Sunday, December 5

The paid Wikipedia is already a reality: this is what companies such as Google or Amazon will charge for the use of your data


Last March the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization behind Wikipedia and other similar projects, announced that it was working on a paid version of the encyclopedia for businesses: Wikimedia Enterprise. The objective of this service is to make profitable use of its huge database by companies such as Google or Amazon, which until now use that information for free to feed products such as Siri, Alexa or Alphabet’s own search engine.

The new service, they explained, is based on an API that will improve the segmentation of Wikipedia content in a much more understandable way for machines that use it massively, with which they will offer companies that hire them a tool that will speed up the transmission of data and facilitate the automation of its use.

Now, the Wikimedia Foundation has just announced that Enterprise is now available to all companies who wish to use its services, and has shared the annual fees for your different plans. Prices are set based on the data delivery method– From $ 25,000 per year for on-demand data access and from $ 50,000 per year for delivery of big data feeds. There is a third plan, the real-time data delivery plan, for which they have not shared amounts, so it is understood that each company will have to negotiate based on the volume they use. Packages can be combined.

From Wikimedia they explained in March that there was a very high entry barrier for the use of the contents of the free encyclopedia beyond the common uses of reading and editing, which is why they have decided structure your unstructured data for easy reuse to companies that wish to employ them in their services.

Among the improvements that have been introduced for this purpose, and focused on companies, are the creation of a readable and coherent JSON schema for machines, the update of the daily information – currently it is carried out every two weeks -, the activity exports every hour or guaranteed uptime with no speed limit. What’s more, a Wikimedia team will filter the content before submitting it customers to prevent them from including false information, a task that until now has been carried out by employees of companies that reuse the data.

As to use cases, from Wikimedia they point out that companies will be able to use this new tool to improve services such as voice assistants, research studies, news reports, information search or the creation of knowledge graphs.

Wikipedia will remain free for users

Wikimedia has underlined that this new service will not affect private Wikipedia users at all, which will be able to continue accessing the digital encyclopedia for free, as before.

Similarly, they have explained that not all companies that want to use Wikipedia information will have to purchase an Enterprise package, since from Wikimedia they understand this new project as a premium service for organizations that need to make massive and rapid use of the information in the encyclopedia.

“The entire corpus of Wikimedia content has always been, and will continue to be, available for reuse in various ways at no cost. Wikimedia projects are, have been and will always be free. The use of this offer will not be necessary for the reuse of commercial content; businesses can continue to use current tools available at no cost”, They assured from the Foundation in March.

Today’s launch of Wikimedia Enterprise marks a historic milestone for the foundation to which Wikipedia belongs, as it is the first project they have created as a business. All of the ones they had so far, more than ten, are non-profit and are financed exclusively through donations.



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