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This page is intended for those who wish to reuse material (text and/or graphics) from the Wikimedia projects — on their own website, in print, or otherwise. It focuses on Commons as this is explicitly a collection of reusable media.

The Wikimedia Foundation owns almost none of the content on Wikimedia sites — it is owned by the individual creators. However, almost all may be freely reused without individual permission according to the terms of the particular license under which it was contributed to the project, but some licenses may require that the original creator be attributed. You do not need to obtain a specific statement of permission from the licensor (unless you wish to use the work under different terms than the license stated).

While the copyright and licensing information supplied for each image is believed to be accurate, the Wikimedia Foundation does not provide any warranty regarding the copyright status or correctness of licensing terms. If you decide to reuse files from Commons, you should make your own determination of the copyright status of each image just as you would when obtaining images from other sources.

Other restrictions may apply. These may include trademarks, patents, personality rights, moral rights, privacy rights, or any of the many other legal causes which are independent from copyright and vary greatly by jurisdiction.



所有除维基新闻以外维基媒体项目中的文字版权均属于原创者,其授权形式为Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 licenseGNU Free Documentation License。 少数原创者会以其他授权形式保护版权或公开在公共域名。

维基新闻为Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 (CC-BY)授权。


几乎所有维基媒体中的图像都为某种免费授权 (常见的为 CC-BY、 CC-BY-SA、 或 GFDL) 或在公共域名。 见 Commons:Licensing


合理使用 provision (does not apply to content held on Wikimedia Commons)

警告. Some content on Wikimedia servers is not available under a free license, particularly certain images on the English Wikipedia. Much of this is under the fair use provisions of U.S. copyright law. Before reusing such content yourself, you should check that your planned use of the material is consistent with the fair use, fair dealing or equivalent provisions of locally applicable copyright law or you obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. This is no different from grabbing an image from anywhere else on the web.


The Wikimedia Foundation logo and logos for particular projects (such as Wikipedia and Commons) are trademarks of and copyrighted by the Wikimedia Foundation. They are not generally available for other uses, though reuse in press or media about Wikimedia projects is explicitly permitted. Local "fair use" or "fair dealing" laws (e.g. for academic or critical purposes) may also apply in your jurisdiction. For all other uses, please contact the Foundation.

How to comply with the licenses

The sections below are summaries of the licenses, and how to comply.

The license(s) of a work can be found on its file description page. This is an example for a file description page.

If a work is published under a single license, all of the terms in that license must be followed. If a work is multi-licensed (that is, released under more than one license), re-users may choose which license's terms they wish to follow. Except for materials believed to be in the public domain, a link to the full text of the license(s) is included on the file description page. Some licenses also have a summary available.

The feature „Use this file on the web“/„Use this file on a wiki“ on the work's file description page may help you to follow the license's terms (currently not available in Internet Explorer).

Please read the full licenses for legal details. Neither the Wikimedia Foundation nor the creators of material on Wikimedia sites provide legal advice. If you need information about how a license applies to your particular situation, you should contact a suitable legal professional in your jurisdiction.


Content marked as public domain (or local equivalent, e.g. "may be used for any purpose") is material believed to be out of copyright, either because of expiration of the original copyright, or because the material has been explicitly released into the public domain by its creator(s).

Note that inalienable moral rights and other restrictions may still apply in some countries for some uses.

It is common for publishers to take public domain works and republish them under their own copyright. This may be legal, but it does not affect the public domain status of the original image. If you tag the image with its origin (where you got it and where it came from originally) and the name of the creator, this can help us if a dispute with such a publisher arises later.

GNU licenses

GNU Free Documentation License

For simple redistribution, include the version you were given access to and its complete history with attribution, and include the GFDL (linked on the same website or reprinted in print). Compliance is easy on websites or in books, but (presently) difficult for leaflets, magazines or newspapers.

Re-users are free to make derivative works and copy, distribute, display, and perform the work, even commercially. To comply, (a) release your version under the GFDL, (b) credit all the authors or content creators (if you have a title page, also at least the five most substantial ones there) and (c) include a complete copy of the GFDL. In the case of derivative works you must also include the complete history section.

How you determine which five authors are considered to be substantial for the purpose of the GFDL is not defined in a legal sense. We suggest using one consistent method such as edit count, word count, hours contributed to the content, or something of a similar nature.

Any derivative works must stay under the GFDL.

When using a photo placed under the GFDL license as part of a larger work, the larger work *does not have to be* released under GFDL for usage to be within the license terms. The Free Software Foundation, creators of the GFDL license, has been asked for clarification of how much of e.g. a book counts as the "larger work" in these terms; they responded that no synopsis can substitute for what the text of the license says, and if in doubt the reuser should seek a proper legal opinion. Now, the GFDL says "When the Document is included in an aggregate, this License does not apply to the other works in the aggregate which are not themselves derivative works of the Document." So, the larger work doesn't (always) have to be released under GFDL.


The GNU General Public License (GPL) and Lesser General Public License (LGPL) are computer software licenses and are not usually used for text or media. However, some content on Commons (e.g. icons or screenshots from computer programs) is under the GPL or LGPL.

For simple redistribution of such material, including altered versions, (a) release your version under the same license (b) supply the source version, i.e. something as editable as what you started with (e.g. image file, GIMP .xcf file, etc.).

Note that the GNU General Public License (GPL) and the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) are not compatible with each other. That means that content licensed under the GFDL as well as content licensed under the GPL can't be used together simultaneously in the same "work" — e.g. GPL computer program source embedded in GFDL explicatory text. However, a GPL image in a GFDL text page is usually regarded as an aggregation of two works rather than a single work.

Creative Commons

Most Creative Commons licenses are not free content licenses and will not be found as the sole allowable licence on Wikimedia Commons. The following are allowed and will be found here:


In the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY), re-users are free to make derivative works and copy, distribute, display, and perform the work, even commercially.

You must attribute the work to the author(s), and when re-using the work or distributing it, you must mention the license terms or a link to them. You may choose whether to make future modified versions available under CC-BY.


In the Creative Commons Share Alike license (CC-SA), re-users are free to make derivative works and copy, distribute, display, and perform the work, even commercially.

When re-using the work or distributing it, you must mention the license terms or a link to them. You must make your version available under CC-SA.


In the Creative Commons Attribution and ShareAlike license (CC-BY-SA), re-users are free to make derivative works and copy, distribute, display, and perform the work, even commercially.

When re-using the work or distributing it, you must attribute the work to the author(s) and you must mention the license terms or a link to them. You must make your version available under CC-BY-SA.

Other free content licenses

See Commons:Copyright tags#Copyleft Attitude License and Commons:Copyright tags#Other free tags.

Contacting the uploader or writer

If you wish to use content under terms other than the license stated, or to absolutely verify copyright status if you feel you need to, the person who put it onto a Wikimedia server may be able to assist.

The writer of a piece of text will be the person who made the edit putting it in the text; see the "history" tab for the page. The uploader of an image or piece of media is the person who placed it on a Wikimedia server — either the original content creator or someone who brought free content here from elsewhere. The uploader is named on the "file history" portion of the file description page.

In some cases, you may be able to contact the uploader to find out more about an image's copyright status. The original creator of the image may be willing to grant additional permissions. Uploaders occasionally have access to higher resolution images than those present on the servers, particularly of their own work.

The Wikimedia Foundation generally cannot assist in locating users who have contributed material. You can try to contact them yourself in a number of ways:

  1. Some have contact information, such as a name and address or phone number, on their user page.
  2. Some can be contacted by email by clicking the "email this user" link listed in the toolbox on their user page.
  3. You can leave a message on their talk page by clicking on the "discussion" tab at the top of the user page, and then clicking the "+" tab that appears next to the "edit" tab once the discussion page is visible. Enter your message and click "save." (Your message will then be visible to the public).



Hotlinking is allowed from Wikimedia servers, but not generally recommended: this is because anyone could change, vandalise, or delete a hotlinked image. On your own server, you will have control over what is served.

If you must hotlink, then it is still good practice to add attribution (see the relevant section above) as you would for copies on your own server. Ignoring the licenses could be a copyright infringement, regardless of whether you hotlink.

Note that hotlinking a thumbnail is unreliable, as these are generated and cached; you should copy these to your own server.

Wikimedia generally does not allow 'hot spider' services, where each time someone performs a search on their site, the query is redirected to our site. Outside reusers should either copy the content one item at a time or contact the Foundation regarding a live feed (which can be arranged as a paid service).


Since MediaWiki revision 1.13.0 you can direct embed media from Wikimedia Commons into your own MediaWiki-based wiki. This method has numerous advantages over plain hotlinking.

If your wiki is public, please add it to the list.

MediaWiki >= 1.16.x

Add the following line to the localSettings.php of your installation:

$wgUseInstantCommons = true;

Now you can embed images directly from Wikimedia Commons without the need to copy it to your own server. The File: page for the image will pull the full image information from Commons.

See Manual:$wgUseInstantCommons for further technical implementation details.

MediaWiki 1.13.0 - 1.15.x

Add the following lines to the localSettings.php of your installation:

$wgForeignFileRepos[] = array(
   'class'            => 'ForeignAPIRepo',
   'name'             => 'shared',
   'apibase'          => '',
   'fetchDescription' => true, // Optional

Now you can embed images directly from Wikimedia Commons without the need to copy it to your own server. The File: page for the image will pull the full image information from Commons.

See InstantCommons Manual:$wgForeignFileRepos for more details.