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From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Meta-Wiki is a unique project in the Wikimedia projects family. Its purpose is to act as a multilingual hub and coordination project documenting and collecting Wikimedia-wide issues into one single place for discussion. It's also the place to discuss a great variety of things related to the Wikimedia movement at large, what future decisions and paths it should take, and documentation of past activities with their results, successes and failures. However, as it is also structured like other Wikimedia wikis, it has a specific scope in relation to the global Wikimedia community. See Meta:Inclusion policy and Meta:What Meta is not for more details.

Like other Wikimedia wikis, it is also subject to the licensing resolutions ratified by the Wikimedia Foundation for governing the use of media files on Wikimedia servers. To comply with copyright law, only certain classes of non-free files may be used on Wikimedia wikis in certain restricted contexts; this is formally referred to as the "Exemption Doctrine Policy", or Fair Use Doctrine on the English Wikipedia.

In order to support the greater Wikimedia movement, Meta Wiki asks its users to upload freely licensed content to its sister project Wikimedia Commons, which is a database collection of freely licensed images. There may however exist limited circumstances and contexts where media files, although considered non-free and unsuitable for hosting on Wikimedia Commons, are necessary to further the advancement of the goals of the Wikimedia movement. Thus, Meta-Wiki permits its users to upload a limited amount of non-free media, under this exemption doctrine policy, provided they meet the following criteria:

  1. The file must be strictly in scope; that is, it must pertain to the Wikimedia movement in some way. If it is not obviously something like a letter of correspondence regarding affairs related to the Wikimedia Foundation, there must be a suitable description (called a fair use rationale) written on the file description page explaining why such a file is relevant to the Wikimedia movement.
  2. The file must be considered "in use" on one of the Meta-Wiki pages. To check file usage, there is an area at the bottom of the file description page with links to pages where it is in use. It may also be wiki-linked to less obviously via Special:WhatLinksHere. For these reasons, administrators should do a thorough check to see whether or not a file may still be in use before deleting it.
  3. The file must be irreplaceable; that is, there is no freely licensed equivalent media that is able to convey the same meaning.

As there are currently a lot of media files already uploaded to Meta-Wiki, they should not be outright deleted because they fail to satisfy this criteria; rather, they need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and supplanted with a non-free use media rationale whenever possible. Newly created files, on the other hand, which are clearly marked as non-free and do not fulfill all the criteria listed above, may be deleted one month after the {{delete}} tag has been placed and a suitable attempt is at least made to notify the original uploaders and/or copyright holders of the file's impending deletion.