Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment. – Our Vision Statement
Welcome to Wikimedia! The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (“we” or “us”), is a nonprofit charitable organization whose mission is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally, free of charge.
To support our vibrant community, we provide the essential infrastructure and organizational framework for the development of multilingual wiki Projects and their editions (as explained here) and other endeavors which serve this mission. We strive to make and keep educational and informational content from the Projects available on the internet free of charge, in perpetuity.
The community - the network of users who are constantly building and using the various sites or Projects - are the principal means through which the goals of the mission are achieved. The community contributes to and helps govern our sites. The community undertakes the critical function of creating and enforcing policies for the specific Project editions (such as the different language editions for the Wikipedia Project or the Wikimedia Commons multi-lingual edition).
You are welcome to join as a contributor, editor, or author, but you should follow the policies that govern each of the independent Project editions. The largest of our Projects is Wikipedia, but we host other Projects too, each with different objectives and work methods. Each Project edition has a team of contributors, editors or authors who work together to create and manage the content on that Project edition. You are welcome to join these teams and work with them to improve these Projects. Because we are dedicated to making content freely accessible to the public, we generally require that all content you contribute is available under a free license or in the public domain.
For clarity, other organizations, such as local Wikimedia chapters and associations, that may share in the same mission are nevertheless legally independent and separate from the Wikimedia Foundation and have no responsibility for the operations of the website or its content.
The Wikimedia Foundation is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free multilingual content, and to hosting the full content of these wiki-based Projects for the public free of charge. Our role is to host some of the largest collaboratively edited reference Projects in the world, which can be found here. However, we act only as a hosting service, maintaining the infrastructure and organizational framework that allows our users to build the Wikimedia Projects by contributing and editing content themselves. Because of our unique role, there are a couple of things you should be aware of when considering our relationship to you, the Projects, and the other users:
The Projects hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation only exist because of the vibrant community of users like you who collaborate together to write, edit, and curate the content. We happily welcome your participation in this community. We encourage you to be civil and polite in your interactions with others in the community, to act in good faith, and to make edits and contributions aimed at furthering the mission of the shared Project.
Certain activities, whether legal or illegal, may be harmful to other users and violate our rules, and some activities may also subject you to liability. Therefore, for your own protection and for that of other users, you may not engage in such activities on our sites. These activities include:
We reserve the right to exercise our enforcement discretion with respect to the above terms.
You are responsible for safeguarding your own password and should never disclose it to any third party.
To grow the commons of free knowledge and free culture, all users contributing to the Projects are required to grant broad permissions to the general public to re-distribute and re-use their contributions freely, so long as that use is properly attributed and the same freedom to re-use and re-distribute is granted to any derivative works. In keeping with our goal of providing free information to the widest possible audience, we require that when necessary all submitted content be licensed so that it is freely reusable by anyone who cares to access it.
You agree to the following licensing requirements:
(Re-users may comply with either license or both.)
Please note that these licenses do allow commercial uses of your contributions, as long as such uses are compliant with the terms.
You agree that, if you import text under a CC BY-SA license that requires attribution, you must credit the author(s) in a reasonable fashion. Where such credit is commonly given through page histories (such as Wikimedia-internal copying), it is sufficient to give attribution in the edit summary, which is recorded in the page history, when importing the text. The attribution requirements are sometimes too intrusive for particular circumstances (regardless of the license), and there may be instances where the Wikimedia community decides that imported text cannot be used for that reason.
When you re-use or re-distribute a text page developed by the Wikimedia community, you agree to attribute the authors in any of the following fashions:
If the text content was imported from another source, it is possible that the content is licensed under a compatible CC BY-SA license but not GFDL (as described in “Importing text,” above). In that case, you agree to comply with the compatible CC BY-SA license and do not have the option to re-license it under GFDL. To determine the license that applies to the content that you seek to re-use or re-distribute, you should review the page footer, page history, and discussion page.
In addition, please be aware that text that originated from external sources and was imported into a Project may be under a license that attaches additional attribution requirements. Users agree to indicate these additional attribution requirements clearly. Depending on the Project, such requirements may appear for example in a banner or other notations pointing out that some or all of the content was originally published elsewhere. Where there are such visible notations, re-users should preserve them.For any non-text media, you agree to comply with whatever license under which the work has been made available (which can be discovered by clicking on the work and looking at the licensing section on its description page or reviewing an applicable source page for that work). When re-using any content that we host, you agree to comply with the relevant attribution requirements as they pertain to the underlying license or licenses.
When modifying or making additions to any non-text media that you have obtained from a Project website, you agree to license the modified or added content in accordance with whatever license under which the work has been made available.With both text content and non-text media, you agree to clearly indicate that the original work has been modified. If you are re-using text content in a wiki, it is sufficient to indicate in the page history that you made a change to the imported text. For each copy or modified version that you distribute, you agree to include a licensing notice stating which license the work is released under, along with either a hyperlink or URL to the text of the license or a copy of the license itself.
The Wikimedia Foundation wants to ensure that the content that we host can be re-used by other users without fear of liability and that it is not infringing the proprietary rights of others. In fairness to our users, as well as to other creators and copyright holders, our policy is to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the formalities of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Pursuant to the DMCA, we will terminate, in appropriate circumstances, users and account holders of our system and network who are repeat infringers.
However, we also recognize that not every takedown notice is valid or in good faith. In such cases, we strongly encourage users to file counter-notifications when they appropriately believe a DMCA takedown demand is invalid or improper. For more information on what to do if you think a DMCA notice has been improperly filed, you may wish to consult the Chilling Effects website.
If you are the owner of content that is being improperly used on one of the Projects without your permission, you may request that the content be removed under the DMCA. To make such a request, please email us at legalwikimedia.org or snail mail our designated agent at this address.
Alternatively, you may make a request to our community, which often handles copyright issues faster and more effectively than prescribed under the DMCA. In that case, you can post a notice explaining your copyright concerns. For a non-exhaustive and non-authoritative list of the relevant processes for the different Project editions, look here. Before filing a DMCA claim, you also have the option of sending an email to the community at infowikimedia.org.
You are solely responsible for your use of any third-party websites or resources. Although the Projects contain links to third-party websites and resources, we do not endorse and are not responsible or liable for their availability, accuracy, or the related content, products, or services (including, without limitation, any viruses or other disabling features), nor do we have any obligation to monitor such third-party content.
The community has the primary role in creating and enforcing policies applying to the different Project editions. At the Wikimedia Foundation, we rarely intervene in community decisions about policy and its enforcement. In an unusual case, the need may arise, or the community may ask us, to address an especially problematic user because of significant Project disturbance or dangerous behavior. In such cases, we reserve the right, but do not have the obligation to:
The Wikimedia community and its members may also take action when so allowed by the community or Foundation policies applicable to the specific Project edition, including but not limited to warning, investigating, blocking, or banning users who violate those policies. You agree to comply with the final decisions of dispute resolution bodies that are established by the community for the specific Project editions (such as arbitration committees); these decisions may include sanctions as set out by the policy of the specific Project edition.
The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees releases official policies from time to time. Some of these policies may be mandatory for a particular Project or Project edition, and, when they are, you agree to abide by them as applicable.
At the Wikimedia Foundation, we do our best to provide educational and informational content to a very wide audience, but your use of our services is at your sole risk. We provide these services on an "as is" and "as available" basis, and we expressly disclaim all express or implied warranties of all kinds, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. We make no warranty that our services will meet your requirements, be safe, secure, uninterrupted, timely, accurate, or error-free, or that your information will be secure.
Any material downloaded or otherwise obtained through your use of our services is done at your own discretion and risk, and you will be solely responsible for any damage to your computer system or loss of data that results from the download of any such material. You agree that we have no responsibility or liability for the deletion of, or the failure to store or to transmit, any content or communication maintained by the service. We retain the right to create limits on use and storage at our sole discretion at any time with or without notice.
Some states or jurisdictions do not allow the types of disclaimers in this section, so they may not apply to you either in part or in full depending on the law.
The Wikimedia Foundation will not be liable to you or to any other party for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or exemplary damages, including but not limited to, damages for loss of profits, goodwill, use, data, or other intangible losses, regardless of whether we were advised of the possibility of such damage. In no event shall our liability exceed one thousand U.S. dollars (USD 1000.00) in aggregate. In the case that applicable law may not allow the limitation or exclusion of liability or incidental or consequential damages, the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you, although our liability will be limited to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.
You understand that, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by us, you have no expectation of compensation for any activity, contribution, or idea that you provide to us, the community, or the Wikimedia Projects or Project editions.