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Looking for media files on CommonsEdit

In order to find certain media files on Wikimedia Commons see if an appropriate article for your file exists. Fewer articles exist in Commons than in Wikipedia, but Bicycle, Lake, many National Parks, plant species, animals, etc., exist. Add in your local Wikipedia a link to at least one gallery article of Wikimedia Commons, if possible.

A good way finding certain media on Wikimedia Commons is our Search page.

If you want to reuse Wikimedia Commons media files outside Wikimedia projects you are welcome to do so. However keep some very important points in mind:

  • Unlike traditional media repositories, Wikimedia Commons is free. Everyone is allowed to copy, use and modify any files here freely for any purpose including commercial ones as long as the source and the authors are credited and, in many cases, as long as you release your copies/improvements under the same freedom to others.
  • The Wikimedia Commons database itself and the texts in it are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. The license conditions of each individual media file can be found on their description pages.
  • However be aware that we cannot guarantee the correctness of the informations given on each file. So please verify on your own the license conditions given on the media file you want to use.
  • More detailed information on usage conditions can be found at Commons:Licensing.

Embedding Commons’ media in Wikimedia projectsEdit

In general, to embed a Wikimedia Commons media file in Wikipedia or another Wikimedia wiki, just include it in the same way as if it were to be stored locally there.

To include an image in a page, use for example a link in the form (standard usage shown):

[[Image:file.jpg|thumb|descriptive text]]

To include a sound you can choose between two possibilities if the {{Audio}} template is present in your local wiki (otherwise you can use the first method):

[[Media:file.ogg|descriptive text]]
{{Audio|Filename-without-namespace|descriptive text}}

Further details can be found at the media help page in Meta-wiki, at Wikipedia image markup page and at Wikipedia picture tutorial.

Embedding Commons media in third party projectsEdit

Directly embedding files from Wikimedia Commons on the fly into an external wiki (“Deep linking”) is considered bandwidth theft and external servers doing so will be permanently blocked after Wikimedia server admins recognize it (usually very quick). There is a proposal to allow non-Wikimedia wikis to easily access Commons material - meta:InstantCommons. This feature does not yet exist, so at the moment files must be separately uploaded to other wikis.

You are always welcome to download files you are interested in for reuse as long as you follow the license conditions provided along side the files.

Further readingEdit

Wikimedia Commons pages:

MediaWiki handbook: