This policy explains our requirements for media files used on Wikibooks, which includes images, audio and video clips. Media files which do not meet these requirements may be deleted as described in the deletion policy.

Textbooks on Wikibooks are dual licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license and Wikibooks:GNU Free Documentation License so that anyone can freely use, modify and redistribute our books whether for free or for profit. Media files included in our books are usually licensed under similar terms, using a free license, or they will be in the public domain. Limited use of non-free media are also be allowed within the terms of this policy.

Freely licensed or public domain media


Freely licensed or public domain media must be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia's shared media repository. Wikimedia Commons limits the scope of files that can be uploaded. They must comply with all the following conditions.

Every file:

Freely licensed media


In countries which recognize copyright, most creative works are automatically protected by copyright. Usually the creator of the work maintains all rights to the work ("all rights reserved") unless the creator gives or transfers their copyright to someone else. This may happen through contracts or other forms of licensing.

A free license is a license in which the copyright holders give everyone the right to use, modify, redistribute, and create derivative works of their copyrighted work for commercial or non-commercial uses. Some free licenses may have additional conditions in exchange for these rights, such as requiring all derived works to use the same license or a compatible license, including the names of all copyright holders and not using the names of copyright holders as a selling point.

Media files uploaded to Wikimedia Commons under a free license must include:

  1. An appropriate free license template
  2. All information required by the appropriate free license, such as the name of the copyright holders and original source.

If you wish to use media or images that you created in a book on Wikibooks, you may use any free license, such as the GNU Free Documentation License or Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. You may also choose to dual license your work under multiple free licenses. Dual licensing, where possible, is the preferred method because it grants maximum freedom to the users of the media. Wikimedia Commons has additional information at Commons:Licensing.

Unless otherwise stated by policy, free licenses must allow the four freedoms:

  1. The freedom to use the work and enjoy the benefits of using it
  2. The freedom to study the work and to apply knowledge acquired from it
  3. The freedom to make and redistribute copies, in whole or in part, of the information or expression
  4. The freedom to make changes and improvements, and to distribute derivative works

These freedoms may not be restricted, and attempting to restrict these freedoms for an image or media file is grounds for immediate deletion of that file.

Public domain media


Public domain works typically have little or no protection under copyright laws, or are ineligible for copyright protection. Works may be placed in the public domain, or become public domain from the application of laws. Some countries may limit the use of public domain works or may not acknowledge public domain works at all.

Public domain media files may be used if the media may be freely used, modified, and redistributed for commercial or non-commercial uses by anyone without restrictions or limitations.

Public domain media files uploaded to Wikimedia Commons must:

  1. Be in the public domain in both the United States and the country of origin of the work (if they differ).
  2. Include an appropriate public domain template.
  3. Include author information.

If you are not the author, you must also include:

  1. A trusted link to where the media file can be obtained and can be easily verified as being in the public domain.
  2. The date the work was first created or first released.

Examples of public domain media:

Non-free media include all copyrighted images, audio and video clips, and other media files which lack a free license. Typically, they are copyrighted works used without the copyright owner's permission. For this reason, they must be uploaded locally to Wikibooks, as the uploading of non-free media to Wikimedia Commons is prohibited. See Category:Non-free files for examples of locally-uploaded non-free media.

Local uploads of media make use of the Special:Upload page, but this is only available to uploaders and administrators. Other users should request uploads at Wikibooks:Requests for import, or else request user rights at Wikibooks:Requests for permissions.

Non-free media must only be used within the strict terms of this policy. If you are unsure about non-free media use, ask about it in the assistance reading room. This policy for non-free media is in an Exemption Doctrine Policy (EDP) in respect to the Wikimedia Foundation Licensing policy resolution of March 23, 2007.[1]

  • To support Wikibooks's mission to produce perpetually free content for unlimited distribution, modification, and application by all users in all media.
  • To minimize legal exposure, by limiting the amount of non-free media, and using more narrowly defined criteria than apply under the fair use provisions in United States copyright law.
  • To facilitate the judicious use of non-free media to support the development of high-quality books.

There is no automatic entitlement to use non-free media in a book or elsewhere in Wikibooks. They may only be used in Wikibooks when all 10 of the following criteria are met.

  1. No free equivalent. Non-free media are only used where no freely licensed equivalent is available, that would serve the same educational purpose.
  2. Respect for commercial opportunities. Non-free media is not used in a manner that is likely to replace the original market role of the original copyrighted material.
  3. Minimal usage:
    (a) Minimal number of items. Multiple items of non-free media should not be used, if one item can convey the equivalent significant information.
    (b) Minimal extent of use. An entire work is not to be used if a portion will suffice. Low, rather than high, resolution—and fidelity or bit rate—should generally be used for media. The resolution of media should generally not be above 800 by 600 pixels, or 0.5 megapixels.[2] However, this is not absolute, and higher resolution media may be uploaded with a reasonable rationale. Cropping media may help in achieving a lower resolution.
  4. Previous publication. Non-free media must be taken from a work which has been published or publicly displayed outside Wikibooks by (or with permission from) the copyright holder; or a derivative of such a work created by a Wikibooks editor.
  5. Content standards. Non-free media meet all general Wikibooks content standards, and are educational in nature.
  6. Media-use standards. Non-free media are only used in the manner described at Help:Files.
  7. One-page minimum. Non-free media are used in at least one page.
  8. Contextual significance. Non-free media are used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic in question, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding.
  9. Restrictions on location. Non-free media are only allowed on pages in the main, Wikijunior, and Cookbook namespaces. To prevent an image category from displaying thumbnails, add __NOGALLERY__ to it. Media should be linked, and not in-lined, from talk pages when they are a topic of discussion.
  10. Media description page. The media description page must contain the following:
    (a) An appropriate non-free use template should be completed with the information below.
    (b) Who the current copyright holder(s) is/are, the copyright date(s), and an identification of the source of the original copyrighted material. Where possible, any known artist(s) and publisher(s) should be listed.
    (c) An easily identifiable rationale for why a non-free use media is required, for each instance of its use.
  • A file with a valid non-free-use rationale for some, but not all, instances of its use will not be deleted. Instead, the file should be removed from the pages for which it lacks a non-free-use rationale, or a suitable rationale should be added.
  • If a file does not otherwise comply with this policy, it can be deleted 48 hours after notification to the uploading editor. The uploading editor, or another editor, must provide a convincing non-free-use defense that satisfies all 10 criteria, for the file to be retained.
  1. This policy is largely based on English Wikipedia policy; the pages Wikipedia:Non-free content criteria, Wikipedia:Non-free content, Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline, and Wikipedia:Image use policy may be helpful in giving it context.
  2. A 800 by 600 pixel image equates to 0.48 megapixels.

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