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This is an unfortunate template, because the removal of watermark information could itself be a copyright violation under U.S. law (17 U.S.C. 1202).

It's not the template, it's our policy. And modifying free images is not against the law. It is for some, but they're not allowed here anyway. - Rocket000 09:41, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Does this apply to steganographyEdit

Does this apply to steganography? Say, I put in a cc-by-sa and name note in the image? Nichalp (talk) 08:19, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

No, as long as no one can tell. Metadata really belongs elsewhere, though. Rocket000 (talk) 18:16, 2 August 2008 (UTC)


This template places images in the hidden category: Category:Images with watermarks. J.smith (talk) 17:05, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Template:Metadata from imageEdit

Perhaps a link to {{Metadata from image}} in the docs somewhere?

Adding parameterEdit

{{Edit protected}} Please, replace:

[[Category:Images with watermarks|{{PAGENAME}}]]


[[Category:Images with {{#ifeq:{{{1|}}}|timestamp|timestamp watermarks|watermarks}}|{{PAGENAME}}]]

Then images will be automatically added to subcategory of Category:Images with watermarks, Category:Images with timestamp watermarks, by adding firt parameter "timestamp".

And also please remove

Images bearing this template are automatically added to [[:Category:Images with watermarks]], a subcategory of [[:Category:Images for cleanup]].

I'll add this information to documentation. Thanks--Sevela.p 12:30, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

  Done -- Common Good (talk) 19:34, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Images using { {watermark} } incorrectly marked as public domainEdit

Applying this template to any image appears to incorrectly mark the image as public domain!

Here for example is a randomly chosen watermarked image from

Note that the only license is creative commons, which requires attribution. However, clicking the "Use this file on the web" link on the brings up a box saying "Attribution not legally required". Wrong! Looking in the HTML source code, we see, preceding the contents of the watermark template:

<table class="licensetpl" style="display:none"> <tr> <td><span class="licensetpl_short" style="display:none;">Public domain</span><span class="licensetpl_long" style="display:none;">Public domain</span><span class="licensetpl_link_req" style="display:none;">false</span><span class="licensetpl_attr_req" style="display:none;">false</span></td> </tr> </table>

These tags are, to my limited knowledge, used to generate the box that appears when users click "Use this file on the web" link.

So where did they come from? Here is the clincher: Create a new empty test page, containing only an instance of this template. Preview, then view source. The tags are there. I have no idea why.

  Done, Template:Watermark/layout changed. --Martin H. (talk) 10:26, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Edit request: instructions to replace this templateEdit

{{Editprotected}} Could someone with sufficient editing rights add the instruction "After removing a watermark, please replace this template with {{Attribution metadata from licensed image}} or {{Metadata from image}}, whichever is appropriate to the image." in one form or another to the template? Thanks. —Quibik (talk) 19:53, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Added to the English text. Other native speakers will need to update the text in the other languages. Logan Talk Contributions 04:38, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Edit request: Merge Template:Remove captionEdit

Could someone correctly merge this template (description and instruction), as User:Cwbm (commons) has only made an redirect. -- πϵρήλιο 17:56, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Legality of removing watermarksEdit

Please see Commons:Village_pump/Copyright#Commons:watermarks. Rd232 (talk) 11:41, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Edit request: incorrect terminologyEdit

As per the linked Wikipedia article, "digital watermarks are only perceptible under certain conditions, i.e. after using some algorithm, and imperceptible anytime else". COM:Watermarks says that those types of watermarks are acceptable, so I think this template is referring to only to visible watermarks. The term "digital watermarking" should thus be removed. InverseHypercube 09:48, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Promotional watermarksEdit

There inclusion of Category:Images with promotional watermarks. 1=promotional should be also be put into this category as well. Technophant (talk) 08:58, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Edit request: DREdit

See Commons:Deletion requests/Template:Attribution metadata from licensed image Jee 03:08, 16 September 2014 (UTC) {{Edit request}}

Go ahead make the changes Template:Watermark/en and other languages are not protected. --Jarekt (talk) 01:36, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks; already   Done. Jee 01:57, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Removal of Watermarks = Adaptation?Edit

It seems quite clear that removing a watermark is not an adaption as indicated in this template. CC offers in their FAQ that: generally, a modification rises to the level of an adaptation under copyright law when the modified work is based on the prior work but manifests sufficient new creativity to be copyrightable. Then we have WMF Legal offering an opinion that: removing a watermark likely does not create an adaptation under US copyright law, because the removal is not a creative act. Given this it is recommend we stop referring to watermark removal as an adaptation. Saffron Blaze (talk) 02:42, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

  • I think the word "adapt" is used here as a synonym of "modify". Many modifications like cropping, rotating, etc. will not qualify as adaptation; but allowed by a non-ND license as mere modifications ("reproduce and Share the Licensed Material, in whole or in part"). Here the question is whether a modification with only intention to remove CMI allowed? Tough question as we don't know how the court see it. (We already saw the German court expressed their discomfort in considering a mere link to a page in a different site as a valid attribution.) Jee 03:58, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Adaptation has a very particular meaning when it comes to copyright. It should not be used so loosely if that is what is going on here; however, I think the word was used intentionally with the expectation that watermarks removals would be an adaptation (see the template discussions regarding "do not remove watermark"). As to the quoted words they must be placed in the context of an adaptation, which is not occurring with a watermark removal. I think this is clear in the full text of the CC 4.0 where it implies the adapter has copyright in the adapted work. ("Adapter's License means the license You apply to Your Copyright and Similar Rights in Your contributions to Adapted Material in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Public License.") Saffron Blaze (talk) 04:40, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Link to WMF analysis of legal risks?Edit

Given the WMF's recent legal analysis of removing watermarks outlining potential legal risks that volunteers might face when removing watermarks from copyrighted but freely licensed images, would it be wise to add a cautionary note, or at least a link to that analysis, to the template? The text of Commons:Watermarks was recently updated to include such a note ("Opinion from the Wikimedia Foundation legal staff indicates the removal of watermarks may place the remover at legal risk"). 28bytes (talk) 20:30, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Fully concur as per your analysis and the discussion immediately above. Saffron Blaze (talk) 22:46, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps adding something like "Caution: before removing a watermark from a copyrighted image, please read the WMF's analysis of the legal ramifications, as well as Commons' proposed policy regarding watermarks" to the bottom might be appropriate for the English version. What do you think? 28bytes (talk) 23:54, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
See Commons:Deletion requests/Template:Attribution metadata from licensed image too. :) Jee 02:06, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. So pretty much everyone at least agrees informing editors is OK. So get it done :-) Saffron Blaze (talk) 01:49, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
  Done, for the English translation, at least. I don't believe there are any other language versions of the template currently, but perhaps someone could double-check that. 28bytes (talk) 02:55, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. But it seems to be existing in many other languages too. Hope Jean-Frédéric will look into it. Jee 03:21, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I thought I was odd there would only be one translation, glad to see I was mistaken! 28bytes (talk) 03:59, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
I do think the caution should come before the text and I believe the sentence urging editors to "adapt the work" be removed. We should not be requesting people remove watermarks. Leave that decision to them after they read the caution. The caution is clear and simple so that was nice to see. 04:20, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
A fair point. Certainly no objection from me if you want to make those changes. 28bytes (talk) 08:05, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Made an attempt. Jee 08:35, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, that's even better. 28bytes (talk) 16:05, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
I think that is a fair compromise between our desire to have unencumbered works and the need to provide full disclosure. Saffron Blaze (talk) 21:37, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Not all watermarks are about copyrightEdit

To my knowledge {{Watermark}} is used for a variety of watermarks, included time/datestamps and image captions. Should there be explicit options in this template for these other uses? Should there be a separate template for those uncontroversial uses? 06:06, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

It's a good idea that the timestamp parameter makes the image go to a special category; in my opinion it should also produce a different text in the image description; it might point out that removing the watermark is acceptable. -- Renardo la vulpo (talk) 17:13, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Not knowing about that statememt here, I got the same idea; and created the Template:{{Timestamp}}.

{{Edit request}}

Please, replace the code of the template:{{Watermark}} with the following:
|[[Category:Images with {{#ifeq:{{padleft:|1|{{{1|}}}}}|t|timestamp w|w}}atermarks|{{PAGENAME}}]]}}}}}<noinclude>


[[fr:Modèle:Image signée]]
The documentation is actualized. -- sarang사랑 04:46, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

  Done 4nn1l2 (talk) 01:21, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

"The usage of visible watermarks is discouraged"?Edit

{{Edit request}} If watermarks are "discouraged", why are there legal considerations about removing them from images? Also, either the yellow background looks more discouraging to use watermarks, or the template uses a tempting tone to encourage removals. Should "normally" be included like this: "The usage of visible watermarks is normally discouraged"? --George Ho (talk) 19:32, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

Never mind the color background then. --George Ho (talk) 19:58, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
@George Ho: No - we actively discourage watermarks in all cases, but that's not the same as encouraging their removal in all cases... it might be legally questionable to remove them from images where they were included by the author/copyright holder. In this case, since it is not inconceivable that people who remove watermarks may be putting themselves at legal risk, the template mentions this. Does this clear it up? Feel free to re-add the edit request template if you disagree. Storkk (talk) 10:36, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
I tried removing the MFO watermark logo from one of the pictures, Storkk. However, the MFO disagreed with the removal and demanded that I reinsert the watermark, so I did. --George Ho (talk) 11:42, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Edit request - interwiki linksEdit

{{Edit request}}

Hi. Can you please remove

[[fr:Modèle:Image signée]]

from this template? The fr link leads to a deleted page, and the en link is redundant to the wikidata item (wikidata:Q6724042).

Thanks, --DannyS712 (talk) 01:54, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

  Done 4nn1l2 (talk) 03:16, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
Return to "Watermark" page.