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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. 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 the GFDL, an acceptable Creative Commons 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.; {{GFDL-self}}), 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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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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getting a permission from a photographer

I have a photograph I would like to upload and I intend to email the photographer the standard permissions form and I beleive he will sign but so far as I understand it I need to upload the photograph first so that the email permisisons can include a link to it. I therefore don't know what to click when asked on the upload page about the copyright status of the image. (I am asked whether it is free, fair use, or neither, but don't I need to check a box that says it is pending permisison or somethig? Maybe I am uploading in the wrong place? the form I was going to email the photographer is this one:

I hereby affirm that I am the creator and/or sole owner of the exclusive copyright of XXXX as used here: [Exact URL of the page or file on], and have legal authority in my capacity to release the copyright of that work. I agree to publish the above-mentioned content under the free license: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported and GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts). I acknowledge that by doing so I grant anyone the right to use the work in a commercial product or otherwise, and to modify it according to their needs, provided that they abide by the terms of the license and any other applicable laws. I am aware that this agreement is not limited to or related sites. I am aware that I always retain copyright of my work, and retain the right to be attributed in accordance with the license chosen. Modifications others make to the work will not be claimed to have been made by me. I acknowledge that I cannot withdraw this agreement, and that the content may or may not be kept permanently on a Wikimedia project. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Daisythedog (talkcontribs) 13:40, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

@Daisythedog: if you are using Wikipedia:File Upload Wizard, chose free and chose the "GNU Free Documentation License". – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 15:57, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

File:WPER WJYJ.gif

Radio station logo uploaded as non-free, but seems too simple to be eligible for copyright protection per c:COM:TOO United States. The "problem", however, is that someone uploaded a completely different file (perhaps by mistake) and then reverted back to the original file. The "other file" is a bit more complex, but still probably enough to be non-free, at least in the US. If either of these really need to be non-free, the other unused/revision file will need to be deleted anyway per WP:F5; however, if neither of these need to be non-free, then the file probably should be split into two separate files. Any opinions on whether these need to be non-free and how to best split them if they don't? -- Marchjuly (talk) 13:16, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

Use of copyrighted caricature - with permission - as image for person infobox

Dear wikicolleagues, I would like to use a caricature by David Levine published in the New Yorker of Dr Kari Stefansson, as the image for an infobox to add to the page about him on. The reason is that Mr Levine's caricatures signifiy not only a likeness but also that what the person is doing is noteworthy. There is no other illustrator whose work and style captures this in the same way. The noteworthiness of Dr Stefansson's work in population genetics is indeed the is the purpose of the page itself.

As I know it is a copyrighted illustration, I have written to the copyright holders (Mr Levine's heirs) and explained what I would like to use it for. They sent me a low-resolution image (per my request) and agree that its use for this purpose on is fine and indeed in line with Mr Levine's professional desire when he was alive to promote the discussion of important ideas by the people that are thinking and realizing them.

The conditions that the copyright holders put on the illustration's use are that it appear in full, with Mr Levine's signature, and that the copyright be noted. It has also been reduced in resolution, and I would note those conditions in the informational legend and permissions fields that would accompany its use, as well as the fact that the rights holders are Mr Levine's heirs and anyone wishing to get an actual high-quality reproduction can do so by purchasing one from them. Furthermore, it is relevant to say that a low-resolution version of the illustration is and has been since 1999 available on the New Yorker website, and no one to my knowledge has reproduced it.

Can anyone suggest whether and how I can upload this illustration for use on this page with these terms?

With thanks in advance for help and suggestions,

Lehmansson (talk) 12:32, 27 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Lehmansson Do you want to use the image in David Levine or in Kári Stefánsson? There are potential non-free content issues with both uses. Since Stefánsson is still living, a non-free image of him is almost not going to be considered OK to use per WP:NFCC#1 (see WP:FREER). Generally, it's pretty much always assumed that it's reasonable to expect that a freely licensed equivalent image can either be found or created that can serve pretty much the same encyclopedic purpose of primary identification in the main infobox of an article as any non-free one, which means that a non-free one would not be considered OK to use. There are always some exceptions of course (like the ones mentioned in items 1 and 9 of WP:NFC#UUI, but these are really exceptions that require quite a strong justification. It might be possible, if there was significant sourced critical commentary about the caricature itself that could be added to the article that you might be able to try and justify the file's non-free use in the body of the article, but again that would be a pretty exceptional case in my opinion.
If you're talking about using the file in the Levine article, then I don't see you you'll be able to justify that per NFCC#1, WP:NFCC#3a and WP:NFCC#8. There's already one non-free file being used for primary identification purposes of Levine, so another is not going to be needed for that; moreover, there is already a non-free image being used as an example is particular style/work and another is not going to be needed for that.
Just for reference, copyright holder permission isn't really needed to upload and use a non-free file; it's nice to get perhaps, but not required. It will only matter if you want to upload the file under a free license that accepts. So, if the copyright holders want to release a low res version of the caricature under such a free license, then the file's use would not be subject to Wikipedia's non-free content use policy and would be much easier to use. However, the copyright holders would basically need to agree to give their WP:CONSENT for the file to be released under such a license, i.e. basically agreeing in advance to allow anyone anywhere in the world to download the file at any time for any purpose. So, any restrictions like "use only", "Non-commercial use only", etc. wouldn't be allowed. Note this wouldn't mean that the copyright holders are transferring their copyright ownership to or anyone else; just that they are making a freely licensed version of the caricature available for others to use. -- Marchjuly (talk) 14:13, 27 January 2020 (UTC)
Marchjuly,
Thanks for the fulsome reply. I am however still not entirely clear how to proceed. First to clarify, this is for the article on Stefansson, not Levine. With regard to the Levine illustration, I can make the argument that there isn't another photographic image that would impart the same information or relevance, though in essence you are saying that I would need to get the copyrightholders to release a low-res version per a free license. This may be possible but could take time and I may see if they would be willing to do that.
But in a general sense, while there are tons of photos of Stefansson on the web, virtually all are - pretty much by definition - by photographers who hold the copyright. I doubt if any would mind their work being used for this purpose with proper attribution, but it seems like in the end I run into the same problem. I do not have any means of taking a picture of him myself, so perhaps I will need to get in touch with the company to see if they can upload one, though I would rather remain anonymous vis a vis them.
Thanks for all of the links in any case - I now have a good lay of the land!
Lehmansson (talk) 17:05, 27 January 2020 (UTC)
For the purpose of primary identification, pretty much any photo of Stefansson is likely going to be considered sufficient as long as it is something released under a free license accepts. So, basically anyone could take his picture and then upload it under such a license. He could even have someone take his picture or take a selfie and upload it to under such a license. There are ways, as described in Wikipedia:Requesting copyright permission, to ask others to release a version of their work under a copyright license, and sometimes they agree to do so; however, if they don't that still doesn't make uploading their work as a non-free image automatically OK.
You're talking about a caricature of someone, which is more like an artwork than a photo of someone. Whether this is sufficient for personal identification purposes is a bit iffy in my opinion, but as a work of art it might be able to be justified if it has in its own right been something which has been the subject of critical commentary in reliable sources. Perhaps there was something about the caricature and how it depicted Stefansson that was the subject of some controversy, etc. that could be described and supported in the article. Simply wanting to use it though in lieu of a photo as a way of identifying Stefansson, however, seems like it would be hard to do per WP:NFCC#1 because you'd either have to argue that this caricature better identifies Stefansson than any actual photo of him possibly could. For a fictional or cartoon character that might be the case, but I'm not sure the same could be said for an actual living person because if that were true then caricature would be being used instead of photos like this, this or this, etc. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:57, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

Discussion at Wikipedia:Files for discussion/2020 January 28#File:CKQQ-FM Q103 2010 logo.jpg

 You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia:Files for discussion/2020 January 28#File:CKQQ-FM Q103 2010 logo.jpg. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:41, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

Discussion at Wikipedia:Files for discussion/2020 January 28#Non-free former CKQQ-FM logos

 You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia:Files for discussion/2020 January 28#Non-free former CKQQ-FM logos. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:42, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

Media is missing permission information

Hi, I uploaded an image (using the "insert > images & media" function on the page edit) that was deleted as is missing permission information. I am now not sure of the best way to proceed. e.g. if I should send an email with copy of written permission to OTRS or if I should try to re-upload the image, e.g. this time using the upload wizard providing all required information? File:HeadShot2016.jpg IntoTheFuture1402 (talk) 08:48, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

@IntoTheFuture1402: who made the image (who took it, if it's a photo)? – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 16:14, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
@Finnusertop: Thanks for the reply - A photographer took the photo. We have permission from the photographer to use the photo.— Preceding unsigned comment added by IntoTheFuture1402 (talkcontribs) 17:17, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
The photographer/copyright holder needs to give their WP:CONSENT to make it clear that they understand the terms of WP:COPY#Guidelines for images and other media files and c:COM:L. If you want to find out more on how they can do that, please look at c:COM:OTRS. Basically, what the photographer/copyright holder is going to have to do is agree to release the file under a free license to allows anyone anywhere in the world to download the file at anytime for any purpose, including to commercial and WP:DERIVATIVE use. They also need to understand that they cannot change their mind at a later date per c:COM:LRV. The photographer/copyright holder still will retain copyright ownership over the photo; they would only be making a version of the photo available for free use by anyone who wants to use it in some way under the terms of the free license chosen by the photographer/copyright holder. — Marchjuly (talk) 23:05, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

File:Multimedia PC (logo).png

Normally I understand what is copyrighted and what is too simple to be copyrighted, but this is one of the images that I find hard to figure out. It concerns the Multimedia PC logo. It originated in the United States, so we are left with judging the logo by American standards.

The logo is uploaded under Fair Use and apparently back in 2006, but I think it may be in the public domain. It contains the letters "MPC" and beneath that the trademarked label "Multimedia PC". We know for certain that "Multimedia PC" and the last two initials in MPC are common property, so we are left with only the first initial. The M contains a gradient that from top to bottom is blue, purple, red, and yellow. Note that as it is a raster image that almost certainly was created on a computer with a limited graphical palette, it uses dither, the process of mixing colors to get the illusion of having more colors. I have doubts that dithering alone is copyrightable, as it is an artistic technique that has been used to work around the limitation of having a narrow palette. Perhaps the part that deserves the most of our attention is the CD composing the lower half of the M. The round and solid disk is not particularly artistic, but it does contain two opposing curved trapezoids that each have four or arguably five white triangles added for a shining effect in a spinning disk. If I understand U.S. law correctly, I do not believe that even that representation of a disk counts as being more than "simple geometric shapes and text" required for copyright protection, but I need second opinions just to be sure and to have a better understanding of U.S. copyright law. GaɱingFørFuɲ365 16:19, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

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