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Wikipedia:Image copyright tags

Technical limitations cause the MediaWiki software to treat sound files as images. If you clicked this link while uploading a file for the Spoken Wikipedia, see the Spoken Wikipedia uploading guidelines. WP:TAG redirects here. For a general list of template messages, including those used for tagging non-image pages, see Wikipedia:Template messages Shortcuts:

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



  • For an image to be considered "free" under Wikipedia's Image use policy, the license must permit both commercial reuse and derivative works.
  • 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 an image is not licensed under a standard license, please specify what the actual license states.
  • If you tag an image as requiring attribution, please specify who needs to be attributed.
  • If multiple categories apply to an image, add all that apply.
  • The Wikimedia Commons does not allow fair use material, but such images can still be used on the English Wikipedia (see Wikipedia:Copyrights#Fair use materials and special requirements).


Entering the tag {{GFDL-self}} results in the following notice:

I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.

Do not use the example tag above however, if it is not what you want. {{GFDL-self}} is only for when you are the original photographer, artist, or license holder, and you are prepared to release the content under this free license. In other cases, select an appropriate license tag from the next section.

List of image copyright tags

For image creators


If you are the creator of an image, you can choose any acceptable free license. You can multi-license your image under different licenses, if you prefer. The license must not prevent commercial reuse or derivative works.

  • GNU Free Documentation License - {{GFDL-self}} - Written by the Free Software Foundation. People are required to attribute the work to you, and if they make changes or incorporate your work in their work, they are required to share their changes or work under the same license.
  • Creative Commons: Attribution-ShareAlike - {{cc-by-sa-3.0|Attribution details}} - 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.
    • Creative Commons: Attribution - {{cc-by-3.0|Attribution details}} - 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 are 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|[ 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}} - The creator permanently relinquishes all rights to the work.
  • For screen shots of Wikipedia pages the following tag may be used: {{Wikipedia-screenshot}}

Creating new tags

If you are uploading many images with the same source and license, you can create a new copyright tag. Please propose the tag on Wikipedia talk:Image copyright tags. If you are 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 images tagged with the template. On the description page for the category include the following:

{{Image 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 Image copyright tags by adding the following:

<noinclude>[[Category:Image copyright tags|{{PAGENAME}}]]</noinclude>

See also

Categories: Wikipedia copyright | Wikipedia image help | Image copyright tags