Last modified on 26 September 2013, at 11:56

Commons:Grandfathered old files

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It is a general practice on Wikimedia Commons to prove that permission was given to release files created by third parties under a free license by getting that party to send an e-mail to the OTRS team.

However the OTRS system has only been in use on Wikimedia Commons since 2006. The OTRS e-mail address was first mentioned on Commons:First steps on 15 March 2006 and Commons:OTRS was created on 11 September 2006.

Yet there are many older files on Wikimedia Commons which have been uploaded with e-mail permission. Between 8 January 2006 and 15 March 2006, uploaders were required to add a quote of the permission grant by the copyright holder. See here for an earlier revision of Commons:First Steps which mentions that the Permission field of the {{Information}} template should contain:

"Short quote of the permission of the copyright owner of this image in case of a individual permission."

Prior to 8 January 2006, it was only required that the file was properly licensed and attributed, with no specific statement of permission being required on the image page.

How to deal with old filesEdit

It has been a custom on Wikimedia Commons to grandfather in these files, rather than to delete them. See for example this discussion at the Administrators' noticeboard.

If there are other reasons to doubt the authorship or permission of the author, attempts should be made to communicate with the named author, to better establish the situation (and preferably obtain COM:OTRS evidence). The precautionary principle still applies – if real doubt remains, the file may be deleted in a deletion request.

An example of a grandfathered old file (GOF) which was deleted and then undeleted based on this principle can be viewed here.

Grandfathered old files should be tagged with the {{grandfathered old file}} template which assigns them to the hidden category Category:Grandfathered old files.

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