@rachelrwithers: Amazon Owes Wikipedia Big-Time


When you ask Amazon’s Alexa, “What is Wikipedia?” it’ll tell you this: “Wikipedia is a multilingual, web-based, free encyclopedia based on a model of openly editable content.” Alexa took this line directly from Wikipedia’s entry on Wikipedia, as it does with many of its answers. Perhaps what it should have said was this: “Wikipedia is the source from which I take much of my information, without credit, contribution, or compensation.”

That’s about to change. Or is it? Amazon recently donated $1 million to the Wikimedia Endowment, a fund that keeps Wikipedia running, as “part of Amazon’s and CEO Jeff Bezos’ growing work in philanthropy,” according to CNET. It’s being framed as a “gift,” one that—as Amazonputs it—recognizes their shared vision to “make it easier to share knowledge globally.” Amazon also noted the ability for users to easily donate to Wikimedia through the Alexa Donations feature, with the voice command “Alexa, donate to Wikipedia.”…

But it’s not just the fact that this donation is, in the scheme of things, paltry. It’s that this “endowment” is dwarfed by what Amazon and its ilk get out of Wikipedia—figuratively and literally.

Read the post on Slate.

One thought on “@rachelrwithers: Amazon Owes Wikipedia Big-Time

  1. Well its not just amazon and smart speakers Google also have wikipedia content in the right hand panel of their search page. Try any celebrity name and you get pretty much all you need. Should they credit wikipedia? I don’t think so as wikipedia simply host the content.Its much like crediting the bookseller you bough a book from. Is there any copyright on wikipedia content? Probably not as it is no more than a collection of facts that have been copied from somewhere else. The main encyclopedic articles are from the 1911 edition of Britannica or Stanford so if one is going to credit any one it should be the publication that was scraped. The rest is cobbled together from newspapers, and recent books if its not blatant cut&Paste the resulting content is mangled to the extent that it is no longer accurate. Investigations have shown that very little of non-cut-n-paste wikipedia content agrees with the references given.


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