Wikipedia:File copyright tags

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wikipedia takes copyright law very seriously. File description pages are tagged with the license and the source of the file. This makes it as easy as possible for readers, Wikipedians, IP addresses and creators of derivative works to know what they can and can't do with the files in our encyclopedia.


  • For a file to be considered "free" under Wikipedia's Image use policy, the license must permit both commercial reuse and derivative works.
  • Wikipedia (and all Wikimedia projects) strongly prefer "free" files. Where no free file exists, it is sometimes permissible to use a non-free (copyright-protected) file under the "fair use" provision. Fair use, in the United States, is the legal right to use copyright-protected materials under certain conditions. Wikipedia has its own conditions that are more restrictive than what is legally permitted.
  • Ideally, most free files should be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons instead of Wikipedia. (This enables them to be used for other Wikimedia projects in addition to Wikipedia.) Your account must be at least four days old before uploading is permitted. Commons does not allow fair use material, but non-free can still be used on the English Wikipedia under certain conditions.
  • All copyright and licensing tags should be put on a line of their own.
  • Along with a tag, specify the source or copyright holder information. Provide as much detail as possible.
  • If a file is not licensed under a standard license, please specify what the actual license states.
  • If you tag a file as requiring attribution, please specify who needs to be attributed.
  • If multiple categories apply to a file, add all that apply.

Tag lists

The following hypertexts link to specific lists of file copyright tags.

Note: A file released under an unnamed license, or under a named license not included in the links above, may still be suitable for Wikipedia. Copyright tags indicating more general usage rights can be found in the copyright template category to which this page belongs.

File creators

Creators of files can choose any acceptable free license. They can multi-license their files under different licenses. The license must not prevent commercial reuse or derivative works.

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike
This is one of several CC licenses. This version permits free use, including commercial use; requires that you be attributed as the creator; and requires that any derivative creator or redistributor of your work use the same license. The desired attribution text should be included as a parameter in the template.
Similar to the above, but does not require that derivative works use the same license.
Free Art license {{FAL}} A copyleft license for artwork; modification and commercial use area always allowed, provided derivative works carry the same license.
Attribution {{Attribution}} The copyright holder allows anyone to use it for any purpose, provided that the copyright holder is properly attributed.
Copyrighted Free Use {{CopyrightedFreeUse-Link
 |[http://... Your website]}}
Same as above, but attribution is not required. However, as a courtesy, you would appreciate a link back to Your website.
Public domain {{PD-self}}, {{CC0}} The creator permanently relinquishes all rights to the work.
Wikipedia {{Wikipedia-screenshot}} For screenshots of Wikipedia pages.

Tag creators

Creators of a new file copyright tag representing a particular licence, should propose the created tag on Wikipedia talk:File copyright tags. Tag creators not familiar with how to create templates which add images to categories, please ask for assistance.

Each template should have a corresponding category that automatically contains all the files tagged with the template. On the description page for the category include the following:

{{File template notice|name-of-the-tag}}

where name-of-the-tag is replaced with the actual name of the tag. In addition, include the template in the category Wikipedia file copyright templates by adding the following:

<noinclude>[[Category:Wikipedia file copyright templates|{{PAGENAME}}]]</noinclude>

See also