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Licensing policy

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Applicable definitions

A specific Wikimedia Foundation project in a certain language or a multilingual project, such as English Wikipedia, French Wikisource, or Meta.
Free Content License
A license which meets the terms of the Definition of Free Cultural Works specific to licenses, as can be found at http://freedomdefined.org/Definition version 1.0.
Exemption Doctrine Policy (EDP)
A project-specific policy, in accordance with United States law and the law of countries where the project content is predominantly accessed (if any), that recognizes the limitations of copyright law (including case law) as applicable to the project, and permits the upload of copyrighted materials that can be legally used in the context of the project, regardless of their licensing status. Examples include: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Non-free_content and http://pl.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikinews:Dozwolony_u%C5%BCytek.


Whereas the mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to "empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free content license,"

  1. All projects are expected to host only content which is under a Free Content License, or which is otherwise free as recognized by the 'Definition of Free Cultural Works' as referenced above.
  2. In addition, with the exception of Wikimedia Commons, each project community may develop and adopt an EDP. Non-free content used under an EDP must be identified in a machine-readable format so that it can be easily identified by users of the site as well as re-users.
  3. Such EDPs must be minimal. Their use, with limited exception, should be to illustrate historically significant events, to include identifying protected works such as logos, or to complement (within narrow limits) articles about copyrighted contemporary works. An EDP may not allow material where we can reasonably expect someone to upload a freely licensed file for the same purpose, such as is the case for almost all portraits of living notable individuals. Any content used under an EDP must be replaced with a freely licensed work whenever one is available which will serve the same educational purpose.
  4. Media used under EDPs are subject to deletion if they lack an applicable rationale. They must be used only in the context of other freely licensed content.
  5. For the projects which currently have an EDP in place, the following action shall be taken:
    • As of March 23, 2007, all new media uploaded under unacceptable licenses (as defined above) and lacking an exemption rationale should be deleted, and existing media under such licenses should go through a discussion process where it is determined whether such a rationale exists; if not, they should be deleted as well.
  6. For the projects which currently do not have an EDP in place, the following action shall be taken:
    • As of March 23, 2007, any newly uploaded files under an unacceptable license shall be deleted.
    • The Foundation resolves to assist all project communities who wish to develop an EDP with their process of developing it.
    • By March 23, 2008, all existing files under an unacceptable license as per the above must either be accepted under an EDP, or shall be deleted.

Passed with 7 supporting, 23 March 2007.