Hello and welcome to find shots daily in today's episode, we talk about how Wikipedia is planning to finally make money off of its content.
Wikipedia's monetization gambit. Wikipedia is over 20 years old. The English version of the website now has more than six million articles. And an army of contributors continue to document the sum total of all human knowledge on this free to access encyclopedia. However, despite the company's massive influence, they still operate as a not for profit entity. Primarily relying on donations and donations are always a sticky subject. For instance, in 2019, Google donated two million U.S. dollars to the Wikimedia Foundation, which is the company that runs Wikipedia.
And while you might be inclined to think this is by definition an altruistic endeavor, it isn't always the case. As an article in the Wired Notes code, supporting Wikipedia is also a shrewd business decision that will likely benefit Google for years to come. Like other tech companies including Amazon, Apple and Facebook, Google already uses Wikipedia content in a number of its own products. When you search Google for Paris, a knowledge panel of information about the city will appear, some of which is sourced from Wikipedia, unquote.
So it makes sense for the likes of Google to keep supporting the company. But this doesn't mean that is an obligation for them to pay. In fact, a couple of years ago, YouTube CEO Susan Whiskey told people they would start using content from Wikipedia to fight misinformation. The only problem she made this announcement without having intimated their knowledge partner about this matter. It was embarrassing, to say the least, considering Wikipedia had to go out in public to clarify, quote, We are always happy to see people, companies and organizations reorganize Wikipedia's value as a repository of free knowledge.
In this case, NATO, Wikipedia, not the Wikimedia Foundation, are part of the formal partnership with YouTube. We were not given advance notice of this announcement, uncowed. Ouch. And it's not just big corporates that uses information for free. You can do. Wikipedia generally grants free access to its content, as the company puts it, quote, copied Wikipedia content will therefore remain free under an appropriate license and can continue to be used by anyone subject to certain restrictions, most of which aim to ensure that freedom.
This principle is known as copyleft in contrast to typical copyright licences, uncowed meaning if you use their content, you will have to attribute the source and offer people access to your database to work free of cost. But there is a problem. If you are using it for a pet project, you can probably source whatever you need from Wikipedia manually. But what if it's a more ambitious project? What if you want access to many things all at once? In that case, Wikipedia will offer you access to a data dump and a firehose of all the changes in real time.
And while you may need big teams to pass through this dump and figure out how to clean and present this data, even this is free to use. Which begets the final question. If nobody is mandated to pay and everything is free to use, how can Wikipedia survive on benevolence alone? Well, truth be told, it is a problem. Although Wikipedia has raised a lot of money and it has millions and results, you can never say for sure when the funding gap might close.
It's always an uncertain enterprise. And if you have been following the news of late, you know the kind of backlash the company received when it tried to raise money from the Indian public. So here you have a company that doesn't have a steady stream of revenue and is desperately trying to solve the problem by building reserves through donations. But what if it didn't have to be this way? What if Wikipedia could get corporates to pay money for certain services rendered?
Until now, it has been taboo for the company to even broach this topic. But now things seem to be changing. The Wikimedia Foundation is creating a new paid service for companies that use their data. We still don't know the details, but it's likely the company will provide services that include cleaning and formatting the data so corporates no longer have to do it themselves. As they noted, quote, Wikimedia Enterprises focus is on businesses that reuse our content, typically at a large scale example, integrated into knowledge.
Graff's search wise assistance maps, news reporting, community tools, third party applications and full Karpas results studies. Augmenting Wikimedia as many datasets to put structure behind our unstructured content will allow all our content users to meet their individual requirements while also setting us up to build new tools and services in the future. Available to everyone uncowed does not. We will have to pay Wikipedia to access the data dump. No, but if you want to do it in a seamless fashion that suits your requirements, maybe you'll have access to the company's news service.
So the only question now is this how will the editors take this news and how will the donors respond? Do you think they'll be happy? Wikipedia will finally have some semblance of certain, or will they be miffed about this corporate plane? We don't know. You tell us.
Thank you for listening to today's episode. And if you want to share your feedback or suggestions, do drop us an email too high at the Redfin's shots dot. And until next time.