Wikimedia Commons

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Wiki-commons.png Wikimedia Commons
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Language: Multilingual
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Wiki engine: MediaWiki
Wiki license: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike
Main topic: Media
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Wikimedia Commons is a major part or 'Project' of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF). More commonly known as merely Commons, it is a wiki of an online depository database of over 22 million freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute. The files, which include images, videos and audio; are primarilly for use by the various Wikimedia projects, such as Wikipedia. And whilst the English Wikipedia will accept 'fair use' images, the Wikimedia Commons will not; all must be completely free to use (either public domain, or an unrestricted copyleft license). Other individual language editions of Wikipedia have their own differing standards for fair use — e.g. Español Wikipedia will not allow fair use media.

The InstantCommons extension for MediaWiki will allow non-Wikimedia Foundation sites to use Commons media on their own wiki.

Wiki Size: 28,691,906 pages see stats...
(As of: 18 October 2015)

Mission and culture[edit]

The exact boundaries of the mission of the Wikimedia Commons have not been clearly defined. It is generally agreed that the Commons should host images that will be useful in other Wikimedia projects, such as Wikipedia. Less clear is whether it should serve as a repository for images that are likely to only be useful outside Wikimedia. For example, a photograph of a girl holding a flower might be useful as a stock image in corporate promotional brochures, but if there is no Wikipedia article that requires that image (as could be the case if Wikipedia already has a suitable image to illustrate its articles on flowers, or if the image is unsuitable for Wikipedia), then it is an open question whether the Commons should host that image. These matters are decided on a case-by-case basis, with little consistency, and are heavily influenced by whether Commons users like the media in question (e.g. whether they think they are aesthetically pleasing).

Sometimes debates arise as to whether users are adding content for the benefit of the Commons, or for their own promotional purposes. E.g., a user may say "These are some images I took, posted to my website, and am sharing with the Commons" and others may object that the true agenda is to promote the website by listing its URL in the image attribution page. Frequently, users have uploaded images of their genitals and been accused of exhibitionism; this has occurred so often that the Commons community has announced that no more images of genitals are needed or welcomed unless there is a specific request, e.g. if a new genital-relevant article is created on Wikipedia that needs an illustration.

See also[edit]

  • Wikilivres, a complimentary site hosted in Canada and run by volunteers to host materials which are not public domain in the United States
  • Wikitravel Shared – a similar free media repository for Wikitravel

official Wikimedia Foundation logo

The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), founded 20 June 2003, is the non-profit organization responsible for a very large number (over 900 in total) of very active wikis, grouped together and known as 'projects'; as well as the wiki engine software initially developed by themselves, known as MediaWiki. The Foundations' major wiki projects include Wikipedia (encyclopedias), Wiktionary (dictionary and thesaurus), Wikiquote (quotations), Wikibooks (open content textbooks), Wikisource (free content primary and secondary source texts), Wikinews (news source), Wikiversity (open learning community), Wikispecies (free species directory), and many others as listed below. Most of these projects have separate wiki versions written in many different languages. There is also the Wikimedia Commons (shared repository for images, videos and other media files), Wikidata (central space knowledge base for data used on all WMF projects), and the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki (coordination of issues common to all Wikimedia projects). The Foundations' global reach is nurtured in its Incubator, where all new language versions for all projects are initiated and developed before being rolled out. Its most recent major project, Wikivoyage (a 'travelpedia'), was inducted to WMF in late 2012.

Wikimedia Foundation is a member of the Open Source Initiative.

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