MediaWiki talk:Licenses

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Namespace-mediawiki.svg MediaWiki:Licenses forms part of the MediaWiki interface and can only be edited by administrators.
To request a change to MediaWiki:Licenses, add {{Edit request}} to this talk page, followed by a description of your request.
This talk page concerns the drop-down license selector on the Special:Upload page.
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No {{GFDL}}?[edit]

Why do we not have GFDL on it's own? This is a perfectly valid option (though I don't recommend it).  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 15:04, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

There is "self|GFDL|Own work, copyleft, attribution required (GFDL)".--Trixt (talk) 21:38, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
Actually we need to phase out GFDL from the upload options now that we are migrating to Creative Commons as the preferred license. GFDL was never an appropriate license for media files and was only an option because Wikipedia itself was GFDL. Kaldari (talk) 18:49, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

PD-old-70 and PD-old-100[edit]

{{editprotected}} The menu should use {{PD-old-70}} and {{PD-old-100}}, which are more specific than {{PD-old}}. In particular, PD-old-100 obsoletes the long, unnecessary warning.

I believe this requires changing:

PD-old|Author died more than 70 years ago - public domain


PD-old-70|Author died more than 70 years ago - public domain
PD-old-100|Author died more than 100 years ago - public domain

Thanks. Superm401 - Talk 18:21, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Agree it's better to use one of those but I hate to make it even more confusing for uploaders. Not knowing better, if I read those last two lines, I'd be like "What's the difference? They're both public domain. I'm not gonna go look up when this guy died." etc. Maybe we can combine some others. PD-Art needs some clarification too. Rocket000 ( ) 17:06, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree - it is not clear that this change is an improvement for most users. Restore {{editprotected}} when there's some agreement on what to do here.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 01:02, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
If it's very very old, you know it's {{PD-old-100}}. If it's not very very old, you have to check the death date any way to make sure it's even PD. If you're concerned about keeping the list the current size, how about removing {{PD-USGov-NASA}} (in addition to removing PD-old)? Superm401 - Talk 00:40, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
It might be okay to have "PD-old" and "PD-old-100". The first is just a general "it's old enough to PD but I'm not sure exactly how old or can't be bothered to check", while the second is for works where it's obviously centuries old. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:55, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Phasing out GFDL from the upload form[edit]

Now that all Wikimedia projects are migrating to Creative Commons as the preferred licensing platform, we should phase out using the GFDL on the upload forms. GFDL was never an appropriate license for media files and was only an option because Wikipedia itself was GFDL. Now that that has changed, there is no reason for us to encourage people to use GFDL as a media license. To that end, I would like to propose that we begin to reduce the GFDL options on the upload form, giving preference to Creative Commons licenses and dual licenses. Specifically:

  • remove "GFDL-en|GFDL content with disclaimers from English Wikipedia"
  • remove "GFDL-it|GFDL content with disclaimers from Italian Wikipedia"
  • remove "GFDL-ja|GFDL content with disclaimers from Japanese Wikipedia"
  • remove "GFDL|GNU Free Documentation License from another Wikimedia project"
  • remove "Wikimedia project screenshot|Screenshot of a page included in a Wikimedia project licensed with GFDL (not Wikinews)"
  • remove "self|GFDL|FAL|Own work, copyleft, attribution required (GFDL, Free Art License)"
  • remove "self|GFDL|Own work, copyleft, attribution required (GFDL)"
  • add "Wikimedia project screenshot|Screenshot of a page included in a Wikimedia project licensed with CC-BY-SA"

Please note that this still leaves multi-licensing options which include GFDL and people are still free to add GFDL tags to their images manually. Kaldari (talk) 19:22, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Which are the significant third-party image and media sites that use the GFDL as one of their licenses? +sj + 23:23, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't like the fact that the extra information about (the disclaimers, the FAL) would be removed without replacement or in some other way capturing that extra information for media currently so tagged... what would something currently tagged with one of these licenses be migrated to? +sj +
Why would there be any migration? GFDL is still a valid license, and people will probably continue to use it both alone and in multi-licensing arrangements with other licenses. Here, we are considering whether we want to stop promoting it's use through including it in the licensing options dropdown menu. I think we probably do - it is obviously not a good license for media.  — Mike.lifeguard 01:44, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
I'd just like to echo what Mike said. This proposal is not about deprecating any licenses, it is simply about whether or not we still want to include all the GFDL options on our drop-down license list on the upload form. People can still manually upload images under any license they want or change the license tag after uploading to something different if they choose. Kaldari (talk) 15:55, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Agree, GFDL license needs to be removed from the upload form. Most people choose their license from the dropdown form, so we shouldn't encourage the to use the GFDL there. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 14:27, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
[copied from LMTF] Per COM:L, GFDL <1.3 still are "free" licenses in the sense we have always understood it, so there is no reason why we should forbid uploads under those licenses. It seems sensible, however, to remove them from the dropdown list of the standard upload form, since the foundation (and "we") think it is not so suitable for commercial reuse, and we know it is not so suitable for media. --Eusebius (talk) 14:39, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you. If for some reason an experienced user wants to specify a GDFL license, he can type the tag in the "Permission" field. Sv1xv (talk) 16:38, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Whatever else we do, it would probably be a good idea to ensure that, by the time the licensing update officially happens on 15 June 2009, every licensing option we offer on the drop-down menu that includes GFDL 1.3 also includes CC-BY-SA 3.0 (since, after all, those files will end up available under CC-BY-SA via the GFDL 1.3 relicensing clause anyway). —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 18:04, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
My only fear is that if someone stumbles across GFDL media on the web and tries to upload it, they may be quite perplexed about how to go about it. It might be sufficient to merely relegate it to the bottom of the list and add "(not recommended)" after it. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:51, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, true. Although it seems we don't currently support that case anyway: the closest thing we have is "GFDL|GNU Free Documentation License from another Wikimedia project". —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 14:48, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Where else on the web do people use GFDL licenses for images besides Wikimedia projects? I've never encountered such a thing myself. Kaldari (talk) 15:52, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Some other wikis that have simply decided to follow Wikipedia's license choice, perhaps? (Hopefully many of those will also decide to update their license now that we have, but most likely others either decide not to or simply forget and let the deadline pass.) Anyway, it's something that we'll need to keep in mind at least when updating existing license tags: not everything tagged with {{GFDL}} can automatically be relicensed. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 17:59, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Good point. I don't think it's a big enough issue, though, to really worry about, as most wikis seem to be more text oriented (or rely heavily on fair use images). Plus we've started an outreach project to try to make sure that the other major wikis are migrating their licensing as well. Kaldari (talk) 22:29, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Using PD-ineligible for own work not recommended[edit]

Recently, I've noticed a bunch of files being nominated for deletion because they were tagged with {{PD-ineligible}} when they probably should've been {{PD-self}}. Most of the files seem to have been simple photos shot with a digital camera, and it's quite possible that their authors though they were "too simple to be copyrighted", even though under most jurisdictions this would not actually be the case.

In general, if an author does not wish to assert copyright on their work, and believes that it might even be ineligible for it, we'd still prefer to see it tagged with {{PD-self}} rather than {{PD-ineligible}}, especially at upload time. After all, anyone can always tag the image as ineligible later, if they believe it to be so, but only the author can explicitly release a copyrightable work into the public domain (or release all rights to it — let's not get into that debate).

Thus, to reduce the odds of such cases happening in the future, I've appended "not your own work" to the PD-ineligible entry on the license menu. However, I'd like to ask for help in making equivalent changes to the corresponding entries on the license menus in other languages. In particular, given that I've noticed several Japanese photos among the ones nominated for deletion, I'd be glad if someone who can write Japanese could update MediaWiki:Licenses/ja (or tell me what to write there).

(Note that there's also a little-known option to combine the two tags by writing {{PD-ineligible|PD-self}}, which produces a result like that seen on File:1x1.png. If we wanted, we could add such an option to the license selector, with a caption such as "Own work, too simple to be copyrighted" or something like that.) —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 18:45, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Hello, I am the one who nominated all these images for deletion. Yes, I think it much better to explain that {{PD-ineligible}} is "not for your own work". I think most users who wrongly use this template didn't read or understand it. Yann (talk) 21:01, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I've seen that happen too - in fact, I would go so far as to make this a strict rule: no one who is uploading their own work should ever use PD-ineligible, even if the work is PD-ineligible. They should be releasing it under a free license. This avoids second-guessing later about whether it's eligible or not. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:53, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Add CC0 Waiver Option for License Dropdown Choice[edit]

Hi, I work for Creative Commons and I'd like to suggest adding a new option in the licensing drop down choice on file upload for CC0.

CC0 is a new waiver that enables authors to release their work properly into the public domain so that their choice is universally meaningful across all jurisdictions.

You can read more about CC0 here:

and actually use the tool here:

(Despite the URL, it is not actually a license, but a waiver. This should be fixed soon.)

Depending on how you want to display the waiver information, you can use our art available here:

CC0 is designed to work internationally, so we think it'd be ideal for Wikimedia Commons to use it, as we've heard you've run into issues with standard the standard PD disclaimer.

One consideration, however, is that it might be confusing to put a waiver in a drop down labeled "License". It is important from Creative Commons' perspective that we distinguish that the tool is a waiver, and not a license, so it might be worth while to indicate as much by changing the label to something else.


Fred (talk) 22:12, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Another issue to consider is whether or not the inclusion of both Public Domain and CC0 will cause confusion, since, in the US at least, they are basically the same thing. I can imagine an endless stream of inquires as to which one people should choose. Of course we could replace Public Domain with CC0 but that would be problematic as well since people are far more familiar with the term Public Domain. My personal preference would be to wait until CC0 has more widespread adoption and familiarity. CC0 would be perfect for Flickr though as they don't offer any public domain option at the moment. Has anyone approached them yet? Kaldari (talk) 15:30, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
We'd (obviously?) suggest replacing the "Public Domain" option with CC0 since CC0 is a more robust tool designed to achieve the same ends - releasing a work into the PD. To avoid confusion, the drop down menu could identify the PD option as "CC0 Waiver (public domain)" or "Public Domain (CC0 waiver)" instead of just "Public Domain". With respect to Flickr, CC0 might not be appropriate for the large amount of PD works on Flickr as it's designed for currently copyrighted works, not works in the public domain already like those created by the federal government or pre-1923. Fred (talk) 19:21, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, I'm pretty much neutral on the idea, although if we do implement it, I would only support listing it as "Public Domain (CC0 waiver)", at least until "CC0" is more established. Kaldari (talk) 16:38, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Might be worth considering using "all rights released" or something similar instead of or in addition to "public domain": IME new users all too often end up mistaking "public domain" for "published on the web". —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 22:02, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I'd be worried that All Rights Released is too close to All Rights Reserved visually (I actually read it that way when I first read your suggestion). Maybe All Rights Waived? "Public Domain (CC0 Waiver, All rights waived)" might work. Fred (talk) 16:03, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, yes, you have a point. I'd personally put the name of the waiver/license first, though: e.g. "CC0 waiver (all rights waived / public domain)". —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 17:38, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm excited about the development of CC0 Waiver. I think it's important to provide this as an option because the full waiver text is considerably more specific, complete, and well thought-out by real lawyers than our present minimalistic waiver text. I also look forward to using it on Flickr, where so far I have been compelled to add a waiver to the description of every single image I wish to release into the public domain (Uploadr helps, but it's still highly annoying).
I do have a point of feedback though - I'd like it if the summary page emphasized that no attribution is required, since this is practically speaking what differentiates it from the other Creative Commons licenses. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:07, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
There's another IMHO significant distinction: in clause 1(iii), the CC0 waiver also waives "publicity and privacy rights pertaining to a person's image or likeness depicted in a Work". Of course, this clause has no effect unless the waiver is applied by a person depicted in the work, but it's still something I don't recall seeing explictly waived in any other license (or waiver) here on Commons, and I rather suspect that we may have bits and pieces of text on various policy and help pages written with the assumption that free content licenses only affect copyright and leave publicity and privacy rights untouched.
Also, the existence of this clause seems to mean that we really need to keep track of who has applied the waiver to any given work, since multiple persons may have distinct claims to the work affected by the waiver. Indeed, I assume it would be possible e.g. for the subject of a photograph to waive his or her publicity and privacy rights with the CC0 waiver while the photographer licenses the same file under e.g. CC-BY-SA. How are we going to tag such a file? —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 07:51, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Great, thanks for the feedback. Including language on the CC0 deed stating that Attribution is not required is something we've been planning on rolling out as part of norms feature, but now we're considering expediting this change.
As to the point about publicity rights, its important to distinguish between those rights that the affirmer is waiving those rights that they cannot waive, such as those of people who may be in the work. That is, I can waive my publicity rights of a photo that I both own and am in, but I cannot waive those of my friend who happens to be in a photo I took. The idea is to waive all rights that the affirmer has to waive, not all the rights that could exist (which would be impossible for any license to do). Does that help? Fred (talk) 21:28, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
While I agree with the language waiving publicity rights where possible, I think Ilmari's point is that this is actually a little bit "freer" than any existing tag currently in use by Commons, so we have to be careful we're not contradicting this anywhere. The {{Personality rights}} warning should be fine, since it does not say "personality rights apply to this work" - only "[b]efore using this content, please ensure that you have the right to use it under the laws which apply in the circumstances of your intended use". Mostly though, this is a non-issue, since most works are not self-portraits.
Regarding the separate release of rights by multiple parties, this is a larger issue that requires revisiting. Some works have multiple authors, or are derivative works having both an original author or authors and a new author (such as a photo of a sculpture). Some works have associated model releases. We're probably going to want a general scheme of dealing with all these. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:19, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
✓ Added, in addition to CC-BY-SA. In case we need to tweak it later, this is where I edited:
# 02:08, 21 June 2009 (hist) (diff) MediaWiki:Licenses/icommons ‎ (** cc-zero|CC0 waiver, all rights waived (Public domain)) (top) [rollback]
# 02:05, 21 June 2009 (hist) (diff) MediaWiki:Licenses/ownwork ‎ (**cc-zero|Creative Commons "Zero" waiver) (top) [rollback]
# 01:53, 21 June 2009 (hist) (diff) MediaWiki:Licenses ‎ (add cc-zero per talk, feel free to tweak or remove PD as well) (top) [rollback]
Cbrown1023 talk 02:10, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

It is not in commons' interest to decrese the public understanding of copyright. Thus replaceing the public domain with some CC branded jargon is counterproductive to our interests. PD-self is dirrect and to do the point. CC0 not so much.Geni (talk) 12:47, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

We're keeping both options, not replacing one with the other, as far as I know. CC0 is more complex for a very good reason - it's much better thought out than our public domain waiver, and releases more rights. Moreover, awareness of this option by people who regularly use Creative Commons licenses will help enlarge the public domain. Commons has a clear interest in increasing that awareness. Dcoetzee (talk) 19:09, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Hi everyone, just a quick update from CC. We just rolled out some changes suggested above to the language on the CC0 deed. More specifically, we signal that CC0 works do not require attribution and that reuse should not be considered endorsement. Take a look here. Thanks again for the feedback! Fred (talk) 15:48, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Why not warn uploader that google is not a good source?[edit]

Google is not a good source but users keep adding this. Why remove message that it is not good [1]? --MGA73 (talk) 20:40, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Well, it is better that the uploader writes "Google" as source rather than "Own work" if s/he found the image on Google. At least we know that the license is wrong. Yann (talk) 22:04, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
I think that particular warning message wasn't necessarily helpful, as it instructed people to get permission but didn't explain how or what kind of permission. I think such explanations are a bit too complicated to put into the drop-down menu and are best handled elsewhere. Also, the warning message was not added consistently, as there are multiple places in the list for uploads from Google. Kaldari (talk) 22:34, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, problem is that we manually have to warn the uploaders when the images are uploaded and seven days later we can delete the image. If we decide that we do not need to warn uploaders I suggest we make a modified template for these images and put them a special category. Then we could just make a bot delete them. If we can find a good text it should be possible to add it on all relevant places. --MGA73 (talk) 19:09, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Files uploaded without a license[edit]

I changed "subst:nld" to "subst:uwl" (uploaded without license) to avoid that a "no license" template is added during upload. Instead User:Nikbot will tag the file and inform uploaded shortly after if no license is added manually. If template is added during upload then uploader will not get a notice on the talk page and we have to leave a note manually when we are cleaning up Category:Media without a license if we want to avoid to delete files without informing the uploader first. So this trick should help us cleaning up the category. --MGA73 (talk) 18:40, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Stronger wording[edit]

I propose that we change:

Not self-made, but has been released under: 


Not self-made, but the source clearly states that it has been released under: 

to make people think twice about whether *they* are allowed to release someone else's work. Any objections? --99of9 (talk) 13:59, 10 July 2013 (UTC)