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 your wiki.

All images on Wikia must be free to use under an appropriate license or used under Fair Use. This page will help you figure out which tag to use, and how to tag your images. Most images you find on the web or in a Google image search are not free to use, even if you don't see any copyright information with them! If you do not know who created an image and what license it is under, you cannot use it.

Please tag images on their image description page (for example this is the description page for Example.jpg) 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 less specific 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 your wiki, you may want to expand these tags and have more specific information included within them.

  • {{PD}}. Public domain. For example, when the author has put the work 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.

  • {{Attribution}} - For images that require attribution.
  • {{CopyrightedFreeUse}} - The image is copyrighted, but is free to use for any purpose. (This includes commercial use and derivative works: please be careful that the copyright holder didn't mean "personal use" only!)
  • {{CopyrightedFreeUseProvidedThat|...}} - Eg. provided that credit is given and copyright is attributed. Note that non-commercial or educational use restrictions are not allowed as provisions in this tag.
  • {{GFDL}} - GNU Free Documentation License
  • {{GPL}} - GNU General Public License
  • {{cc-by}} - Creative Commons Attribution
  • {{cc-sa}} - Creative Commons ShareAlike
  • {{cc-by-sa}} - Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike

Fair useEdit

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


If you do not know the copyright status, do not upload the image! Non-free Creative Commons licenses are also not permitted. This includes images which do not allow non-commercial use or derivative works (NC and ND licenses), since these are non-free. The Sampling+ license is also not free.

Wikipedia has a range of tags explaining why an image is unsuitable. For Wikia with complex deletion procedures, you may want to consider adding such tags for the period of deletion discussion. For other wikis, you may find it more appropriate to 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's "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 Wikia are going to be especially concerned about images, particularly for printed versions.
  3. Secondly, it's 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 Wikians 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 a file, you should tag it with the appropriate copyright tag, in order to make its copyright status clear.
Remember: all images uploaded to Fandom should be used under fair use or be images that are freely available, with or without conditions or restrictions. You must adhere to any licensing requirements, such as attributing the author and source on the file description page.

Available licensing tags

There are eight standard licensing tags that are provided by default on all newly created communities. 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 used in a manner consistent with fair use.
  • {{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.

If you are an administrator, you can edit the list of copyright tags that appear in the "Licensing" drop down menu by modifying MediaWiki:Licenses.

Using copyright 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 through the visual editor or the image placeholder tools, you will need to go to the image description page:

  • Click the image in the article.
  • Click the magnifying glass in the lower right hand corner.
  • Once one the file description page, click "Edit" at the top and then copy the wikitext code for 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.

See also

Further help and feedback

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.