Commons talk:Reusing content outside Wikimedia/Archive 1

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I started this page after answering one too many reuse queries to, which is supposed to be my email address for press queries. OTRS have boilerplate for this sort of thing as well. That is, it's common enough that we do need a page on the subject.

There exist Commons:Licensing, which is for people wanting to add stuff to Commons, and Commons:First steps/Reuse, which isn't actually very helpful.

The idea is something that says "this is what is reusable, this is where you look to see what license, this is what you do to obey the license." Note intro stressing that this is not only not legal advice, but we take no responsibility for the listed licenses being accurate.

Any ideas welcomed - David Gerard 15:36, 2 September 2006 (UTC) 今日係17-03-2011早上10:43 日本人可以話害己害人,全國使用核能...一定不會有國家入侵因為戰爭當中,發 電廠係首選,但你知道係核電....>.<"""[自保]比人侵略冇可能又不用別人幫 日本在當日發生地震一天,知道核電廠出左問題,又不給美國幫忙輸出冷卻制,因為它們收藏了可生產核子武器....的其本源料....到爆下一個廠,爆下一個廠,比人知道了不可以再說謊時,大家明白了....今天美國派無人flying入去了解,如美國人的表示什麼不說,卻又走人的情況下...呢次日本死得人多 ,可能全日本人死於非命....是它們自作業,>.<""""'慘

Disclaimer text and link to this project page?

It seems to me that it couldn't hurt if our templates carried the disclaimer. EG:
Public domain This photographic image was published before December 31st 1956 or photographed before 1946 and not published for 10 years thereafter under jurisdiction of the Government of Japan. Thus this photographic image is considered to be public domain according to article Foo of old copyright law of Japan and article Bar of supplemental provision of copyright law of Japan. This applies world wide.
Please note: Neither the Wikimedia Foundation nor the editors of content on Wikimedia sites provide legal advice. It is your responsibility to determine how the licenses apply to your intended uses — or indeed that the content is in fact under the license stated. More info here.
Flag of Japan.svg
Disregarding the license text of this particular template, is the disclaimer text, format and redirection to the "Reusing content outside Wikimedia" page acceptable? (Note I changed authors of pages to "editors of content" with the intention of broadening the coverage of cases.) -Mak 17:42, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
OMG, what is wrong with the "Disclaimer" at the bottom of every page?
Fred Chess 18:19, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Well ok, point taken. Folks using content off the web in a commercial venture would be silly and irresponsible to neglect an independent verification of PD claims. Still, a friendly reminder can't hurt. Ok, how so how about,
"Please be aware of this important information before reusing content outside of Wikipedia." Or-
"Want to re-use Wikimedia content? Read this first."
On the other hand, maybe 28 point blinking red text with Caution/Warning etc is in order. -Mak 21:44, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Is your idea to add this to the foot of the page, or to every template? / Fred Chess 12:04, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
The PD-Templates because of user context. The simple thought when I read David's bolded disclaimer text was- any visitors interested in the PD templates would probably be interested in this statement. They might not like it, but if they are unaware of their responsibilities, a reminder wouldn't hurt. -Mak 16:49, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

encourage reuse

Most people don't understand the notion of 'free content'. The first thing they assume is that permission must be asked. Of course in some cases for some uses permission from the original author is still required, as the first 5 paragraphs of the current faq explain.

However. We should be emphasizing clearly, before issuing all kinds of warnings covering those corner cases, that almost all Wikimedia content and media are available for immediate reuse, modification, and republication without waiting to receive specific permission. A few super-short bullet points, one per exception, could follow such a statement. Each could then link to a section later down the page with details of that exception and how to deal with such a case. +sj + 06:31, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

I wouldn't emphasize that. It seems to me that people thinks that Internet content can be freely used. We all know how many headaches it gives us. Then there will be people copying copyvios (like there is people giving imageshack as a source), not keeping author althoug atributtion is required. I prefer them calmed. They ask for permission? Nice, give it. If they read the texts they will learn, and also all exceptions, requirements, etc.
It's worse having to deal with people thinking this is free, it's from english wikipedia or i can use this, i took from another wikipedia, and uploading fair use, giving source: and translating the name so you can't check source...
Platonides 14:24, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikimedia Project Logo Usage

I would like to suggest that the section on the usage of WMF-owned logos needs to be expanded somewhat, even though it appears as though Brad and the WMF board are trying to avoid addressing this issue and have reacted in a rather draconian fashion that IMHO is beyond the scope of copyright and trademark law.

First, and foremost, a contact point needs to be mentioned for whom to ask for legal permissions, particularly for uses that go beyond a journalistic nature. Explicitly, I would like to see addressed here and in similar pages how Wikimedia content can be reused in terms of granting acknowledgement to the Wikimedia Foundation and the respective project (such as Commons here) that the content was originally developed and organized at.

From earlier e-mails I wrote on Foundation-l, there was a general sense that it was (in the opinion of Brad and others supposedly in the know) against Wikimedia policy to allow usage of logos or even project names in any way shape or form, even as a credit by-line or in a reference bibliography (I am not kidding here!). It was suggested that even project page names (such as image names in commons) were considered unregistered trademarks protected and owned by the WMF, or book titles from Wikibooks and Wikisource. This is where I think it absurd, particularly when the WMF won't even disclose what it considers to be protected logos or trademarks.

For particularly commercial entities who reproduce Wikimedia project content in formats other than web pages, the WMF position on acceptable use is so ambiguous that it makes a complete mockery of the GFDL that essentially all content on Wikimedia projects is considered under a propritary license. You can get a much more clear view of content usage from people like Microsoft or commercial publishers like Prentiss-Hall, and certainly reasonable contact information for reuse.

Sorry to vent my spleen here, but this is an issue that won't go away. I'm not asking for every possible use of this content to be fully explained, but I think it is completely unreasonable to presume that this content won't be made into dead-tree type books or CD-ROM collections, and that permission from the WMF board must be obtained each time you want to make such a publication. The GFDL was written explicitly so you didn't have to make such formal requests, but that seems to be put on its head right now. --RHorning 17:36, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Article names, or the names of the books of wikibooks can't be protected by WMF. They are not works of the WMF, so they can't register them. If there were such trademark, it would be owned by the author anyway, not the WMF.
No matter 'Wikipedia' being a trademark, i think anyone could distribute a Wikipedia copy saying 'it comes from Wikipedia'. What wouldn't be so acceptable, could be saying it on big letters, like it was produced by the board, or a use of the wikipedia logo on it.
I do agree with you that a contact point for the matter is needed.
Platonides 18:57, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I would have to agree with your interpretation, but based on previous discussions on Foundation-l, not all members of the WMF board of trustees have this viewpoint, or indeed any of them at all. For myself, I view the WMF as being a "trustee" for and in behalf of the Wikimedia "community" that has been developing Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, and protecting the Wikipedia trademark for that community. The problem comes when some certain members of the "Foundation" (there is also some attempt to distance the activities of the foundation from the editors and contributors of Wikimedia projects) want to leverage WMF trademarks for either personal pet projects, often under the guise of "fundraising activities". In fact, many of these ideas are good and useful, but I think some of the board members doing this have the ownership issues reversed. The WMF did not invent or create the logos and trademarks asserted by the WMF and the Wikimedia community is using them under license. Instead they recieved them from the Wikimedia community as a freely given gift. Anything on this page should reflect that attitude. The trademark usage policies don't seem to reflect this concept at all. --RHorning 17:35, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Query sent to FSF on GFDL reuse

I emailed FSF licensing queries about how to reuse a GFDLed image. I cc'd it to commons-l - David Gerard 21:16, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Moved text

I moved this text from the GFDL section:

"(someone please fill in this bit with precisely how this works both per the FSF and in actual case law - whole book? chapter? section? This is plainly wrong except for the case where the image is used as part of another image.)"

If I understand correctly, licensing under GFDL does indeed mean that any document the file is used in must also be released under the GFDL (which is why some people insist on using this license). --SB_Johnny | PA! 09:00, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Reading the GFDL, it looks like derivative work (that based on the figure or text) must be also released under the same licence (i.e., made free). However, according to the 'Aggregation with independent works' section, it seems to me that if you are placing an image/text in a work that is independent of the image (e.g. a book), the free licence does not apply to the independent work (i.e., the rest of the book does not then have to be made free).

Yes. The difference is in what is considered derivative and what aggregation. Fsf thinks placing an image in a text creates a derivative work, while Creative Commons treats that as aggregation... Platonides 21:31, 19 April 2008 (UTC)


The current hotlinking section does not seem to address w:Hotlinking, i.e., w:Inline linking, at least not in clear English. Jidanni 21:28, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes it veers into redirected search queries rather abruptly... the cliff's notes version is, "don't do it". :) --pfctdayelise (说什么?) 08:44, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Scope and content of the page

The suggestion has been made to merge this with m:How to use or reuse our content.

1. I propose that this page (Commons:Reusing content outside Wikimedia) be changed to focus solely on media files on Commons, and the discussion of other Wikimedia projects be sent to Meta (or wherever), because...

  • People arriving at this page likely came from somewhere on Commons, or (more likely) from an image description page on one of the Wikipedias, in which case they'll probably be interested in reusing that particular image.
  • It's a lot easier to use files on Commons than to use content from e.g. Wikipedia (since files on Commons typically have a single author and/or a more permissive license than the GFDL, such as CC-BY).

With increasing frequencey, I see images from Commons being used as stock images on websites (commercial or not), which is great, except that they don't always follow the license (I've seen images credited to "Wikimedia Commons"). I assume this is due to the dearth of information on reusing Commons images.

2. I propose that this page should contain clear and simple recommendations on how to reuse content in the common cases (maybe with a big legal disclaimer).

This is a problem for GFDL licensed content, since nobody apparently knows exactly where to draw the line between a combination and a collection. E.g. including a GFDL image in an article on a website: Does this require a) only the image, b) the article text and all images in it, or c) the entire webpage, to be licensed under the GFDL? We don't know, and apparently, neither does the FSF.

The same problem exists in the "legal code" of the CC ShareAlike licenses, although the "human code" makes it appear that it should apply only for modifications to the work, not for having the work embedded in/used together with another work. Have anyone contacted for input?

But at least we can spell out how to use the thousands of files licensed under plain CC-BY, BSD/MIT, etc.

Kwi (talk) 02:44, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Reusing a CC-BY image from Commons on a website (example)

  • You must credit the author.
  • You must include a link to the license (or include the license in its entirety). Be sure to link to/include the correct version, as specified on the file description page.
  • You must honour any further terms specified by the author. For instance, some authors ask to be credited with a link to their web site.
  • You are encouraged (but not required) to include a link to the original image on Wikimedia Commons.

This all sounds eminently sensible. --MichaelMaggs 08:52, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

please remove the picture of (As yuo said)muhammad!!


la Société Vip Europe SARL a crée ce mot Europass bien avant pour servir comme sa marque.

Reuse abuse?

What to do when a commercial publication has published an image from Commons and only cited the source as "" and not the proper author of the image and license? What if the [reputable] publication has several such images around its site? - 10:36, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

They should be approached by the athors requesting to be acknowledged. Platonides (talk) 22:19, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

This photo is from Nadar alright but but dated much before march 1895 which is the time when Charlres Frederick Worth, my great great grand father, died. It can be positionned in 1885.

Jean-Philippe Lemoine

Is there any page on Commons for reporting such cases? I recently found another and informed the author, but it would be good to have a centralized list of cases. --Yerpo (talk) 13:59, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Commons is not in the legal possession to enforce copyrights. Only the owners can enforce their copyrights. --J.smith (talk) 04:04, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Someone has also asked this on Commons talk:Licensing. I have linked to here and also found one can add the image to Category:Commons as a media source, for example by adding template {{published}} with the "legal=" parameter set to "no" onto the image talk page. Doing that places the image into Category:Images used by media organizations but violating license terms. 84user (talk) 00:53, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
As an experiment I looked at the first image in the violating category, File:Amiens - Hotel de Ville de nuit.jpg, and I have sent a polite email to Wargan Solutions asking them to add the required attribution. See File talk:Amiens - Hotel de Ville de nuit.jpg for the details. I guess anyone could do this for the other images; all I did was lookup the registrant of and get their contact addresses. 84user (talk) 01:32, 17 May 2009 (UTC)


I'm trying to find the passage in the GFDL where it requires the wikimedia project to be attributed. Honestly, I cannot find it, and it should be up to the original copyright holder whether or not he/she wants the project attributed. Someone please point me to the passage where it requires website attribution. If there is no such passage, what the project is doing by requiring project attribution is not only deplorable but borderline illegal. Did the project help in me creating my photos? NO. Is it the only place these files are hosted? NO. Are they the only place people can get my images? NO. So should they get a credit line? NO!. -Fcb981 (talk) 21:55, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

  • "GFDL where it requires the wikimedia project to be attributed" it doesn't say that anywhere within the GFDL. Where do you see that listed as a requirement? --J.smith (talk) 04:07, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
    • The big graphic on the page where it lists a checkmark under "credit source (wikimedia foundation)" With that said, there appears to already be a discussion about this topic and there is a clause in the GFDL that says: "Preserve the network location, if any, given in the Document for public access to a Transparent copy of the Document, and likewise the network locations given in the Document for previous versions it was based on." Ok, that is all fine and well, but how does that involve the "wikimedia foundation". They facilitate the "network" perhaps, but they have as much right to me attributed as Jimbo Wales. The graphic should be changed to say: "Credit source (URL or image page that image was retrived)" NOT "Credit the wikimedia foundation for being so nice". Is that doable? -Fcb981 (talk) 02:01, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
The image says "Wikimedia project" not "wikimedia foundation" and that is a very important distinction. I think the intent of the recommendation is "yes, you should link back to where you found the image, and since you found it on a wikimedia project, you should link back to that project in some way". It's not saying that there is any kind of requirement to attribution the image to the foundation. Remember - this chart is "simplified" and whenever you simplify something you lose accuracy. It is still right in essence. --J.smith (talk) 02:15, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually, upon re-reading the clause, it appears the graphic is not "correct in essence" as you assert. The clause speaks of a "network location, if any, given in the document". That is to say, the writer of the document includes a location where the document (in this case a photograph) is available. Not neccisarily the location the document was retrieved from by the third party. Indeed the intent of this clause appears to be so that if the author choses ("...if any...") a location can be provided where the original is available. It certainly doesn't mean to credit the source and therefor I move for that recommendation to be removed from the graphic. -Fcb981 (talk) 00:51, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Five authors

This article takes section 2 and section 4 and tries to merge them. However section 2 is specifically called "Verbatim Copying" while Section 4, which overlays in-part section 2 is called "Modifications". Obviously "Modifications" implies that you are changing something. It is only in section 4 that "five" is used. In section 2, nothing is said about "five" at all. If you are Verbatim Copying, you do not need to credit "five" authors. Wjhonson (talk) 23:05, 3 February 2009 (UTC)


Note that the GNU General Public License (GPL) and the GNU Free Document License (GFDL) are not compatible with each other. But, how about LGPL? Is LGPL also not compatible with GFDL? --V.Riullop (talk) 18:16, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Need additional warning

In some jurisdictions images may be copyright-free or under a free license but they may still be subject to trademark rights or rights similar to a model release. This is particularly true for buildings and historical artifacts.

In some countries, notably not the United States, an item may be released under a free license by the copyright owner but the moral rights may be reserved by the original photographer. Generally these rights are inalienable and cannot be transferred.

We need a generic warning to cover these and other issues that might arise.

I suggest adding this paragraph below "Warning on images of people:"

Other legal issues: Photographs and other files may be subject to trademark rights, moral rights, and other legal protections that vary by country and usage. If you decide to reuse files from Commons, you should make your own determination of your legal right to use each file, just as you would when obtaining images from other sources.

Davidwr (talk) 14:00, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Using an image in an aggregate work

Formerly the article text contained a misleadingly false statement. After intermediairy commentary interlined in text, and comments on commenting articles without contesting content, I integrated my commentary in the text. It is OK to include a GFDL'ed picture in an aggregate work, for example an all rights reserved copyrighted encyclopedia, as long as the author of GFDL'ed picture is attributed, the license included and the other parts of the aggregate work aren't a derivative work of the picture, as per explicit statement in the GFDL license itself. Formerly the article stated that the aggregate work should be GFDL'ed as well - which might be true on another planet, but not on Planet Earth. Dedalus (talk) 15:26, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Condratictory sections?

In section Own MediaWiki installation it is said I can use files from Wikimedia Commons, embed and link them without copying to my MediaWiki powered wiki. But in the next section, Hotlinking, it is said: "This page assumes you wish to copy individual items for your use. For media files, don't hotlink. Please copy them to your own server." I'm confused: can I embed and link files from Wikimedia Commons at my own wiki or not? Or can I only do so, if I want to link only a few files and in greater amount I have to copy them to own server? I asked this question already in Help desk and there were suggestions, that maybe both these sections were written by different authors, which is true ( [1] and [2]). So which section has correct information? Or maybe, as also was suggested in Help Desk, "Hotlinking" section deals with not-MediaWiki pages? Quolav (talk) 12:54, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

You can, but you shouldn't. There are a few reasons why it's not a good idea...
  • Morally hot-linking is theft of bandwidth and Commons is run by a non-profit.
  • Commons is a wiki and as such is dynamic. Images get moved, renamed, edited and sometimes a vandal will upload a penis overtop some other image. Do you really want to the content of your website outside of your control?
Now, this is just my opinion based on my own experience. Some people have argued that hotlinking should be encouraged while others have argued that wikimedia should implement measures to prevent it. Officially it has never been condoned or forbid... just tactfully ignored. --J.smith (talk) 22:51, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
You can because it is allowed. Erik Möller, Deputy Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, has written about this new possibility for own wikis in his blog in 2008:
But be fair, some of J.smith's arguments are important: Images get moved, renamed, edited and sometimes a vandal will upload a penis overtop some other image. That's your risk. But at least for renamed/moved images we have the possibility to create image redirets. Raymond 06:13, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

I've changed the "Hotlinking" text to reflect technical discussions: technically fine, possibly unsafe, please give credit anyway - David Gerard (talk) 23:05, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Telegraph & Argus building

This picture isn't the Telegraph & Argus building. It is Argus Chambers, on the opposite side of the road. The T&A building is the sliver on the left... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 18:40, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

This isn't a picture. Something tells me that you may be commenting on the wrong talk page. LX (talk, contribs) 15:58, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Reusing this image

I have a question regarding permissions attached to image files as "reusing this image" links to this project page. Can an editor assign permissions as to how or if an image may be captioned? The file is question is Tim_Sheens.JPG where the uploading editor does not want an image caption used when the photo is used in an infobox. Is this enforceable? Many thanks, Florrie (talk) 12:11, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

A restriction on use like that would conflict with the CC-BY license. --J.smith (talk) 04:05, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your response. I'll advise the editor and add a caption! Cheers, Florrie (talk) 09:46, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Question on adding image to English Wikipedia from German Wikipedia

This may not be the correct location to ask this, but I'll give it a shot anyway. I am trying to add an image from a German article (de:Friedrich III. (Brandenburg-Bayreuth)) (File:1737 Sofie Karoline.gif) to an English article (en: Duchess Sophie Caroline Marie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel), but it currently states :Do not transfer this file to Wikimedia Commons without an individual review! I'm not quite sure what to do so I can use this image. I've tried looking for the correct policy on this, but can't seem to find anything. Any help would be appreciated! Ruby2010 (talk) 19:56, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Tomb of 'Karimierz Jakubowski" Lychakowski Cemetary, Lwow (Lviv) Ukraine

comment moved to File talk:Lwów - Cmentarz Łyczakowski - Tomb of Kazimierz Jakubowski.jpg --:bdk: 09:20, 9 November 2011 (UTC)