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Importance of videoEdit

There are roughly 135,000 video files on Commons.

Good examples of videos:

  • Nature videos, such as a recording of a scenic view or a hurricane (ex. #1)
  • Wildlife videos, such as the behavior of animals (ex. #1)
  • Sports videos, such as demonstrating a particular rule or method of playing (ex. #1)
  • Cultural videos, such as a traditional or contemporary dance (ex. #1)
  • Architectural videos, such as kinetic building elements (ex. #1)
  • Science videos, such as chemistry experiments (ex. #1)
  • Demonstrations of tools, showing how they work. (ex. #1)
  • Visualization of 3D data where one of dimensions is shown as time (ex. #1 & #2)
  • Historical videos (ex. #1 & #2)

Check out the List of Wiki video projects; there is a dedicated discussion and support mailing list for makers of video in Wikimedia projects, WikiVideo-l (archive). You can also join the WMF Multimedia Team mailing list (archive).

Video formatsEdit

Wikimedia uses Ogg Theora and WebM for video because they are open and royalty-free, unlike other video formats such as Apple's QuickTime (mov) and Microsoft's WMV, which contain patents and require royalties.

Uploading a videoEdit

The process of uploading a video is similar to uploading an image.

  1. First ensure the video is freely licensed and within scope.
  2. Convert the video to the Theora or the WebM format, using Video2commons, if it is not already in one of those formats.
  3. Go to the Upload page and fill out each field. Include appropriate topic categories. It will take several minutes to upload. Uploads of files larger than the maximum file size of 100 Mb are possible with help of a user with server access. See Help:Server-side upload. Alternatively you could make use of the chunked upload feature, which allows uploads up to 1000 Mb in size. Theoretically it is also possible to split the video into shorter parts and upload each part separately. The template {{Split file}} could be used to link the parts of files split in this way.

NB that at present new users are unable to upload video or audio files, because of frequent abuse of this related to Wikipedia Zero. see Special:AbuseFilter/180.

Video usageEdit

Ogg Theora animation of a satellite in polar orbit.

Embedding VideoEdit

Creating a link that appears at first as a still image of a video and that plays the video after its play button is clicked is called “embedding a video”. The easiest way to embed a video directly into an article (or another page) is by using the same [[File:]] syntax as for image or sound files. The result is on the right. The video can be resized by adding a fixed size (like "|200px") or - preferable - the "|upright" parameter. In most cases you should stick to the default size. If it is higher than wide, use the pure "|upright".

[[File:Time Lapse of New York City.ogv|thumb |200px |New York City Time Lapse]]
[[File:Time Lapse of New York City.ogv|thumb |upright |New York City Time Lapse]]
[[File:Time Lapse of New York City.ogv|thumb |upright=2 |New York City Time Lapse]]

Setting a video thumbnail imageEdit

In case of Ogg Theora files, a keyframe from the midpoint of the video is used by default for the initial thumbnail image. To use a different keyframe, use the thumbtime parameter. For instance:

[[File:Time Lapse of New York City.ogv |thumbtime=12 |thumb |200px |New York City timelapse]]

Either specify the time in seconds or use colons to separate hours, minutes and seconds. Separate a fraction of a second by a "." (dot). Only tenths (0.1, 0.2, etc.) of seconds work, currently.

Default still image
Still image at 12 seconds
Default still image
Still image at 7.8 seconds
Example of GIF animation.
How to create subtitles.

There are two types of links to a video:

  • File – To create a link to the video's File Description Page,
    • use [[:File:Time Lapse of New York City.ogv]].
    • To make the text of a link to the video's File Description Page appear as some text other than the video's filename, use [[:File:Time Lapse of New York City.ogv|some text you prefer]].
  • Media – To create a link that downloads the video,
    • use [[Media:Time Lapse of New York City.ogv]] or use [[:Media:Time Lapse of New York City.ogv]].
    • To make the text of a link that downloads the video appear as some text other than the video's filename, use [[Media:Time Lapse of New York City.ogv|some text you prefer]] or use [[:Media:Time Lapse of New York City.ogv|some text you prefer]].

Temporal media fragmentsEdit

Allows embed code to reference a segment of the video stream or set a start time. Hover over the player to see start time listed as 5s, press play and notice it stops playback at 7 seconds.

[[File:Weeding.ogv|thumb|300px|start=5|end=7|Starts at 5 seconds and ends playback at 7 seconds]]

This feature depends on a HTML5 videobrowser.

Looped animationEdit

In case of animated GIF files, the animation is played continuously in a loop. Animated GIFs are (currently) scaled down on server-side to the required thumb size if they do not exceed the 12.5 Megapixel limit. If they exceed it a still frame will be displayed.

Subtitles and closed captioningEdit

Main article: Commons:Timed Text

To upload an already created subtitle file, open the file on your computer in a text editor (such as Notepad) and copy the text into a new page in the TimedText namespace that matches the filename of the video and the language code.

Keep in mind to paraphrase not spoken sounds and encompass them with rounded brackets. E.g.

 00:00:20,000 --> 00:00:24,400
 (engine sound)

Playing videosEdit

See also: Commons:Media help

Playing video and sound embedded on Wikimedia sites requires no additional software in current desktop web browsers. Mobile browsers are not yet consistently supported as of August 2015.

You must install software to play video that you have downloaded to your computer. You can learn at Commons:Media help what software you need to play our media files. VLC multimedia player and SMPlayer (a GUI for MPlayer) are open-source and multi-platform.

Videos and copyrightEdit

Main article: Commons:Licensing

In addition to checking for video copyright, the audio must not contain copyrighted sounds. This includes any copyrighted songs that were added to the video. Ask questions regarding the copyright of the video at the Village pump.

Examples of videos that would not be allowed due to copyright:

  • Screen captures of software that is itself not under a free license. This includes the Mac OS and Windows operating system. However, screen captures of software under the GPL or a similar free software license are generally considered to be OK.
  • TV/DVD/Videogame/Music video clips and recordings, unless their copyright has expired.
  • Copyrighted symbols, logos, etc. (Not to be confused with trademarks.)
  • Models, masks, toys, and other objects which represent a copyrighted work, such as a cartoon or movie character. See Commons:Derivative works.
  • Video that contains copyrighted music. Remove the copyrighted audio from the video and try to replace it with free licensed music, then upload.
  • Videos of a presentation or lecture, unless the person(s) making the presentation has/have granted explicit permission to allow a video of their performance to be published under a Commons-compatible license via COM:OTRS.

Examples of videos that would be OK to upload:

  • Nature videos (video taken at a National Park or of a bird in your backyard)
  • Videos from the United States government, such as from NASA.

Licenses for a video you have entirely createdEdit

Comparision of licenses
License Intended scope Copyleft Attribution Access control prohibition Worldwide applicability
Creative Commons Attribution Generic No Copyright notice Yes National adaptations
Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike Generic Normal Copyright notice Yes National adaptations
Free Art License Works of art Normal Yes Yes Exact translations (French law)
FreeBSD Documentation License Documentation No Copyright notice Yes Same license (English version)
GNU Free Documentation License Documentation Normal Yes Yes Same license (English version)
GNU Lesser General Public License Software Weak Copyright notice Yes Same license (English version)
GNU General Public License Software Strong Copyright notice Yes Same license (English version)
MIT License Software No Copyright notice Yes Same license (English version)
Do What the Fuck You Want to Public License Generic No No No Same license (English or French version)

Finding videos onlineEdit

See also: Commons:Free media resources/Video

Several media resources contain video that is public domain or licensed under a free license. These can be converted and uploaded to Commons.

Requesting a videoEdit

Main article: Commons:Audio and video requests

Specific videos may be requested at Commons:Audio and video requests. Please search Commons to see if a similar video exists before making the request.

Maintenance tasksEdit

See alsoEdit

Video categories
English Wikipedia image syntax and video documentation

External linksEdit