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This help desk is a forum for questions and help on

How to use Commons

Anyone, from newbie to experienced, can ask a question here. Questions will be replied to here as well. Any answers you receive are not legal advice and the responder cannot be held liable for them. Please sign your question by typing four tildes (~~~~). In order to get quick answers consider the following points:

Commons discussion pages (index)

Summer of Monuments 2014 Upload Wizard - Cannot select license other than CC-By-SA 3.0[edit]

I usually release all my photos under CC-0, but for some reason the Summer of Monuments Upload Wizard not only defaults to CC-By-SA 3.0 (something I'm not crazy about as it is), but also gives no other licensing options! What gives? 0x0077BE (talk) 20:01, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

You should probably ask at Commons talk:Wikipedia Summer of Monuments and specify the upload page you are using. -- Asclepias (talk) 20:16, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Otherwise, upload it under CC-By-SA 3.0 and then change by hands to CC-0--Ymblanter (talk) 09:04, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Deleting an Upload?[edit]

It is possible to delete an upload I made by mistake?

I edited a photo and then uploaded an incorrect version. After that I uploaded the correct version, but . . .

This is version the smaller, incomplete and needs to be deleted!Margaret_Mitchell_NYWTS.jpg

Wiki name (talk)

[Wiki name is talking about File:Margaret Mitchell NYWTS.jpg] It's possible, but in this case it wouldn't help at all. If you'd uploaded this image under a new name and then wanted it to be deleted because you made a mistake, we'd do that, but since you uploaded on top of an earlier version and then uploaded the correct one on top of that, we won't — it's not hurting anything by sitting in the page history, and nobody's going to complain that you damaged something, because you didn't. You did everything as you should have, so thank you :-) Nyttend (talk) 00:15, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Family Crests[edit]

I am searching for coats of arms.

My ancestors were in the Royal Court of Franz-Joseph Hapsburg. He killed a man in a duel, over his wife's honor, outside the ballroom. Then, he fled the country with the Kings help.

I can only assume this was between 1825 and 1890.

Any hope of finding the family crest of my ancestor? — Preceding unsigned comment added by James52 (talk • contribs) 19:54, 8 September 2014‎ (UTC)

Wikipedia help needed[edit]

Some years ago, someone set up a helpful tool here that helps resolve a specific type of typo — when you go to a nonexistent category, we're presented with a "Did you mean..." if we have a category with the same name with an "s" on the end. For example, go to Category:Abandoned churche and you'll be asked "Did you mean: Category:Abandoned churches?" It's a great idea, but it's not present at en:wp (see en:Category:Buildings and structure, for example), and I'd like to create it there. Could someone help me find the name of our template or MW page that produces this message, so I can copy the code to Wikipedia? Nyttend (talk) 00:30, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

That's {{Did you mean}} which is used on MediaWiki:Newarticletext (which in turn is used on MediaWiki:Newarticletextanon) and MediaWiki:Noarticletext. LX (talk, contribs) 16:19, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! It also helped that you gave the MW:space pages where it's used, since I didn't have to look to see where to put it. Check back at en:Category:Buildings and structure to see it working. Nyttend (talk) 23:00, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

WLM related[edit]

Trying to enter the wiki loves monuments competition. Can't get to the page from this site. Can't click on the banner on the main site as it just disappears after two seconds, suugestions so I can enter? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Meg&Rachelsdad (talk • contribs) 15:46, 9 September 2014‎ (UTC)

Hi, Don't know what entry point you may prefer, but you can probably start there or there. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:50, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Adding signature for a Wikipedia entry[edit]

I have the signature of Oscar S. Heizer, the Consul of the USA in Jerusalem in 1925. It is on a document he signed regarding my grandfather. I wanted to add it to his Wikipedia page. Can I do this, and if so, how? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Klesteve (talk • contribs)

You need to scan the original and then to upload the resulting image file here. Ruslik (talk) 19:22, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
And then see en:Wikipedia:Picture tutorial for how to add it to the page, if you don't already know. - Jmabel ! talk 23:52, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

"check usage" and "log" tabs removed?[edit]

A long time ago, there were "check usage" and "log" tabs for each file description page. However, they are no longer showing up. Have they been removed? --Ixfd64 (talk) 19:18, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

If you're using the Vector skin, they're hiding under the "More" menu, but with Monobook, they're still there. LX (talk, contribs) 15:12, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm using MonoBook, and they don't show up. --Ixfd64 (talk) 16:41, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I do recall some similar elements missing after site updates gone wrong until I cleared my browser cache, so you could try that. Or you could try a different browser. If you see the problem with different browsers, it's probably got something to do with your preferences, but as far as I know, this should not depend on any gadgets being enabled or anything like that. LX (talk, contribs) 17:29, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Monument location[edit]

How do I determine the latitude and longitude for a monument photo upload? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Warriors Remembered (talk • contribs)

  • There are several ways to do this. I usually identify the location on either Google Maps or Bing Maps, then use their tools to get latitude and longitude. - Jmabel ! talk 23:55, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
The lists I’ve checked on Wikipedia have all shown the location of each site. Note that coordinates you enter in the upload wizard are not for the monument itself, but where the photo was taken: they end up in the “Camera location“ field. The difference is likely to be slight in most cases, but will be significant for long-distance views.—Odysseus1479 (talk) 07:51, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Upload error message[edit]

While uploading a file to File:Test.svg I received these messages:
[8c5cec2c] 2014-09-10 09:06:48: Fatal exception of type MWException
[1039584b] 2014-09-10 09:08:37: Fatal exception of type MWException
What does that mean? What is the problem? -- Maxxl² - talk 09:14, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Can I upload these images[edit]

I would like to upload some photos from facebook published by my local police department. The photos are history photos over 100 years old of the area where I live. I would like to include the photos on the wikipedia page,_New_South_Wales.

I have posted a question on FB asking the police what the copyright is.— Preceding unsigned comment added by MjgAustralia (talk • contribs)

  • This question would better be asked at Commons:Village pump/Copyright, where you are more likely to find the relevant expertise. I suspect it will get tricky and be item-by-item. The police probably did not worry about copyright, and if the images are roughly 100 years old, some of the photographers could well have lived into the 1960s or 1970s. - Jmabel ! talk 17:00, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
    Australia is pretty straightforward when it comes to old photos. {{PD-Australia}} should apply. LX (talk, contribs) 17:32, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Proper category for tall bearded iris variety photos[edit]

I chose the drop-down category "Iris" on the upload wizard, but I think that is the wrong category. The plant is iris, as in Iris pallida, and there are tall bearded irises, dwarf irises, etc. I don't think I know enough about the plant to choose the right place to put it. Should I make a Tall Bearded Iris Gallery to put them all into? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Renee C. Fraser (talk • contribs) 18:59, 10 September 2014‎ (UTC)

Because of the many meanings of the word, the page "Category:Iris" is not a category. The general category for the flowers is Category:Iris (Iridaceae). For a more precise identification, some Wikipedias have a page for this type questions about identification of photos about botanics. For example, the page fr:Projet:Botanique/Quelle est cette plante ? on the French-language Wikipédia. You can look if your favorite Wikipedia has a page like that. If not, you can can ask on a general discussion page, such as en:Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Plants on the English-language Wikipedia. Or ask your question on the French-language page, as there may be someone there who can reply to your question in another language. Or you can leave the files in the general category and hope that someone else will categorize them in the more specific categories. (I prefer to leave to other people your other question about the opportunity of the creation of galleries.) -- Asclepias (talk) 19:51, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Where does copyright end?[edit]

I had a file deleted:

I understand that, had I taken the image and used software to manipulate the photo, it would be still copyright of the original photographer. However, I drew this, line by line, using a stylus, from scratch. Yes, I used the original photo (see here ) as a visual reference. But I physically drew it as you would with a pencil and paper, only using a stylus and a drawing game. Surely that isn't still covered by the original photographer's quite valid copyright, as it would if I had simply gone into Photoshop or something and run a few effects? Any advice would be helpful for the future. AndyRatchick (talk) 23:48, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

  • What you are describing is still a derivative work. You have a copyright on all that you did, but the original photographer still has an underlying copyright on the composition. For someone to reuse the work legally, they would need both of your permission. - Jmabel ! talk 15:46, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

How do I use the reflist template with Edit Beta?[edit]

I want to know how to use the reflist template. I've seen it used in the Edit Source but how do I use it in Edit Beta? I want full control on using the template and no need for help by someone else in any part of it because I am making small articles for small areas that totally deserver articles such as Willits Town Center. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Greshthegreat (talk • contribs) 06:28, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

I think you are talking about Willits Town Center in English Wikipedia which is a different project. But editing is similar in this project too, so you can find the help in the last part of en:Wikipedia:VisualEditor/User_guide#Adding_a_new_reference. (Next time, you can ask at en:Wikipedia:Help desk for helps on editing English Wikipedia.) Jee 02:19, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Clearing text on a photo of a historical marker/plaque[edit]

I uploaded a picture of a historical plaque. It was deleted because the text on the plaque was possibly copyrighted. If I contact the organization that placed the plaque, and they want to release the text under a free license, where should they send the response? Thanks!StaniStani  12:38, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Help removing a page from a .djvu upload[edit]

According to wikisource:en:Help:Internet Archive, uploaded .djvu files for use there shouldn't have the Google Books cover page. Unfortunately, my recent upload File:Fragments of the Debates of the Iowa Constitutional Conventions of 1844 and 1846 along with Press Comments and Other Materials on the Constitutions of 1844 and 1846.djvu does. I've never manipulated these files before, so can someone help here? – Philosopher Let us reason together. 20:39, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

How do I see the files uploaded by me?[edit]

How do I see the files uploaded by me? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Immasureda (talk • contribs) 12 September 2014‎ (UTC)

Hi ‎Immasureda. At the top right of your screen you should see links to "talk", "preferences", "watchlist", "contributions", "uploads" and "log out". Click the Uploads link.
Also, please remember to sign your postings on messageboard with four tildes (~~~~) so that people know who said what. -mattbuck (Talk) 22:46, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Can audio or video recordings of local government meetings be included in WC?[edit]

Can audio or video recordings of local government meetings be included in Wikimedia Commons (for example a recording of a town council meeting)? Would it depend on who did the recording? What if it were recorded by myself on a portable recorder? What it it was from a broadcast on a public access TV channel? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Johnpankowicz (talk • contribs)

You may upload such recordings if you made them yourself. In all other cases a permission of the copyright holder (usually the person/organisation who did the recording) is required. Ruslik (talk) 19:28, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Founding Father[edit]

When I booted up your reference to Thomas Jefferson, he is identified as a Founding Father, with capitol Fs.

As Webster's Dictionary will inform you, Jefferson was not a Founding Father (with capitol Fs). Jefferson was in France in 1787, not in the USA or at Philadelphia. He was not at the Constitutional Convention. He is not a Founding Father (see Webster's Dictionary). The Founding Fathers are the men who were at the Constitutional Convention and drafted the Constitution. Jefferson was not at that convention. Please, correct the misinformation in your information about Thomas Jefferson.

I have no idea as to how to make any changes. Someone who reads this message will half to correct the misinformation about Jefferson.

Gene Garman Pittsburg, KS — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs)

  • As far as I can see from Category:Thomas Jefferson, the only sense in which Jefferson is "identified" as one of the "Founding fathers of the United States" (no second capital on the page, by the way) is inclusion in a category. And I, for one, would certainly consider the primary author of the Declaration of Independence to be one of the founders of the country. The Constitution is not the only critical founding document in U.S. history. - Jmabel ! talk 07:43, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I suspect that Gene is referring to the Wikipedia article, which would really need to be discussed on the associated talkpage. Nonetheless, I agree with Jmabel that US "founding fathers" refers to a wider group of people than just signers of the Constitution. By the way, Jefferson didn't just happen to be in France in 1787; he was there as the US ambassador (minister plenipotentiary) at a time when the US didn't have 200+ ambassadors nor even a State Department. Green Giant (talk) 11:57, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

using pictures[edit]

I would like to use about 7 pictures of Greek gods in a slide presentation of pictures of planets during a non-profit orchestra's performance of Holst's The Planets. We are not publishing this slide show separately - just using once for the pleasure of our audience. Is this allowed if I arrtibute each Wikimedia picure used as indicated? Thanks very much! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2ndbsn (talk • contribs) 14 September 2014‎ (UTC)

@2ndbsn: Usually, you'll have to attribute the author of the image plus the license it was released under. There's no need to mention Wikipedia or Commons. See Commons:Reuse (and possibly Commons:Licensing) for details. Hope that helps? --El Grafo (talk) 16:42, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

How do I reply to Notification about possible deletion[edit]

I have responded to another user's Notification about possible deletion by appending my comment at the end of the page Is this the correct procedure? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Stepmars (talk • contribs)

  • Yes, you responded in the correct place. - Jmabel ! talk 04:39, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Resolved
I think that this question was replied to adequately based on the supplied information. If you have anything to add or a follow-up question please feel free to replace this box with your comment. This section will be archived after four days. Jmabel ! talk 04:42, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

List of train songs: question on image copyright/use[edit]

I've been editing Wikipedia's List of train songs for the past few years and would like to add an image from the sheet music of the first known train song, which was copyrighted 1828. I located the image on the following page on JScholarship:

The URL for the image itself:

I wasn't able to find any information regarding the re-use of images on JScholarship, but in any case, the image I'd like to upload would be for fair use, educational purposes only. By and large, it would be of no other value since it would only include the first page of a multi-page work, plus it would be relatively illegible when reduced for inclusion in the WP article.

Meanwhile, the significance of the image to the article's introduction and its subsequent interest to readers are incalculable. While hundreds of other sheet music images might be readily available, none is more notable than this one.

I've only uploaded a couple images to the Commons, so I'm uncertain as to how to proceed in this case. Therefore, I'd appreciate your advice. Thank you. Allreet (talk) 16:40, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

The copyright on this song had expired long ago. On the other hand, exact copies of 2D public domain works are considered to be in public domain (see Commons:2D_copying). So, you can upload them. Ruslik (talk) 19:24, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
{{PD-scan|PD-US-1923}} as a license template should be fine. --El Grafo (talk) 19:33, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Ruslik and El Grafo: Thanks. Allreet (talk) 17:18, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Copyright help regarding File:Billerica Town Charter.pdf[edit]

Is a town charter written in 1979 for a massachusetts town considered to be in the public domain? All massachusetts government documents are already considered to be.

--BUEngineer (talk) 17:46, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

In the sourcepage will be read

All content © 2006-2013 City / County / Hospital and its representatives. All rights reserved.--Motopark (talk) 17:58, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

I've changed the license to PD-GovEdict; it clearly falls into "judicial opinions, administrative rulings, legislative enactments, public ordinances, and similar official legal documents."--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:22, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

caricamento foto per il concorso dei monumenti[edit]

ho caricato 4 immagini relative a 4 monumenti del concorso in corso, ma non c'era il link per attribuirli a ciascun monumento, ho cercato di farlo rientrando in un altra pagina (quella del concorso) ( non si capisce che il concorso dei monumenti è un'altra cosa che non è collegata con il sito) per ricaricare le foto collegandole a ciascun monumento ma non è consentito perchè le foto già ci sono e non so come fare per utilizzare le foto già caricate per il concorso dei monumenti. L'impressione generale è che il sito sia pessimo, non sono chiari ne link ne i collegamenti, non posso spostare le foto già caricate nel sito generale per utilizzarle per il concorso, non posso rimuoverle, e non posso ricaricarle nel concorso. Sito pessimo, funziona tutto malissimo, sito da evitare, cercherò di diffondere la notizia presso i miei amici appassionati di fotografia e circoli fotografici che ho modo di frequentare perchè vi evitino. con i più cari saluti Paolo Pieromaldi — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pmaldi (talk • contribs) 16 Sept 2014 (UTC)

  • I can read Italian pretty well, but write it poorly. If you cannot understand English, say so and someone will translate, or someone else will answer. (Posso leggere l'italiano abbastanza bene, ma scriverlo male. Se non riesci a capire l'inglese, dirlo e qualcuno si tradurrà, o qualcun altro risponderà.')
  • I presume that the four images you are referring to are File:Piazza papa.jpg, File:Internomole.jpg, File:Loggiamercanti.jpg, and File:Monucaduti.jpg. I believe you are correct that if you did not upload the images with the tool specific to the competition, you cannot afterward enter them in the competition. I'm not sure why you thought otherwise. The instructions for the competition are, as far as I can tell, pretty clear.
  • Other than that, you can freely edit those pages, just like anyone else. If you do plan to edit, probably the first thing you should do is to clarify which of several places in Italy known as "Corso" these represent.
  • I apologise that I don't have time right now to write a lot more. If you have some specific questions about how to do some particular thing, ask and I will try to help. - Jmabel ! talk 16:14, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't see why one cannot add the WLM parameters manually after uploading. The WLM wizard is meant to make things easier but I keep forgetting to use it (out of force of habit). In this case, the editor does need to be more specific about what the photographs are of and add the correct WLM codes for each of them. HelenOnline 09:32, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
It would be better to ask at Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments/Help desk. HelenOnline 10:20, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Certainly for WLM-UK you can upload and add the WLM stuff after. That's what I've been doing. I don't see why you'd have to use the WLM uploader - it's not going to add anything you can't add in plain wikitext. -mattbuck (Talk) 11:31, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Pmaldi I have identified and added WLM parameters for one, will also try fix the other three. Please use the WLM Italy wizard next time. HelenOnline 14:03, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Helen, I was unaware that this was something you were allowed to add after the fact. - Jmabel ! talk 15:06, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

I cant put my information[edit]

I made a description of my company but the sisten didn't let me did it, I do not know why, I can not do my page, says i´m attempting against wiki commons and search abut help but can not eather , whats up? this page really is working or not, thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Terra Morte (talk • contribs) 06:06, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

  • I can't think of anywhere on Commons that it would be appropriate to provide a "description of [your] company." Could you explain just what you are trying to do? And "attempting against wiki commons" doesn't make a lot of sense in English. Could you either quote exactly what it said, or possibly explain in whichever language you are most comfortable writing (someone here should be able to read it). - Jmabel ! talk 15:11, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Can't see the foto's I have uploaded[edit]

Beste Helpdesk, Ik heb op 15 september enkele foto's geupload maar ik zie ze niet op de pagina. Als ik ze nogmaals probeer up te loaden zegt Wiki dat ze er al zijn. Foto's die ik later heb geupload staan al wel op de pagina. Is er iets misgegaan?

Met vriendelijke groet, Rudi Jacobs

Dear helpdesk,

I can't see the foto's i have uploaded on the 15th of september. Foto's i have uploaded later are on the page. If i want to upload the same foto's again Wiki says ther already there.

Greetings Rudi Jacobs — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rudi_Jacobs (talk • contribs)

There should be an "uploads" link at the top right of your screen. If not, use this: Special:ListFiles/Rudi_Jacobs. -mattbuck (Talk) 11:27, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Problem with upload[edit]

Hello! I'm trying to upload a photo of Elsa Cladera de Bravo for my article with the same name "Elsa Cladera de Bravo". I have been trying in Commons but I'm not sure that I succeded. Thanks for your advice

Nadezhda Bravo Cladera (talk) 16:30, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

You successfully uploaded the photo. Ruslik (talk) 19:14, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Maison de Balzac, photo of the room with the genealogical chart[edit]

I'm looking for a picture of the genealogical chart of the characters in fr:La Comédie humaine, in one of the rooms of the fr:Maison de Balzac. The house itself is over 150 years old, but this room has been renovated more recently. The information in the chart is deduced from the novels, so presumably public-domain by this point, but the form and presentation of the chart may still be under copyright. If you want to see what I'm talking about, there are pictures at L' I have a picture similar to the one at L'Internaute that I took myself and would happily contribute to Commons if it's OK to do so -- please advise (here, or at my talk page here, or at my talk page in Latin VP). A. Mahoney (talk) 17:38, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Undesired user name[edit]

I've created my login under a user name that I do not want to use. How can I change it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by DANKRC (talk • contribs)

See Commons:Changing username. Ruslik (talk) 19:07, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Uploaded by mistake a few seconds ago... how to delete?[edit]

Hi, I wanted to participate in Wiki Loves Monuments, and instead of uploading to the contest, I uploaded my photos to the website like any normal photo. I know it's stupid, but is there a way I can get them removed, since I don't have the right to upload them again in the contest because it says that the website already contains this photo... HELP?

From what I see, all photos you have uploaded are participating in the contest.--Ymblanter (talk) 21:22, 17 September 2014 (UTC)