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[Wikipedia] Updated 'Terms of Use' Effective from 25th May

Wikipedia, the One-stop website for most of the queries ranging from a tiny cell to the universe has a notice on top of the site claiming the 'Terms of use' (ToU) is changing tomorrow. Even though I am a regular user of Wikipedia, was never worried to read their 'ToU'. However this noticed lead me to compare the older with the new version.

Most noticeable change is the structure ; new version is more organized under different sub-sections which makes it easier for us to pick the required information rather than reading the whole. A summary is provided at the start as
"a human-readable summary of the Terms of Use" which is quite handy.

One key point to note is the legal bindings that is added with details and the emphasis is more towards the legal information related to American laws; this make sense since the Wikipedia foundation resides in America.
See below extraction...

"If you seek to file a legal claim against us, you agree to file and resolve it exclusively in a state or federal court located in San Francisco County, California. You also agree that the laws of the State of California and, to the extent applicable, the laws of the United States of America will govern these Terms of Use, as well as any legal claim that might arise between you and us (without reference to conflict of laws principles). You agree to submit to the personal jurisdiction of, and agree that venue is proper in, the courts located in San Francisco County, California, in any legal action or proceeding relating to us or these Terms of Use."

Another change is the licensing mechanism. Wikipedia has clearly mentioned that the content is from the community, so the writers must grant the license for free distribution and reuse, but with the attribution in place. Availability of 'GNU Free Documentation License' only will not be sufficient under this new ToU.

Even though we are not quite clear about the effects from these updates in ToU for us as Wikipedia readers; someone may feel that Wikimedia Foundation has tried to avoid most of the legal issues that they may face in future (if there are any).


  1. Agree with your idea as legal issue avoidance seems a plan.

  2. Thank you for sharing thoughts

  3. Thank you
    I don't know about this ToU from your blog here

  4. Hi Mas,
    There was a notice in Wikipedia for some time.


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