I started editing Wikipedia articles, specially about music bands. Complementing information whenever I see that articles can improve. My main doubt is: how are those images being uploaded? I tried to find the name of the image on 'Wikimedia Commons' and they are not there obviously.

As my mother language is spanish, I also noticed that most articles in spanish doesn't show an image of the album cover. But just by switching to english they have the image there in most cases. So I wanted to use the same link from the english article on the spanish one, it didn't work.

So I'd like to know two things:

  1. How to add the image of an album cover to an article?
  2. Once the images are uploaded on X article. Why can't they be used for different language articles (spanish ones)?

1 Answer 1


You are probably out of luck. Wikipedia sites obey copyright laws, and album covers are virtually always under copyright. Most images and other media are hosted on Wikimedia Commons and the various language Wikipedias point to Commons for their images. Wikimedia Commons requires copyright licensing for all items, as described at Commons:Licensing (in Spanish: Commons:Licencias). Unless you, personally, designed the album cover and own the copyright to it, and are willing to license it to the world, it is nearly impossible to have the image accepted and hosted on Wikimedia Commons.

That is why you rarely find album cover images (and other modern images) on Wikpedias for most languages.

The English Wikipedia is a bit of an exception because it makes use of U.S. copyright law (unlike other Wikipedias). It does use images from Wikimedia Commons when available, but has some images that can't in general be used internationally. This is because U.S. law allows limited "fair use" in some cases. The requirements are described here. Such images are hosted on the English Wikipedia (instead of Wikimedia Commons) and cannot be used by other projects.

  • This isn't quite right - non-free images aren't exclusive to the English Wikipedia. Spanish Wikipedia itself by choice outlaws them entirely, but it appears per meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Non-free_content that 63 languages allow at least some non-free content.
    – pppery
    Feb 24 at 16:37
  • For those wikis, though, the image has to be uploaded separately to each wiki.
    – pppery
    Feb 24 at 16:38

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