Press releases/Orange and Wikimedia announce partnership April 2009QA

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Questions and Answers

Wikimedia and Orange announce partnership

Q1: Why have you formed this partnership?

A1: This partnership makes Wikipedia more accessible and useful for a larger number of people. Orange will incorporate content from the projects into their platforms, which ultimately means that even more people will have access to the knowledge collected and disseminated by Wikipedia. Orange understands the Foundation’s goals and they are an ideal partner for us.

Q2: What does the partnership comprise?

A2: It’s a three-year strategic partnership to make Wikimedia content available on Orange web and mobile portals. In addition, we will work together to develop new services.

At the start we are rolling out the partnership in four markets - France, UK, Poland, and Spain – and we hope to expand into the rest of Orange’s European territories in the future.

We will launch services according to local needs and best fit with our local portals. Today I can’t give you the complete picture of what each country will have but the elements included in the partnership are as follows:

Orange will integrate Wikimedia Services into Orange web and mobile properties including the following features :

  • creating specific Wikipedia channels on its mobile and web portals
  • enriching sections of the Orange web and mobile portals with links to relevant Wikipedia information
  • developing mobile and PC widgets so that customers can access information directly from their mobile or PC homescreen

The second phase of the partnership will see R&D collaboration on other services, drawing on Orange’s skills as a total communications provider across mobile, internet, television and IPTV.

Q3: Is this partnership a way for Wikimedia to monetize content?

A3: The Wikimedia Foundation projects are free of advertising, and we don't expect that will ever change. However, under the free license used by the Wikimedia projects, it has always been permissible for other entities to republish Wikimedia project content, and add advertisements to it. Many organizations have done this. Our mission is to disseminate educational materials as widely as possible; we are happy to partner with both non-commercial and commercial entities to achieve that goal.

Within this partnership we have agreed that Orange will place targeted marketing alongside the branded Wikimedia content it will republish on the Orange mobile and web platforms.

Q4: What will Wikimedia do with the revenues from Orange?

A4: 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.

Q5: Isn’t this partnership in conflict with Wikimedia’s core values?

A5: No. The Wikimedia Foundation aspires to make educational materials available for free to people around the world, in whatever ways are most accessible and useful for them. 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. We are very happy to partner with Orange on this project.

Q5: What do you mean when you say the services will be integrated?

A5: Orange users will be able to access content from the Wikimedia projects within Orange’s own portals and properties. Of course users can always access Wikipedia and the other projects directly, but many prefer to access content within Orange’s own portals where Wikipedia content can enhance other activities, including news, music, email and much more.

Q6: Will the content accessed through Orange's portals etc still be under free licenses?

A6: 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.

Q7: What will Orange be doing to make Wikipedia better or to expand the content?

A7: Orange and the Wikimedia Foundation are planning to work together to study a range of tools. We’ll start with the portals and widgets described above.

Q8: Why can't Orange just use the Wikipedia content without your permission?

A8: This partnership is not simply about content. Orange is supporting the Foundation's mission and they are committed to spreading knowledge through their platforms. Orange also will have permission to use the Wikipedia and project brands and trademarks to further showcase the content. Wikimedia is also providing Orange with technical support and insight, as well as live data. This is a new kind of collaboration for the Wikimedia Foundation and for Orange.

Q9: Is this an exclusive deal? Does this mean the Wikimedia Foundation won't be able to work with other communications companies to extend reach?

A9: This is not an exclusive deal. However, this deal is the first of its kind, and Orange is an ideal first partner. They’ve demonstrated a strong desire to support the Foundation’s mission and we look forward to working with them and extending the reach of knowledge.

Q10: Why is the Wikimedia Foundation working with big business like Orange? Aren't you selling out?

A10: 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.