BR Bullpen:Image use policy

From BR Bullpen

This page is a brief overview of the policies towards images — including format, content, and copyright issues — on the BR Bullpen. If you have specific questions, you should go to the most specific policy page related to your question, for a prompt and accurate response.


Below this brief checklist of image use rules is the detailed reasoning behind them.

  1. Always tag your image with one of the image copyright tags. When in doubt, do not upload copyrighted images.
  2. Always specify on the description page where the image came from, such as scanning a paper copy, or a URL, or a name/alias and method of contact for the photographer. For screenshots this means what the image is a screenshot of (the more detail the better). Don't put credits in images themselves.
  3. Use the image description page to describe an image and its copyright situation.
  4. Use a clear, detailed title. Note that if any image with the same title has already been uploaded, it will be replaced with your new one.
  5. Upload a high-resolution version of your image whenever possible (unless the image is being used under fair use), and use the automatic thumbnailing option of the extended image syntax to scale down the image. (Note image scaling is currently not supported) MediaWiki accepts images up to 20 MB in size. Do not scale down the image yourself, as scaled-down images may be of limited use in the future.
  6. Crop the image to highlight the relevant subject.
  7. If you create an image that contains text, please upload also a version without any text as it will help allow others to translate it into other languages.
  8. Try not to use color alone to convey information, as it is inaccessible in many situations.
  9. Use JPEG format for photographic images, and SVG format for icons, logos, drawings, maps, flags, and such, falling back to PNG when only a raster image is available. Use GIF format for inline animations, Ogg/Theora for video. Do not use Windows bitmap (BMP) format images; they are uncompressed and take up too much space.
  10. Add a good alternative text for images.
  11. In general, there is no need to specify thumbnail size. Users can select their ideal size in preferences.

Adding images[edit]

Before you upload an image, make sure that either:

  • You own the rights to the image (usually meaning that you created the image yourself);
  • You can prove that the copyright holder has licensed the image under a free license;
  • You can prove that the image is in the public domain; or
  • You believe, and state, a fair use rationale for the specific use of the image that you intend.

Images which are listed as for non-commerical use only and by permission are unsuitable for and will be deleted on sight. Instead try to find an alternative which is licenced freely or in the public domain whenever possible. If no alternative can be found, it must be licensed under fair use. This also applies for images licenced under a licence which restricts derivatives.

Always note the image's copyright status on the image description page, using one of the image copyright tags, and provide specific details about the image's origin. An image summary and image copyright tag are required for all images. The image copyright tag provides a standard template for the licensing of the image. The image summary provides necessary details to support the use of the image copyright tag. The recommended image summary contains some or all of the following:

  • Description: The subject of the image
  • Source: The copyright holder of the image or URL of the web page the image came from
  • Date: Date the image was created. The more exact, the better
  • Location: Where the image was created. The more exact the better
  • Author: The image creator, especially if different from the copyright holder
  • Permission: Who or what law or policy gives permission to post on the Bullpen with the selected image copyright tag
  • Other versions of this file: Directs users to derivatives of the image if they exist on the Bullpen


User-created images[edit]

The Bullpen encourages users to upload their own images, but all user-created images must be released under a free license (such as the GFDL and/or an acceptable Creative Commons license) or be released into the public domain (no license). If licensing, it is best practice to multi-license your images under both GFDL and Creative Commons.

Such images can include photographs which you yourself took (remember that rights to images generally lie with the photographer, not the subject), drawings or diagrams you yourself created, and other self-created work. However, simply re-tracing a copyrighted image or diagram does not necessarily create a new copyright — copyright is generated only by instances of "creativity", and not by the amount of labor which went into the creation of the work. Photographs of three-dimensional objects almost always generate a new copyright — photographs of two-dimensional objects (such as paintings in a museum) often do not (see the section on "public domain" below).

Also, user-created images may not be watermarked, distorted, have any credits in the image itself or anything else that would hamper their free use, unless, of course, the image is intended to demonstrate watermarking, distortion etc. and is used in the related article. All photo credit should be in a summary on the image description page.

Free licenses[edit]

For a list of possible licenses which are considered "free enough" for the Bullpen, see BR Bullpen:Image copyright tags. Licenses which restrict the use of the media to non-profit or educational purposes only (i.e. noncommercial use only), or are given permission to only appear on the Bullpen, are not free enough for the Bullpen's usages or goals and will be deleted. In short, the Bullpen's media (with the exception of "fair use" media — see below) should be as "free" as the Bullpen's content — both to keep the Bullpen's own legal status secure as well as to allow for as much re-use of Bullpen content as possible.

Public domain[edit]

Under United States copyright law, all images published before January 1, 1923 in the United States are now in the public domain, but this does not apply to images that were created prior to 1923 and published in 1923 or later. The year 1923 has special significance (see the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998). and this date will not roll forward before 2019. Because the Bullpen's pages, are currently hosted on a server in the United States, this law is particularly significant here.

While there are many places to acquire public domain photos at the public domain image resources, if you strongly suspect an image is a copyright infringement (for example, no copyright status exists on its image description page and you have seen it elsewhere under a copyright notice), then you should list it for deletion (see below).

Also note that in the United States, reproductions of two-dimensional artwork which is in the public domain because of age do not generate a new copyright — for example, a straight-on photograph of the Mona Lisa would not be considered copyrighted (see Bridgeman v. Corel). Scans of images alone do not generate new copyrights — they merely inherit the copyright status of the image they are reproducing. This is not true of the copyright laws of some other countries, such as the United Kingdom.

Fair use considerations[edit]

Some usage of copyrighted materials without permission of the copyright holder can qualify as fair use in the United States (but not in most other jurisdictions). Improper claims of fair use constitute copyright infringement and are illegal.

As a general rule of thumb, the Bullpen allows low-resolution images of copyrighted material if they are unlikely to affect the potential market for the material, are used for the purposes of analysis or criticism, and for which there is no alternative, non- or free-copyrighted replacement available. This is most often used with respect to baseball cards.

Media which is mis-tagged as fair use or is a flagrant copyright violation can and will be deleted on sight. Frequent uploading of non-fair use copyrighted material can be justification for banning a user.

Editing images[edit]

Use the Upload file page to replace an image with an edited version. Make sure your file has the same name as the one being replaced.

Converting an image to another file format changes the filename, hence the new image will have an entirely separate image description page.

Deleting images[edit]

  1. Contact (through their talk page) the user who uploaded the image, telling them of your concerns. You may be able to resolve the issue at this point.
  2. Remove all uses of the image from articles — make it an orphan.
  3. Add one of these notices to the image description page:
    • copyright violations: add the copyright infringement notice to the image description page
    • otherwise: add the deletion notice to the image description page.
  4. List the image at BR Bullpen:Copyright problems or BR Bullpen:Deletion proposals
  5. The image can then be deleted after a week in the normal way — see our deletion policy.

To actually delete an image after following the above procedure, you must be an administrator. To do so, go to the image description page and click the (del) or Delete this page links. Deleted images can now be undeleted.

Image titles and file names[edit]

Using descriptive file names are also useful. For instance, the name DavidDellucci.jpg is better than Davidd1.jpg as it gives a fuller idea within the file name of who the subject is. Also, if there are likely to be other files uploaded of the same subject, further descriptors should be used. For instance, if a player has two images to be uploaded the first from 1950 and the second from 1960, it would be best to name the files "Player Name 1950.jpg" and "Player Name 1960.jpg".

In the first case give it exactly the same name, otherwise a suitable other name. Avoid special characters in filenames or excessively long filenames, though, as that might make it difficult for some users to download the files onto their machines. Note that names are case sensitive, but for uniformity, lower case file name extensions are recommended.

You may use the same name in the case of a different image that replaces the old one, and also if you make an improved version of the same image - perhaps a scanned image that you scanned again with a better quality scanner, or you used a better way of reducing the original in scale - then upload it with the same title as the old one. This allows people to easily compare the two images, and avoids the need to delete images or change articles. However, this is not possible if the format is changed, since then at least the extension part of the name has to be changed.

Currently there is no easy way to rename an image — they will not "Move" to new titles in the ways that articles will.


  • Drawings, icons, political maps, flags and other such images are preferably uploaded in SVG format as vector images. Images with large, simple, and continuous blocks of color which are not available as SVG should be in PNG format. (currently not supported)
  • Drawings, icons, political maps, flags and other such images claimed as fair use should be in PNG format.
  • Photos and images with photo-like color depth should be in JPEG format.
  • Inline animations should be in animated GIF format.
  • Video should be in Ogg/Theora format. (currently not supported)
  • Screenshots should be in PNG or JPG format, depending on the photorealism/color depth of the subject.

In general, if you have a good image that is in the wrong format, convert it to the correct format before uploading.