Wikipedia:Copyrights

related topics
{work, book, publish}
{law, state, case}
{math, number, function}
{language, word, form}
{system, computer, user}

Important note: The Wikimedia Foundation does not own copyright on Wikipedia article texts and illustrations. It is therefore pointless to email our contact addresses asking for permission to reproduce articles or images, even if rules at your company or school or organization mandate that you ask web site operators before copying their content.

The only WP content you should contact the Wikimedia Foundation about is the trademarked Wikipedia/Wikimedia logos, which are not freely usable without permission.

Permission to reproduce and modify text on Wikipedia has already been granted to anyone anywhere by the authors of individual articles as long as such reproduction and modification complies with licensing terms (see below and Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks for specific terms). Images may or may not permit reuse and modification; the conditions for reproduction of each image should be individually checked. The only exceptions are those cases in which editors have violated Wikipedia policy by uploading copyrighted material without authorization, or with copyright licensing terms which are incompatible with those Wikipedia authors have applied to the rest of Wikipedia content. While such material is present on the Wikipedia (before it is detected and removed), it will be a copyright violation to copy it. For permission to use it, one must contact the owner of the copyright of the text or illustration in question; often, but not always, this will be the original author.

If you wish to reuse content from Wikipedia, first read the Reusers' rights and obligations section. You should then read the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License.

The text of Wikipedia is copyrighted (automatically, under the Berne Convention) by Wikipedia editors and contributors and is formally licensed to the public under one or several liberal licenses. Most of Wikipedia's text and many of its images are co-licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA) and the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts). Some text has been imported only under CC-BY-SA and CC-BY-SA-compatible license and cannot be reused under GFDL; such text will be identified either on the page footer, in the page history or the discussion page of the article that utilizes the text. Every image has a description page which indicates the license under which it is released or, if it is non-free, the rationale under which it is used.

The licenses Wikipedia uses grant free access to our content in the same sense that free software is licensed freely. Wikipedia content can be copied, modified, and redistributed if and only if the copied version is made available on the same terms to others and acknowledgment of the authors of the Wikipedia article used is included (a link back to the article is generally thought to satisfy the attribution requirement; see below for more details). Copied Wikipedia content will therefore remain free under appropriate license and can continue to be used by anyone subject to certain restrictions, most of which aim to ensure that freedom. This principle is known as copyleft in contrast to typical copyright licenses.

To this end,

  • Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify Wikipedia's text under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and, unless otherwise noted, the GNU Free Documentation License. unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts.
  • A copy of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License is included in the section entitled "Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License"
  • A copy of the GNU Free Documentation License is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".
  • Content on Wikipedia is covered by disclaimers.

Full article ▸

related documents
Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not
History of Wikipedia
Nature (journal)
List of Puerto Ricans
Encyclopædia Britannica
The New York Times
The Economist
Tabloid
Rachel Carson
Baen Books
Library
The Sun
Nobel Prize
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Wikipedia:Requested pictures
Private Eye
Encyclopedia
Oxford English Dictionary
Mein Kampf
Wikipedia:Text of the GNU Free Documentation License
Financial Times
Larry Sanger
Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics
The Washington Post
Wikipedia:1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica
Wikipedia:Public domain resources
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Blog
John W. Campbell
The New York Sun