|migration=opt-out}})
{{GFDL-1.2}}
John Doe Own work Copyright (c) John Doe.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3
or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.
A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
Free Documentation License".
.

You also have to include full text of the license.

Courtesy credit lines[edit]

Public Domain media do not require credit line or any kind of attribution; however, reusers are encouraged to attribute author (if known) and inform users that the work was released into public domain. Below are suggested formats for the reusers

License Author Source Credit line
{{PD-self}}
{{PD-author}}
{{PD-heirs}}
John Doe Own work John Doe / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
{{PD-old}} John Doe publication / self-scanned John Doe / Public Domain
{{PD-self}} [[user:JohnDoe]] Own work user:JohnDoe / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
{{anonymous-EU}}
{{PD-anon-1923}}
{{anonymous work}}
anonymous publication Public Domain

See also[edit]