Wikipedia articles and copyright permissions

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by cool11, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. cool11 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2006
    Does anyone know if somebody can copy without special permissions articles from wikipedia?
    I have a site, I found several interesting articles in wikipedia, and I wonder if I can reproduce them in my site, mentioning that came from wikipedia of course.
    Is the whole content copyright-free? Does it depend on each specific article?
    If there is an author on the article, do I have to ask permission from the author?
    What do you know about it?
  2. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    You are pretty much on your own.

    If we assume that everything typed into Wikipedia is original work (in the copyright sense) and that the authors intended for it to be there, you can reuse the material freely as long as you also follow their GFDL license terms. See here for a short rundown of what that means.

    The problem is that we can't assume that that everything typed into Wikipedia is original work. Every day, dozens of articles and images are found that were simply ripped off (straight copy/paste or only superficially altered) from elsewhere. It's a pretty safe bet that it hasn't all been found, I've come across this in older articles too.

    At the very least, try googling a few phrases from the articles you're interested in, and try to reassure yourself that all the results are Wikipedia or its mirrors. This won't pick up rips from printed material and so on, but it will at least rule out the worst cases.
  3. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Did you not try looking at Wikipedia? There is an entire article on reusing content.
  4. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    Here's the licence agreement. Basically it's copyleft, so you can use it, so long as you allow the information to be used in the same way as you got it (under the same llicence).

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