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Memory Alpha
This page describes one of Memory Alpha's policies and guidelines.
Please read through the policy below to familiarize yourself with our common practices and rules.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or complaints, please post them on the talk page.

This page outlines the rules and guidelines that apply to the use of files on Memory Alpha. They are not absolute, for the most part, but it is generally expected that they be observed unless there is a good cause for ignoring them.

The basic overview:

  1. Obey our copyright policy when uploading files.
  2. Use the file description page to describe the file and its copyright licensing.
  3. The file description page should also be used to add the file to any file categories.
  4. Use a clear, detailed title for the file. An obscure name like "qua_047.jpg" won't help anyone.
  5. Edit the file before upload to contain only the necessary information.
  6. Files used in canon sections of articles should be directly from a canon source; a clearer or cleaner version of material used in canon from a Memory Alpha approved source; or a recreation of the material seen in one – if necessary. Recreations should strive for complete accuracy of the source material. Remember, files should not break the POV.
  7. Files must not be AI-generated.
  8. Personal files, or those specifically intended for a user page, are not allowed. The file must have a use in the encyclopedia.

Types of files[]

  • Images - the specific rules and guidelines for images.
  • Audio - the specific rules and guidelines for audio files.
  • Video - the specific rules and guidelines for videos.

File names[]

Before uploading a file to Memory Alpha, please check if there is already a file of the subject. If there is, decide whether your file should replace the one that already exists, in each article that uses it, or if you should upload your file as an additional one. In the first case, give it exactly the same name, otherwise a suitable other name.

Naming new files[]

Using a new name means creating a new file on Memory Alpha. Suitable names are descriptive titles that are useful in identifying the file. As a rule of thumb, the name of any new file you upload should follow this format:


The subject should be the reason the file exists. In the case of an image, what does the image show? If you're uploading an audio file, what is the audio of? If there is more than one subject, choose the most important one. The description, if any is needed, should be short, and could cover any other subjects. If a disambiguation is warranted, such as a year, it should be added last after a comma or inside parentheses. For example, an image of Archer wearing Starfleet uniform pants for the 2140s-early 2160s Starfleet uniform article would have the name "File:Archer's uniform pants, 2152.jpg".

Please remember that files used in the in-universe section of articles are considered to be in-universe as well, and titles should try to reflect this. Please avoid excessively long file names, or special characters in file names. Also, file names are case sensitive, so "Enterprise.JPG" is not the same as "Enterprise.jpg" (the same also applies for using .jpg rather than .jpeg). For uniformity, file names should only use capitalization when appropriate, like for proper nouns, while file extensions should consist of lower case letters only.

Replacing files[]

To replace a file with a different version, make sure that the file you're uploading has the same name as the one that you want to replace. Using the "Upload a new version of this file" link located under the file history on the file description page is the easiest way of doing this. Replacing files this way allows people to easily compare the two different versions of the file in the history. It also avoids the need to delete and/or merge files along with updating links to the file in articles. Please remember to update the text on the file description page if any of the information located there needs to be changed.

It is not possible to replace a file like this if the file format is going to change however, since the file extension part of the name needs to be changed.

Renaming files[]

Files can be renamed by moving the file description page, though it's important to make sure that all links to the file are updated afterward. This may included "bare" links that won't show up in the "File usage" section of the file description page. The ability to move files is reserved for administrators.

Files in the revision history of articles[]

Old versions of articles do not show corresponding old versions of files, but instead display the latest ones, unless the file names have changed.

Describing files[]

When uploading a file, it is important to include text to describe the content of the file. This can be done by adding the text to the "summary" or by editing the file description page. In all cases, the file should be accompanied by specific information detailing:

  • credit for the original author/creator of the file including a link where that person/company may be contacted, or
  • the original source of the file.

You must also include information about:

  • whether the file is uploaded to Memory Alpha with express permission of the author, or under fair use rules, and
  • the source of the file, being a specific episode, file, book, comic, website, or any other medium.

Adding the appropriate descriptions on the file description page not only ensures that Memory Alpha remains compliant with copyright law, but also provides practical information for anyone who may want to use the file in the future.

Files should also be added to the appropriate file categories. If you're unsure about what category or categories to use, or can't find the one you want, add the file to the top category by placing "Category:Memory Alpha files" on the page.


Please note: this is an abbreviated version of the official copyright policy – please visit that page for more detailed information.

When you upload a file, make sure you own the file, or that it is in the Public Domain, or that the copyright holder has agreed to license it under the Creative Commons License. Please note its copyright status on the file description page.

Fair use can be claimed for files that are from Star Trek episodes, films, tributes or parodies so long as they are not posted in large numbers. Be sure to include the appropriate licensing template with the description. Files contained within licensed publications may not constitute fair use, and the express consent of the copyright holder may be required.

Licensing templates[]

By adding a copyright licensing template to the file description page, you are expressing the permissions given to use the file under our license. Please choose the correct template, or files may be listed as possible copyright infringements.

This is the style of license that should be used. It takes five variables, the type, license, creator/owner, source, and rationale. The format is:
|type      = image | audio file | video
|license   = cc-by | cc-by-nc | cc-by-nc-nd | cc-by-nc-sa | cc-by-sa | cc-0 | pd | fairuse | copyright | other | nonegiven
|owner     = 
|source    = 
|rationale = 
See the template itself for complete details. By default it presents:

Some useful shortcut templates have been created that automatically fill in some or all of the necessary variables:

{{audio star trek}}
For audio files from Star Trek episodes or films, or sources otherwise produced by ViacomCBS (or one of its affiliates).
{{audio collage}}
For audio files made from more than one continuous audio clip.
{{audio fairuse commentary}}
For audio files from films, television, podcasts, or interviews not produced by ViacomCBS (or one of its affiliates).
{{image star trek}}
For screen shots from Star Trek episodes or films, or sources otherwise produced by ViacomCBS (or one of its affiliates).
{{image art reproduction}}
For images showing reproductions of on-screen artwork.
{{image cc}}
For images released under a Creative Commons license.
{{image cc-by-nc}}
For images released under a Creative Commons-Attribution-Non Commercial license.
{{image cc-by-sa}}
For images released under a Creative Commons-Attribution-Share Alike license.
{{image collage}}
For images made from more than one image.
{{image copyright}}
For copyrighted images with explicit permission for use.
{{image fairuse}}
For copyrighted images for which "fair use" may be claimed by the contributor.
{{image fairuse cover}}
For images that show the covers of Blu-rays, books, comics, or video games for which "fair use" may be claimed by the contributor.
{{image fairuse interior art}}
For interior artwork from comic books and other publications for which "fair use" may be claimed by the contributor.
{{image fairuse screenshot}}
For screen shots from video games for which "fair use" may be claimed by the contributor.
{{image fairuse television}}
For screen captures of television shows or films not produced by Paramount (or one of its affiliates).
{{image logo}}
For images of copyrighted logos for which "fair use" may be claimed by the contributor.
{{image of MA}}
For images of the Memory Alpha site interface used on help pages and in discussions.
{{image other}}
For images released under a copyright license not covered by another template.
{{image pd}}
For images released into the public domain.
{{image pd award}}
For images showing US military awards, which cannot be copyrighted.
{{image pd insignia}}
For images derived from US military insignia.
{{image pd rank}}
For images derived from international military rank insignia.
{{pdf copyright}}
For copyrighted PDFs with explicit permission for use.

Deleting files[]

  1. Contact the person who uploaded the file, telling them of your concerns. You may be able to resolve the issue at this point.
  2. Remove all uses of the file from articles – make it an orphan.
  3. Add one of these notices to the file description page:
  4. List the file on one of these links:
  5. The file can then be deleted after a week in the normal way – see our deletion policy. Files without the necessary licensing template will be deleted 5-7 days after being uploaded. A current list of files without a copyright disclaimer can be found here.

To actually delete a file after following the above procedure, you must be an administrator. To do so, go to the file description page and select the deletion option under or near the edit link. File talk pages are deleted using the normal procedure. Note that files can be restored or reverted to an earlier version.