FAQs for Trademark App Guidelines
1. Purpose of the guidelines
1.1 What is the function of the guidelines?
These guidelines are aimed at app developers to explain how to use Wikimedia trademarks and Wikimedia content.
They are not! The guidelines explain how the Trademark Policy applies specifically in the context of apps. In addition, the guidelines also describe how to use Wikipedia content according to the applicable Creative Commons licenses.
1.3 So why are there separate guidelines exclusively aimed at apps?
We have created these guidelines to address the specific trademark and content issues that app developers might face. As new devices, including smartphones, tablets, and wearable computers quickly become permanent fixtures in our lives, apps are also becoming more important sources of information. We want to support app developers who use Wikimedia trademarks and content while also ensuring that their apps comply with the Wikimedia mission and accurately represent the Wikimedia community.
2. How to use the Wikimedia marks to comply with the Trademark Policy
2.1 What are the Wikimedia marks?
The Wikimedia marks are trademarks that represent the Wikimedia community. You can find a complete list of them on our trademarks page. They include wordmarks, like the stylized “Wikipedia” mark as well as more traditional logos like like the puzzle globe and the “W” logo.
2.2 Do I need to request a trademark license if a Wikimedia wordmark is the first word in my app name, even if it is obvious that my app is not affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation?
Yes, because the wordmark will feature prominently in your app title and be searchable by that wordmark. In those circumstances, we need to review your usage to ensure that your app appropriately represents the Wikimedia community. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a trademark license.
2.3 Can I use a Wikimedia wordmark to reference something other than a Wikimedia site?
Yes. Our wordmarks did not exist before our projects were created, so they do not have a primary meaning like “facebook” or “apple.” That said, if you reuse Wikimedia wordmarks to address something non-Wikimedia related, we will consider that “fair use.”
2.4 Where do I include a notice that the Wikimedia mark or logo I’ve used is a trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation?
You should include a trademark symbol (™) on its first use, and include this notice in the documentation for your app: "[Wikimedia Wordmark / name of logo as listed on the trademarks page] is a trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation and is used with the permission of the Wikimedia Foundation. We are not endorsed by or affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation."
2.5 How do I know if my logo is confusingly similar to a Wikimedia logo?
We have provided some examples of acceptable as well as confusingly similar logos in the app guidelines. In general, if somebody can easily think that your logo represents a Wikimedia project, then you must request a trademark license. Similarly, if you include a Wikimedia mark in your app logo then you likely must request a trademark license.
2.6 Why do I have to be clear about donations made to the Wikimedia Foundation, if I do not plan to donate?
We need to make sure that users do not think that they are financially supporting the Wikimedia projects when they pay for an app.
3. What licenses apply to Wikimedia content
3.1 What licenses apply to the Wikimedia logos?
The Wikimedia marks are licensed under different Creative Commons licenses. To determine which applies, please check the trademarks page and click on the specific mark to identify the correct license. Please then follow the instructions for the particular license.
3.2 What licenses apply to Wikimedia text?
Most Wikimedia text is licensed under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). To determine whether the text is available under the GFDL review the page footer, page history, and discussion page. Under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License, you may reuse text, if you distribute your contributions under the same license, indicate any changes you made to the text, and provide a link back to the page you reused or a link that lists of all the authors. If you reuse text from Wikipedia, please review the Reusing Wikipedia content page.
3.3 What licenses apply to Wikimedia photos?
Wikimedia photos are licensed under different licenses. If you are using an image from Wikimedia Commons, please look at the image’s page, identify which license applies, and follow the different requirements. You may also use the Imageinfo API to get extmetadata, which includes the license name. Please make sure to also review the Reusing Wikimedia Commons content page.
3.4 What about material made available under fair use?
Some Wikimedia images, sounds, or text is used under the "fair use" doctrine of United States law. In those circumstances, you must ensure that your reuse of the content also qualifies as fair use. For example, if the content is being reused for commercial purposes, it will likely not be considered fair use. Please review the Reusing Wikipedia content page for more information.