Everybody uses Wikipedia. There is not a time that the free information providing encyclopedia has not helped you with your homework or solving a query you were having or simply answering sudden thoughts that pop into your mind about a certain topic.
This online Encyclopedia is free of cost and runs by a non-profit organization called the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikimedia Foundation’s $100 million budget is funded by donations from users and grant money provided to the Wikimedia Foundation but the company wants things to change now.
Though the information providing website has been free of use for the longest time now, the company has been exploited by a lot of big names that use information directly from it for their users and now Wikipedia Foundation is hoping that the Big Tech Giants can pay for it.
The Foundation is hoping that companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon will pay for the content that they use from the free online Wikipedia.
A brand new division has been introduced under the Wikimedia umbrella called Wikimedia Enterprise which will offer a paid service targeting Wikipedia’s biggest users: Big Tech companies.
The company believes that such huge tech giants use their content and make a whole lot of revenue out of it. For example, if you search a query on Google, it will lead you to a piece of information right off from Wikipedia on the top of your search engine home page without you having to roam on different links for the searched query. Siri from Apple and Alexa from Amazon both are virtual assistants that dig into Wikipedia to answer the questions they have been asked. YouTube also depends on Wikipedia to fight misinformation on its video platform and while all these companies make billions of dollars in revenue, Wikipedia gets nothing in return because it is free of charge and thinks that through these the big tech giants are exploiting them.
Therefore, they have decided to acquire some amount of revenue in exchange of the information they provide. According to the Wikimedia Foundation, these companies currently have employees and, in some cases, entire teams, working on delivering Wikipedia’s content through their own systems. The paid service provided by Wikimedia Enterprise will help do that work for them and, in turn, bring in a new revenue stream for the nonprofit. The question stands will the companies agree to Wikipedia’s new demand? Well, according to the Wikipedia Foundation they already have sent the proposals to the company, the talks are in process and hopefully everything will be sorted out before June 2021.
If you are worried about that now you, the general public user will also have to pay for Wikipedia that is not the case. The Foundation will still remain free of cost providing authentic information to all the users worldwide.