The Wikimedia Foundation has announced the first customers of Wikimedia Enterprise—Google and Internet Archive. Wikimedia Enterprise is described as a “first-of-its-kind commercial product designed for companies that reuse and source Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects at a high volume.” The Foundation assures that this new development will not change existing arrangements for individual users, as all Wikimedia content will continue to be available for free.
Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that is updated by a group of volunteers. Lane Becker, Senior Director of Earned Revenue at the Wikimedia Foundation explains, “Google and Internet Archive leverage Wikimedia content in very distinct ways, whether it’s to help power a portion of knowledge panel results or preserve citations on Wikipedia.”
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Google utilises Wikipedia’s services to display information for its “knowledge panel,” which is seen as a sidebar along with the main search results. However, the tech giant wasn’t transparent about the source of the information. With Google purchasing Wikimedia Enterprise, the search giant could perhaps start citing Wikipedia as its source more often. Google’s Tim Palmer said, “We have long supported the Wikimedia Foundation in pursuit of our shared goals of expanding knowledge and information access for people everywhere.”
Internet Archive is a non-profit library which offers an extensive collection of books, movies, music, and software for free. Moreover, it also operates a website called Wayback Machine, which saves and archives websites, allowing users to view how websites appeared in the past. It is also used to restore broken Wikipedia links. While Internet Archive has become an Enterprise customer, it will be using the service for free.
“We’re thrilled to be working with them both as our longtime partners, and their insights have been critical to build a compelling product that will be useful for many different kinds of organizations,” Becker adds. You can read more about Wikimedia Enterprise here.