share alike will mean that data can't be imported into OpenStreetMap as it uses ODBL. Not that it matters much, the data can't be imported for other reasons as well.


2018-05-18 19:45 GMT+02:00 Info WorldUniversity <>:
Hi Mathieu, Rob, Denny, and Wikidatans, 

I'm writing to inquire about further Wikidata CC licensing clarifications.  

Wikidata may be heading to 
which allows for a) sharing b) adapting and even c) commercially

MIT OCW uses, by way of comparison,  
which allows for a) sharing b) adapting but c) non-commercially

At a Wikimedia conference in early 2017, with Lydia and Dario present, I think I learned that all books / WikiCitations in all 301 of Wikipedia languages could be licensed, or heading to be licensed, with CC-0 licensing - - and per - - which would allow them to be data sources for online bookstores even. Is this the case. Could some of Wikidata's data be licensed with CC-SA-4 ( and other data be licensed with CC-0? 


Cheers, Scott

On Thu, May 17, 2018 at 8:39 AM, Rob Speer <> wrote:
> As always, copyright is predatory. As we can prove that copyright is the
enemy of science and knowledge

Well, this kind of gets to the heart of the issue, doesn't it.

I support the Creative Commons license, including the share-alike term,
which requires copyright in order to work, and I've contributed to multiple
Wikimedia projects with the understanding that my work would be protected
by CC-By-SA.

Wikidata is engaged in a project-wide act of disobedience against CC-By-SA.
I would say that GerardM has provided an excellent summary of the attitude
toward Creative Commons that I've encountered on Wikidata: "it's holding us
back", "it's the enemy", "you can't copyright knowledge", "you can't make
us follow it", etc.

The result of this, by the way, is that commercial entities sell modified
versions of Wikidata with impunity. It undermines the terms of other
resources such as DBPedia, which also contains facts extracted from
Wikipedia and respects its Share-Alike terms. Why would anyone use DBPedia
and have to agree to share alike, when they can get similar data from
Wikidata which promises them it's CC-0?

On Wed, 16 May 2018 at 21:43 Gerard Meijssen <>

> Hoi,
> Thank you for the overly broad misrepresentation. As always, copyright is
> predatory. As we can prove that copyright is the enemy of science and
> knowledge we should not be upset that *copyright *is abused we should
> welcome it as it proves the point. Also when we use texts from everywhere
> and rephrase it in Wikipedia articles "we" are not lily white either.
> In "them old days" generally we felt that when people would use Wikipedia,
> it would only serve our purpose; share the sum of all knowledge. I still
> feel really good about that. And, it has been shown that what we do;
> maintain / curate / update that data that it is not easily given to do as
> well as "we" do it.
> When we are to be more precise with our copyright, there are a few things
> we could do to make copyright more transparent. When data is to be uploaded
> (Commons / Wikipedia or Wikidata) we should use a user that is OWNED and
> operated by the copyright holder. The operation may be by proxy and as a
> consequence there is no longer a question about copyright as the copyright
> holder can do as we wants. This makes any future noises just that,
> annoying.
> As to copyright on Wikidata, when you consider copyright using data from
> Wikipedia. The question is: "What Wikipedia" I have copied a lot of data
> from several Wikipedias and believe me, from a quality point of view there
> is much to be gained by using Wikidata as an instrument for good because it
> is really strong in identifying friends and false friends. It is superior
> as a tool for disambiguation.
> About the copyright on data, the overriding question with data is: do you
> copy data wholesale in Wikidata. That is what a database copyright is
> about. As I wrote on my blog [1], the best data to include is data that is
> corroborated by the fact that it is present in multiple sources. This
> negates the notion of a single source, it also underscores that much of the
> data everywhere is replicated a lot. It also underscores, again, the notion
> that data that is only present in single sources is what needs attention.
> It needs tender loving care, it needs other sources to establish
> credentials. That is in its own right what makes any claim of copyright
> moot. It is in this process that it becomes a "creative" process negating
> the copyright held on databases.
> I welcome the attention that is given to copyright in Wikidata. However our
> attention to copyright is predatory in two ways. It is how can we get
> around existing copyright and how can we protect our own.  As argued,
> Wikidata shines when it is used for what it is intended to be; the place
> that brings data, of Wikipedias first and elsewhere second, together to be
> used as a repository of quality, open and linked data.
> Thanks,
>        GerardM
> [1]
> On 11 May 2018 at 23:10, Rob Speer <> wrote:
> > Wow, thanks for the heads up. When I was getting upset about projects
> that
> > change the license on Wikimedia content and commercialize it, I had no
> idea
> > that Wikidata was providing them the cover to do so. The Creative Commons
> > violation is coming from inside the house!
> >
> > On Tue, 8 May 2018 at 03:48 mathieu stumpf guntz <
> >> wrote:
> >
> > > Hello everybody,
> > >
> > > There is a phabricator ticket on Solve legal uncertainty of Wikidata
> > > <> that you might be
> interested
> > > to look at and participate in.
> > >
> > > As Denny suggested in the ticket to give it more visibility through the
> > > discussion on the Wikidata chat
> > > <
> > >
> > Importing_datasets_under_incompatible_licenses>,
> > >
> > > I thought it was interesting to highlight it a bit more.
> > >
> > > Cheers
> > >
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