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.
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  2. Please sign your question by typing ~~~~ at the end.
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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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File:Mission San Buenaventura (1866).png

I'm wondering whether File:Mission San Buenaventura (1866).png needs to be licensed as non-free. It's described a being a photo taken in 1866 but having no known date of first publication, and it's sourced to Museum of Ventura. The museum states its copyright status is unknown and it appears that the museum might be trying to claim some type of ownership (copyright?) over its uploaded version of the photo, but I'm not sure that's really a valid claim under US copyright law. Mission San Buenaventura is in Ventura, CA, and California became a US state in 1850, so this photo seems as if it should be subject to US copyright law. I've got no idea when the museum uploaded its copy or whether the photo was previously published by the museum or someone else in a book or something else. If it needs to remain non-free, then the justification given for it's non-free use in Battle of San Buenaventura seems rather weak given it supposed to have been taken almost 30 years after the battle and the fact that there might be other images of the mission from roughly the same period as this non-free photo which are in the public domain. Moreover, I'm not sure WP:FREER would be satisfied if the only reason the photo is treated as non-free is because it's being digitalized or scanned and then uploaded to the Internet by a museum. If, on the other hand, it doesn't need to be treated as non-free, then it probably should be relicensed, added to the main article about the mission and moved to Commons. -- Marchjuly (talk) 08:00, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

it's a weak rationale. There are free photos from the late 19th century of the mission e.g. this which dates from 1895 and shows as much, i.e. nothing, about the mission during the battle as this 1866 image. The 1866 image is almost certainly PD due to either having been unpublished (and anonymous) before 1987 - assuming the museum digitalisation is first publication, or if previously published is PD due to non-compliance with US copyright laws. I'm not seeing anything on the image that suggests it has been registered and published, but that's me making an educated guess rather than with certainty. Nthep (talk) 15:27, 16 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As an anonymous work and absent any evidence that this image was published prior to the library's faithful digitization of the photograph (which Wikimedia does not deem as creating a new copyright, see meta:Wikilegal/Sweat_of_the_Brow#Effect_and_Limitations_of_Bridgeman and following), the question comes down to whether that publication occurred before or after 2002. If after 2002, copyright extends only 120 years after creation (1866 + 120 = 1986) and it can be relicensed as ((PD-US-unpublished)); if between 1 March 1989 and 2002, copyright extends through 2047. See Commons:Commons:Hirtle_chart#Works_except_sound_recordings_and_architecture or Copyright at Cornell Libraries: Copyright Term and the Public Domain. I cannot tell from the museum source page (linked above) when this photograph was digitized and published, but perhaps someone more versed in the use of the Wayback Machine or other such archives might be able to at least tell when the webpage first appeared. (talk) 18:11, 18 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Following up on the library's first publication date, WHOIS shows the original registration date of as 2004-01-16. [1] While it remains possible that the museum published this image online under some other domain name before 2003 (and I am no expert on domain registrations), that possibility seems unlikely enough to me to allow us to relicense this image as ((PD-US-unpublished)). (talk) 20:48, 19 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you Nthep and for taking a look at this. I was pretty sure that the museum wouldn't be able to claim copyright over this just because they might've digitalized the photo and uploaded it to their website, but seems to have confirmed that to be the case according to Bridgeman (at least for WMF purposes). I've got no problem with relicensing the image as suggests, but maybe asking for some feedback from Commons might be a good idea since Commons is really where the image should be. The claim for non-free use is pretty weak so I can't see a justification for keeping the file licensed as such; at the same time, it shouldn't remain a local file unless there's really a good reason it can't go to Commons. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:09, 19 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Copy it over to Commons as PD-US-unpublished. I can't see any objections except an ultra-purists who wants 100% certainty, which is virtually impossible for any photo. Thanks to 68.189 for doing the investigatory work. Nthep (talk) 10:38, 20 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have no objection to flagging this to some forum such as Commons:Commons:Village pump/Copyright for another opinion if this seems prudent to anyone, either before or after relicensing and transferring to Commons. If relicensed as public domain, I do not see any reason to keep the image hosted locally. (talk) 20:45, 21 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Right to use the copyright symbol

When I clicked a photo [2] in an article, the photo came enlarged, but there was no mention of copyright. But when I clicked 2nd time, the macro button "More details", there was a text: "This file comes from the websites (, минобороны.рф) of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation and is copyrighted.", which is strange because copyright and the owner or photographer's name are usually presented in media in the article without extra clickings and searches. Is it wrong to use the text "©" in its usual place in the article (right next to the miniature picture)? And if not, why don't wiki-people follow the common practices? Jari Rauma (talk) 11:58, 20 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We are not the copyright holder(s). I believe the format you describe is normally used by the copyright holder(s) to declare copyright. And for legal reasons we don't allow copyright symbols or trademark symbols in the text of articles, including captions, to avert attempts to claim some kind of third-party copyright in Wikipedia articles themselves. --Orange Mike | Talk 14:40, 20 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I know you aren't copyright holders. It was not my question. Now it's not used by copyright holders (this is simple English) but information about who is the owner of the copyright. This is an easy question, but don't change it. Once again: is Wikipedia banning or restricting the use of copyright symbols or text (and the photographer's name) next to copyrighted photos in contradiction to other media? I don't understand the logic why this can't be shown. I have waited for your answer for 3 hours to proceed with writing a Wikipedia article. Yeah: "you don't allow the mention of copyright in articles" But can you show the help file location where this is said, that this is not only your opinion? Also, if copyright is banned from next to copyrighted work, why then it is allowed in a separate place that has to be searched for? Please, don't change my questions for your answer. Thank you. Jari Rauma (talk) 15:13, 20 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jari Rauma, when clicking on the link you sent, I see the correct attribution at the bottom: "" at the bottom left and "CC BY 4.0" at the bottom right, no need to use the more details button to click through to the media page. On Wikipedia we don't embed attribution in captions, it is done in the Media Viewer. – Berrely • TC 15:56, 20 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I noticed that Orange Mike couldn't answer my simple question and Berrely either. And you can't make my statement "there was no mention of copyright" false. A simple bust doesn't mean the same as ©. I suppose now that there is not a single written Wikipedia rule that bans informing readers of the photographers' name and copyright holder alongside the photo. So ye make up rules from a strange source. OrangeMike referred to cases about 3rd parties who can make false copyright claims. I refer to the Syrian civil war, where multiple countries have presented their pictorial views. But now it is "criminal" even to show where the pictures came from. What a strange logic ye have! Ye have no law, and Berrely says "On Wikipedia we don't embed attribution in captions". And we don't do the same things that NASA does. But that was not my question—I asked about text alongside photos. I have also noticed that Wikimedia doesn't put copyright captions under photos. I think it could. And so could we. In Finland, we don't click every picture to see captions. If it's "criminal" in Wikipedia to use copyright and photographer's name alongside photos, then as with all criminal laws, what punishments an editor receives who respects photographers' works and puts their names under photos against the laws that ye seem to know well? Or is it so that despotism rules—but how hard? Jari Rauma (talk) 20:15, 20 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From our Manual of Style: Unless relevant to the subject, do not credit the image author or copyright holder in the article. It is assumed that this is not necessary to fulfill attribution requirements of the GFDL or Creative Commons licenses as long as the appropriate credit is on the image description page. If the artist or photographer is independently notable, though, then a wikilink to the artist's biography may be appropriate. And remember that readers wanting full detail can click through to the image description page. --Orange Mike | Talk 23:32, 20 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Canadian threshold of originality

Hello! I am wondering if File:Mmmuffins.jpg is in the public domain per ((PD-textlogo)) in its country of origin (Canada). I am not familiar with c:COM:TOO Canada, so I figured I would ask here. — HouseBlastertalk 18:06, 20 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@HouseBlaster the Commons page says that Canada's threshold of originality veers closer to that of the United States. If you go by that, that almost certainly falls under pd-textlogo. Even so, it is just text with colour and a stroke, and even if Canada had slightly more conservative ToO I still don't think it would be copyrightable. – Berrely • TC 18:25, 20 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Copyrighted ship badges in articles

I was about to add the ship badge for the Fujian aircraft carrier when I came across this deletion discussion on Shandong's ship badge. While there is consensus that the file is not PD, it is less clear if copyrighted ship badges clears NFCC. It is noted that several other RN ships also have copyrighted badges on their pages. I am raising this question here as 廣九直通車 encouraged in hopes of clearing up the matter, as it seems this discussion might very well emerge again on Fujian's badge.

Do copyrighted ship badges clear the NFCC?

Pinging those in the relevant Shandong discussion. @Fastily, Wcam, Explicit, 廣九直通車, and B:. I apologise in advance if you have no further say in the discussion. Seloloving (talk) 11:09, 23 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I still find it hard to justify using a non-free badge image to identify a physical object (an aircraft carrier), especially when a free photo of the ship is available to serve as a much more direct way to identify such a physical object. Unless the non-free badge itself is the subject of sourced commentary in the article (which I suppose is unlikely and unusual for such a type of articles), I think it is hard to meet WP:NFCC#8. --Wcam (talk) 14:24, 23 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gray area on content links

Hello, over at Concepts and Techniques in Modern Geography, there's a large number of URLs in the references from ( hosting what appear to be copyrighted PDFs.

But as User:GeogSage points out at Talk:Concepts and Techniques in Modern Geography#Copyright notice, the Quantitative Methods Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society link to that same content on their own website, at

Is it legal for Wikipedia to use those WordPress PDF links in the references? Or should we omit the URLs from the book citations, and instead add to the External links section of that article? Thanks. Storchy (talk) 06:59, 25 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for posting here to ask User:Storcy. To add a comment, from what I can tell, it seems that the web developer for the organization used WordPress to host the PDFs they had rights to. They are currently our of funding so everything is legacy, and they might not have had the money for another website or a more formal way to host them. This is probably not the best practice, but it seems they intended these links to be public. They have also preserved the PDFs on Github, with links to the public github here GeogSage (talk) 16:00, 25 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

FC Barcelona (crest).svg to FC Barcelona Femení page

Why can the image (FC Barcelona (crest).svg) be used on the page of the men's football club and not on the women's club? It's probably gender discrimination. What criteria does wikipedia use to prioritize the male or female page? Why can't I use the same photo as a shield? Men and women use the same badge. What i have to do? English women's clubs like Arsenal ladies it is permited. Why not in the FC Barcelona case? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vicpumu (talkcontribs) 09:21, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Vicpumu quite simply, you need to add an additional rationale to the logo file to use it on the Barca women's article. It is a requirement of WP:NFCC that each use of a non-free file has its own rationale. The bot undid your edit as this criterion wasn't being met. Nthep (talk) 09:40, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Nthep Thank you for your reply. Could you help me? I don't know how to do this action… — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vicpumu (talkcontribs) 09:48, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Nthep and Vicpumu: While it's true that's why the bot removed the file this time, it's not the reason why the file was originally removed from that article. This file's non-free use was previously discussed at Wikipedia:Non-free content review/Archive 69#File:FC Barcelona (crest).svg and the consensus at that time was that its non-free is only acceptable in the FC Barcelona article. Of course, a consensus can change over time and that might be the case here as well. The best thing to do would be to seek a new consensus for the file's use in the women's club article; this is what has been done in some other cases involving similar files. I don't think a consensus can be established for the youth and B team article since they are essentially "child entities" of the main men's team per item #17 of WP:NFC#UUI, but perhaps one could be established for the women's team article. -- Marchjuly (talk) 12:05, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Marchjuly I see it is already at WP:FFD so conversation to be continued over there. Nthep (talk) 13:21, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Nthep:@Marchjuly How can I request a review of the use in the women's team? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vicpumu (talkcontribs) 19:10, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Vicpumu you already have by listing it at WP:FFD. Nthep (talk) 19:50, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]