Wikimedia Commons

online repository of free-use image, sound, and other media files; part of the Wikimedia ecosystem

Wikimedia Commons is a website owned by the Wikimedia Foundation, based on a wiki. Anybody can upload images, sounds, videos, and other multimedia files to the website. The files uploaded to Wikimedia Commons can be used by any other Wikimedia Foundation project, like Wikipedia or Wiktionary. For example, Wikipedia uses images on Wikimedia Commons to include pictures in their encyclopedia articles. The files can also be freely used by anyone else because they have free licenses.

Wikimedia Commons
Type of site
Media repository
OwnerWikimedia Foundation
Created byWikimedia community
RegistrationOptional (required for uploading files)
LaunchedSeptember 7, 2004
Current statusActive
Content license

Wikimedia Commons has categories, which are groups of files that have something in common or similar. For example, there is a category for pictures of cats. Wikimedia Commons is a multilingual website, meaning that it can be used in every language. However, some parts of Wikimedia Commons are only in English, like names of categories.

Wikimedia Commons also has sound files. Not all of these are music. For example, there are recordings that read words out loud. These files are used in Wiktionary, a free dictionary, to teach people how to say words.

For every file on Wikimedia Commons, the person who made it has to let everybody use it and change it as much as they want, including companies (see Creative Commons).

The tenth million file uploaded

Wikimedia Commons reached 10 million files on April 15, 2011.[1]



The Wikimedia Foundation was given money to make it easier for people to use their websites. They used some of this money to make the UploadWizard, a new system for uploading files on Wikimedia Commons. People started using the UploadWizard in December 2010.

The UploadWizard also teaches new uploaders about copyright law. It has a tutorial for users to read so that they can check if the file they are uploading is violating copyright. Most uploads are by the UploadWizard.

Before, Wikimedia Commons only let people upload one file at a time. The UploadWizard lets people upload multiple files at the same time and include all the required information about each one.

The logo of Wikimedia Commons has a red circle inside a blue circle. There are many small blue arrows pointing from the blue circle to the red circle in the middle, and one big blue arrow pointing upwards. The small blue arrows represent the different projects of the Wikimedia Foundation. The large arrow is to show that Wikimedia Commons is constantly improving.

This logo was chosen in a vote in 2004.


  1. "Commons:Press releases/10M". Wikimedia Commons. 16 April 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011.

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