I can see it is legal to sell their "free" content, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Buying_Wikipedia_articles_in_print_or_another_form

Can the same be argued for their non-content data? Such as any derivatives of their content (for example n-grams) or other data sources, such as their official traffic statistics?

  • 1
    It would be useful to know what you mean by "data." What exactly are you selling? Printouts of pages they make available or are you taking the data they provide somewhere and somehow repackaging it. Sep 1, 2015 at 3:15
  • See: dumps.wikimedia.org/index.html
    – Datageek
    Sep 1, 2015 at 12:35

1 Answer 1


Wikipedia and you likely have no contract. If you don't have to click "I agree" to access the data, its likely there is no contract. Therefore this is a pure IP law question. The ONLY IP law issue that I see is copyright. The DATA is not subject to copyright. Only the expression of that data. So copying the html and selling that IS potential copyright infringement. Copying the data in some other format and using that is not.

Finally, even if you do copy the full html (i.e. full expression), this MAY be licensed by their terms of use (as you suggested they have licensed some content). That is a more particularized legal question that I can't answer here.

  • I noticed the "copyright licenses" on the bottom of dumps.wikimedia.org/index.html If I'm not mistaken the page suggests the following license: creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0 In other words: "You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission." So that would mean the answer to the original question is positive and that data can be freely distributed, even commercially?
    – Datageek
    Sep 1, 2015 at 21:35
  • To clarify @datageek's comment, most Wikipedia contents are licensed under Creative Commons SA license. Only the Wikidata are released into public domain.
    – Lie Ryan
    Sep 1, 2015 at 23:26
  • To reiterate, the license (offered by Wikipedia) should not matter so long as the person is merely using the DATA and not the html (i.e. expression of the data). Sep 1, 2015 at 23:36

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