Last modified on 21 September 2012, at 10:10

Press releases/Telefonica and Wikimedia announce partnership Feb2010QA

Questions and Answers

Telefónica and Wikimedia announce partnership.

Why have you formed this partnership?

It’s a great opportunity for the Wikimedia Foundation and Telefónica. Telefónica has a huge Latin American audience, in mobile as well as online. Together we can help further the Wikimedia Foundation’s goal of spreading knowledge to everyone.

This partnership makes Wikipedia more accessible and useful for a larger number of people, particularly in the territories where Telefónica has a strong presence. Telefónica will incorporate knowledge from the projects into their platforms, which ultimately means that even more people will have access to the knowledge available in Wikipedia. Telefónica understands and supports the Foundation’s goals. They’re an ideal partner for us.

What does the partnership include?

It’s a three-year strategic partnership to make Wikimedia's educational content available on Telefónica Web and mobile portals in the entire Telefónica footprint. In addition, we will work together to develop new services to share information from the Wikimedia projects on Telefónica’s platforms.

Initially we are rolling out the partnership in Europe and Latin America.

The main elements of the partnership include sharing of Wikimedia knowledge through applications, desktop web browsers and the mobile web.

  • Applications: development of mobile & TV applications using knowledge from Wikimedia’s projects
  • PC Web: Creation of Wikipedia channels, Wikipedia search and access to Wikimedia multimedia content
  • Mobile web: Distribution of Wikimedia web and wap properties on Telefónica‘s mobile portals

The partnership also includes providing access to knowledge from the Wikimedia projects for the development of new educational projects, including initiatives with Educared, a non-profit project of the Telefónica Foundation, where Wikipedia will be presented at Educared annual events and other collaborations to jointly increase Latin language knowledgebase. Telefónica will also explore opportunities for sponsorship of other non-profit initiatives.

Is this partnership a way for Wikimedia to monetize content?

The Wikimedia Foundation projects are free of advertising, and there are no plans to change that. However, under the free license used by the Wikimedia projects, it is permissible for other entities to republish Wikimedia project information, including for commercial purposes (including advertisements, for example). Many organizations have done this. The Wikimedia Foundation’s mission is to disseminate free educational materials as widely as possible; we are happy to partner with both non-commercial and commercial entities to achieve that goal.

What will Wikimedia do with the revenues from Telefónica?

The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. All revenue received by the Wikimedia Foundation is spent on programs and activities designed to help us advance our overall organizational mission. Primarily this includes supporting the hosting of projects, meeting growing traffic demands, and supporting technology improvements for projects, and increasing volunteer participation.

Isn’t this partnership in conflict with Wikimedia’s core values?

No. The Wikimedia Foundation aspires to make free educational materials available for to people around the world, in whatever ways are most practical and useful. As more and more people are using mobile devices, it makes sense for Wikimedia to partner with a mobile organization to provide services customized for that user experience. Telefónica is an ideal partner in supporting this mission.

What do you mean when you say the services will be integrated?

Telefónica users will be able to access knowledge from the Wikimedia projects within Telefónica ’s own portals and properties. Of course users can always access Wikipedia and the other projects directly on the Foundation’s properties, but many of our users prefer to access content within Telefónica ’s own portals. On Telefónica’s portals Wikipedia information will enhance other activities, including news, music, email and much more.

What about the other partnership the Foundation already has in place with other multi-national telecom companies?

Both partners are supporting the mission of the Foundation and extending the reach of free knowledge.

How does Telefónica make money with this deal? Wikimedia’s content is already free.

Telefónica is partnering with the Wikimedia Foundation to enhance the experience of Telefónica’s broad customer base through new services, and to support the mission of the Wikimedia Foundation. Telefónica will have permission to use the trademarks of the Foundation’s projects to highlight content in a unique and compelling way. Moreover, Telefónica receives goodwill from working closely with an admired and valued organization. This is good for their business and good for the reach of the Foundation’s projects.

What exactly will Wikipedia on Telefónica 's platforms look like?

We can’t share that with you in detail right now, but we are going to conduct thorough design and usability studies to that Wikimedia’s information will be accessible to Telefónica users in an intuitive, quick and simple way. We’ll have more details in the coming months.

Will the information accessed through Telefónica 's portals etc. still be under free licenses?

Absolutely. Free content licenses on Wikipedia and the Foundation’s other projects (GFDL and Creative Commons) necessitate that the content continue to remain available under a free license. This partnership doesn’t limit that in any way.

Is this an exclusive deal? Does this mean the Wikimedia Foundation won't be able to work with other communications companies to extend reach?

A18: Actually this is the second partnership between the Foundation and a multi-national telecom. We choose our partnerships carefully, and we need to be sure that they offer distinct advantages and strong support for our mission.

Limiting our work with a select few, highly mission-focused partnerships ensure that the work we do it effective and meaningful. For now we want to focus our relationships in specific territories for the time being.

Why is the Wikimedia Foundation working with big business like Telefónica? Aren't you selling out?

Businesses can help us reach more people. The Wikimedia Foundation is happy to work will all kinds of organizations and individuals in pursuit of our goals. We aspire to develop a large and diverse global network of partners, supporters, participants and friends.