Wikimedia Logos Have Been Freed!

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A representation of the red, green, and blue of the Wikimedia logos. “ThreeCircles” by Samuel Johnson, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

We are proud to announce that starting today, the Wikimedia logos will be freely licensed on Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. After all, Wikimedia Commons’ mission is to disseminate free and public domain content to everyone. We are thrilled that the copyright status of Wikimedia logos will now be fully aligned with that goal.
As you may have noticed, many of the Wikimedia logos on Commons did not carry the CC BY-SA 3.0 license for historic reasons. Over the past year, we have done an extensive review of their copyright status and worked with many of the logo designers to get a complete history. That review is now complete, and we have begun to re-licence the Wikimedia logos on Commons so that they can be freely used, subject to the terms of the CC BY-SA 3.0 license and the Wikimedia trademark policy.
We would really appreciate your help in replacing the {{Copyright by Wikimedia}} templates for all Wikimedia logos on Commons! Each of the Wikimedia logos in every language version should instead carry the {{Wikimedia trademark}} and {{cc-by-sa-3.0}} templates. The only logos that will not be licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 are the MediaWiki and the Community logos, which were originally released under free licenses and do not need to be changed.
Yana Welinder, Legal Counsel
Many thanks to former legal interns Joseph Jung, Matthew Collins, and Lukas Mezger for their work on the review of the copyright status of the Wikimedia logos. I would also like to thank Joseph and Natalie Kim for their help in preparing this post.

Archive notice: This is an archived post from, which operated under different editorial and content guidelines than Diff.

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That’s wonderful news for all Wikimedia Outreach evangelists!
A great step indeed.

That’s so great to hear! One question: does this relicensing also apply to the 3D logo? Particularly, the actual 3D model of the puzzle globe that contains the pieces in the back too. It would be great to be able to remix that 😀

Waldir and Piotr Konieczny: The 3D model of the puzzle globe logo is also licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
userralgis: The re-licensing of the logos does not impact the trademark policy. The trademark policy serves a very different purpose than the CC BY-SA license. You can read more about that here:

Glad to hear that, Yana — but where can the actual 3D files by Philip Metschan be found? There’s nothing at or There’s a promising thread on > Are there any files available for 3D modelers to use to make rotating animations with? Or plans for officially produced animations? Quiddity (talk) 00:59, 3 June 2010 (UTC) >> We’re looking at this actually. The original files were in Maya, and it’s a complex model to unpackage or reformat into a simpler object for people to use. We’re trying to make it available in Blender, but some of the… Read more »

Great news!
However, I am wondering: as CC BY-SA allows to make commercial use but the trademark policy does not, will the trademark policy change according to the licence?

This is great news! Thanks to anyone involved!

Removing last non-free files from Commons? Great!

Fantastic work! Thank you, Yana for seeing this through so thoroughly.
Waldir: good question about the full 3D model; until the format issue is worked out the Maya model could at least be on an Internet Archive page and linked to from the 2D logo page.

Does this include usage of historical and older versions of the Wikimedia logos, specifically this and this I display my favorites on my various Wikimedia editor/user pages, but have not used them elsewhere for any reason, due to the copyright and trademark warnings. For example, I would like to display one in the sidebar of my (non-commercial, nothing sold nor advocated) personal blog, and perhaps link to a Wikipedia article but am hesitant to do so, unless it is allowed. Some of the logos are so beautiful and inspiring! Thank you, Yana Welinder, for licensing use of Wikimedia logos under… Read more »

CC BY SA is not really free, CC0 would be. I don’t like the attribution hell.

Andy: “Attribution hell”? It isn’t burdensome at all, especially with BY-SA. I *love* Creative Commons licensing! I am really uncomfortable without giving attribution though. Here’s why: I don’t like it when I use an image on my websites and am asked if it is my work, and “can you do more of it?” I’m very limited as an artist. Secondly, if someone complains about an image (due to controversial subject matter, possible trademark infringement, unauthorized derivative work etc.) I can just take the image down and point to the CC license with attribution as source, usually linked by URL. For… Read more »

The 3D model of the Wikipedia Puzzle Globe is now available on Commons ( and can be used pursuant to the visual identity guidelines ( and the Wikimedia trademark policy (
@Ellie: older versions of the logos and derivatives are also licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. They can be used as stated in the trademark policy. For example, under section 3.6, “[y]ou may use all Wikimedia marks on your own website as a hyperlink to the Wikimedia sites.”

Hi Yana, thanks for the update! However, there seems to be some issues: first, the file is in the Foundation wiki, not Commons. Of course, that’s just nitpicking, but it would be nice it it was copied to Commons in accordance to the spirit of this blog post. But second and most importantly, the description of the file says that it is a “Blender rendered version”, (Blender is an open source 3D modeling/animation software) but it actually is a Maya file, as Jay Walsh correctly noted in his upload from 20:07, 8 May 2013 (Maya is proprietary software from Autodesk).… Read more »

Can you explain at some length why/how you decided that the restrictive licensing was no longer necessary?
Creative Commons does not license their logos under one of their own licenses, and doesn’t advise others to do that either. I’m wondering why you’ve come to opposite conclusions about what’s best.

Timely post , I learned a lot from the information , Does anyone know where my company can get a blank a form form to work with ?