Commons:Own work

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"Own work" or "self-made" has a particular meaning at Commons. It refers to works that you have created yourself, that are not substantially representations of works by others - derivative works.

Ways you can create a work:

  • Photography
  • Drawing something and then scanning it to create a digital copy
  • Using graphics software to create a digital illustration (map, diagram, etc) from scratch
  • Recording your own voice
  • Operating a video camera

Derivative works:

For more details, please read Commons:Derivative works.

If the work you create is a derivative work, the copyright of that works depends on the copyright of the original work. If the original work is copyrighted, as most commercial products are, then the derivative work is unfree and must not be uploaded to Commons. If the original work is out of copyright, or is available under a free license, you are welcome to upload it.


  • Scanning (or photographing) an existing image that you did not originally create or photograph yourself.
  • Copying or downloading an image from a web site.
  • Photos of you not taken by you. The copyright holder is the person who takes the photograph unless it is a formal work for hire. Self portraits are acceptable as "own works". But when you apply the latest version (4.0) of a CC license to your material, you also agree to waive or not assert any publicity, privacy, or personality rights that you hold in the material you are licensing, to the limited extent necessary for others to exercise the licensed rights. For example, if you have licensed a photograph of yourself, you may not assert your right of privacy to have the photo removed from further distribution. (Under the 3.0 and earlier licenses, this is implied but not explicit.) If you do not wish to license these rights in this way, you should not apply a CC license to the material where this is a concern. See How are publicity, privacy, and personality rights affected when I apply a CC license? for more details.

See also[edit]