User:Fr33kman/Non-free content criteria

For the full non-free content use guideline (including this policy and its criteria) see Wikipedia:Non-free content.
As per the March 23, 2007 Wikimedia Foundation Licensing policy resolution this page serves as the Exemption Doctrine Policy for the Simple English Wikipedia.

Why we allow thisEdit

  • To support Wikipedia's goal to produce always free content for spreading to others, making changes and for use by all users in all types of media.
  • To make less legal problems by limiting the amount of non-free content, using less conditions for use than apply under United States fair use law.
  • To help make happen the careful use of non-free content to support the growth of a very good encyclopedia.


For the purposes of this policy "non-free content" means all copyrighted images that don't have a free content license. There is no automatic right to use non-free content in a page. Such content may be used on the Simple English Wikipedia only where all 10 of the following conditions are met.

  1. No free equivalent. Non-free content is used only where no free content that could be used instead is available, or could be created, that would serve the same encyclopedic purpose. Where possible, non-free content is made into free content instead of using a fair-use defense, or replaced with a more free one if one of good enough quality is available; "good enough quality" means a quality that is enough to serve the encyclopedic purpose. (As a quick test, before adding non-free content needing a reason for use, ask yourself: "Can this non-free content be replaced by a free version that has the same effect?" and "Could the subject be described well enough by text without using the non-free content at all?" If the answer to either is yes, the non-free content probably does not meet this condition.)
  2. Respect for commercial opportunities. Non-free content is not used in a manner that is likely to replace the original market role of the original copyrighted media. This means that non-free content can not be used in such a way that it lessons the commercial use of the content by the copyright owner.
  3. Minimal usage. You must only use the fewest number of non-free materials that is needed to make people understand the page better.
  4. Minimal extent of use. A whole work is not used if a portion will do. Low-resolution instead of high-resolution is used (including where the original could be used for copyright violation on purpose). This rule is not just for the image in the page but also is for the copy in the File: namespace.
  5. Previous publication. Non-free content must have been published or publicly displayed outside Wikipedia before it can be used inside of Wikipedia.
  6. Content. Non-free content meets general Wikipedia content standards and is fit for use in the encyclopedia.
  7. Media-specific policy. The material meets Wikipedia's media-specific policy. For example, images must meet Wikipedia:Image use policy.
  8. One-page minimum. Non-free content is used in at least one page. This means images can not be uploaded to Wikipedia and then not used.
  9. Significance. Non-free content is used only if its presence would help readers' understanding of the topic by a lot, and not being used would be hurt the readers' understanding.
  10. Restrictions on location. Non-free content is allowed only in page (not disambiguation pages), and only in page namespace, except in certain cases. (To stop an image category page from displaying the thumbnails, add __NOGALLERY__ to it; images are linked, not displayed, from talk pages when people are talking about them on those pages.)
  11. Image description page. The image description page contains the following:
    1. Where the image came from and, if this is not the same as the copyright holder, it must say who is the copyright holder. See: Wikipedia:Citing sources#When uploading an image.
    2. A copyright tag that says which Wikipedia policy condition is said to allow the non-free use. For a list of image copyright tags, see Wikipedia:Image copyright tags/Non-free content.
    3. The name of each page that uses the image (a link to each page is also recommended), and a separate, fair-use reason for each use of the item that say why that page uses it, as explained at Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline. The reason why is presented must be in clear, simple language and is related to each use.


  • An image with a valid non-free-use reason for some (but not all) page it is used in will not be deleted. Instead, the image should be removed from the pages for which it lacks a non-free-use reason, or a a reason must be added.
  • An image on which non-free use is claimed that is used in no page (condition 7 above) may be deleted 48 hours after telling people about it.
  • To avoid deletion, the uploading editor or another Wikipedian will need to provide a non-free-use defence people can believe and that satisfies all 10 conditions.
    • Note users wanting to include or rkeep content must give a valid reason, it is not for those wanting to remove or delete it to show that one cannot be allowed. See burden of proof.

Deletion conditions for non-free content are found in Wikipedia:Criteria for quick deletion.