Frequently Asked Questions #VisibleWikiWomen 2021 campaign

Can I upload a photo of myself that someone else took?

Yes, if you (the portrayed person) own the copyright of the photo. For example, when you hire a photographer to have professionally taken images of yourself. If you have not commissioned the images, you need to ask the photographer to transfer the copyright of the image to you before you are able to share it on Wikimedia Commons. Find information about how to do this in this guide.

Can I upload an image onto Commons that has been uploaded on Facebook or other social platforms?

Yes, you can upload the image if it’s your own work (or if you have the rights to an image because you commissioned that image by hiring a professional photographer to take those for you, for e.g. your wedding photos). Social media platforms do not take away your copyright.

If the image is not your work, you can upload the photo and add the link to the source (to the social media profile for instance) but the copyright owner must email Wikimedia Commons authorizing the release. You can follow this tutorial to learn how to ask the copyright owners for their consent as well as the email template they should use to email Wikimedia Commons.

A friend willingly sent me her picture, which I uploaded to Commons, but now I found out that the same picture is on her Facebook page. Is this a problem?

That isn’t a problem, because Facebook (and social media platforms in general) doesn’t have the exclusive rights of the photo, just an authorization for using the photo in its network.

If I am the photographer who owns the rights of multiple images of different people, can I send only one email with the licensing permissions for all the photos to Wikimedia Commons?

Yes, you can. The email must include a complete list of the images with all the links to the files on Wikimedia Commons. Even though you are the copyright owner because you took the photos, we would encourage you to get consent from the people portrayed in your work.

If I, as a representative of an organization, upload images to Wikimedia Commons that belong to my organization, do I still need to send a consent email to Commons?

It is not necessary to send the consent email if you, as a representative of the organization, create an account on Wikimedia Commons on behalf of your organization. We recommend registering this account with an institutional email and with the name of the organization as a username.

How can I get organizations to upload their own images to Wikimedia Commons?

We recommend the organization to create an institutional account on Wikimedia Commons. Besides establishing their institutional presence on a multimedia platform, any organization that is part of Wikimedia Commons is also contributing to the growth of the digital commons, instead of the monetization of the content and users behaviour – which is the business as usual in commercial platforms. At the same time, by participating in the #VisibleWikiWomen campaign, the organization is contributing in making women more visible online and in reducing the gender gap on Wikipedia. To learn more about why this is important and how to upload organization’s archives to Wikimedia Commons, you can share this guide with them. We created this guide for Cultural and Memory Institutions, but it can be useful for any kind of organization wondering how they can upload their online archives to Wikimedia Commons.

Can I upload pictures taken from online videos (TV shows, interviews, concerts, live events, etc.)

Yes, and it is an excellent idea since many events are taking place online and lots or recorded conferences, shows and concerts are publicly available. You can take a screenshot or select a video clip and share it on Wikimedia Commons under the #VisibleWikiWomen category of the current year. But keep in mind that all those videos have copyright too, so you need to be sure that the content is under a free and open licence (CC BY or CC BY-SA). If the video is not licensed under these two free and open licenses, then your online screenshots or clips can’t be uploaded to Commons. It is also very important to be sure that the person portrayed in the video has given consent to the video producers (i.e. that the filming and broadcasting of her image is clearly consensual).

Why should I upload images onto Wikimedia Commons instead of sharing them over other image-oriented platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest?

The main difference is that when you upload a photo to a social media platform, such as Facebook, you still own the copyright of the image, but you grant that platform company (which is a capital-driven private company) the permission to use it. Meanwhile, when you opt for sharing your images on Wikimedia Commons, you are contributing to a community-driven platform and releasing the copyright of your images under a free and open licence. This means that your image can be shared and used in different ways, including to illustrate Wikipedia articles. In addition to that, when you upload your images under the #VisibleWikiWomen category, you are also contributing in making women more visible online and in reducing the gender gap on Wikipedia.

If I email someone to ask for a photo of them, is there any guidance on what kinds of pictures Wikipedia prefers?

There are no specific directives around preferred images. However, you should consider uploading high quality images (these are pictures that were taken at the highest resolution setting on the camera, or are 300 pixels per inch. Read more about image resolutions here.) as these pictures would eventually go onto Wikipedia.

Can I contribute to the #VisibleWikiWomen campaign after May 8?

Yes! Do keep uploading women’s images under the #VisibleWikiWomen category all year long!

Can I remove a photo in case the portrayed person asks for it? What’s the process to take down an image I’ve uploaded to Commons?

If someone asks you to take down an image because they don’t want to be represented in a particular image on Commons, you must respect their rights as the subject of the photograph. This is because a photograph of an identifiable individual taken in a private space usually needs consent from the person (and not only from the author) to be published.

When you have a deletion request from the portrayed person, you need to edit the image page to add this code on top: {{SD|F10}} and save the page. This is a template which means that you are requesting a speedy deletion because the file includes “personal photos by non-contributors”. A Wikimedia Commons admin will check it as soon as possible and will proceed with the deletion in the next few days.

What should I do if the image I uploaded to Commons gets nominated for deletion?

If you see a deletion notice like this in your image: “This media file has been nominated for deletion” keep calm and consider the situation carefully. A nomination for deletion doesn’t mean that the image will be removed immediately. It means that a consultation process has been opened in the community to decide if the file is infringing any Wikimedia Commons policy. There are different reasons why this would occur, for instance copyright violation, vandalism, privacy reasons, and more. You will find the particular reason why your image has been nominated for deletion in the nomination notice.

Also in the nomination notice, you’ll see a link to visit the nomination page. That’s the place where the Wikimedia community is discussing whether the image will be deleted or not. You have the chance to make your argument in favour of keeping the image up. Kindly provide further information and clarification if you think there are good reasons to maintain the image. For successfully arguing in favor of keeping your image, you will need to be sure that it doesn’t infringe the policies of Wikimedia Commons. To check on this, you can read our guide: Dos and Dont’s for adding images to Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia (PDF format) .

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