Template talk:Free screenshot

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Interesting question is that whether or how to indicate the coyright status of the program on the picture? Most screenshots tagged by this template going to be probably contain GPL programs... The screenshot is free by all means, but how to indicate or determine the extents of freeness... it's beyond me. --grin 10:45, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Indicating License[edit]

Right now one has to indicate the license outside the template; I'm going to try using a variable license to change that... Any objections? Phoenix-Forgotten 23:04, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

I have added a license tag, e.g., here: Image:Konqueror-Screenshot.png. Well at the moment the template doesn't get used by many pictures so it would be no hard thing changing it but I think the license templates should be kept separate, as you anyway need to enter the full string (note you can't put in a variable a template you can only use variables in a sub template). Arnomane 23:37, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

I agree that your Template:Information is useful, but I'm not sure what it has to do with keeping the software license information separate from the notice about that software's license. The copyright tags don't currently describe the specific licenses of free software that's pictured in screenshots, so I modified this one to allow inclusion of that data by the user. (Of course the image's license is indicated separately.) True, one could put that information in your Information template under Permissions, or just write it outside as normal, but it seems more stylistic to me to require it in the template itself. One way or another, the user has to type the license information anyway: either inside or outside this template. And with a variable, we'd notice that the information isn't there a little faster. Phoenix-Forgotten 03:48, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

Hm well I fear there was some missunderstanding. ;-) The reason why I was suggesting not combining Free-Screenshot template and license templates that you otherwise would need to enter the license tag in another way than suggestest on Commons:Copyright tags and this would possibly cause confusion. Well the free-screnshot template says at the monent only: Every part displayed is free but is maybe under different free licenses. Use the screenshot after its license or the individual parts according to the license of the software. So IMHO in fact the freee-screenhot template does not provide much more information than a simple disclaimer and the same information could be entered more precisely with Template:Information combined with a license template Arnomane 08:05, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

Operating system components?[edit]


  • the Microsoft Windows operating system,
  • a copylefted or otherwise Free program or a program which I created that runs on this operating system, and
  • a screenshot of this program,

do I have to blur out all Win32 GUI widgets and window decorations before uploading the image to Commons? Or should I install Linux, FreeBSD, or ReactOS on my computer before attempting to make screenshots? --Damian Yerrick () 01:53, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

There's no simple answer to that. Basically:
  • Windows widgets are copyrighted if they are not inelegible for copyright because very trivial. I personally belive that the "window decorations", i.e. the blue title bar, with the "_" and "x" buttons, etc, is trivial and not copyrightable. I would say the same about simple buttons, scrollbars, and other "standard" widgets.
  • I would be careful with more complex icons, like the ones used for "folder", etc. The screenshot should not show any icons that show logos, like the "W"-icon for Word, etc.
  • Complex GUI components, like the "Open File" dialog, are copyrighted by Micorsoft and subject to their terms and conditions - which explicitely forbid modifying screenshots, for instance, and are thus not acceptable on commons.
  • Screenshots of the GUI of non-free programs are generally subject to copyright by the programmers/designers. On the other hand, if you only "shoot" a part that shows something created by you (like, a text you wrote in word), that would be ok - if it does not use non-trivial icons or other copyrighted design elements (i.e. a screenshot of games are usually not ok, even if you "created" the map/view/whatever in the screenshot - because you are using copyrighted artwork as a basis).
  • Screenshots of free software are generally ok, we have {{free screenshot|license=something}} for that. However, make sure that the free program is not showing any copyrighted contents, or icons with questionable status; many "free" icon sets include trademarked (and copyrighted!) logos - which are not really free, no matter what the creator of the graphics files sais.
I hope this helps as a rough guide. Note, however, that this is just my personal take on the issue. The purists may be more restrictive. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 10:36, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
So would a screenshot of Microsoft Windows decorations (allegedly PD-ineligible) around Mozilla Firefox (MPL) around the Wikipedia home page (GFDL) be permitted under this analysis? More specifically, would it be appropriate to transwiki en:Image:Cmd.exe pause.png here as PD-ineligible? --Damian Yerrick () 23:56, 22 June 2006 (UTC)


If somebody uploads a screenshot of a GPL program, putting it under the GPL does not mean that Commons offers to provide the "source code" to the image? What would that mean? Should Commons offer the source code to the specific version of the program in the image? I think that a PNG (less a JPEG) could not be considered source code. -- 22:16, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

6d) Convey the object code by offering access from a designated place (gratis or for a charge), and offer equivalent access to the Corresponding Source in the same way through the same place at no further charge. You need not require recipients to copy the Corresponding Source along with the object code. If the place to copy the object code is a network server, the Corresponding Source may be on a different server (operated by you or a third party) that supports equivalent copying facilities, provided you maintain clear directions next to the object code saying where to find the Corresponding Source. Regardless of what server hosts the Corresponding Source, you remain obligated to ensure that it is available for as long as needed to satisfy these requirements. (my emphasis) Seems to me that linking to the source code would be sufficient? -- Bryan (talk to me) 11:14, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
It seems that GPL 3 has covered the issue, though Wikipedia should keep track of the source code. However I'd say that most of the GPL screenshots until now are from GPL2 (though probably many allow for later versions). GPL2 says:
3.b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you received the program in object code or executable form with such an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)
The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control compilation and installation of the executable. However, as a special exception, the source code distributed need not include anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component itself accompanies the executable.
If distribution of executable or object code is made by offering access to copy from a designated place [What Wikipedia does], then offering equivalent access to copy the source code from the same place counts as distribution of the source code, even though third parties are not compelled to copy the source along with the object code.
--Error 19:17, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Non-copyrightable parts of UI of non-free programs[edit]

The English version of the template says:

This screenshot either does not contain parts or visuals of copyrighted programs, or the author has released it under a free license (which should be indicated beneath this notice), and as such follows the licensing guidelines for screenshots of Wikimedia Commons.

Does the "it" refer to the screenshot and not to the program? Does, then, this template apply to screenshots of non-free software with uncopyrightable (PD-text, PD-trivial, PD-ineligible) user interface?

Or does the "author" refer to the programs' author?

--AVRS (talk) 12:34, 12 November 2009 (UTC)


This template should be autotranslated, see {{Autotranslate}}. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Multichill (talk • contribs) 18 November 2009 (UTC)

It is now. Rd232 (talk) 16:24, 7 November 2011 (UTC)


{{edit request}}

In the first sentence, please add


before "parts or visuals". Rd232 (talk) 20:19, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

✓ Done Thanks for helping Jean-Fred (talk) 18:39, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Screenshot license for GPL/CC-BY-SA games[edit]

What is the license of a screenshot if the software is a 3D game that uses GPL for the code and CC-BY-SA for the models and textures? And what value shold be used for the license paramater in this case? --Zeitlupe (talk) 19:08, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Template broken[edit]

I noticed a bot tagging File:XchatScreenshot2.6.6.png with Category:Media without a license: needs history check. The file does contain this template with a link to {{GPL}} but that seems to have broken. Multichill (talk) 08:23, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

It was probably valid in 10/2007, doc from this time suggested to use 'template=' but today it's 'license='. No idea why template= doesn't work anymore.--Denniss (talk) 08:49, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
EDIT: Sounds the change 3 days ago broke more than it fixed. --Denniss (talk) 09:05, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
@Multichill and Denniss. I was informed by Codename Lisa that there was a problem. I changes most of the files so they use "license=" but that did not solve all the problems so I reverted the edit. The problem is that the {{GFDL}} template put files in Category:License migration candidates and to solve that problem we need the template to be able to handle the license migration. --MGA73 (talk) 14:26, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh problem solved... Them template could just be used like this:
{{Free screenshot|license={{GFDL|migration=relicense}}{{PD-ineligible}}'''Some text'''{{cc-by-sa-1.0}}}}
So we use
instead of
--MGA73 (talk) 17:20, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

License without a copyright tag?[edit]

The doc says:

"Free software license tag. It can be either in form of a template or template name, so both "{{GPL}}" and "GPL" are OK. There are a few licenses for which we do not have a template, so use:

  • "PSFL" for Python Software Foundation License
  • "NETHACK" for NetHack General Public License
  • "LUCENT" for Lucent Public License"

Is there any good reason not to create the templates? --MGA73 (talk) 14:55, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

For example like {{Lucent}} so we can get the files in a category like Category:Lucent License files. --MGA73 (talk) 17:04, 18 September 2014 (UTC)