Wiktionary:Non-free content criteria

link={{{imglink}}} This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. Specifically it is a policy think tank, working to develop a formal policy.
Policies – Entries: CFI - EL - NORM - NPOV - QUOTE - REDIR - DELETE. Languages: LT - AXX. Others: BLOCK - BOTS - VOTES.
As per the March 23, 2007 Wikimedia Foundation Licensing policy resolution, this document serves as the Exemption Doctrine Policy for the English Wiktionary.


The English Wiktionary often quotes copyrighted works to prove the existence and use of terms in various languages. This is acceptable under United States copyright law. This policy does not address such quotations; it governs the use of other non-free content, including copyrighted images, audio clips, videos, and other media files. Such content may be used on the English Wiktionary only if the following criteria are met.

  1. Non-free content must meet general Wiktionary content standards.
  2. There must be no free equivalent. Non-free content is used only when no free equivalent is available, or could be created, that would serve the same purpose. Whenever possible, Wiktionarians create free content (and upload it to Commons) rather than using non-free content.
  3. Minimal usage is to be made of non-free content: multiple items of non-free content are not used if one item sufficiently conveys the information, an entire work is not used if a portion will suffice, and low- rather than high-resolution/fidelity/bit-rate copies of content are used (especially when the originals could be used for deliberate copyright infringement).
  4. Non-free content is hosted only if it is used, it cannot be hosted merely because it could be used.
  5. Non-free content is to be used only if its presence significantly increases readers' understanding of the topic, or if it is needed to verify the usage of particular terms to designate particular things in particular languages.
  6. The image or media description page must identify the source of the material (and, where possible, contain information about the artist, publisher and copyright holder) and contain a fair-use rationale for each use of the content.


  • A file with a valid non-free-use rationale for some (but not all) of the places it is used in will not be deleted. Instead, the file should be removed from the places for which it lacks a non-free-use rationale, or a suitable rationale should be added.
  • If a user suspects that a file does not meet these criteria, that user should list that file on WT:RFDO. Files may be deleted after discussion.
  • It is the duty of users seeking to include or retain content to provide a valid rationale; those seeking to remove or delete it are not required to show that one cannot be created (see burden of proof).

See alsoEdit