Wikipedia's purpose is to create a source of information in the form of a freely available encyclopedia. The license we use guarantees free access to our content, in the same sense that free software can be used freely. This means that the Wikipedia content can be copied, edited and redistributed, as long as the new version grants the same freedom to others and recognizes the work of the authors of the Wikipedia entries used (a direct link to the entry satisfies the attribution of authorship that we request to protect the authors' work). Wikipedia entries will therefore remain free forever and can be used by anyone under certain conditions, most of which serve precisely to guarantee this freedom.
These site conditions cannot be changed. If there are inconsistencies between the official English text and the translation, the former prevails.
Information for text contributors
Information for media contributors
Information for re-users
Details on reusing content outside of Wikimedia
You can consult the dedicated help page on Commons.
Fair use material and special requirements
As required by the EDP, Wikipedia entries may include images, sounds or text citations under the "fair use" doctrine of US copyright law.
In this case, the material must be identified as coming from an external source (on the image description page, or in the page history, as appropriate). Since "fair use" is invoked for the specific use that is made by the contributor, it is best to include a description of reasonable fair use indicating the specific use either in a hidden part of the text or on the image description page.
It should be remembered that what Wikipedia defines as fair use may not be considered the same in another context.
For example, if we have included an image under fair use, you need to ensure that your use of the entry is also within fair use (this may not be the case if, for example, you are using a Wikipedia entry for commercial purposes, what is permitted by CC BY-SA and the GFDL, but not necessarily by fair use).
Learn more about contributors' rights and obligations
If you contribute material to Wikipedia, you license it accordingly under the CC BY-SA and GFDL license as explained above.
In order to contribute, you must therefore be in a position that allows you to guarantee these licenses, which means one of two things:
you own the copyright on the material, for example because you produced it yourself, or
you have acquired the material from a source that allows you to license it under CC BY-SA and GFDL, for example because the material is in the public domain or is already published under the CC BY-SA (or compatible license) GFDL.
Using a copyrighted work
If you use part of a copyrighted work by invoking the principle of "fair use" (legal doctrine recognized in the US, but not, for example, Italy), or if you obtain special permission to use a copyrighted work from the owner of permission under the terms of our license, you must add a note about it (including names and dates).
It is our goal to redistribute as much Wikipedia material as possible, so original images and sound files licensed under CC BY-SA or public domain are far preferable to copyrighted media or "fair use". Among the permission request templates you can find a suitable letter or email asking the copyright holder for permission to use a certain material, possibly