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Green check.png This page explains a policy, a widely accepted standard that all contributors should normally follow. Changes made to it should reflect consensus.

Please visit the talk page to add comments or suggestions for further development of the policy.


Images in the FamilySearch Wiki are added to enhance the information in the articles, and to help users connect visually with the topics in the Wiki. These images should be: 

  1. Appropriate. Photos should support appropriate standards of modesty and virtue.
  2. Relevant. They should support a family history purpose.
  3. Heart-turning. They should support individuals coming to know and love their ancestors.
  4. Noncommercial. They should not advertise or promote products. They should not infringe on intellectual property rights.

Describe image sources and information when submitting an image for approval. Obscene, provocative or profane images will not be allowed, will be immediately deleted, and the contributor subject to blocking or banning.

Contents

Policy Details

Recommended images include

  • Pictures of places relevant to the locality specified in the FamilySearch Wiki that do not contain any persons (see Images of Persons below) and that follow the ownership and copyright guidelines are allowed and encouraged.
  • Scanned images of non-copyrighted documents or maps that have been released into the public domain, that are relevant to the article in which they will be placed, and that do not contain any image or information about living individuals. These images must follow the ownership and copyright guidelines.

File types Accepted

  • We prefer a jpeg (.jpg) file as it is usually in a compressed format and requires less storage.
  • If you send us a bitmap (.bmp) we may have to ask you to convert it to jpeg if it is too big
  • We will accept PDF files, but will treat them as uneditable images, so written documents in PDF form are discouraged, since the whole purpose of a Wiki is to allow edits
  • Other image types (e.g. .svg, etc.) may be rejected if we are not able to view them with a standard viewer.  Our advice is to convert them to .jpg before submitting them.
  • We do not accept .doc or .docx or related file types (typically Word documents).

Religious Images

We strongly recommend to avoid the use of religious images. Images of religious icons should be used sparingly and in context. A contributor considering whether to use an image of a religious icon on a page should ask himself "Is there an image which better exemplifies this place to the great majority of its inhabitants?" A good follow-up question would be "Might the image I've selected make someone less enthusiastic about using the wiki?" The following examples illustrate this point:

  • The fact that a locality contains an LDS temple does not make an image of that temple a good addition for the portal page for that locality. Would most natives and visitors of the place recognize the edifice and associate it with the place? Are there any groups that would find the choice of images inflammatory? Is there some natural or non religious landmark that would work better?
  • If a Jew, a Muslim, and a Christian were asked to choose an image of a structure which would exemplify Jerusalem to them, their choice of structures might tend to clash. Their choices might also tend to offend members of the other two groups. 

Images chosen for pages relating to a place should not only be those which exemplify the place to its inhabitants, but also those which would tend not to offend other groups. Likewise, images used on pages relating to a type of record should exemplify the record type. Thus, an image of an LDS temple may well be appropriate for a page relating to LDS temple records.

Images of persons

The FamilySearch Wiki is not intended for storage of biographical images or details on specific family members, ancestors, or family groups. Images of individuals and/or families are only allowed in the following instances, while following the ownership and copyright guidelines.

  1. Living individuals should not be included in any images.
    • Exceptions are:
    1) headshots (only) of the contributor, only to be posted to the contributor’s user page;
    2) individuals that are not identifiable because they are in the far distance of the image or their backs are to the camera; and
    3) an image of a society, library, or family history center showing the facilities being actively used.
    • If living individuals are included:
    1)Approval must be obtained from every person in the picture to post the picture publicly on the Wiki. If any of the individuals in the photo request that it be taken down, it will be removed from the site.
    2) The images must not include any of the situations in the Grounds for immediate rejection section (see below)
  2. Images of celebrities, government leaders, or high-profile individuals are forbidden.
  3. Images containing deceased individuals should only be added when the image contributes to the content of a page. For example, in an article that discusses the importance of hospital records for genealogical research, it may be appropriate to include an image of a doctor or group of nurses in a hospital. On a page discussing military records, it may be appropriate to include a photograph of a soldier or soldiers who are no longer living.
  4. If any question exists about whether any of the individuals in a photograph may be living, the image or photograph may not be added to the FamilySearch Wiki.
  5. When appropriate, non-copyrighted images of historic figures may be included in the FamilySearch Wiki. In order for images of historic figures to be approved, the contributor must include the location he or she intends to post the image, and the relevance for adding the image to that particular page.

Grounds for immediate rejection

  1. No images of ancestors, living individuals, celebrities, or high profile individuals (see Images of persons above for exceptions)
  2. No nudity or immodesty. Clothing should be zipped and buttoned properly.
  3. No sacred or other religious clothing is allowed if it is displayed in a way that desecrates an associated religious belief.
  4. No cross-dressing.
  5. No body shots without a head or face.
  6. No product or website endorsements. Logos and wording on clothing or on billboards, trucks, etc. will be evaluated individually.
  7. No inappropriate words, slander, or profanity.
  8. No images of illegal acts, products, or services. This includes drugs.
  9. No vulgarity or vulgar gestures.
  10. No expressions of hatred or discrimination.
  11. No images of violence and mutilation.
    a. War, hunting, and fishing photos will be evaluated individually.
    b. Photos with piercings and tattoos will be evaluated individually.
  12. No promotions of racism.
  13. No promotions of current productions, causes, or charities.
  14. No commercial photos. The only exceptions are:
    a. You have legal rights to the photo.
    b. The copyright has expired.
  15. Obviously copyrighted images (eg.: Disney characters)
  16. Photos edited in such a way as to make them inaccurate, false, or misleading are not allowed.

Any group shot that contains even one individual that violates any of the guidelines in this document is not allowed.

Family History Library Collection Image Approval

If the image has been taken from the Family History Library Collection, photographed, scanned, photocopied, downloaded, or otherwise replicated, a call number or microform number must be included with the image. If no call number or microform number is included, the image is rejected until the required documentation accompanies the image.

To check whether an image from the Family History Library Collection can legally be used in the wiki, see the guidelines on the Getting approval for Family History Library collection images to be used on FamilySearch Wiki.

Copyright and Ownership

By submitting images for upload to the FamilySearch Wiki, the owner takes responsibility for the violation of copyright laws. Just because an image appears on the Internet does not mean that the image is without copyright, or has been released into the public domain. If there is any question about the copyright and/or ownership of an image, do not upload the image to the FamilySearch Wiki. While those screening images scan for obvious violations of copyright, the responsibility of declaring and protecting the image copyright is the sole responsibility of the image submitter.

The Creative Commons (CC) license covers content that is placed in our wiki by contributors. If they hold the copyright to the material or it is their original material then they are allowing CC to govern it. If it comes from some other source then CC requires that you abide by that agreement. So if it comes from GNU or Wikimedia commons or any other source you must abide by that agreement in order to put it in our wiki. As long as proper attribution is given items from Wikimedia Commons, they can be placed in our wiki. Creative Commons lists proper attribution as follows:

Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

As long as proper attribution is given then we are fine with materials from GNU etc.

Documentation

All images uploaded to the FamilySearch Wiki are required to be documented, so that all users can see where the image came from (source), who created it (author) and under what permission (license) they have allowed it to be used. See Help:File page.

Related Policy

Procedures for Image Approval

See the following articles as needed:

  • This page was last modified on 12 August 2013, at 18:28.
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