All The Tropes:List of Image License Templates

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You may have been sent here by a mod, reminding you that there is a legal requirement for all images to have their license terms specified. Or you may have noticed an image that doesn't have a license but should.

Adding the license to an image is easy: just edit the file description page and copy in the appropriate image license template. If you want to be fancy, put the header == Licensing == on the line immediately above the license template

Here's the list of image license templates.

Fair dealing

This is the "license" that is used for any image that is used in a way that qualifies as fair dealing under UK law. Screen captures, card or magazine scans, images of text that's still under copyright - if somebody owns the copyright to the image, then use one of these.

If the copyright holder gave permission without giving All The Tropes a free license:


If the copyright holder gave permission and gave All The Tropes a free license, then skip down to "Creative Commons" and "Other Free Licenses", and use the matching license from those sections.

If the artist died more than fifty years ago (which puts the work into the Public Domain in Canada) but less that seventy years ago:

You must replace #### with the year that the work goes into the public domain in the USA, which is the year of the January 1 after the seventieth anniversary of the artist's death.


{{Fair dealing}} -- this is the most common license template on the wiki

Own image

You made the image yourself. Taking some "fair use" images and making a collage of them (or a demotivator, or a meme poster, or anything else) doesn't fall under this license; that's still "fair use". This is for things you drew, photographed, or painted yourself, or created in Blender, Daz Studio, Poser or similar software using only your own resources and resources that are licensed for royalty-free use in images.

plus the license that you want to release your image under (see below)


You got the image from Wikipedia or one of the other Wikimedia projects. (Note that you don't need to upload an image that you found on Wikimedia Commons - you can use it as if you had already uploaded it.)

If it's a copyrighted file:

{{From Wikimedia fairuse}}


{{From Wikimedia}}
plus the license that Wikimedia says they use the image under (see below)

Public Domain

This is the one that we like the best, but is also the easiest to get wrong. This is the "license" used when there's no need to use a license because the image has either fallen into the public domain or been placed into the public domain by its creator.

Please read all of Wikipedia's page about public domain before you use this.


Creative Commons

If you use one of these for an existing image, it must match the CC license that is published with the image. (If there isn't a CC license published with the image, then don't use these at all - unless you made the image yourself, as discussed above.)

Assemble the license using the abbreviations:

  • "CC" means Creative Commons, and always comes first.
  • "BY" means Attribution. Please make sure you list who made the image! (The page you downloaded it from should say; if it doesn't, then cite the page that you downloaded the image from. If you made the image yourself, please tell us how you want to be credited.)
  • "SA" means "Share Alike" - if it's in the license that you're reading, the entire license must be the same as the license that you're reading.
  • "NC" means NonCommercial.
  • "ND" means "No Derivatives" - you are not allowed to change the image, not even as much as cropping or re-sizing it, or use it as part of another image. Because of license incompatibilities between "ND" licenses and other Creative Commons licenses, we must treat images with "ND" licenses as Fair use, with all of the caveats that this implies.
  • Finally, the version number of the license. We don't have separate templates for all license versions, but we do have a large number of them.

Putting those elements together gives these templates. They're case-sensitive - sorry about them not being consistent, but that's what happens when multiple people create license templates.

One special CC license is CC0, which in most countries is functionally equivalent to Public Domain. (It is not legally exactly the same as Public Domain, so don't use one where you should use the other.)

Just like the public domain license, please read all of Wikipedia's page about public domain before you use this.


Other Free Licenses

The licenses listed above cover over 90% of the cases that most people will discover... but not 100% of the cases.

Two GNU licenses have license templates here:

  • {{LGPL}} - the GNU Lesser General Public License
  • {{GFDL}} - the GNU Free Documentation License

Anything else needs to be described in the description text:

{{Other free}}
and then write out the license terms