Meta:Exemption doctrine policy proposal

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Other languages:
This page is about the 2013 proposal. For the 2008 proposal, see Meta:Fair_use (ca. 2008).
Meta currently does not have an EDP and does not allow fair use, following a 2015 discussion. See Meta:Fair use.



Recognising that:

  • Wikimedia Foundation's Resolution:Licensing policy requires that the use of non-free media on any Wikimedia project be explicitly covered by an exemption doctrine policy (EDP);
  • Freely licensed media should be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons for use on any Wikimedia project;
  • Meta is the global community site for the Wikimedia projects and the Wikimedia movement in general, and its main function is the coordination and documentation to planning and analysis of future Wikimedia activities;
  • The effective coordination and documentation of Wikimedia events and Wikimedia affiliates often require the lawful use of non-free media.


This EDP is proposed:

  • To allow the use of non-free content on Meta in order to facilitate the coordination and documentation of Wikimedia projects, events, and affiliates where necessary;
  • To minimize legal exposure by limiting the amount of non-free content, using more narrowly defined criteria than apply under the fair use provisions in United States copyright law.


Non-free content on Meta—including all copyrighted images, audio and video clips, and other media files that lack a free content license—may only be used in a limited set of circumstances.

(a) Brief verbatim textual excerpts from copyrighted media may be used. They must be specifically indicated as direct quotations via quotation marks, <blockquote>, or a similar method, and must be properly attributed or cited to their original source or author.

(b) The following categories of non-free content may be uploaded on Meta:

  1. Reports, financial statements, letters, and other documents related to the operation and governance of the Wikimedia Foundation and its associated organizations, which were created by an external entity that did not release them under a free license, or which cannot be freely licensed for some other reason.
  2. Images which cannot be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons due to lack of freedom of panorama in the jurisdiction in which they were taken, but which are otherwise licensed under a free license.
Non-free content meeting one of these criteria may only be uploaded to Meta if
  • it is required as part of a process that takes place on this wiki (for example, a grant proposal or Wikimania bid), and
  • there is no possibility of replacing the content with a freely-licensed equivalent, and
  • the author or copyright holder has granted permission for the file to be uploaded to Meta, and
  • it is linked from at least one page (other than a housekeeping page, such as a deletion request page or Meta:Babel). The link may be in the form of transclusion, file inclusion, or wikilinking.

(c) Other non-free content not covered by (a) or (b) above is not permitted on Meta at this time and may be deleted.

File description page[edit]

The media description page must identify the source of the material and evidence of permission to use the media, supplemented, where possible, with information about the author, publisher and copyright holder, and year of copyright.

Every non-free file should be directly included in the category Category:All non-free media.

See also[edit]