Wikimedia Commons


November 28, 2021

Wikimedia Commons (abbreviated as Commons) is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation, which serves as an organized central repository of royalty-free photos, videos, illustrations, sounds and other multimedia content. These files are also accessible from all Wikimedia Foundation projects in all language versions. The project was designed by Erik Möller in March 2004 and launched on September 7, 2004. The Commons editing and user environment is almost identical to the Wikipedia editing environment, it also uses the same principle and a similar content categorization system and a similar way of self-government. The Commons project does not have multiple language versions, the basic language of the Commons project is English, which is preferred especially for naming categories, but the names of images and project discussions can be in any language as needed. With the thematic categories and articles of the language versions of the Wikipedia project, the thematic categories of the Commons project are partly linked by local interlanguage links or through the thematic items of the Wikidata project.

Relationship to sister projects

Originally, each of the Wikimedia Foundation projects had a separate file repository, and it was not possible to use an English image directly in the Czech Wikipedia, for example. The image had to be first copied from the English Wikipedia to the Czech one. The Wikimedia Commons project was launched three years after Wikipedia. Some of the Wikimedia Foundation's projects (such as Dutch, Swedish, Danish, both Norwegian, Spanish, Basque, Polish, Czech and Slovak Wikipedia) have moved virtually all multimedia content to the Commons project and no longer store local images, etc., other projects (such as the English version Wikipedia) either have not yet completed the move process or intentionally keep some files stored locally, for example because they have opted for a more lenient licensing policy, such as allowing fair use files that are not tolerated in the Commons project.

Project organization

The Wikimedia Commons project is a relatively autonomous project that is independently managed by a community of its contributors and users according to established rules and practices, and with the help of users with varying degrees of special administrative and other rights. Files that do not meet the conditions of the project, for example deviate from its thematic focus or are unacceptable for the project in terms of copyright or other rights, are excluded and deleted from the project. Otherwise, however, the number of uploaded files for each topic is not limited. Each file is associated with its descriptive page, which contains a description of the contents of the file and basic information about the authorship and release of copyright by free license, the date of origin of the file, or its relationship to other uploaded files or works from which the file is derived, etc. Images and other files, like articles in Wikipedia projects, are organized through a descriptive page in a multi-hierarchical categorization system (with a oriented graph structure, ideally acyclic), based on the principles of modularity (the file or category is classified only in the most specific category or categories). , not at the same time into their supercategories, with complex categories such as "Churches in Russia" combining two or more criteria), simplicity, selectivity (category names are unambiguous and inhomonymous) and universality (one topic has the same name for all countries and levels). categorization and categorization system is maximally uniform and systematic, ie it suppresses local differences in dialects and terminology, and parallel branches of categorization have an analogous structure)

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