back to article Wikimedia Foundation to offer community's free content via paid-for Enterprise API

The Wikimedia Foundation, built over the past two decades with the donated labor of its Wikipedia community, plans to offer corporate enterprises programmatic access to its content through paid API packages. In a blog post on Wednesday, Liam Wyatt, program manager for WikiCite at Wikimedia Foundation, explained that the …

  1. RM Myers
    Unhappy

    Wikimedia Foundation

    Proving once again that running a nonprofit can be very profitable.

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: Wikimedia Foundation

      Also why pay for this Api when you can have your employees just using Wikipedia?

      Is like when they said "You can buy Cave Story for your videogame console or play an older version for free on your PC."

      I played the free version.

    2. MacroRodent

      Re: Wikimedia Foundation

      Oh, that's why they regularly plead for donations? I got one have no problem with this API for corps, if it helps fund Wikipedia. Even if the data is provided by volunteers, running the web site with its high-volume traffic costs a lot of real money

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        Re: Wikimedia Foundation

        Oh, that's why they regularly plead for donations? I got one have no problem with this API for corps, if it helps fund Wikipedia. Even if the data is provided by volunteers, running the web site with its high-volume traffic costs a lot of real money

        Their income already appears to exceed their expenditure by about half a million dollars a week. From their FY 2019 balance sheet:

        Total income in FY to June 2019 $120,067,266

        Total expenses $91,414,010 (of which Internet hosting was $2,335,918 = 2.6%)

        Net assets at end of FY 2019 $165,641,425

        Increase in assets during FY 2019 $30,691,855

      2. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        Re: Wikimedia Foundation

        When I provide information or editing to Wikipedia, for free, I do it on the basis that the results of that are available to everyone, without cost, under an open licence.

        They had better not change that by requiring some users (even wealthy corporations) to pay or accept more restrictive licences. That would violate my copyright.

        From the description in the article they are not doing that. But I will be keeping a careful eye on them. Just like I do for the free software I make available or contribute to under a GPL or other free software licence.

        1. FIA Silver badge

          Re: Wikimedia Foundation

          I wouldn't worry too much, there's a very large difference between a non-profit seeking alternate revenue streams to one of the largest and most visible sites on the internet illegally relicencing it's content.

          You may fear the slope quite smooth, but it's also very very gentle, and long.

      3. FIA Silver badge

        Re: Wikimedia Foundation

        I agree, I think the API is actually a good idea, as I personally find the donation requests quite offensive.

        I don't have a problem with a non-profit asking for donations; I have a problem with a nonprofit who's cash pile has grown from less than $10K in 2004 to over $27M in 2014, and which now stands at $71M, (which admittedly is less than the $102M last year, although there's an additional $40M of 'short term investments.) asking in a way that implies they can barely keep the lights on; and also fails to mention the amount that goes to the content creators.

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Wikimedia Foundation

      Cough Nominet Cough

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The linked articles...

    One of the linked articles https://www.theregister.com/2012/12/20/cash_rich_wikipedia_chugging/ mentions that some funds were being spent on producing a visual editor so it wouldn't be necessary to learn the arcane approach currently used. That was back in 2013!

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