Wikivoyage uses a copyleft license for all content on the Web site. Anyone can use Wikivoyage content according to the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. And anyone can contribute their own or other people's content, as long as the work is their own or available under a compatible license.
It is very important that you understand how copyleft works before you contribute to Wikivoyage. If you find your work reused by someone else in a manner that you didn't consider, or if you stop using Wikivoyage for any reason, it is not possible to change the license for the work you have done. Although you always own the copyright in your work, that does not give you the right to change its license retrospectively.
If this seems confusing, skip down to the FAQ.
All written contributions to Wikivoyage are and must be licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 (CC-by-SA 3.0) or a compatible license (e.g., Public Domain, CC-by-SA any, dual CC-by-SA/GFDL any, etc.). Consequently, all redistributed and derivative works of Wikivoyage text must also be licensed as CC-by-SA 3.0.
Images almost always must be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, and images' individual licensing is described on individual image pages. Any images hosted locally on Wikivoyage comply with our Wikivoyage:Non-free content, meaning that they do have a license compatible with our copyleft, but are derivative works of something not free, like a work of art. As with text contributions, all files uploaded here must have a license that allows derivative works and commercial re-use (usually CC-by or CC-by-SA, never CC-No Derivatives or CC-Non-Commercial)—see Wikivoyage:Non-free content#Exemption Doctrine Policy for more information.
All redistributed and derivative works including Wikivoyage images and other files must provide file-specific attribution and licensing information, available on the individual file page.
Things for users to know
Copyleft means that every single author, editor, illustrator, mapmaker, factchecker and photographer who puts their work into Wikivoyage gives you the right to read, copy, print, save, download, read aloud, project, modify, email, distribute, sell, photocopy and correct their work however you want to.
The only restrictions are that:
- if you distribute it, or derive new work from it
- you must give attribution to the creators
- you must retain the work and any derivative works under the same licensing.
In other words, we give you practically every freedom within the boundaries of the law to use the information in Wikivoyage, except the freedom to take that freedom away from others.
The license we use is the Attribution-ShareAlike license. It's a piece of legal documentation created by the great people at Creative Commons that basically says the same thing as above: give Wikivoyagers credit for their work, and share with other people.
If you want you can read the full text of the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. For the purposes of the License, a Work is the formatted text that makes up a single Wikivoyage Shared article. Each image individually is also a Work for the purposes of the License.
In addition, there may be other restrictions on use or distribution based on law in your country or state; in particular, consider privacy rights for photographs of identifiable people and derivative works for photographs of buildings and artworks.
Lastly, to the extent possible there is no warranty on any of the articles or images in Wikivoyage. Hotels close; bars raise prices; train schedules change; earthquakes, mudslides, wars and lightning strikes destroy sights, statues and cities. People make mistakes. Wikivoyagers try their best, but none of the creators of these pages are responsible to you in any way for any injury or discomfort you endure before, after, or during your travels. See the License above for details.
If you're setting up a mirror web site, you might want to check out Wikivoyage:How to re-use Wikivoyage guides.
Things for contributors to know
Copyleft means that every single yahoo, nutcase, screwjob, charlatan, shyster, weirdo, freakazoid, mouthbreather, goofball, lamer, cheater and jerk will have the right to read, copy, print, save, download, read aloud, project, modify, email, distribute, sell, photocopy and correct your work however they want to.
In particular, your work can be ruthlessly modified, edited, or cut from Wikivoyage altogether by other Wikivoyagers. It can be photocopied thousands of times and passed around as flyers by itinerant backpackers. It can be put in Hollywood movies, and it can be projected onto a screen at an outdoor rave. It can be used for commercial ventures, advertisements, or other purposes (with some restrictions) without your direct control.
In return for your incredible generosity, you will have the knowledge that you are helping travellers all over the world, and that all copies made of your work will be attributed to you, and that everyone who derives new works from yours will have to be just as generous as you are. And, of course, you get to use all the other work in Wikivoyage Shared the same way; but you don't need to contribute to do that.
You'll also get the pleasure of collaborating with hundreds of other Wikivoyagers just like yourself. You'll get free spellcheck service from nit-picky folks you've never met. You'll work together with people you don't know to make better pictures, text, and maps than you've ever dreamed of. You still retain the copyright over your own work, and you can use it any other way you want (even if it's not compatible with our license!). By writing on Wikivoyage, or uploading photos, you're using a license under which all our work is available - making it simpler for everyone.
Now, the hard part: because of the Attribution-ShareAlike license, you are legally responsible not to put other people's copyrighted work into Wikivoyage without permission. You are responsible for getting model releases from people you take pictures of, and you are responsible for any libel you include in your articles.
Before editing Wikivoyage articles or uploading pictures, you should read very carefully the full text of the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license, and make sure that you agree to it.
We want to make the best possible travel guide, with the most brilliant writing, the most up-to-date info, the most awe-inspiring photos, the most detailed and readable maps. But no one item is worth putting yourself and this project in legal jeopardy. If you have any questions about the source of something you want to put in Wikivoyage, ask about it first. When in doubt, leave it out.
Frequently asked questions
What do I need to do to get writing?
Nothing! Just plunge forward! Whenever you save something you write, you automatically license it for use under CC-by-SA 3.0. So all you need to do is get started writing—if the text is your own original writing, don't worry about licenses.
What do I need to do to get uploading images?
First, be sure that the image is either one created by you or one that is freely licensed (see "Can I copy text and other content to Wikivoyage from other sites?" below). Then go ahead and upload it to Wikimedia Commons, our central image repository.
If your image is a photo of a work of art or architecture, you may need to upload it locally under our Exemption Doctrine. Check Commons:Freedom of Panorama to see whether the laws of the country where the photo was taken allow derivative works of publicly displayed art or architecture. If the image cannot be uploaded to Commons because of Freedom of Panorama issues, upload it here (but otherwise never upload anything here!). If you have no idea what this means, feel free to ask an administrator.
How will I be attributed?
You will only be attributed for your work if you register a user account. You will be attributed by your user name, which appears in article history and credits pages. For an example, take a look at the history of this page . Re-users will have to provide attribution as well—online re-users will usually link back to the article being re-used, while offline re-users will simply state the source.
For files you upload, you must provide the attribution information yourself in the upload summary. So, just indicate however you want to be attributed as you upload the file.
Can I copy text and other content to Wikivoyage from other sites?
Usually No. That is, unless you are the original author of the text, or the other website has been explicitly licensed as compatible with Creative Commons Attribution/Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, or it is in the public domain.
If you are the original author of the text, note that on the article talk page, or else someone will likely remove it as a copyright violation.
Wikimedia projects like Wikipedia have a compatible license, so we can copy relevant text. When copying text from another site with a compatible license, you must cite the article from which you are copying in the edit summary.
For the content to be public domain, it needs to be created by the U.S. Federal Government, the city government of Washington, D.C., or have a statement on the website saying it is released into the public domain.
Lack of a copyright notice does not mean the content is free to re-use—all online content is automatically copyrighted unless the author explicitly states otherwise.
If content is available free-of-charge, can it be used here?
Probably not. Just because a map, brochure, or other item is given away for free does not mean that it has been freely licensed. For content to be usable on Wikivoyage the content copyright owner must agree to license it under the CC-SA 3.0 or a compatible license.
How should I ask for permission to use a forum reply on Wikivoyage?
The following template can help. Please quote your original message and reply to it at the respective article's Talk page. You may provide attribution to the original author(s) listing them by a template like Template:Attribution.
- Hi (person name).
- Do you mind if I use some pieces of your post (<forum post URL>) to contribute to an article on <destination> at Wikivoyage, a free online travel guide written and edited entirely by travelers from around the globe?
- The current edition of the article I am going to update is here: <article URL>.
- Wikivoyage requires that all the content is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. Basically this means that your content:
- - can be distributed by others, as long as you are credited as the author
- - may be further edited by other contributors
- So do you mind if I use your text at Wikivoyage?
- <your signature>
You may also use the following text, which you need the copyright holder to clearly acknowledge:
- I hereby assert that I am the creator and/or sole owner of the exclusive copyright of WORK [the filename].
- The text of this web page is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribute Share-Alike, version 3,0 and earlier.
- I acknowledge that I grant anyone the right to use the work in a commercial product, and to modify it according to their needs, as long as they abide by the terms of the license and any other applicable laws.
- I am aware that I always retain copyright of my work, and retain the right to be attributed in accordance with the license chosen. Modifications others make to the work will not be attributed to me.
- I am aware that the free license only concerns copyright, and I reserve the option to take action against anyone who uses this work in a libelous way, or in violation of personality rights, trademark restrictions, etc.
- I acknowledge that I cannot withdraw this agreement, and that the work may or may not be kept permanently on a Wikivoyage project.