wikiHow's text is under a Creative Commons License. This allows free republication to be used by any organization or person for any non-commercial purpose. This helps to achieve our mission of freely offering instructions to everyone throughout the world.

In addition, our license allows for the modification of our content and the creation of derivative works. This guarantees that wikiHow will always be free and community-controlled with the right to fork.

When you place your content on wikiHow, you retain the copyright to your work and are free to use it in any manner. However, you do allow us to use it as described in our Terms of Use and to freely distribute it under our license.

  • wikiHow:Boilerplate Request for Copyright Permission

Copyright Violations and Plagiarism on wikiHow

Copyright infringement is illegal. We honor other people's copyrights. Not everyone wants to contribute their content to wikiHow and freely distribute it under our Creative Commons License.

When you suspect a violation, do the following:

  1. Assume good faith. It may be that the copyright holder of the content is trying to share their content with us. If their wikiHow username matches with the author or webmaster name on the linked website, or if the contributor's wikiHow profile states that they are the owner of the copied website, it's safe to assume that the person who put up the content is the copyright holder. Move the link down to the "Sources and Citations" section, write "Original source, shared with permission" after the URL, and leave a note for the contributor such as this one:

    • I'm assuming the link you put in [[Name of Article]] is to your website. If that's the case, don't forget to write "Original source, shared with permission" right after the link. This tells our editors that it's you're deliberately sharing the content on wikiHow. Otherwise, they might think it was copied without permission, or that it's a spam link (both of which could get the page deleted). Now, if that link isn't from your site, you might want to glance over our external links policy to see how we handle external links.
    It's also worth looking to see if the information copied is already under a compatible license, such as Creative Commons or public domain.
  2. If you still suspect the person copied the content from another source without permission, apply the {{copyvio|URL of copied site}} tag. This tag will tell the reader that the content is under investigation for copyright issues, and will also put the article in a category of potential copyright violations to be reviewed by any administrator.
  3. Write {{copyvior|URL of suspected source website}} on the talk page of the person who posted the suspected content.

    • If the editor is not a registered user, contact the original website, via e-mail, to confirm permission. E.g. "Someone posted content on wikiHow that is very similar to yours: (URL) Was it you, or someone you gave permission to do this?"
  4. Wait for a response. If the contributor has permission from the copyright holder, ask them to forward it to then remove the {{copyvio}} tag and post a comment on the discussion page stating that you confirmed copyright status. If you receive no response, or if the copyright holder informs you that the content was posted without permission, make note of that on the discussion page and, if you are an admin, delete the article. If you are not an admin, just leave a discussion page comment and the page will get deleted when it gets reviewed by an admin who reviews the category of potential copyright violations.

Finding Copyright Violations

  1. Suspect copyright violation when you see a new page in non-wikiHow format.
  2. Do a Google Test.

    • Enclose 10-20 words in quotation marks and submit it to Google.
    • If an "exact" copy exists on the web, Google will likely find it.
  3. Rewrite the page or contact the webmaster to be sure the page was shared with permission, as described above.

Image Copyrights

  • Unfortunately, the vast majority of images found on the Internet are not freely licensed.
  • Click here for acceptable image licenses used on wikiHow.
  • Images without appropriate attribution and licensing information will be deleted from wikiHow.
  • Use these templates for images with problems.
  • We recommend our Free Image Tool and current images.
This is an Official Policy that has been approved by the wikiHow community.
All contributors and administrators are expected to adhere to it.

Article Info

Categories: Policy | Licenses | Using Images | Importing Content to wikiHow | Help