What is WikiPhoto.Space?
WikiPhoto.Space is a project to build up a database of encyclopedic photographs from Wikipedia and its sister projects, with this database being maintained and completed straight by the authors of that photos. Unlike Wikipedia and WikiCommons themselves, WikiPhoto.Space guarantees for hosting only photos with true authorship and licensing, as all media on WikiPhoto.Space is being uploaded here merely by a handful of active photographers. Also, anyone may easily contact the author of a particular photograph, e.g. to purchase an individual license for usage of this photograph. For this, no registration is needed; it is enough to fill in the contact form.
Please note: WikiPhoto.Space is currently under construction, resulting in still limited functionality of the website.
How many photographs are available on WikiPhoto.Space?
Besides photographs from our gallery, there is a complete register of our photos on WikiCommons by year of creation. You will find it under Photographs by A.Savin and Photos by Florstein. There are currently more than 6,000 photos made in different countries about different topics, with a reasonable part of that photos being in use in Wikipedia articles in many language versions; including the most important ones: English, French, German, and many others.
Is it allowed to use a photo from Wikipedia; e.g. for designing a web site, or for a publication in a printed medium?
Yes. Photographs published on Wikipedia generally may be used by anyone for any purpose, provided that it is in compiance with the terms of the so-called Free License (most frequently, it is the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike (CC-BY-SA) license). Essentially this means that any usage – regardless if in a medium, in a printed poster, or anywhere else – requires attribution of the photographer and the source (the name or nickname of the author + WikiCommons resp. Wikipedia) next to the photo or as watermark on the photo. A modification (e.g. further digital postprocessing, if needed, or usage in a collage) is allowed. The fact that under these circumstances there is no need to contact the author for a permission and the photos may be used for free and for any duration and really for any purpose, is the main advantage of the Free License.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a Free License vs. an individual / proprietary license?
As mentioned above, a Free License simplifies the process of any usage significantly, as there is no need to negotiate with the photographer. However, such usage requires attribution of the photographer and the source. Whereas this should be no problem on most of amateur web sites or online magazines, the complete attribution might be seen as disturbing on certain kind of professional corporate sites, on advertising, and similar things. For such purposes, there is always a possibility to contact the author and to purchase an individual license for a limited or unlimited period of time. The terms of such a license may – amongst a lot of other possibilities – allow for a usage without any attribution.
Why to purchase a license on WikiPhoto.Space?
Like on Wikipedia, all photos on WikiPhoto.Space are available for free-of-charge distribution under the terms of a Free License. Should you still not be satisfied with these terms, it may be an option for you to purchase any other license granting you as much freedom as you prefer. Of course it is so that WikiPhoto.Space is just a negligible part of all the photos one may find on Wikipedia and/or on Commons; so, given that, you always can try to contact the author of a photo you are interested in straight there. However, this may cause difficulties:
- To e-mail a user on Wikipedia / on Commons, you will need to register an account yourself, as only registered users may use the e-mail form
- The user you are looking for may be unavailable for a contact, e.g. because they haven’t provided their e-mail adress by registration, or simply because they are not (anymore) active on the project (which happens quite often, as big parts of Wikipedia edits is done by unregistered, anonymous users, or single-edit accounts)
- The user you are looking for may not speak/understand your language
In fact, even a successful contact does not give you a guarantee for that the license you received is really provided by the true copyright holder. Every day plenty of copyright infringements being uploaded on Commons, and it is extremely difficult to control it on such a huge project; with the result that some copyright violations are not being discovered and deleted even after a reasonable amount of time.
Purchasing a license on WikiPhoto.Space is a different experience of quality: you can be sure to buy best-quality photos of encyclopedic relevance straight from the author of these photos. You have the possibility to contact the authors of WikiPhoto.Space at any time to demand the license terms you prefer. Besides, the licenses on WikiPhoto.Space will most likely cost less than similar licenses on well-known stock photo databases, with not necessarily lesser technical quality and documentary value! All photographers on WikiPhoto.Space are verified Wikipedia/Commons photographers, workling with high-quality (including professional) equipment and providing photographic output which meets the technical Quality Image Criteria on WikiCommons.
What if I use a photo from Wikipedia (or from WikiPhoto.Space) for commercial purposes, without attribution of the author and without having requested the author for permission first?
Please note that this is a copyright violation. If you violate the copyright of a photographer, the photographer may invoice you a penalty which most likely will be a multiple of what you otherwise would have had to pay for a usage license. Please respect other people’s rights, and your own rights will be respected too.