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Memory Alpha:Image use policy

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Memory Alpha  AboutPolicies and guidelines → Memory Alpha:Image use policy
Memory Alpha
This page describes one of Memory Alpha's policies and guidelines

Please read through the policy below to familiarize yourself with our common practices and rules.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or complaints, please post them on the talk page.

This page outlines the rules and guidelines that apply to the use of images on Memory Alpha. They are not absolute, for the most part, but it is generally expected that they be observed unless there is a good cause for ignoring them.

The basic overview:

  1. Obey our copyright policy when uploading images.
  2. Use the image description page to describe an image and its copyright rules.
  3. The image description page should also be used to add the image to a image category/categories.
  4. Use a clear, detailed title for the file. An obscure name like "qua_047.jpg" won't help anyone.
  5. Remember that an image that is uploaded will replace any file that already has that name.
  6. Edit (crop) the images to show only the necessary information.
  7. Don't include any watermarks or text in the image (this includes copyright notices; those belong in the text of the image description page).
  8. Use the JPG format for photographic images, such as screen captures. Use the SVG (preferred) or PNG (if no svg is available) for diagrams and other low-contrast images.
  9. Images used in canon sections of articles should be directly from a canon source, a clearer image of material see in canon from a Memory Alpha approved source, or a recreation of the material seen in one - if necessary. Recreations should strive for complete accuracy of the source material. Remember, images should not break the POV.
  10. Personal images, or those specifically intended for a user page, are not allowed. The image must have a use in the main encyclopedia.
  11. Unless Memory Alpha has explicit permission to use a promotional image of an actor (or such), it may not be uploaded.

Remember that Memory Alpha is not an image gallery! Please upload images solely for the purpose of illustration. We endeavor to make the most of the images that are uploaded into the database, and request that uploads be strictly limited to article use, and the occasional article talk page.

To avoid redundancy, it is generally preferred that no more than one or two images should be used in an article for the same subject. More images are acceptable if it is necessary to better illustrate a topic, especially on longer articles.

Finally, images are not to be used in signatures, and any image link used in such a way will be removed by an administrator.

Describing images Edit

When uploading an image, it is important to include text to describe the content of the image. This can be done by adding the text to the "summary" or by editing the [[File: ]] page text. In all cases, the images should be accompanied by a specific note with:

  • credit for the original author of the image or other media file (if the file is a reproduction) including a link where the original author may be contacted, or
  • the original source of the image or other media file (if the file is derived from an official Star Trek work, e.g. screenshots and sound bytes).

You must also include information about:

  • whether the file is uploaded to Memory Alpha with express permission of the author, or under fair use rules, and
  • the source of the file, being a specific episode, movie, book, other official work, a website, or any other medium.

Adding the appropriate descriptions on the File: page not only ensures that Memory Alpha remains compliant with copyright law, but also provides much more practical information for anyone who may want to use the image in the future.

Images should also be added to the appropriate image categories. There are image categories for both people and objects, such as Memory Alpha images (Humans) and Memory Alpha images (Constitution class (refit) starships). If you're unsure about what category or categories to use, or can't find the one you want, add the image to the top category by placing "Category:Memory Alpha images" on the page.

If the image being uploaded is from a remastered version, use the {{remastered image}} template immediately above the licensing block to indicate that it is remastered. For example, for an image from the remastered TOS, use:

{{remastered image|TOS}}

Copyright Edit

Please note: this is an abbreviated version of the official copyright policy – please visit that page for more detailed information.

When you upload an image, make sure you own the image, or that it is in the Public Domain, or that the copyright holder has agreed to license it under the Creative Commons License. Please note its copyright status on the image description page.

Fair use can be claimed for images are screenshots and other snapshots from Star Trek episodes and movies, scans of book covers, and tributes and parodies so long as they are not posted in large numbers. Be sure to include the appropriate boilerplate message with the description. Images contained within licensed publications may not constitute fair use, and the express consent of the copyright holder may be required.

Recreations should name the original author, have a link to contact said author, and confirm that the image is posted with the author's consent. This may require leaving a notice on the image's talk page.

Boilerplate messagesEdit

By adding a copyright messages to an image, you are expressing the permissions given to view it under our license. Please choose the correct template, or images may be listed as possible copyright infringements.

This is the style of license that should generally be used. It takes five variables, the type, license, creator/owner, source, and rationale. The format is:
{{licensing| type= (image | audio file | video) | license= (ccl | pd | fairuse | copyright | other | nonegiven) | owner= | source= | rationale= }}
See its documentation for complete details and alternate versions. By default it presents:

Editing images Edit

To replace an image with an edited version, use the upload file page, and make sure that your file has the same name as the one that you want to replace. Converting an image to another file format means that the end of the image name changes, hence one gets a separate image description page.

Deleting images Edit

  1. Drop a line to the person who uploaded the image, telling them of your concerns. You may be able to resolve the issue at this point.
  2. Remove all uses of the image from articles – make it an orphan.
  3. Add one of these notices to the image description page:
  4. List the image on one of these links:
  5. The image can then be deleted after a week in the normal way – see our deletion policy. Images without the necessary licensing template will be deleted 5-7 days after being uploaded. A current list of images without a copyright disclaimer can be found here.

To actually delete an image after following the above procedure, you must be an administrator. To do so, go to the image description page and click the (del) link. Do not click the Delete this page link, as this will delete the image description page but leave the image intact. To delete the image talk page (if any), you can use the Delete this page link as usual. Note that as of the MediaWiki 1.9 upgrade, images can be undeleted or reverted to an earlier version.

Image titles Edit

Before uploading an image to Memory Alpha, please check whether there are already images of the subject. Then decide whether your image should replace one (in each article that uses it) or be additional. In the first case, give it exactly the same name, otherwise a suitable other name.

Using the same nameEdit

Using the name of an already existing image means replacing that image. You may use the same name in the case of a different image that replaces the old one, and also if you make an improved version of the same image – perhaps a scanned image that you scanned again with a better quality scanner, or you used a better way of reducing the original in scale – then upload it with the same title as the old one. This allows people to easily compare the two images, and avoids the need to delete images or change articles. However, this is not possible if the format is changed, since then at least the extension part of the name has to be changed.

Using a new nameEdit

Using a new name means creating a new file on Memory Alpha. Suitable names are descriptive titles that are useful in identifying the image. As a rule of thumb, the name of any new image you upload should follow this format:


The subject would be the article title of the object or the person it shows. If there's more than one object or person, choose the most important one. The description, if any is needed, should be short, and for example could cover any other subjects in the shot. If a disambiguation is warranted, such as a year, it should be added last after a comma or inside parentheses. For example, an image of Starfleet uniform pants in the 22nd century would have the name "Starfleet uniform pants, 22nd century.jpg"

Please remember that images used in the canon section of articles are considered to be in-universe, and titles should try to reflect this. Also, please avoid excessively long filenames, or special characters in filenames, as that might make it difficult for some users to find and download the files onto their machines. Note that names are case sensitive, "Enterprise.JPG" is not the same as "Enterprise.jpg". For uniformity, file names should consist of lower case letters only.

Renaming imagesEdit

Images can be renamed by moving the image description page, though it's important to make sure that all links to the image are updated afterward. This may included "bare" links that won't show up in the "File links" section of the image description page. Renaming should also only be done by an administrator, as only admins can move pages without leaving a redirect behind, and images should never be redirected.

Format Edit

Use the following guidelines to determine what file format should be used for your images:

  • Drawings, icons, political maps, flags and other such images (basically those with large, simple, and continuous blocks of color) should be in SVG or PNG format.
    • GIF format images can be uploaded if the contributor is unable to convert the image to PNG or SVG himself. However, the {{pna-replace file}} notice should be added to these uploads, and the image should be converted as soon as possible.
    • SVG format images should not be created by automatic conversion from a low resolution source image, as this leads to images of inferior quality.
  • Photos and photo-like maps should be in JPG format.

In general, if you have a good image that is in the wrong format, convert it to the correct format before uploading. However, if you find a map, flag, etc in JPG format, only convert it to PNG if this reduces the file size without causing artifacts.

Try to avoid cropping or otherwise editing JPGs too frequently – each edit creates more loss of quality. If you can find an original of a photograph in 16-bit or 24-bit PNG or TIFF, edit that, and save as JPEG before you upload. If all you're doing is cropping JPGs, consider using lossless cropping with jpegcrop.

Note that it is not recommended to use animated GIFs to display multiple photos. The method is not suitable for printing and also is not user friendly (users can not save individual images and have to wait before being able to view images while other images cycle round).

Size Edit

There are many technical hints in this section that some people may not have the tools or expertise to deal with themselves. If, for example, you find a great image that needs to be cropped, resized, or recoded and you don't know how to do that, ask someone on Ten Forward to do it for you.

File sizeEdit

Full screen captures should be uploaded as JPG images, in the same pixel aspect ratio and resolution as the original DVD or Blu-ray source material without additional compression. Screen captures that are cropped should still have the same pixel size as the original source material. Although the moderate enlargement of cropped images of very small objects is allowed, it's generally not necessary as the image can be resized as needed by the wiki software. Any cropped or resized image should still have the same pixel aspect ratio as the source material, or in other words they should not be "stretched" or "deformed" when compared to their original source.

For standard definition DVDs (TNG, DS9, VOY), the Region 1 resolution is 720x480. Uploading an enlarged screencap does not add any extra information, and may actually reduce the quality and blur otherwise sharp parts of the image. Also, if the image is being scaled to fullscreen the pixel aspect ratio may be changed. A full screen capture should be taken while viewing the DVD in the "windowed mode" with the "100% Zoom" setting of the DVD playback software. This can then be cropped if needed, preferably with a tool like JPEGcrop that does not recompress the image.

There are specific exceptions to this, images that have been rotated and/or perspective-corrected may not retain the same pixel aspect ratio and resolution as the original, and should be uploaded sparingly.

In articlesEdit

Scale images to a size appropriate for the article. Keep in mind that some browsers still use 800x600 displays, and so images wider than 200-300 pixels may overwhelm the article. Larger images also take more time to download over slow links. Likewise, images smaller than 100 pixels wide may be difficult for users of larger displays to see. An optimum size for images with text flowing around them would be 180-200 pixels. Images without text on the side can be wider.

Images appearing in a sidebar will be resized to a width of exactly 292 pixels; larger images would stretch the sidebar while smaller ones would leave an unused border. Don't put all images in a sidebar, though – floating, or thumbnail, images are preferred. (See Image Markup for the available syntax.)

Otherwise, images should never have a pixel size (px) listed, except on list articles when it should be 150px.

See alsoEdit

Revision history of articles containing images Edit

Old versions of articles do not show corresponding old versions of images, but instead display the latest ones, unless the file names of the images have Alpha:Grundregeln für Bilder fr:Memory Alpha:Règles d'utilisation des images nl:Memory Alpha:Afbeeldingen richtlijn

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