Free licenses

"Wikipedia:Creative Commons licenses" redirects here. For Text attribution tags, see Template:CC-notice.

Free content is free as in freedom. This page links to some of the most popular licenses for releasing such content. This page can be reached via when forwarding the full URL is not convenient. If an image is available under one of these licenses, it is acceptable to be used in Wikipedia.

Berkeley Software Distribution


Creative Commons

Generally, a work licensed under a CC tag with more requirements cannot be integrated into a work licensed under a more permissive CC license (such as integrating a CC-BY-SA work into a CC-BY work), unless the entire target work switches to the less permissive license.

Other Creative Commons licenses exist but are non-free for use in Wikipedia. See Non-free Creative Commons licenses for a full list and explanation.

Free Art license (Licence Art Libre)

Free Art license

GNU's Not Unix!

Note: The licenses in this section require reprinting the entire license text with any reuse of the image. If you created the image yourself, please consider using a different license. If one includes any of the content, the entire book/section goes under GFDL, unlike CC-BY-SA.



UK Government

Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Public domain

See also

Remember that most images you find on the Web are not public domain, even if they list no explicit copyright information. Images only qualify as being in the public domain if they fall under certain specific categories described below – images ineligible for copyright protection, very old works, works by certain government employees, and works where an explicit disclaimer of copyright has been made in writing by the author.

For a simple chart on US Public Domain regulations (Wikipedia servers are located in the US and fall under US guidelines) see the chart here.



These tags are used for an author to attempt to release their work into the public domain, disclaiming any copyright. See Wikipedia: Granting work into the public domain.



Other countries

Whenever an image is tagged using one of these tags, the image description page should also contain some rationale as to whether and why the image is presumed to be in the public domain in the U.S. and other countries. See also ((PD-US-1996)), which can be used to state that the copyright on the image was not restored by the URAA.


New Zealand government

Publications of the New Zealand government are mostly covered by Crown copyright, which in New Zealand has a 100-year term under Section 26(3)(b) of the Copyright Act 1994. This puts most recent material out of bounds. However, there is an exception to these provisions for some documents:

New Zealand Crown copyright used to only last 50 years, and copyright has expired for government works from 1944 or earlier. Regular copyright provisions (such as a 50-year term) apply to works by Crown entities and state-owned enterprises, not Crown copyright.

Deprecated (no longer being used)

General Federal Government copyright tag
Specialized Federal Government copyright tags
Collections of US government agencies
General U.S. Military copyright tag
Specialized U.S. Military copyright tags

United States government

The following copyright tags are among those applicable to photographs and graphic images originating from the United States of America and created by people other than the uploader. Please see the text of each tag for specific disclaimers.

General Public Domain tags

American Non-Free Files tags

For a complete set of tags for non-free images, see Wikipedia:File copyright tags/Non-free.

State Government Public Domain tags

U.S. Federal Government tags

U.S. Military tags

Non-free content

Copyrighted media files may be used in Wikipedia articles on a limited basis, provided they satisfy both the legal test for fair use and Wikipedia's own guidelines for non-free content, found at Wikipedia:Non-free content. Each image or audio file has a file page where any fair-use concerns must be addressed.

Please note: Copyrighted images that can reasonably be replaced by free images may not be used on Wikipedia.

For non-free content, each image page must include:



Audio and music

Cover art


Promotional material

Fair use on Wikipedia only applies if it is not possible to replace such promotional image with a free image.

Publicity photos

Fair use on Wikipedia only applies if it is not possible to replace such publicity image with a free image.


Stamps and currency

UK government



These tags cannot be used on their own. Any files using these tags must have one of the previously mentioned tags.



These tags are used to mark images which are deprecated, and which will eventually be deleted.

General non-free licenses

Do not upload images for which one of the tags in this section applies. They will be deleted.

Non-free Creative Commons licenses

Do not upload images for which one of the tags in this section applies. Instead, if it is your work, consider licensing the work under a Creative Commons License that is acceptable for use in Wikipedia or releasing it into Public Domain. See Wikipedia:Image copyright tags/Free licenses#Creative Commons.

Incorrectly tagged images

Public domain