Answers/Licensing

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The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge.

Here you will find information on how to use MediaWiki software, copy content from the Wikimedia Foundation's projects, donate your own copyrighted content, or report unlicensed use of your information.

If you would like to use our software for you own wiki or projects

We welcome and encourage you to do so! MediaWiki is free server-based software which is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). MediaWiki is an extremely powerful, scalable software and a feature-rich wiki implementation that uses PHP to process and display data stored in a database, such as MySQL.

The MediaWiki homepage, mw:MediaWiki, should have all the information you need to install and use the software for your own purposes. While the Wikimedia Foundation encourages people to use the software for their own purposes, we are not able to provide training in the use of the software or answer questions about it, but the volunteer community is frequently able to help. If you cannot find the answer you seek about using MediaWiki software at the help page on the website, there is a support desk where you can ask specific usage questions at mw:Project:Support desk. You can also reach assistance through IRC or email at the avenues listed at mw:Communication.

If you would like permission to use one of our logos or wordmarks

To find out more about using Wikimedia's trademarks, including whether your intended use is permitted, please see our Trademark policy.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at trademarks@wikimedia.org if you are not sure whether your use is in compliance with that policy or local trademark laws.

If you would like permission to use content from our sites other than Wikimedia logos or wordmarks

Note: If you are interested in hosting a mirror or downloading considerable content from one or more of our projects, see this page instead.

The Wikimedia Foundation actually does not own copyright to most of the content on Wikipedia. This material is generally owned by the volunteers who create content on the site who liberally license it so that it can be used on our sites and elsewhere. In principle, most of the text on our sites is subject to the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (CC-By-SA) and can be used free of charge for any purpose. A specific permission for use is not necessary, as long as the license conditions are observed. Some text is also available under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL).

Images are identified as being subject to any of several licenses. Therefore, if you want to use an image, it is advisable to check the image information page for the source and/or licensing information. Clicking on the image will lead you to the image information page. Most images are free to use as long as you give the proper credits and follow the terms of the license indicated on the image description page.

For more information please see our Terms of Use -- Licensing of Content, section 7(g). There is another page on our websites that may also be of us. While written by the volunteers who create and curate content on our sites, Commons:Reusing content outside Wikimedia may offer more information specifically related to media.

Please note: Neither the Wikimedia Foundation nor the contributors of content to Wikimedia sites are able to provide legal advice. We wish we could give you specific feedback on the content you would like to use, but - unless it is one of our logos or rare content generated by our staff - we cannot. It is your responsibility, if you intend to reuse content from Wikimedia sites, to determine how the licenses of the content that we host apply to your intended uses. If in doubt, you may wish to contact an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction who has familiarity with intellectual property law.

If you would like to mirror or copy our projects

Note: If you are interested in using only a small amount of content from one or more of our projects, see Template:Answers/Reuse.

Since sharing information is a key part of our mission, we welcome and try to facilitate the spread of our content. You are, of course, welcome to link to our website in the traditional sense that you inform your readers of its existence and offer them the option to visit our website for further information. However, we do not support live mirroring (remote loading or hotlinking) of our websites. Given our unique copyright situation, it's actually better for you to host a text dump of earlier versions or locally hosted copies of our articles. See w:Wikipedia:MIRROR#Remote loading. For downloadable dumps of Wikipedia article database, see w:Wikipedia:Database download. You may also be interested in mw:API.

Please note: Neither the Wikimedia Foundation nor the contributors of content to Wikimedia sites are able to provide legal advice. We wish we could give you specific feedback on the content you would like to use, but - unless it is one of our logos or rare content generated by our staff - we cannot. It is your responsibility, if you intend to reuse content from Wikimedia sites, to determine how the licenses of the content that we host apply to your intended uses. If in doubt, you may wish to contact an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction who has familiarity with intellectual property law.

If you would like to donate copyrighted content to our projects

Thank you for your interest in donating content to our projects!

In accordance with our Terms of Use, our projects are able to accept previously published content that is compatibly licensed with the project to which you wish to add it. (See, specifically, section 7, "Licensing of Content").

The volunteer community who create and curate the bulk of the content on our projects have crafted processes for facilitating such donations. Recommended steps on the English Wikipedia can be found at Wikipedia:Donating copyrighted materials. Several other language Wikipedias have pages describing the process; you can see the list of languages in which it is available and access those by clicking "languages" in the left toolbar. Specific information on donating images and other media files can be found at Commons:Email templates. If you have any questions on donating copyrighted content not answered at those pages, you may wish to consult the web-based "help desk" on Commons or use the "Help" link in the left toolbar to locate a help forum on the project to which you wish to donate. You can also write to permission@wikimedia.org.

Disclaimer: Emails to info@wikimedia.org are reviewed and responded to by volunteers from our user community. Please understand that the Wikimedia Foundation cannot guarantee confidential treatment of any sensitive information you include in your message.

If you would like to report misused copyrighted content hosted on our projects

The Wikimedia Foundation wants to ensure that the content that we host can be re-used by other users without fear of liability and that it is not infringing the proprietary rights of others. In fairness to our users, as well as to other creators and copyright holders, our policy is to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the formalities of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Pursuant to the DMCA, we will terminate, in appropriate circumstances, users and account holders of our system and network who are repeat infringers.

If you are the owner of content that is being improperly used on one of the projects without your permission, you may request that the content be removed under the DMCA. To make such a request, please email us at legal@wikimedia.org or snail mail our designated agent at this address.

Alternatively, you may make a request to our community, which often handles copyright issues faster and more effectively than prescribed under the DMCA. In that case, you can post a notice explaining your copyright concerns. For a non-exhaustive and non-authoritative list of the relevant processes for the different Project editions, look here. Before filing a DMCA claim, you also have the option of sending an email to the community at info@wikimedia.org.

Disclaimer: Emails to info@wikimedia.org are reviewed and responded to by volunteers from our user community. Please understand that the Wikimedia Foundation cannot guarantee confidential treatment of any sensitive information you include in your message.




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