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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:

Resolved sections (marked by {{section resolved|1=~~~~}}) will be archived after four days. Sections with no discussion will be archived after ten days.

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Commons discussion pages (index)

college seal[edit]

Hello. I have a .jpg of our college seal and would like to upload it here so I can update our Wikipedia page at the request of the Chancellor. Obviously I didn't create the college seal, but I am responsible for updating the page. How should I notate ownership? Thank you. Mlwmiller (talk)

Mlwmiller: Please see Commons:Guidance for paid editors, which covers your situation. LX (talk, contribs) 16:30, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
Also, unless either your college seal is in the public domain or the institution is inclined to offer it under a free license, it is not suitable to be hosted on Commons. - Jmabel ! talk 16:55, 15 June 2016 (UTC)

copyright protected photo of Norbert Hofer still not deleted[edit]

There is a copyright protected photo of the Austrian right-wing extremist Norbert Hofer which is now used in several language versions of Wikipedia - Obviously there is no licence proof in the OTRS-system which clarifies the licence of this photo. Why is it not deleted? -- 17:54, 15 June 2016 (UTC)

Because 30 days have not passed yet. Ruslik (talk) 18:06, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
30 days are long over. Uploaded 25th of April, unuseful permission recieved 10th of May. 30 days are definitely over. So why isn't it deleted? -- 18:11, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
It is 17 May. Ruslik (talk) 18:27, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
Deleted. Nyttend (talk) 20:46, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

What's different about overwrite existing file and upload as a new file?[edit]

The original version is File:Taiwan the Province Government Building.JPG. Both the "Author" line and the EXIF show Vegafish as the author, but Fcuk1203 upload a new version of File:臺灣省政府大樓.jpg to overwrite the original version. Because he think that File:Taiwan the Province Government Building.JPG is too bad quality, so new version is of far more better quality. Moreover, the uploader claim he doesn't see what would violate COM:OVERWRITE here. May I ask how this one is different? I do not understand why this file does not violate COM:OVERWRITE.--Liji (talk) 14:44, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

It is a different photo, so the overwriting by Fcuk1203 in 2013 was contrary to com:overwrite. From what I understand from the logs, you reverted File:Taiwan the Province Government Building.JPG to the photo originally uploaded in 2006 by Vegafish. After a short revert battle, Fcuk1203 left the original photo and uploaded his 2013 photo on a separate page, File:臺灣省政府大樓.jpg. Two years later, in 2015, an administrator removed the photo by Fcuk1203 from the history of the page File:Taiwan the Province Government Building.JPG and copied it to another page, named File:Taiwan Province Government Building.jpg, thus creating a duplicate of File:臺灣省政府大樓.jpg, and left a message on the discussion page of Fcuk1203 about com:overwrite, which may not have been necessary two years after Fcuk1203 had already accepted to place his photo on a separate page. A month later, File:Taiwan Province Government Building.jpg was deleted by another administrator because the photo by Fcuk1203 was already at File:臺灣省政府大樓.jpg. It seems that the whole thing was sorted out to your satisfaction a long time ago. Is there a problem? -- Asclepias (talk) 19:18, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

waiting for OTRS[edit]

Normally Id be more patient but since Ill be at Wikimania when the one month mark hits, I figure better safe than sorry. (I hope). I sent OTRS a permission letter on behalf of the Museo de Arte Popular, who emailed it to me instead of them, in reference to two videos that they produced in collaboration with Wiki Learning - Tec de Monterrey (Im the coordinator of Wiki Learning). I finally got some corrections done an both videos appear here with this message. The letter was sent 27 May. I just want to be sure there is no problem with the letter and the videos. Hate to have to upload and stuff all over again. Thanks!Thelmadatter (talk) 15:08, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

Please post your question at the Commons:OTRS/Noticeboard. -- Asclepias (talk) 18:31, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

Where I Can Ask for Revision Deletion?[edit]

I found the pervious versions of some images on commons may infringe copyright. Can revision deletion on commons deal with that? Where I can send revision deletion requests? Thanks. --TechyanTalk) 07:18, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

@Techyan: Use {{speedy|Delete the version as of HH:MM DD MONTH YYYY because it is a copyvio}} for previous copyvios. Thanks, Poké95 08:29, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
In my experience, it is better to post a request at Commons:Administrators' noticeboard, as some administrators do not read the text in the reason for anything tagged for speedy deletion and instead end up deleting the whole file. LX (talk, contribs) 10:36, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

Misspelled category[edit]

I misspelled " Category:House of Flavors Guiness Record attempt " and put the pictures into Category:House of Flavors Guinness Record attempt. I would like to have the misspelled empty category deleted. Thanks.--Doug Coldwell (talk) 11:24, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

  • Done, but in the future please just use a delete template (e.g. {{speedy}}) instead of bringing this to the help desk. - Jmabel ! talk 17:55, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

USB Drives[edit]

Can this be put on a USB drive and taken were there is internet as I don't have in my home.. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rue ree (talk • contribs)

What do you mean by "this"? Ruslik (talk) 19:43, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
I don't understand the original question at all, sorry. Can you please rephrase it? Thanks. Multicherry (talk) 22:17, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Nominating for speedy deletion script[edit]

Is there any userscript which can add the speedily deletion templates on files in the way twinkle does on English Wikipedia? Thanks! Jim Carter (talk) 11:14, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

Not familiar with "twinkle", but try enabling the "Quick Delete" gadget under the "Maintenance tools" section in your preferences. LX (talk, contribs) 11:51, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

Adding an image to a category[edit]

How do I add an image that is already existent in Wikimedia Commons but not properly categorized to a certain category?

Thanks, —DrashtiUnit 20:54, 19 June 2016 (CET)

If you have enabled HotCat in your preferences, you will find the signs (+) and (±) at the bottom of each image description page. You can use these to add a category (+) or replace an existing category (±). There is also a more comprehensive documentation. --rimshottalk 19:13, 19 June 2016 (UTC)


I uploaded a scanned logo for the GEnie online service, and am having problems picking a copyright for it. It was scanned from an out-of-print magazine (II Alive) for a defunct business. Certainly, I did not personally create the image, but there is no one to challenge it. What kind of copyright status should it have? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sweyhrich (talk • contribs)

  • I assume this is about File:GEnie logo, II Alive 1993.png. I would guess that GE still holds the copyright for this -- someone certainly does -- and therefore it does not belong on Commons without them free-licensing it (I doubt you can get that permission, but if you can then it should be provided as explained at COM:OTRS.
  • The text logo at bottom would be ineligible for copyright, and I suggest re-uploading that on the basis of {{textlogo}}.
  • I presume you uploaded these mainly on behalf of the article in the English-language Wikipedia. The English-language Wikipedia has provisions for upload of non-free content; Commons does not. So I'm guessing you could upload this (probably a lower-resolution version, the minimum needed for the article) separately and acceptably within the English-language Wikipedia, making use of en:Template:Non-free logo or en:Template:Non-free use rationale logo. - Jmabel ! talk 14:37, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

Speedy deletion and category “Undelete in …”[edit]

How to add speedy deleted files to the suiting undeletion category? The actual reason for asking are three recently deleted images by German photographer Franz Landgraf, cf. Category:Franz Landgraf (photographer), who died in 1953. Hence, these files could be undeleted in 2024 (If I remember correctly the license templates would have to be adapted, though). The files:

— Speravir_Talk – 18:38, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

You can simply add the links into the page of the "Undelete in..." category. Assuming the one from 1930 was published in Germany in 1930, it might have to wait until 2026, depending if you take into account the copyright in the U.S. -- Asclepias (talk) 20:41, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Aah, OK. For the second sentence: This is a result of these en:URAA regulations, isn’t it? Not being an admin I do not know, which date was given in the description for File:Porträt Anton Günther um 1930.jpg. — Speravir_Talk – 22:24, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
@Jmabel, Rimshot: You seem to be the most active admins here. Could one of you, please, take a look into File:Porträt Anton Günther um 1930.jpg, which date is given there? — Speravir_Talk – 18:59, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
It only says about 1930, but that's for the creation date. There is no information on publication and no useful source information either. --rimshottalk 19:06, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, Rimshot. Judging from the other 2 files, where I’ve seen the description: Franz Landgraf was his own publisher, too, hence I would suggest to add the undelete request for 2026. (Speravir (Talk))
(Update: I did exactly this now. –Speravir (Talk) 18:04, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
I almost forgot this: By the way and just for the record archived original threads from German Commons:Forum: Commons:Forum/Archiv/2016/June#File:Porträt Anton Günther um 1930.jpg and Commons:Forum/Archiv/2016/June#File:Bad Guter Brunnen Zwönitz 1920.jpg und File:Muldenberger Talsperre 1926.jpg.— Speravir_Talk – 21:53, 21 June 2016 (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. Speravir (Talk) 18:04, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Need to delete copyright protected image[edit]

Hello, I work for Bio-Rad Laboratories and have been assigned to monitor, edit and update our wikipedia page. The following link leads to a wikicommons image that the company founder and CEO want gone from our page. They do not give permission for this image to be used and want it gone immediately, which is their legal right.,_Alice,_and_Norman_Schwartz_PITT2007.jpg

Please let me know when this action will be possible to comply with copyright laws. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 22:39, 21 June 2016 (UTC) (UTC)

No, that's not their legal right. There is no evidence that that photo is owned in any way by them; they merely happen to be in the picture. --Prosfilaes (talk) 23:33, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

Copyright help regarding File:Quintinia verdonii Margaret Flocton.jpg[edit]

Please advise the correct legal status for this picture: Quintinia verdonii Margaret Flocton.jpg

It was a drawing done around 1910. Many other of Margaret Flockton's drawings are on commons. Such as

How does one correctly edit the new file for an acceptable legal status?

thanks Poyt448 (talk) 03:01, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

--Poyt448 (talk) 03:01, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Possibly PD-1923 + PD-Australia ? -- Asclepias (talk) 03:38, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Copyright: stained glass not in PD, covered by FoP — derivative work[edit]

Assuming that a stained glass is not in public domain, and it is covered by freedom of panorama, can it be safely uploaded to the Commons? How to deal with a problem of derivative works based on the photo? --Wikimpan (talk) 09:25, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

  • If it's covered by FOP (not a given and you don't say what country), I would think no problem. A lot of things that are covered by FOP (or de minimis) could theoretically have some derivative work that would not have the same exemption. - Jmabel ! talk 14:01, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
    • It is covered by FoP, as stated in the question. The problem I see is that if one licenses a photo of a stained glass under a licence that permits derivative works, someone could create a graphic work or even a stained glass that uses the same design, which would clearly violate original author’s rights. I believe the issue is the same as with murals, but I want to make sure. --Wikimpan (talk) 04:07, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

*Uploading a logo on Wiki[edit]

To whom it may concern,

I own the copyright to a logo that someone else has designed. It is unclear on Wiki's guidelines as to whether I can upload a logo that I own but have not created to Wiki. If so, is there a particular license that I need?


Mary — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mjhodgett (talk • contribs) 14:45, 22 June 2016 (UTC) (UTC)

  • If the copyright has been clearly transferred (written transfer) and you are willing to license it appropriately, yes, you can upload it. Do be clear who the author is, add a clarifying statement in the "Permissions" part of the Information template, and I'd recommend that you send an email as described in COM:OTRS and tag the uploaded file with {{OTRS Pending}} since this is a bit unusual and it would be good to have a clear release on file. - Jmabel ! talk 16:47, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Copyright claim for something that seems clearly below US Threshold of Originality[edit]

Cartridge label here and here claims "Audiovisual concept, label and program (C) 1984 Activision Inc."

Am I correct in assuming that the label design (in this case) falls below the US threshold of originality as a combination of {{pd-text}} and {{pd-simple}} and that this claim is invalid?

FWIW, I suspect that this is boilerplate slapped onto every cart regardless of whether or not it was enforceable. I have another Activision cartridge - Kaboom - that has a definitely-copyrightable photo (and as such wasn't photographed for Commons).

Multicherry (talk) 12:03, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

  • I'd be astounded it that was copyrightable. - Jmabel ! talk 14:03, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
  • I agree. The only thing copyrightable would be the software stored inside the cartridge, and obviously the photos as a whole. Green Giant (talk) 16:13, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the feedback- that's what I thought too! Multicherry (talk) 22:15, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Copyright help regarding Zweifach AMRAAM Werfer 01.JPG[edit]

Ich würde gerne ein paar Fotos des Kollegen user:FFA P-16 in Absprache mit ihm (sind seine eigenen Fotos) hochladen. Was gebe ich da am besten bei der Lizenz-Auswahl an?

--MBurch (talk) 19:42, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

I would like to upload pictures of my friend user:FFA P-16 (their his own works and he agrees that I upload them). Which choice I choose for the licence?--MBurch (talk) 19:44, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Ich bestätige das ich MBurch bevolmächtige Fotos die ich gemacht habe hochzuladen. Ich habe ihn darum gebeten da ich die Fotos momentan nicht hochladen kann (es kommt immer die Fehlermeldung "Skriptfehler). FFA P-16 (talk) 19:52, 23 June 2016 (UTC) I have given MBurch my permission that he can upload pictures who I had made. I asked him for this because right now it is for me not possibel because of a software error. FFA P-16 (talk) 19:52, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

  • For the record, neither Zweifach AMRAAM Werfer 01.JPG nor File:Zweifach AMRAAM Werfer 01.JPG has ever existed on Commons, so I'm not sure I understand the section header. - Jmabel ! talk 20:11, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Your friend -- FFA P-16, I assume that is you -- as the copyright-holder, is the one who must grant the license, not you. You can't upload based on vague permission to use the photos, your friend needs to grant a specific license (although you can assist by drafting an email for your friend to send). If in doubt, personally recommend CC-BY-SA as retaining as many rights as are congruent with placing a photo on Commons. Please see COM:OTRS for what is needed. - Jmabel ! talk 20:11, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Thank you Jmabel, I did as you recommended.--MBurch (talk) 20:14, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

@Jmabel I made this pictures last friday and saturday when I was visiting the 75years Meiringen AFB. I made the photos (there are more than this 3) by myself with my own camera (ca 130 photos videoclips) and my own mobilephone (98 photos/short video clips). I tried first to upload some of them it here. But then was thisscript errorprobem. So I asked MBurch for help. I sendet him a few pictures via e-mail. FFA P-16 (talk) 22:29, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

  • All of which is fine, but no substitute for following the directions at COM:OTRS to grant a specific license. - Jmabel ! talk 13:59, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

I think the problem is solved on a other way. I managed today to upload a few pictures. So it looks like I can my self made pictures upload by my self here. FFA P-16 (talk) 22:35, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

Copyright questions[edit]

Hi, I've recently become interested in structural engineering and so I am editing related entries. I've become interested because I work for a company that makes structural products. My questions is, can I use photos from our website given that I agree to the terms and conditions of the company on the website?

No subject[edit]

Мой файл P1011078_Изображена_эволюционная_спираль.JPG удален ВАНДАЛОМ. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Павлова Светлана Владимировна (talk • contribs) 08:03, 25 June 2016‎ (UTC)

Если вас не устраивают условия, то вы должны прекратить пользоваться этим сайтом. Ruslik (talk) 11:45, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

Adobe Flash player

Charles Dolan[edit]

I'm trying to upload this picture of Charles Dolan, but I don't know its status.

JerrySa1 (talk) 22:59, 25 June 2016 (UTC)