Commons:Help desk

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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:

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Commons discussion pages (index)


Hi there, I recently purchased an image from for use on Wikipedia. They have given me permission to use the image on Wiki under their standard license agreement. I have uploaded it but, of course, am getting warnings. Could you help please? Thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by Macmuu (talk • contribs) 09:43, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Hi, To be hosted on Wikimedia Commons, a file must be free, either in the public domain or licensed with a free license, which I guess the agreement you have is not. An administrator has already deleted the file. For more information, please see Commons:FAQ. -- Asclepias (talk) 12:47, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
Macmuu, you wrote "I recently purchased an image from for use on Wikipedia.". Is there a written, signed contract stating a transfer has taken place? Is there any evidence that you are now the copyright holder of the work? If there is a clear evidence that you are now the copyright holder of the work, the deleted file could be restored. All you need to do is to send this evidence to COM:OTRS, attaching the deleted file name and possibly the original file. Good luck. Wikicology (talk) 18:51, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
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Deletion tool[edit]

Is there any tool using which one can keep track of the deletion discussions he has participated? I mean something like this. --Mhhossein (talk) 14:02, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

  • You should do pretty well just searching on your username and "deletion request", as long as you allow "Commons" pages as one of the page types in your results. - Jmabel ! talk 21:45, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
Mhhossein, you can search your contributions in the Commons namespace, here. All the best. Wikicology (talk) 18:36, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
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Hello English native speakers: What's the name for waste collectors under the surface?![edit]

Hi folks, in Germany and France, waste containers under the surface become more and more popular. In German, the technical term is "Unterflurbehälter" (literally: under surface box), and I have written the article on it in the German project. I now wanted to add an English explanation to the category but although I used to live and work both in the UK and the US for quite a while, I have no clue at all what the correct English term for these containers could be (... in fact, I haven't even seen them outside Germany or France)! Have a look yourselves and please tell me here what kind of English labels/further categories I could use for my category. Any suggestions are appreciated; feel free to add some English sentences that you consider to be right to the cat yourself if you like. Cheers, Alex/GeoTrinity (talk) 21:26, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

  • I don't think there is any established English-language name for these; we'd probably call them some variant of "underground waste/trash/garbage/rubbish receptacles/cans/containers". If the use was specifically recycling/compost we might use that word rather than waste/trash/garbage/rubbish. "Underground" (rather than "under-surface") is the one constant. We tend to use "under-surface" only for water, and not even all that commonly there. - Jmabel ! talk 23:05, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
  • In the US, I've seen both "inground trash cans" (example) and "underground garbage cans" (example), although both of those sites use both of those terms, and the latter even "underground receivers." Of those options, inground trash can sounds best to my ears for American English; British English, however, would almost certainly not use this phrase, if only for the rubbish vs. trash difference. Эlcobbola talk 23:37, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
    • Litter Bins in UK, but rarely buried in ground Ronhjones  (Talk) 00:02, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Hi, GeoTrinity. There is not an established term that I know of. Does anyone who sells them have an English website? As for what I would call it... I would avoid any term containing "rubbish", "litter", or "trash", for inclusivity. There are other terms to avoid. In Canada and parts of the US it would be called a bear bin. The term applies to any bearproof container, though, including aboveground ones, and it's a pretty silly term for anything in Germany. Giving its height is also awkward. If it's outside, one could call it an underground bin; inside, one could call it an underfloor bin (because "floor" is only for indoor surfaces, and "ground" implies soil). To encompass both, one could call it a (be) low-level bin, by analogy to other things that don't fit into either category neatly. "Below-grade" is technically correct, and probably what a city works department installing the things would call them. "Below-surface" would also work. "Under surface" would be regarded by some as incorrect (as a compound adjective, it would be hyphenated to "under-surface", or you'd technically have to interpret it as a surface bin from Australia, or from a firm named "Under", or some such). "Under-surface" is long, cumbersome and odd-sounding and "undersurface" as an adjective is odd, as it can refer to the underside of a surface or a layer just below a surface (e.g. "the undersurface of the kitchen counter is not waterproof"). Am I right in thinking that this is an outdoor-only thing? I've never seen one indoors in Germany.
You could use "underground bin" if they are exclusively outdoor, and in at least some side contact with the soil. "Below-grade bin" sounds like something out of a civic planning document, and is unlikely as a colloquial term, but is otherwise excellent. "Bin" also works for recycling and compost, as these all go in bins; "receiver" and "receptacle" have both been used as synonyms, but I think the shorter "bin" will be understood worldwide although it's more European. Technically "bin" would not include the chute, just the receptacle at the bottom.
There exists an indoor thing like this, called a rubbish/trash/garbage chute; many tall buildings have them, and they often terminate outside, in warmer climes. "Chute" technically only applies to the shaft leading to the bin, but you could term the street furniture "waste chutes" (recycling and compost are also waste). So "waste chute" would be a decent title for the same article.
I think "waste chute" is best, and throw in a bit on indoor vs. outdoor waste chutes. "Below-grade bin" is what I'd call the bit that isn't the chute. I'd refer to bin and chute together as "waste chute", by synecdoche from the most visible bit. HLHJ (talk) 14:14, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

registration and licensoning[edit]


i downloaded a file from a public domained site registered under a state government and its information policy wasnt available at the site while the state government gives me right to access the images and hence i used it for wikimedia hope it isn't plagiarism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Indiandilema (talk • contribs) 07:18, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

  • As a rule, there is no such thing as a "public domained site". The right to access images does not mean they are in the public domain. - Jmabel ! talk 14:37, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
@Indiandilema: by "public domained site", do you mean something like the ones listed at Commons:Free media resources/Photography? If yes, can you provide a link to the site? Wikicology (talk) 16:53, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
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Удаление ненужного[edit]

Помогите удалить все загруженные мной файлы кроме текущих версий. Ssp 1.618 (talk) 01:07, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Я не владею английским это верно, плохо разбираюсь в интерфейсе сайта это тоже верно, но и Вы плохо владеете русским. И если не понимаете сути моей просьбы, лучше проигнорируйте ее. Отсутствие результата, это тоже результат - главное не навредить друг другу. Мое незнание языка и плохая информированность в технических вопросах это еще не повод к тонким ироничным английским намекам на глупость всех русских. Если это так, то осторожнее с английским высокомерием, где Ваша хваленая всенародная толерантность. Есть у русских поговорка, - Не зная броду не лезь в воду. Спасибо за внимание! Ssp 1.618 (talk) 20:47, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

@Ssp 1.618: → Commons:Форум — Speravir_Talk – 01:28, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
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Photo in the[edit]

This photo is OLD. There is not a school library in the state of Minnesota that has a card catalog. But i do no have the rights to change it. Help me please. Or YOU can do this. Could not attach the photo-----kept showing errors

File:Digital tools plus print materials live in the school library
School Library offer digital tools plus print tools

RMS, Robbinsdale MN — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rettechlms (talk • contribs) 23:50, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

  • I don't get this at all. (1) Articles in an encyclopedia are not just about the present. (2) [[File:Digital tools plus print materials live in the school library]] isn't even syntactically correct (can't have "File:" without some extension like "JPG" or "PNG"), so I have no idea what image you meant to link here. (3) As far as I can tell, you have exactly the same ability to edit an English-language Wikipedia article to reference a different photo as anyone else does; why would you not? - Jmabel ! talk 00:18, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
    • Jmabel, see the "Article requires current photos" section of en:WP:HD; it's at the bottom of the page as of 02:02, 25 August 2016 (UTC). Nyttend (talk)
      • I don't have anything to add there. By the way, in the future if you want to call my attention to something on en-wiki, just ping me there! - Jmabel ! talk 02:35, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
        • Sorry, didn't mean to convey that. My point is that the same person has asked for help there (I provided that link for background reading, basically), and as I read it, this person's trying and failing to upload pictures, due to some sort of automated problem that I haven't yet been able to track down. Nyttend (talk) 03:33, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
          See the abuse filter log. The user tried to upload a 333×261 thumbnail. LX (talk, contribs) 06:06, 25 August 2016 (UTC)





DAN AND MARY STROEING BAINBRIDGE ISLAND WASHINGTON — Preceding unsigned comment added by Stroeing (talk • contribs) 02:00, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

  • This must have been right at the end of Toller's life, since he died in 1939. I honestly don't know the copyright status of Kaufmann's work, especially because if they were "as he was working on" them he would not have registered a copyright at the time the photos were taken; also I have no idea whether his heirs would have renewed the copyright (as was necessary in the US in that era). You might better ask about this at Commons:Village pump/Copyright, because it is a tricky case, and could use an expert opinion. - Jmabel ! talk 03:56, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
The question is probably about "File:Photo of Portrait of Ernst Toller by Arthur Kaufmann.pdf". Don't know why it's a .pdf. -- Asclepias (talk) 05:15, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Convenience link: File:Photo of Portrait of Ernst Toller by Arthur Kaufmann.pdf. The license there is certainly wrong: either Kaufmann's copyright persists (in which case you are in no position to grant a license, only his heirs are) or not (in which case the work is in the public domain). Unless you are the heir to Kaufmann's intellectual property... - Jmabel ! talk 05:26, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Separately, you ask if you may upload a photo of Toller (I assume that is distinct from the painting, and is simply a photograph of the man). If your mother took that, and if you are heir to her intellectual property, then you could upload it using a license template such as {{Cc-by-sa-4.0-heirs}}. - Jmabel ! talk 05:37, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
I think it's one question, where they're asking about uploading the photo of the artwork. -- Asclepias (talk) 05:45, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Prior to January 1978 in the U.S, the duration of all copyrights was split into two consecutive 28-year terms. During the last (28th) year of the initial term, authors were entitled to renew their copyrights for a further term of 28 years. Through a series of amendments to the Copyright Act, the renewal term was extended 19 years, and then an additional 20 years, for a total of 95 years (28+28+19+20=95). Arthur Kaufmann died in 1971, it is possible the copyright of the work was renewed in 1960 (if ever published) before his death. Thus, if his heir recapture his copyright for the extended term after his death, then the image will not be in the public domain until 2027. We have two problems here, we aren't sure if the work was ever published and we aren't sure the copyright was recapture by his heir after his death. Wikicology (talk) 10:07, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Photo of coup rally in Istanbul[edit]


I am not very well known in wikipedia but why was my image of istanbul rally deleted? I don't know why there was a copyright violation.BM Tornado (talk) 15:16, 22 August 2016 (UTC) credits AFP / Getty Images and gives no indication of a free license. Getty Images credits Kayhan Ozer / Anadolu Agency and gives no indication of a free license either. --rimshottalk 15:34, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
@BM Tornado: what Rimshot is saying is that you need permission from the copyright holder of the image, in this case from the original photographer or AFP if the photographer is an employee of AFP and the work was produced in the course of their services. This permission must be sent to our support team. You can only upload images here without a written permission from anyone if you took the images yourself. Wikicology (talk) 09:19, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

memory size of the project[edit]

Hey guys, I want to know how big wikimedia commons is (only files no userpages and things like that) really. How much memory is in use? And can I download the whole project in one step? --Noobius2 (talk) 16:30, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Please, see Special:MediaStatistics. Ruslik (talk) 17:57, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
As for downloading, states that "There are currently no image dumps available." I think the "current" situation has been the case since the dawn of (wiki)time. Which is too bad really. Forking Wikipedia is pretty easy, as it should be, but forking Commons would require a lot of web crawling. And I can't really see any good reason for it. At less than 3000 USD, 90 TB of storage is, while not exactly cheap, at least within many contributors' reach. I for one would definitely be interested in doing some data dumpster diving, mainly with a focus on metadata, maybe not on the whole set, but maybe 10% chunks. LX (talk, contribs) 18:22, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Need help using the correct license[edit]

We manage several music artists and do their public relations & marketing. I don't know under what license to put up their images as they keep being deleted. We have 100% rights and access to use these images from the artists themselves. The images belong to the artists. How should I upload them so they dont get deleted? I'd be grateful for some help. Thanks in advance — Preceding unsigned comment added by Allpartsmove (talk • contribs) 15:02, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Your uploads being deleted probably has nothing to do with the license selection and everything to do with lack of evidence to support your claims that you personally created and hold the copyright to the works – or the presence of evidence to the contrary.
For example, you are claiming that you are the author (creator) and copyright holder of File:Buika in Concert.jpg. However, unless you are Javi Rojo, you are not the author of File:Buika in Concert.jpg, and it is not your own work. And unless Javi Rojo is your employee (which seems unlikely), or there is a written contract mentioning the words "work made for hire" or "transfer of copyright", then you are not the copyright holder either.
The only one who can issue a valid license to a copyrighted work is the legitimate copyright holder, so the appropriate license is whichever license the legitimate copyright holder has agreed to – if any. So for works created by a third party and/or where the copyright is held by a third party, you need to accurately attribute them and provide evidence that they have approved publication under a free license.
Commons:Guidance for paid editors has more information applicable to your situation. LX (talk, contribs) 16:16, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

New to Uploading Pictures to Wikipedia[edit]

Hello to you. I am so new to the uploading of pictures into Wikipedia. The subject concerned here is the upload of some pictures for the Calgary CTrain stations topic. I produced the pictures myself, but I do not know if I am reading the rules right. Some pictures here are buildings that surround a particular CTrain station. Of course, I produced photos of the physical stations themselves, too. Could you help me here? Thank you for helping me out here. Rockies77 (talk) 07:26, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Hi, Rockies77; Since you took the images yourself and it has not been previously published elsewhere, you're free to upload it here by following the procedure outlined here. Let us know if you have any difficulties during the upload. Warm regards. Wikicology (talk) 09:12, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

An Image from Wiki Law School[edit]

Hello, can this image of Prof. Janet Halley of the Harvard law school be added to the Commons? It is used in Wiki Law School, but doesn't seem to have licensing information. If it cannot be uploaded to Commons - can it still we used in English Wikipedia?

Thanks a lot. YaaraBarak (talk) 14:32, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

It says that the photo was taken from the law school, so check the source, where's there doesn't seem to be any mention that it is free. Images that are not free can't be uploaded to Commons. -- Asclepias (talk) 14:56, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Copyright help regarding File:Airblue's Destination Map.png[edit]

Hi. I uploaded a picture of Airblue's, airline of Pakistan, destination map picture. While uploading, the license I chose was that it isn't my work and I provided the link of the website and its author but now the picture says " The uploader did not provide sufficient information (a valid and suitable tag) on this media's copyright status. Unless the copyright status is provided, the file could be deleted seven days after the upload (24 August 2016). Please note that Commons does not accept files claimed under fair use. It is suggested to read the intro of Commons' licensing policy, about essential information and (in many cases) about Internet images ". Help required about what to do!

--Abdulrafey97 (talk) 15:54, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

The map is copyrighted to the airline. So, unless you can secure the permission suitable for Commons from them, the file will be deleted. See Commons:Licensing. Ruslik (talk) 19:05, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

public domain[edit]

I am not sure who and where this message should go, I am having problems of getting information on images on the public domain hoping that you can help. Do you know if all images in the public domain is free to download and use to teach a lesson in education to students? is there a way to make sure the images are okay to use.

Thank you so much. Richard Ingelido —Preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:44, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

  • If an image is in the public domain, then by definition you it is free to download and to use in any lawful manner. But make sure you correctly understand the term public domain; most of what is on the web (and even most of what is on this site) is not in the public domain. - Jmabel ! talk 00:28, 25 August 2016 (UTC)


Hi, I am asking here because I could not find any hint elsewhere, at least not in the preferences pages.

The so called "edittools" below the edit box offer many items for e.g. the text insertion; some do I need frequently, some never. And some I am missing.

Is there a possibility to customize these tools - in a simple way, without an intimate knowledge of Java & Co.?

If none exists yet, where can I suggest the development of such customizing? sarang사랑 07:57, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

The edit tools are customized by editing MediaWiki:Edittools. You can propose changes on the talk page. Ruslik (talk) 19:53, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

File won't upload[edit]

I made a new version of an image and did "upload a new version of this file". After several minutes, it did nothing so I stopped it. I tried again and it has been doing nothing for several minutes. I just uploaded some files with Vicuna Uploader with no problem. Why won't uploading this replacement file work? (it is small < 800KB) Bubba73 (talk) 18:14, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

Well, the second attempt timed out after many minutes. The third attempt worked in a couple of seconds. Bubba73 (talk) 18:39, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

Time period[edit]

There's a note at the bottom of a website reading as such:"© 2003-2011 All the rights of this website belong to **** group. Copying the works without permission is illegal." Does this note means that we can copy the materials after 2011 and the works are in public domain by now? --Mhhossein talk 04:51, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

It means that the website was last updated 2011 and copyright will not expire before 2081, possibly much later. In reality, it is of no consequence, because it does not distinguish between the copyright durations of different material on the site (older photos' copyright may expire earlier, some material might be ineligible for copyright, etc.) In general, you can assume anything remotely modern found on any website to be copyrighted. --rimshottalk 07:30, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I think Rimshot is correct. In some cases, you can find the same material (e.g image) on another website reading "© 2004-2009". This does not mean the works are in PD by now. All the best. Wikicology (talk) 08:52, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
The expiring date of 2081 mentioned by Rimshot depends on weather the work was first published on the website which reads © 2003-2011 and the US copyright law. It also depends on the author of the work and the copyright law in their country. If the author is a Somali person for example, the copyright of the work will also depends on the Somali copyright law regardless of where it was first published. All the best. Wikicology (talk) 09:37, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
In any nation that is a member of the Berne Convention the 'copyright statement' is meaningless... it's not required, works are copyrighted upon creation without any formalities. Reventtalk 03:56, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Copyright help regarding File:Debbiearnold.jpg[edit]

How do we avoid this photo being deleted? It's Debbie Arnold's own photo off her website. It's there with her permission, she wanted her wiki page updating.

--KenBarlow (talk) 09:04, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Hi KenBarlow. The original photographer is the copyright holder of the work with the explicit right to release it under a free license. In this case, either you or Debby needs to get the original photographer to send permission to COM:OTRS. Once this is received, processed and confirmed by our support team, it won't be deleted and if already deleted, it would be restored. Wikicology (talk) 09:45, 27 August 2016 (UTC)


‪Pibwl‬ left a message on your talk page in "‪File:1938 Mt Garnet Races.jpg‬". File:1938 Mt Garnet Races.jpg has been listed at Commons:Deletion requests so that the community can discuss whether it should be kept or not.... View message ‪Pibwl‬ View changes


‪Pibwl‬ left a message on your talk page in "‪File:Camping Area.jpg‬".

 File:Camping Area.jpg has been listed at Commons:Deletion requests so that the community can discuss whether it should be kept or not. We woul... 

View message ‪Pibwl‬ View changes

Please, I have not been able to log in for quite some time. What is this person wanting? How do I contact them? I am not sure what the go is with the content of the emails I have received. The photo in the first note is mine - from my dead father. I have not published the information as yet as I am not sure how.

Hope someone can get back to me. Or is there someone that I can ring? Thanks Peta O'Connor — Preceding unsigned comment added by Atiptop (talk • contribs) 23:11, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Hi Atiptop! Just as it says on your talk page, the discussions are taking place at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Camping Area.jpg and Commons:Deletion requests/File:1938 Mt Garnet Races.jpg. LX (talk, contribs) 08:38, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

Delete one or two old interim renderings, please?[edit] has one or two old interim renderings that are neither of historical importance, nor in modern use. They were merely intermediary steps toward the finished version, which I should never have uploaded. It wasn't an issue until recently when an editor mistook one of my intermediary steps as an older logo by another artist. Can we please delete the following Porcupine logos : 17:44, 6 June 2013 15:19, 27 August 2016 ...those with the down-turned noses? Thanks! --Lance W. Haverkamp (talk) 21:05, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure I can see a basis to delete these on any of the grounds we allow. I personally would have no problem with deleting them as a courtesy, but I'd like to leave this discussion up for a day or so in case someone else objects. - Jmabel ! talk 00:05, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Since the user is the author of the work. I don't see any problem with its deletion. Wikicology (talk) 17:12, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Seems like no objections have been raised, I'll do this. - Jmabel ! talk 23:34, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
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Copyright help regarding Fotorechtsbuch.pdf[edit]

Hi - I would like to upload a PDF (not created by me) which includes the following license information:

Dieses Buch wird unter der Creative Commons Namensnennungslizenz verbreitet.
Fotorecht, Christian Solmecke, CC-Lizenz (BY 3.0)

Which license option should I choose when uploading? --Till (talk) 19:13, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Do I need to credit a photo in public domain that isn't credited on Wiki Commons?[edit]

Although Wiki Commons says this photo is in the public domain and doesn't mention the source, I have seen it in a book as credited to a historical society. Is this really in the public domain and do I have to credit the historical society?

2602:306:37A3:26B0:F976:DE3B:F325:6F07 01:54, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

The photos in public domain does not need credits but may be credited to its author. Ruslik (talk) 19:06, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
There's no information on its page to indicate that it's actually in the PD. --Prosfilaes (talk) 20:18, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Photograph of musician Michael Morrow[edit]

Moved to Commons:OTRS/Noticeboard#Photograph of musician Michael Morrow, since only the OTRS volunteers can help with this question. - Jmabel ! talk 14:59, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Copyright help regarding Sedo Logo New.png[edit]


I would like to update our company logo as it is still an old one, we aren't using for years now. We have created the logo by ourselves, but I don't know how I can update it and what license we have.

It is our company logo and I'm updating it in the companies name.

Could you please help?

Thanks and best Regards,

--Sedo2 (talk) 14:08, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

  • There appears never to have been a Sedo Logo New.png or (more likely) File:Sedo Logo New.png so I'm a bit confused by the headline here. You have no deleted files. Your only upload was File:Sedo logo.svg which I presume was the old logo.
  • If your company is actually willing to free-license its new logo, see COM:OTRS for how to give permission. - Jmabel ! talk 15:05, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
Hi Sedo2! Commons:Guidance for paid editors covers your situation. LX (talk, contribs) 16:18, 30 August 2016 (UTC)