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Dear colleagus,

it looks like we miss a situation, when a person, depicted on the photo, wishes to express his/her content by adding a template. Probably {{consent|sel}} would be fine? Dr Bug (Vladimir V. Medeyko) 00:12, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

That sounds like a good idea to me. (Although I would prefer it unabbreviated as {{consent|self}}.) --99of9 (talk) 00:31, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Consent to whatEdit

{{consent|full}} produces: The uploader asserts the following regarding consent of identifiable persons: I personally created this media. All identifiable persons shown specifically consented to publication of this photograph or video under a free license, including commercial use.

I think there is some confusion here, which means the parameter name "full" has to be deprecated.

"Full" implies that the image may be used without restrictions. The persons depicted however have consented only to the file being published with a certain copyright licence (which legally isn't their business anyway), which explicitly states it is only about copyright issues. They may not have waived any personality rights.

I also think there should be a possibility to consent to some but not all uses. This might be in conflict with the spirit of free licences (copyrightwise any use must be allowed), but I also find it problematic to ask people to allow defamatory use. Limited consent seems to be in line with the en:moral rights, which are rights granted by copyright law, which cannot be waived in their entirety (defamatory use of the work is included - why should the author keep this protection but not the subject).

--LPfi (talk) 09:50, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

I'm no expert, but my understanding is that the meaning of "commercial use" is not only a copyright matter (and nor is it just determined by the for-profit status of the organization). If an advertisement implies that the subject actually supports the use of the product they are advertising, that requires the permission of the subject. I think that's what consent|full is allowing, and IMO is above and beyond what we require of our photos. --99of9 (talk) 11:55, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
But that is not what the uploader declares the subject has consented to, which is the problem. It could be clarified, but we do not know whether the clarification applies to files (if any) where the template already is used with that option.
And do not believe we should ask people who pose for us to allow advertisements implying the subject supports the product in question, whatever the product. If that is OK for the subject, then it is OK for me, but that should not be a prerequisite for posing for Commons' photos. I think we can respect the moral rights of the subject in the same way the law (in my country) requires us to respect the moral rights of the photographer.
--LPfi (talk) 10:41, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I've redone the auto-catting so we can see which files we're talking about Category:Full_consent, and frankly I can't see any of them being used to support a product anyway! So I have no objection to deprecating this back to plain old {{Consent}}. --99of9 (talk) 12:40, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Fine, that should probably do. But shouldn't there be a difference between the default (without an option, and thus possibly used for any meaning of "consent") and explicitly choosing the default? --LPfi (talk) 11:07, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
It's simpler if we don't force people to use parameters, I think the default will teach people what we want them to ask for. --99of9 (talk) 11:24, 23 May 2012 (UTC)


In a thread discussing this template elsewhere, Jebulon brought up the idea that child subjects may require special attention. How about {{consent|child}} which asserts that consent to publish was obtained by any child subjects' parent or guardian? --99of9 (talk) 04:26, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Also here we have to be careful. Such consent is often given for publication in some context. The context implied by the template option must neither be too broad nor too narrow (rendering the option or the consent useless, respectively). The option should probably be based on the corresponding (now non-existing?) guideline, although it of course cannot mirror changes once it is in use. --LPfi (talk) 11:03, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
The publication context is an issue for identifiable people of all ages. Perhaps we need a descriptive context-limitation field? Would Commons accept "only for medical education contexts"? What guideline are you talking about? --99of9 (talk) 11:22, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm talking about the probably non-existant guideline, where these issues are discussed. The nearest existing thing is probably Commons:Photographs of identifiable people, but it does not discuss restricted consent. I think many here would object to explicit restrictions, although most photos have similar restrictions implicitly. The issue should be discussed thoroughly, but it must be raised in such a way that people contemplate the issues instead of reacting by reflex and prejudice. --LPfi (talk) 11:29, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I think we should not make the needed changes here (except perhaps a free text field) before consensus has been reached in a good forum. Otherwise photos may be uploaded with options that later turn out to be unfortunate - there is a real risk of photos being deleted because of explicit restrictions, even because of restrictions equivalent or nearly equivalent to implicit legal restrictions. --LPfi (talk) 11:36, 4 June 2012 (UTC)


When applying the "appearspublic" argument, often we will not know for sure whether the subject consented to the photo's publication. Currently it produces "identifiable persons are shown who have not consented to publication", which seems too definite. Does anyone object to changing this to "identifiable persons are shown who may not have consented to publication"? I think the description of Category:Without consent could use some clarification too. --Avenue (talk) 04:52, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Agreed, I guess I assumed the worst case when I wrote it, but you're right. Feel free to change it. --99of9 (talk) 10:45, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I've changed both the text produced by "appearspublic" and the description of Category:Without consent. They both now allow for uncertainty about consent. They also now both focus on consent for publication; previously they were inconsistent as the category description seemed to only talk about consent for taking the picture. --Avenue (talk) 11:52, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Rethinking parametersEdit

There are several things that could be improved in this template -- some very important, maybe centrally important, use cases. I think this should be addressed before the template is widely deployed (at present, it's in use on about 600 files on Commons). I'll start a list of my concerns below -- feel free to add to the bullet list. -Pete F (talk) 17:53, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

  • PF: The main language is about consent "to publication of this photograph or video". But where possible (and in order to clearly comply with COM:IDENT), mere consent to publication is not very strong. We want to be able to clearly indicate when the subject has explicitly consented to more specific things: publication under a free license, open access publication on the Internet, commercial use, or perhaps specifically publication on Wikimedia Commons. While this consent is not required, it is worthwhile to record it where it exists. It also may spare us unnecessary arguments in relation to specific photos.
    • (I do think it is worth some discussion about whether mere "consent to publication" is even worth recording, as it is general enough to be nearly meaningless.)
      • That's roughly the purpose of the 'full' parameter. I would hesitate to create a whole slew of more specific criteria, lest the template become overly confusing to use. I wouldn't say that the minimum consent level is 'meaningless'. If we have a photo of someone sunbathing on a nude beach, there's a significant moral and legal (in some countries) difference to publishing it if the subject gave consent to have the photograph published. Clearly, 'full' consent (commercial and free-license use) is much more desirable, but even minimum consent is better than nothing. Kaldari (talk) 23:34, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
  • PF: There is no variant that allows the subject (as opposed to the uploader) to assert his or her consent. For instance, there is no ideal parameter for me to use on this photo (where I am the subject): File:Wikimedia_Foundation_Pete_Forsyth.jpg
    • I could see a use for this, but what about cases where there are multiple subjects? Kaldari (talk) 23:34, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
  • PF: The template doesn't appear to leverage the OTRS system. But the OTRS team is uniquely qualified to assess consent in many situations.
    • That's a good idea. We should add a parameter for an OTRS ticket id. Kaldari (talk) 23:34, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
  • PF: There is no parameter for "I have communicated privately with the subject of the photo, and have received assurance that he or she consents to…"
    • I'm not sure I understand this suggestion. Is the suggestion related to 'privately' or '...'? Kaldari (talk) 23:34, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
None of the current templates is useful for a photograph where the consent of the photographer and the subject is obtained if the photograph is obtained either privately or if the consent is not explicitly stated on a hosting site, and the "I personally created this media" really limits the usage for those of us who upload images for photographers, as opposed to by photographers. I understand that Commons would prefer "by photographers", but this simply isn't always the case, especially since, in my experience so far, most photographers had no idea how to do it, had the time to do it, or maybe never considered this as an outlet. I also think an OTRS parameter would be handy; I can see instances that may require both an OTRS template and a consent|OTRS template, or one or the other. – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 22:22, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

I have been meaning to post a thorough reply here, and will come back to do that. In the meantime, I think it's useful to collect examples of files for which the template has no workable parameters. Here is one, and feel free to add to this list. -Pete F (talk)

Both public and consent?Edit

What do we use for photos taken in a public place without expectation of privacy and in addition to that the subjects also gave consent? (this applies very much in street photography where the photographer approaches the subjects and gets granted consent but even without consent the public place is sufficient by itself). There is also this issue regarding crowds: in a public crowd the photographer may wave the camera and show it to the crowd and then wait for the crowd's response, if there wasn't a negative response from an individual then the photographer proceeds. Should we need a template for crowds? Cogiati (talk) 07:58, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

I also propose this template: Template:Public place Cogiati (talk) 08:09, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Getting individual consent is a higher level than publicness, so I'd suggest just specifying the consent you got. --99of9 (talk) 09:33, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

Change wording of public consentEdit

I propose to change the wording of the public template from: "I personally created this media. All persons were photographed without deception, in a place where they had no reasonable expectation of privacy. Because identifiable persons are shown who have not consented to publication of this photograph or video, re-use of this media may be prohibited or restricted in your jurisdiction." to "I personally created this media. All persons were photographed without deception, in a place where they had no reasonable expectation of privacy. If other identifiable persons are shown who have not consented to publication of this photograph or video, re-use of this media may be prohibited or restricted in your jurisdiction." or "I personally created this media. All persons were photographed without deception, in a place where they had no reasonable expectation of privacy. Because identifiable persons may be shown who have not consented to publication of this photograph or video, re-use of this media may be prohibited or restricted in your jurisdiction." Cogiati (talk) 08:04, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

But the template is only supposed to be applied to pictures which show an identifiable person. If you haven't spoken to them, then they have not consented to publication. What have I misunderstood? --99of9 (talk) 10:15, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Full consent?Edit

In all other cases other than self-portraits, the author has no right to act on behalf of the subject. It is misleading and prone to encourage misuse without contacting the subject(s). So I think {{Consent}} with parameters basic(default) and full should be removed. Jee 03:41, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Or correct it by adding "I personally created this media. All identifiable persons shown specifically consented to publication of this photograph or video under a free license, including commercial use. But the applicable law may demand a case to case permission from the subject(s) for a particular use. In such cases, you are solely responsible to collect such permission(s)." Jee 06:43, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
I think this wording would improve the situation but I don't think it goes far enough. We need to make it clear and simple for both uploaders and re-users. The upload wizard should ask if there are identifiable people in the image and have they consented to their likeness being used commercially and for any purpose. The template should make it clear whether that explicit statement of consent (or OTRS confirmed consent in some situations) was obtained and the potential risks of re-use. Saffron Blaze (talk) 17:23, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Does this template is intended to ensure the author has verified the consent of the subject to take a photo? I am surprised by seeing the wordings like ""I personally created this media. All identifiable persons shown specifically consented to publication of this photograph or video under a free license, including commercial use." in the photo of an old poor lady with a CC0 license! Even educated people have a difficult to understand what is written in those legal codes! If the purpose of this template to collect a name sake declaration from the author per COM:AGF to "keep" the file in Commons; it is OK; but no need to advertise like this prominently along with the license to confuse and cheat the re-users. Note that the declaration from the photographer has zero value in courts unless it is a self portrait. Jee 18:02, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
I guess it is all a function of what level of risk is the re-user willing to accept. You are right though, none of the existing templates parameters equate to a model release. Moreover, none of the templates adequately detail the risks either. Saffron Blaze (talk) 23:20, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

This template is a messEdit

This is a hopeless template.

  • Every time you see the word "consent" we have to ask "consent to what"?
  • The statements are made in the first person, when in fact the template could be used by another individual.
  • The term "commercial use" is ambiguous. We require no restriction on images as to whether our re-users are commercial or non-profit or educational and no restriction as to whether the image is sold or included in something that is sold or given away free or used in material that contains advertising. These are all commercial usages. However, Commons makes no requirement that images can be freely used for advertising and promotional purposes. Such usage requires the publisher gets a model release or other specific consent from the subject. Usually this is obtained by the photographer and their agent asserts that such a release/consent is available if required. Some people might think "commercial use" allows me to use the image for publicity.
  • The extent to which Commons is actually "publishing" the image is quite limited, and something we must be able to do by virtue of the image being uploaded/hosted. The actual publishing that a re-user might do is another thing altogether and may well require a degree of consent we don't have.
  • The concept of a declaration invoked by a parameter tag, but which could later be reworded, is just hopelessly flawed. A template linked to legal wording is fine for versioned and static things like a CC licence but not for this.

The consent needed on Commons should be similar to the "editorial use" that some stock image sites classify works for. Let's leave the "advertising/publicity" usage of identifiable people to the commercial stock photo sites where there are signatures, contracts, lawyers, insurance companies and paying clients. Commons is not an agent. -- Colin (talk) 13:28, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Colin, see my comment above and in Template_talk:Personality_rights#Template_as_is_is_alienating_for_image_use. This template is misleading and dangerous as only subjects/models can release their rights. Either we should store model release through OTRS or a similar mechanism or refrain from stating (false) claims which has no legal value when challenged. I hope Saffron's wording at Template_talk:Personality_rights#Template_as_is_is_alienating_for_image_use to advise a reuser about the danger of using an image depicting identifiable person(s) without collecting a model release is a fair approach. (I will be on and off for a few more days.) Jee 13:58, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
The problem I have is that every license we promote specifically states for any use "including commercial use", then buried somewhere deep in the actual legal text of the license it passingly mentions personality rights and that these are separate from copyright. We lead people into believing these are fully released when they are not and indeed should only be used for editorial purposes (commercial or otherwise). Hopefully the new personality rights template addresses some of these issues, but without a license that specifies editorial use only in the case of images with people in them this is about as good as it is going to get. Saffron Blaze (talk) 16:13, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
I've commented there. The proposed change is dreadful. Sorry, but all this template can and should do is state that the uploader has consent sufficient for hosting on Commons and editorial use on commercial or free publications. If folk want to use our images containing identifiable people for promotional or advertising work, then they need to contact the uploader/photographer/subject themselves and arrange a legal contract. Commons is not an agent. Commons cannot offer legal advice. This template appears to do so. -- Colin (talk) 17:31, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Could you offer some specific suggestions for improving the template? I'm fine with removing "including commercial use" from the full parameter if you want to do that. Or are you suggesting that the template should just be deleted? Kaldari (talk) 05:42, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
@Kaldari: This template seems to be contradicting with Commons:General disclaimer that "Any of the trademarks, service marks, collective marks, design rights, personality rights or similar rights that are mentioned, used or cited in the Wikimedia Commons are the property of their respective owners. Their use here does not imply that you may use them for any other purpose other than for the same or a similar informational use as contemplated by the original authors of these Wikimedia Commons media under the specified licensing scheme. Unless otherwise stated Wikimedia Commons and Wikimedia sites are neither endorsed nor affiliated with any of the holders of any such rights and as such Wikimedia Commons can not grant any rights to use any otherwise protected materials. Your use of any such or similar incorporeal property is at your own risk." because we or the copyright holders have no control or claim over Non-copyright restrictions. Only the respective right holders have any right to wave their rights. The author can ensure their rights are respected; but proclaiming it such a way will misguide the reusers that there is nothing to worry since the author already collected the consents. Since Commons is not started to record the "consents" so far; we are helpless if reusers are sewed by the subjects and authors disappear.
I think it is better to reword the template (interested parties may contact legal for suggestions) or simply delete it as no additional consent is needed from authors other than license (if this template is merely intended as a declaration from them). Jee 09:52, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

I do think this particular template -- while it represents an excellent effort and offers some good learning opportunities -- should be abandoned in favor of something designed from scratch. In my experience, in most cases, none of the parameters quite match the reality I'm trying to document. And I agree that the "consent to what" piece is very problematic. Making substantial changes to this template would introduce problems, because it is already in use in so many places, and we don't want to unwittingly change the meaning of what is asserted in many places through transclusion.

Instead, I think it would be best to create a new template, with a good deal of consideration and vetting before it is put to use. It should probably be designed from the beginning in such a way that it is easy to place with an automated process, e.g. a set of questions in the Upload Wizard. (See this related, recent thread started by @SJ: Commons:Upload Wizard feedback#Using this page to update form fields?) That approach would go a long way toward addressing concerns about the complexity/difficulty of filling it out, and permit the new template to capture the kind of nuance that this one is lacking, but that is important when trying to express to the reader what a model/subject did or didn't consent to, and how we know what they did or didn't agree to. -Pete F (talk) 19:01, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

@Kaldari:, I think removing "including commercial use" from the "full" parameter would be a good move. Although this changes transcluded text, it makes a lesser claim so is a safe change to make. Searching Commons for "Model release" finds only a small number of images (most by User:Elmar_Ersch). So I suspect the number of images on Commons that actually (a) involve identifiable people and (b) can be safely used for advertising, is vanishingly small. Which is expected. Stock photo sites contain loads of "attractive models doing things". Commons contains far fewer people doing things, and they are typically ordinary people or celebrities, neither of whom are being paid to give up their rights. -- Colin (talk) 20:34, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
As Pete notices, it is often hard to find a parameter that matches one's situation. I looked at that discussion he links. I don't think being a public figure exempts one from issues of consent, though there are tests of "public interest" that newspapers/judges use when privacy is somewhat invaded (even in a public space). I think it is worth reading Commons:Photographs of identifiable people#Consent. It reminds us there are three layers to consent. Firstly to have one's photograph taken at all. Secondly to have it uploaded to Commons and the widespread reuse and display that might encourage. Thirdly to actually use the photograph for a specific purpose. The right of privacy may prevent the first or the second of these occurring. It is this right that the consent template and most of our COM:IDENT concerns apply to. The right of publicity only becomes an issue when the image is reused (properly published for some purpose). Since our use of images on Commons and Wikipedia fall under "editorial use", this is never a concern for WMF projects [beyond, say, a fundraising banner].
I propose we make it clear, in whatever modified/replacement template is designed, that the consent required/obtained for images on Commons does not extend to the equivalent of a model release. Reusers should assume all identifiable people in images fully retain their right of publicity and their images cannot be used for promotional/endorsement purposes. Arranging consent for such purposes is a matter between the re-user and the subject(s) and since Commons is not an agent, we cannot get involved. -- Colin (talk) 20:34, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
@Colin: The primary purpose of this template isn't to aid reusers, it's to assert that an image doesn't violate the consent of identifiable persons guidelines, mostly in cases where it would be likely to be challenged. The 'full' parameter is a bit of an anomaly since it asserts more than is required. I'll go ahead and remove the 'commercial use' part since I agree that could be problematic regarding personality rights. Kaldari (talk) 06:23, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
I removed the "commercial use" text from all of the translations except for Malayalam and Japanese. Kaldari (talk) 06:35, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Removed the "commercial use" text from Malayalam translation. Jee 07:03, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
@Kaldari: thanks for removing that. I agree the template was originally designed to clarify the consent required merely to host on Commons. But this begs the question, to what purpose can images on Commons be used? But we are in danger of having this conversation in two places, as there is currently a discussion at {{Personality rights}}. -- Colin (talk) 08:48, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi. Two quick things;
  • If a new, sort-of-final wording gets chosen, please ping me or other Translation sysop to enable Translate here − it makes it just super-easier to maintain and to keep translation in sync with source − personnally, I would not have been able to remove the "non-commercial" part in /ru or /ja ;-)
  • Indeed, as Colin says, there seems to be quite an overlap on the two discussions − might be a good idea to discuss all this in a central place − COM:RFC I suppose.
Good luck with the rest of the discussion! :) Jean-Fred (talk) 09:13, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

This template as part of a release of personality rightsEdit

(copied from User talk:VGrigas (WMF))

I have the idea that if Wikipedia hosted stock photography of people that organizations would use that. This came up in the context of medicine - imagine health publications and ads with models depicted as using health services. I started wondering if in Wikimedia Commons there was a way for people depicted in photos. I think there is not.

As a WMF storyteller, you must be managing personality rights releases for the WMF. Are you able to share the personality rights release that the WMF uses? Are you aware of any text or discussion anywhere which discusses the implications of models releasing personality rights with a free and open license, or if any organization has ever considered such a thing? In your work has the issue of personality rights arisen in the context of pictures of Wikipedians you photograph being used in a way that touches the concept of personality rights? What can you tell me about your work and personality rights?

I know that stock photo companies have their models agree to use their photos in any context, because I have seen stories online about people having their photo used in unexpected ways years after they did the modeling.

I talk more about this at

I see that this template tracks consent to be in Commons. It does not go further than that and track consent for uses which begin to enter the management of en:personality rights, but any template which manages one kind of model consent could manage others. I am considering testing some consent process to release personality rights for medical photos at Wikimania 2015 with some Wikipedians at that event, so that could provide some field trials for using this template and process.

How does anyone feel about me expanding on this template in that way? Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:07, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

Additional field?Edit

It would be good to add a {{consent|released}} option to produce something along the lines of:

The uploader asserts the following regarding consent of identifiable persons: 
This media was created by the identifiable person/s shown, who specifically consented to publication of this photograph or video.

T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 04:14, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

Evolution and evolvability In what ways while that have a different effect from the current default text, "I personally created this media. All identifiable persons shown specifically consented to publication of this photograph or video under a free license."?
Return to "Consent" page.