Help:Image copyright tags

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This page is based on Wikipedia:Image copyright tags. Please see that page for additional image copyright tags that you may want to use on Scienowiki.

Please tag images on their image description page with one of the tags below so we can keep track of its status.

Try to provide as much detail as possible:

  • When marking an image as one of the vaguer categories (such as CopyrightedFreeUse), try to specify somewhere what the actual license or other permission states.
  • If you tag an image as requiring attribution, please specify who needs to be attributed! Note that the GFDL requires attribution.
  • If multiple categories apply to an image, add all that apply.

Each tag should be put on a line of its own.

Tagging options Edit

Public domain Edit

When adding a PD tag, also specify why the image is PD. Has the author released it into the PD? Is the image old enough to be PD? Is it PD because it was created by a particular government? Is it PD because a user of Wikia created it and has uploaded it as PD? If you will be using a lot of PD images on Scienowiki, you may want to expand these tags and have more specific information included within them.

  • {{PD}}. Public domain. For example, when author has put into the public domain or the author died over 70 years ago (pre-1935).

Free licensesEdit

Be specific about which version of the license the image is used under.

Fair useEdit

See Wikipedia for a wider range of fair use tags, especially if you will be uploading many logos. Review Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Image description page#Fair use rationale.


Images should not be uploaded in a state of unknown copyright. Non-free Creative Commons licenses are not permitted. This includes images which do not allow non-commericial use or derivative works, since these are non-free.

Wikipedia has a range of tags explaining why an image is unsuitable. You may find it appropriate to just delete the image, or tag it specifically with a {{delete}} template.

Examples of such tags on Wikipedia include unverified, unknown, and copyrighted.

Rationale Edit

  1. What is "fair use" in one country may not be "fair use" in another country; this allows people creating derivative works in other countries to extract images which aren't legal in their country.
  2. It is harder to create decent images than decent text, so the temptation to break copyright is bigger, so we like to be a bit more vigilant. For this very reason, sublicensees of Wikipedia are going to be especially concerned about images, particularly for printed versions.
  3. Secondly, it is easy to rewrite text that turns out to be copyrighted, but harder (though possible) to do the same for images.
  4. It is good practice to cite our sources, where we've (legally) copied images from elsewhere. If we give due credit, we're more likely to get permission (and some licenses require due credit anyway).
  5. Where Wikipedians have created the images, they should have a bit of fame! Putting some text on the image description page that they took it themselves, and they license it under the GFDL, is a good way to do that.

Creating new tags or sub-categoriesEdit

Try to use the tags already available at Wikipedia. This makes it easier for people who want to re-use content from both sites.

  1. First create the template, for example, Template:Asdf. This can be a quick draft version of a public domain notice, for example.
  2. Categorize that template to Category:Asdf images.
  3. Edit this category to put a description.
  4. Add the template tag {{Image template notice|Asdf}} in this category edit.
  5. Categorize this category to, for example, Category:Public domain images.

Done. All you need to do is just tag your uploaded images with {{Asdf}}. All those images will be in the Category:Asdf images which in turn would be a sub-category of Category:Public domain images.

Categories Edit

Each copyright tag such as {{Fairuse}} should correspond to a Category. Placing such a tag on an image will automatically put it into that category, because that template should already belong to that category.

When uploading an image, you will want to tag it with the appropriate copyright tag. This will tell other users who look at the image what license the image falls under, thereby letting them know the copyright status of the image.

Please remember that all images uploaded to Wikia should be used under fair use or are images that are freely available, with or without conditions or restrictions. If there are requirements in the license (such as attribution) these must be adhered to, for example by attributing the author and source on the file description page.

What are the licensing tags?

There are eight standard licensing tags that are provided by default on all newly created wikias. These cover both fair and free use images, as well as a few other types of images. The tags are as follows:

  • {{PD}}. Public domain. For example, when the author has put the work into the public domain or the author died over 70 years ago.
  • {{Fairuse}} - for a copyrighted image which is contended to be fair use.
  • Free licenses
    • {{Cc-by-sa-3.0}} - Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0
    • {{Other free}} - Any free license such as the GNU General Public License or Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike
    • {{Permission}} - For when the owner of the image has given full permission for it to be used freely.
    • {{From Wikimedia}} - For images taken from Wikimedia. Remember to add the specific license information too.
    • {{Self}} - for image you made yourself, and release under a free license. Remember, a specific license tag is much better.
  • Other
    • {{No license}} - for images with no copyright information.

How do I use these tags?

When uploading files via Special:Upload, you can select one of these copyright tags in the "Licensing" drop down menu. For example:


If you are uploading via the in-text editor or the image placeholder tools, you will need to go to the image description page. To get there, click the image in the article and then click the magnifying glass in the lower right hand corner. Once there, Click "Edit" at the top and then copy one of the templates into the edit window. For example, if you are using the fair use template, add {{Fairuse}}.

Please remember that you are responsible for the upload and use of every image you upload and ensuring that the copyright you have provided is correct.

{{Other free}} and {{From Wikimedia}} are very vague, e.g., en:wikipedia permits non-free {{Fairuse}} under US law. Category:Image copyright tags on Community Central offers popular tags including GFDL1.3 and GPL. While some of these licenses are not really suited for images, you can still follow suit and tag free images imported from another site.

See also

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