Wikipedia will launch a paid service for enterprise later this year
The Wikipedia Foundation said it would launch a paid service for companies that repurpose its content. The service will launch as Wikimedia Enterprise later this year. The service will initially aim at major technology firms such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook.
“Wikimedia Enterprise's focus is on businesses that reuse our content, typically at a large scale—e.g., integrated into knowledge graphs, search, voice assistants, maps, news reporting, community tools, third-party applications, and full-corpus research studies. Augmenting Wikimedia's many datasets to put structure behind our unstructured content will allow all our content reusers to meet their individual requirements while also setting us up to build new tools and services in the future, available to everyone,” said the organisation on its website.
The organisation is still in the process of finalising how the new service will function. An overview on its website suggests that it would offer a paid version of its API, which allows scraping and re-hosting of content on Wikipedia. Subscribers of the paid service may also receive data relatively faster. The content format could also be customised for these clients.
The Wikipedia Foundation also clarified that the Wikipedia service will continue to remain free for end-users.
The Verge notes that many big technology firms leverage Wikipedia. For instance, Google uses the content from the platform for its knowledge boxes. Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri voice assistants also use Wikipedia as the content source.
The organisation also clarified whether it is selling or forcing big tech to pay up for Wikipedia content.
“No. All Wikimedia content is available under free licenses and can be used by anyone for any purpose. That will not and cannot be changed. The Enterprise API service is a new method of delivering that content at a volume and speed designed specifically for the needs of major commercial organizations that are already using Wikimedia content commercially. The Enterprise API is selling the service of this new method of access, but it does not stop anyone (including those potential customers) from using the existing free methods of access,” it said in the FAQs section.
The organisation pointed out that many governments and professional sectors (such as journalism) are currently debating how to develop a model that is financially sustainable while working with these big tech companies.