This page is considered an official policy on Wikimedia Commons.
It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that everyone must follow. Except for minor edits (such as fixing typos, or bringing information up to date), please make use of the discussion page to propose changes to this policy.
Commons' users aim to build and maintain in good faith a repository of media files which to the best of our knowledge are free or freely-licensed. The precautionary principle is that where there is significant doubt about the freedom of a particular file, it should be deleted.
Also, arguments that amount to "we can get away with it", such as the following, are against Commons' aims:
- "The copyright owner will not bother to sue or cannot afford to."
- "The copyright owner will never find out."
- "The copyright owner will not mind/should be pleased that we have disseminated their work."
- "Nobody knows who the copyright owner is, so it really doesn’t matter."
- "The file is obviously common property. It can be found all over the internet and nobody has complained."