Image Use Policy

The SCP Foundation Wiki is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. All rules regarding image use are dependent upon this fact.

For information on general licensing of the SCP Foundation Wiki, please read the Licensing Guide.

For image/media sites that have been approved for use, see the Whitelist under CC-Compliant Images/Media. If attempting to use media from a site that has not been approved for use yet, please contact a member of Licensing.

The terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) license are thus:

  • Any use of media licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 must include attribution to the original source of the media. (BY: "Attribution")
  • Any material using media licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 must also be licensed under the same license, or another compatible license. (SA: "Share-Alike")
  • No other restrictions may be placed on media licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

These are the only terms that are applicable to images on the SCP Foundation Wiki. Only images verifiably under licenses that include some or all of these terms and no more, or which are verifiably in the public domain, are permissible for use.

Non-Compliant Licenses/Media (things you can't use)

Copyrighted (All Rights Reserved) images: The terms of their use is reserved to the original author of the image, placing many impermissible restrictions.

Images that require purchase to obtain their license (such as paid stock images): The terms of their use are so inhibiting as to require actual money to use it. As a note, manipulating an image to remove any watermarks or other features that would indicate it has been stolen is illegal and will not be tolerated. Remember: Just because it's on Google doesn't mean you can use it.

Images that you cannot find the license for: These cannot be verified to be cc-compliant or not, and thus are not permissible. If you cannot find the license of an image, do not use it.

Images licensed under the NC "NonCommercial" Creative Commons license: This places a restriction on allowing licensed media to be used for commercial purposes. The SCP Foundation Wiki is inherently commercial, by virtue of it not being a restriction placed by CC BY-SA 3.0. Thus, NC-licensed images are not allowed.

Images licensed under the ND "NoDerivs" Creative Commons license: This restricts adaptations of the licensed media. The SCP Foundation Wiki inherently allows adaptations of its content to be made, as there is no restriction in CC BY-SA 3.0 stating otherwise. Thus, ND-licensed images are not allowed.

Licenses that are not Creative Commons but still carry restrictions of their own: Even if these licenses allow commercial use, if they contain restrictions that are not present in CC BY-SA 3.0, they are non-compliant. Keep in mind, there may be sites that claim on the surface to be licensed under a Creative Commons license, but in fact have restrictions not present in the original license as well. Always read the fine print.

Images of excessive nudity/pornography and/or excessive gore are not allowed. What counts as excessive nudity/pornography and/or excessive gore will be decided on a case-by-case basis by SCP Foundation Wiki Staff.

Images that are AI generated are not allowed, unless otherwise stated.

Rule of thumb: When in doubt, ask the licensing team.

CC-Compliant Images/Media (things you can use)

Simply put, the only images allowed for use on the wiki are those licensed under these licenses:

  • Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 2.0 and 3.0.
  • Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (CC BY-SA) 2.0 and 3.0.
  • Public Domain
  • Creative Commons Zero (CC0) 1.0
  • Images you took yourself See “Personal Images” below for more information

Note that certain International Branches of the SCP Foundation Wiki do not allow the use of CC 4.0 images due to technical differences, so keep this in mind regarding translations of your article(s). However, the -EN branch does currently allow uses of 4.0 images as due to low likelihood of complaint from the licensors.

You may use images under these licenses singularly and/or combined together via photo-manipulation software (as long as the software itself is cc-compliant). The final license of an image combining two differently licensed images would be the license among the two images that's the most restrictive.

Note that this applies to media besides images as well, including films, audio, etc.

Personal Images

You are allowed to use images you, the author/artist, took yourself. All that you need to do is also state that you release your image in a license that is compatible with CC BY-SA 3.0. Before you do that, however, please read the entirety of this section.

The reason you can do this is because when you take a photo, you automatically own the copyright to said photo. This means that, as you own this photo, you can do whatever you want with it - even use it in an SCP article.

As you may have noticed, however, we don’t allow the usage of copyrighted images on the wiki. “How does this work?” you may ask. The reason why YOU, the image owner, can do so, is because you own the rights to that specific image, and can choose to release that image under a license compatible with CC BY-SA 3.0.

WARNING: When you release an image under Creative Commons, you cannot revoke that license. Please do not release an image unless you are absolutely, 100% sure you are okay with it. To understand what it means for something to be released under CC BY-SA 3.0, please see the Licensing Guide.

If you’re unsure as to what each license entails but want to use that image in an article, we encourage you to release your image under CC BY-SA 3.0, which is the site’s license. If you have any other questions, please contact a member of the Licensing Team.


Throughout the internet, there are scores of websites that claim to host thousands of public domain images; however, an examination of these websites reveals that they obtain their content via scraping off other, more reputable websites. Additionally, these image sites may host further problems. MaxPixel, for example, has the dubious honor of users downloading malware when downloading images. Pikist reverses the images it finds and claims them as its own. These scraper websites take the template of sites like Pixabay and Pexels, all without attributing those who took the images.

The SCP Wiki is well aware that the nature of the public domain means that attributing image creators is not necessary. However, the wiki requires all users to attribute all media they incorporate into their articles, regardless of origin. As such, the wiki has implemented a whitelist of approved sites to obtain images from.

Please note, however, that some of these sites host both images compatible with CC BY-SA 3.0 as well as those that are not. Make sure the image you are taking is under a usable license. If you're not sure, please message a member of Licensing.

Attribution (you have to do this)

When attributing images used in your article, you must include the License Box at the bottom of the article with the attribution information. If it's an SCP, place it under the article's Wikiwalk footer. See the Licensing Master List for instructions on how to include it. You may also include attribution in the discussion page of your article, preferably in the form of an author post, but the License Box in the article itself is mandatory. The attribution format is as follows:

> **Filename:**
> **Name:** (if different from filename)
> **Author:**
> **License:**
> **Source Link:**
> **Derivative of:** (If applicable)
> **Additional Notes:** (Optional)

Images Sub-Team Procedure

If an image is found to disobey the Image Policy, the image may be taken down immediately or the author of the article may be messaged to produce replacement images within a week's time, after which the image will also be removed. Generally, if an author is inactive (that is, their articles are under staff purview), images will be immediately removed, whereas active authors will be notified of the non-compliant image(s) prior to removal.

If an image is requested to be taken down by the original image author, it will be done so immediately without question.

Images removed for non-compliance cannot be reinstated unless there is proof it is cc-compliant. Repeated reinstating of non-compliant images and/or sassing members of staff for performing licensing duties may result in disciplinary action.

Articles under staff purview may have their images replaced without consultation of the author. If the author wants to take down any staff-sanctioned replacements, they are entirely within their right to do so. Similarly, authors may revert staff image-replacements if they have evidence they produced the image/the image was cc-compliant.


Please visit #site34 on IRC if you wish to discuss any questions regarding Images Policy not explained in this guide with a member of the Licensing Team. Alternatively, you may email moc.liamg|gnisneciLPCS#moc.liamg|gnisneciLPCS for similar queries.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License