Wikimedia Foundation, which operates Wikipedia and other related projects, will create a new paid service called Wikimedia Enterprise for companies that use Wikipedia data. For a long time, large companies used the free encyclopedia for free. But with the launch of Wikimedia Enterprise, that will change. The service is scheduled to be released later in 2021.
Initially, Google provided Wikipedia articles in response to user requests, and thus popularized it. Google tried to offer users a Wikipedia analog, the Knol encyclopedia (abbreviated from "knowledge"), but the project did not become popular among Internet users. Then Google began displaying key excerpts from Wikipedia articles on its search results pages.
Google's turnover reaches trillions of dollars, but Wikipedia remains a non-profit project supported by individual users, charitable foundations, and companies. That is why Wikimedia is launching Enterprise, which will target the sale of Wikipedia content directly to tech giants. The corresponding negotiations are already underway and can be completed by June.
Wikipedia publishes a data dump of its website every two weeks with new information and a digest of all the changes and updates, and tech giants used to import the content of the Internet encyclopedia without any agreement with the foundation.
With Wikimedia Enterprise, customers will be provided with all encyclopedia changes in real-time. The quality of customer service will also improve, which simply cannot be provided by a volunteer project: there will be a hotline, guaranteed speed of data provision, technical support, etc.
Enterprise will host its version of Wikipedia content not on the project's servers but on Amazon Web Services, which will better serve the needs of large enterprise customers. Wikimedia emphasizes that it is not obligated to use the AWS infrastructure by contract, technically or financially.