Wikipedia Mulls Copyright Purchase Plan

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Wikipedia is considering a plan to purchase copyright content and make it available under public domain.

"It's not a project yet, but an idea," said Jimmy Wales, founder and chairman of Wikimedia Foundation, in an interview with IDG on Thursday. Wikipedia is a Web encyclopedia that anyone can add to or edit.

Dream A Little

Two weeks ago, the Wikipedia community received from Wales an e-mail called "Dream a little...," which asked users to send suggestions of copyright material that could be freely distributed after its purchase.

In the e-mail, Wales said, "I would like to gather from the community some examples of works you would like to see made free, works that we are not doing a good job of generating free replacements for, works that could, in theory, be purchased and freed."

Where's The Money?

He hinted in the e-mail that he was "recently asked this question by someone who is potentially in a position to make this happen," without specifying whether the person has any kind of relationship with Wikipedia.

But in Thursday's interview, Wales declined to detail how Wikipedia will earn money to fund such a plan -- whether it would seek sponsors, or rely on community donations, which is its current financial model.

"After contemplating what we would like to see made free, we will begin a project of finding ways to make this happen," Wales said.

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