Wikipedia:Media copyright questions

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Media copyright questions

Welcome to the Media Copyright Questions page, a place for help with image copyrights, tagging, non-free content, and related questions. For all other questions please see Wikipedia:Questions.

How to add a copyright tag to an existing image
  1. On the description page of the image (the one whose name starts File:), click Edit this page.
  2. From the page Wikipedia:File copyright tags, choose the appropriate tag:
    • For work you created yourself, use one of the ones listed under the heading "For image creators".
    • For a work downloaded from the internet, please understand that the vast majority of images from the internet are not appropriate for use on Wikipedia. Exceptions include images from flickr that have an acceptable license, images that are in the public domain because of their age or because they were created by the United States federal government, or images used under a claim of fair use. If you do not know what you are doing, please post a link to the image here and ask BEFORE uploading it.
    • For an image created by someone else who has licensed their image under an acceptable Creative Commons or other free license, or has released their image into the public domain, this permission must be documented. Please see Requesting copyright permission for more information.
  3. Type the name of the tag (e.g.; {{Cc-by-4.0}}), not forgetting {{ before and }} after, in the edit box on the image's description page.
  4. Remove any existing tag complaining that the image has no tag (for example, {{untagged}})
  5. Hit Publish changes.
  6. If you still have questions, go on to "How to ask a question" below.
How to ask a question
  1. To ask a new question hit the "Click here to start a new discussion" link below.
  2. Please sign your question by typing ~~~~ at the end.
  3. Check this page for updates, or request to be notified on your talk page.
  4. Don't include your email address, for your own privacy. We will respond here and cannot respond by email.
Note for those replying to posted questions

If a question clearly does not belong on this page, reply to it using the template {{mcq-wrong}} and, if possible, leave a note on the poster's talk page. For copyright issues relevant to Commons where questions arising cannot be answered locally, questions may be directed to Commons:Commons:Village pump/Copyright.

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photograph of a creative work derived from another creative work under license[edit]

Hypothetical (I wouldn't use this on Wikipedia, but it serves as an example): Consider this World of Warcraft-themed ugly sweater

It uses design elements from a video game but the sweater was designed by someone unrelated to the game (likely contracted out by the seller of the sweater), and then a photographer took a picture of it.

Who owns the copyright to this photograph? Blizzard Entertainment (the makers of the World of Warcraft video game), the person who designed the sweater, Jinx (the seller in this case, who owns the copyright of the website displaying the image), or the photographer who took the picture?

If the photograph was to be published under an acceptable free license, who would grant the permission?

Followup question: Would the situation be different if a person who purchased the sweater is photographed wearing it? ~Anachronist (talk) 14:17, 8 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Blizzard, the designer, and the photographer all hold copyrights here. (Jinx does not.) The sweater design is a derivative work, and the photo is a derivative work of that derivative work. The designer and photographer cannot waive Blizzard's rights in their game images, so there could not be an acceptable free license without Blizzard's consent (fat chance!).
And no, owning and/or wearing the sweater gives nobody any intellectual property rights whatsoever. --Orange Mike | Talk 23:42, 9 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Orangemike: Thanks. I neglected to say that Jinx licensed the rights to use Blizzard imagery on Jinx's products (they do that with other video game companies too). Does that change anything? I suspect not.
A similar issue came up on the Minecraft Wiki (unrelated to Wikipedia) regarding a photograph of a product (I don't remember, a mug or baseball cap or something) with licensed imagery from Mojang (the creator of Minecraft) printed on it. Mojang grants the Minecraft Wiki automatic license to use Mojang imagery on the site, so that's fine, but I wasn't sure what rights the photographer or product designer had in that case. ~Anachronist (talk) 03:04, 21 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

JJMC89 bot is removing my non-free image[edit]

The file I created, File:Pound sterling banknotes.png, is being removed by this bot on Pound sterling. This is strange because there is no violation of non-free usage. In fact I put it there to replace a previous image of banknotes with the same license. --Manche Captain (talk) 10:31, 16 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Hi Manche Captain. Basically, the answer I gave above in #Why has JJMC89 bot removed my image which is already being used for another article? also seems to apply here (just change the names of the articles involved): the file you uploaded is lacking a non-free use rationale for Pound sterling. — Marchjuly (talk) 10:51, 16 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Many thanks for the help. --Manche Captain (talk) 10:56, 16 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

File:Valynce te whare.jpg[edit]

Hi, I am a recently appointed New Page Patroller. During a New Page Patrol of Valynce Te Whare, I noticed that the image used (albeit small) appears to be copied from a video here. I am unsure where/how to tag this for speedy deletion (assuming that is the right course of action). Any advice much appreciated, particularly as I might encounter this again. Paul W (talk) 13:44, 16 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The image is hosted on Commons, and not on the English Wikipedia. Yes, the image is a copyright violation since the source site's terms of use make it explicit that the images are copyrighted and are not under a free license. You will need to tag it for speedy deletion on Commons. You can make the taggin easier by going into your Commons account preferences and under the Gadgets tab, enable "AjaxQuickDelete" and "Quick Delete" which add sidebar menu links to nominate for deletion, or tag for speedy deletion. Whpq (talk) 14:45, 16 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Many thanks, Whpq. Gadget added to my Commons account. Image nominated for deletion (and new learning stored for future use). Paul W (talk) 17:33, 16 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Paul W: When you nominate a file for deletion on Commons, you should provide a bit more information than just "copyright violation". This file probably could've been tagged for speedy deletion using c:Template:Copyvio, but there's nothing wrong with starting a c:COM:DR instead; it's good practice, however, to clarify why you are claiming a file is a copyvio since doing so might help you avoid being asked that very same thing later in the discussion by some other user. — Marchjuly (talk) 20:56, 16 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for your helpful advice (Commons note now expanded to give context and links). This is the first time I have nominated a Commons file for deletion, so - as previously noted - I am still learning. Paul W (talk) 22:47, 16 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]


This was deleted from the Ray Herndon Wikipedia page as not having valid copyright, But, it is used on the McBride & the Ride page, and is in Commons. I believe this can be validly used

Explanation: The image serves as the primary means of visual identification of the band and 2 of its members

Replacable? The group in question has been disbanded and is not likely to reform, so a free image would not be possible. Other information The use of the cover will not affect the value of the original work or limit the copyright holder's rights or ability to distribute the original. In particular, copies could not be used to make illegal copies of this image.

This is a copyrighted image that has been released by a company or organization to promote their work or product in the media, such as advertising material or a promotional photo in a press kit.

The copyright for it is most likely owned by the company who created the promotional item or the artist who produced the item in question; you must provide evidence of such ownership. Lack of such evidence is grounds for deletion. It is believed that the use of some images of promotional material to illustrate: the person(s), product, event, or subject in question; where the image is unrepeatable, i.e. a free image could not be created to replace it; on the English-language Wikipedia, hosted on servers in the United States by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation; qualifies as fair use under Copyright law of the United States. Any other usage of this image, on Wikipedia or elsewhere, might be copyright infringement. See Wikipedia:Non-free content and Wikipedia:Publicity photos. .Mwinog2777 (talk) 22:07, 20 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Mwinog2777: File:Mcbridepromo.jpg is not in Commons; it was uploaded locally to English Wikipedia as non-free content for use in McBride & the Ride. Since it's non-free content, each use of it needs to satisfy all ten non-free content use criteria. The reason why the bot removed the file from Ray Herndon was because the file lacked the separate and specific non-free use rationale required for that article per non-free content use criterion #10c; this is why the bot added a link to WP:NFC#Implementation in the edit summary it left when removing the file. Generally, non-free images are not allowed to be used for primary indentification purposes in articles about still-living persons per WP:FREER and item 1 of WP:NFC#UUI; so, it would be really quite hard to justify the use of the file in the biography article about Herndon simply because he's still living and it's not unreasonable to expect that a free image of image can either be found or created to serve the same encyclopedic purpose as this or any non-free one. Personally, I think the non-free use of the image in the article about the band is also questionable and probably would have a hard time establishing a consensus in favor of its use for many of the same reasons. Non-free images of defunct bands are sometimes allowed, but usually only when their visual appearance of the band was one of the main reasons for their popularity. The fact that the band is now defunct isn't always a very strong justification for non-free use absent any reliably sourced content about the band's appearance that makes seeing a non-free image of the band helpful to the read. Things like the use of make-up or special costumes, or the presence of deceased band members in the original lineup of the band to be things that provided a good justification non-free use, but none of those things seem to apply to McBride & the Ride. While I'm sure the file was uploaded in good faith, the fact that the non-free use was never discussed or assessed until now doesn't mean it's a valid non-free use. Regardless, this would most likely need to be something discussed at FFD to be resolved, but once again I think there's probably no chance of a consenus being established in favor of the file's use in the Herndon article even if the use in the article about the bacn is considered to be OK. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:39, 21 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I was mistaken, it is not in commons. and, thanx for the response. Mwinog2777 (talk) 04:11, 21 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Copyright stuff for file[edit]

I don't know how to complete copyright stuff for this file:


I uploaded it before reading the Media copyright questions.

The author is Ilya Sergey. URL: I have helped him update this diagram and have emails to prove it. Page1CSL-Family-Tree.png is only the first page of this pdf.

In addition, this article on the web contains a version of this image:

Can you reply on my talk page: User talk:DavidGries/sandbox ?


I hope I am signing this properly.

DavidGries (talk) 20:19, 22 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Political Parties in Kosovo[edit]

How is the use of political parties logos in a article dedicated to the Political Parties of Kosovo a violation? May I get a broader explanation? --PrincLeka1914 (talk) 13:20, 24 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Hi PrincLeka1914. The reason the JJMC89's bot removed those particular files is because they are licensed as non-free content and non-free content use on Wikipedia is highly restricted and subject to Wikipedia's non-free content use policy. There are ten criteria that each use of a non-free file needs to satisfy for the use to be considered OK, and the bot was removing the files because their use in List of political parties in Kosovo didn't satisfy criterion #10c. Each use of a non-free file is required to have two things: a copyright license and a separate, specific non-free use rationale for each use of the file. One copyright license is almost always sufficient for a non-free file, but a rationale needs to be provided for each use of the file. Since those files didn't have corresponding rationales for their use in that particular article, the bot removed the files. This is why the bot included a link to WP:NFC#Implementation in the edit summary when it removed the files.
There are some other reasons, however, why those particular files shouldn't be used in that article that go beyond what the bot has been tasked to look for. Generally, the non-free use of logos such as this is considered to be only OK for the primary article about the organization that the logo represents, which is why the logos are OK to use for primary identification purposes in the individual articles about each party. Other types of non-free use or use in other articles tends to be much harder to justify. The use of non-free logos like this in list articles, in particular, is pretty never allowed per WP:NFLISTS and MOS:LOGO because such use is almost always considered to be WP:DECORATIVE and not necessary since there's basically no reason for the reader to see the logo to understand what little information there is about each individual party in the list. In such cases, a WP:WIKILINK to the primary article about the party where the logo can be seen is considered to be more than acceptable as an alternative to non-free use per WP:FREER. Aesthetically, it might seem odd for some entries to have logos and others to not have logos, but there's no requirement for there to be any logos used at all in a list article like this and even those not licensed as non-free content aren't really needed. That, however, is not really a non-free content use policy issue per se, but rather something that might need to be sorted out through discussion on the article's talk page since freely licensed and public domain logo use is not subject to the same restrictions as non-free content use.
Now if I haven't lost you with all that I've posted above, it's quite possible that at least one of the files removed by the bot (File:Logo of the Democratic League of Kosovo.svg) might actually not need to be licensed as non-free content since it might be too simple to be eligible for copyright protection (at least under United States copyright law). Ifothers feel the same way, then that file's licensing can most likely be converted to public domain, which would make it OK to use in that article. The other two logos, however, are a bit more complex and thus are probably just creative enough to require them to remain licensed as non-free for use on Wikipedia. -- Marchjuly (talk) 15:24, 24 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Images of Lego sets & pieces[edit]

This might be a stupid question, but are finished Lego sets and/or individual Lego pieces covered by any sort of copyright law? SpiritedMichelle (talk) 23:10, 28 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Hi SpiritedMichelle. Individual lego blocks might be considered c:COM:TOYS or c:COM:CB#Utility objects depending on how you "see" each block. Photographing an individual block is probably OK and wouldn't be considered a c:COM:DW in the US, though other countries might treat things differently. A bunch of blocks combined together to create a separate identifiable work, on the other hand, seems like it could be creative enough to be protected by copyright under the copyright laws of most countries. The finished project, depending up the degree of creativity involved, could be argued to be a sort of 3D work of art (like a sculpture) that would possibly be eligible for its own copyright separate of the individual elements used to create it. Whether you could photograph such a "work" and then release your photo under a free license that Wikipedia accepts without needing to worry about infringing upon the copyright of the work's creator would probably largely depend on the freedom of panorama laws of the country where the work is displayed. Some countries allow such photos to be taken, whereas others do not. I found this on Lego's official website and also this article about a 2021 court ruling in China and perhaps they will give you some insight how others feel about this type of thing. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:11, 29 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Presenting quotations of paywalled sources in the WP:IC[edit]

I imagine, I may have gone over the line a bit, so I want some guidance on how much quote content I can present in WP:ICs from paywalled sources at Ryan Roberts (American football).--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 23:26, 28 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Hi TonyTheTiger. This noticeboard deals mainly with media related questions; so, perhaps MOS:QUOTE and WP:QUOTE will provide some general information about this. You can also looking at WP:FOOTQUOTE. My guess is that a short quote added to a footnote would most like be acceptable just as it would if the quote is adding directly to the body of the article; however, long quotes probably have issues related both to context and copyright, and should be used sparingly if not at all whenever possible. How long is long may depend on who you ask, but maybe the members of Wikipedia:WikiProject Copyright Cleanup can provide some guidance. -- Marchjuly (talk) 23:52, 28 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Just going to add that I don't think WP:PAYWALL matters when it comes to the amount of text you're quoting. Paywall sources are acceptable to cite as long as the satisfy Wikipedia's definition of a reliable source and used in proper context. If the only reason you're quoting so much text is because it's from a source behind a paywall, then that might not be a good enough justification per WP:FREER if the quoted text needs to be treated as non-free content. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:19, 29 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]