Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-10-24/Answers.com partnership

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The Wikipedia Signpost


Wikipedia extends partnership with Answers.com

By Ral315, 24 October 2005

The Wikimedia Foundation announced this week an increased partnership with Answers Corporation, which owns the multi-source Answers.com.

The agreement, announced October 20, will have Wikipedia add a link to Wikipedia:Tools to the sidebar. In addition, Wikipedia:Tools will contain a visible link to Answers.com's 1-Click-Answers tool. In return, Wikipedia and Answers.com will split advertising revenue from the Answers.com website from users utilizing the software. This is expected to commence in January 2006, starting with a 60-day trial period.

In a press release, Bob Rosenschein, Answers Corporation's founder and CEO said, "We are delighted to partner with Wikipedia...Now we will not simply be using Wikipedia's remarkable content, but also helping promote its goals and vision."

Jimmy Wales, founder and president of the Wikimedia Foundation, agreed. "We are pleased to partner with Answers.com, encouraging software that improves access to Wikipedia. Bob Rosenschein and his team have created an innovative technology which helps users click on any word in any application to look it up in Wikipedia. We expect that our users will appreciate the extra convenience."

The announcement was not without controversy. A group of users concerned about the possibility of the agreement leading to a slippery slope chain of events formed a new WikiProject, WikiProject no ads, to try and prevent the agreement from taking place. Clarifications from Jimmy Wales on how the advertising was to work, however, helped calm the situation. He clarified that 1-Click-Answers would not be advertised on the sidebar, and that the only "advertisements" outside of the link on Wikipedia:Tools were to be those on Answers.com.

Another worry existed over the licensing of the site. Answers.com denies the use of their content outside of the fair use clause of the United States Copyright Act. In response to this, Angela noted that Answers.com has since agreed to add an edit link underneath all Wikipedia content by the end of the month to more clearly note that the content can be modified.

A chief problem is the current inability for users to actually see the content of the agreement; Anthere has promised that she will look into the possibility of publishing the text of the agreement. Whether the publication would clear up most worries, or create a new set of problems, is unknown at this time.

Answers Corporation is traded publicly on the NASDAQ exchange. Its stock rose sharply after the announcement: having opened on October 20 at $10.80 per share, the stock reached $12.09 before closing at $11.99. The stock closed at $9.94 per share on October 24 after a disappointing earnings release.

Also this week: Answers.com

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T.R.O.L.L.