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WMF Terms of Use now in force, new Creative Commons licensing

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By Andreas Kolbe and HaeB

Terms of Use update: move to CC BY-SA 4.0, adherence to Universal Code of Conduct now an intrinsic part of the ToU

The Wikimedia Foundation has advised the community that the updated Terms of Use are now in force. Important changes include the move to CC BY-SA 4.0 and that adherence to the Universal Code of Conduct now forms part of the Terms of Use for all Wikimedia sites.

WMF Associate General Counsel Jacob Rogers posted the following on the Wikimedia-l mailing list:

Hi everyone,

This announcement is to confirm that the Wikimedia Terms of Use[1] have been updated effective June 7. This follows the end of the spring consultation[2] held between February and April, and approvals recorded by the Executive Director and General Counsel[3] per the delegation of policy-making authority from the Foundation Board of Trustees.[4]

As part of this update, we are also happy to announce that the project license has been upgraded to CC BY-SA 4.0[5]! Technical work has already started on this change.

I’d like to extend one last thank you to everyone who participated in the conversation to help us complete this update to serve the community and the projects going forward!





[3]: and



-- Jacob Rogers
Associate General Counsel
Wikimedia Foundation
Pronouns: He/him

A diff showing all the Terms of Use changes made this year is here.

WMF emergency emails landing unread in spam folder

The WMF's Jackie Koerner has advised the community that some emergency emails sent to the Wikimedia Foundation appear to end up in a spam folder and may therefore fail to receive a timely response.

As of June 2023, it has come to our attention that some messages sent to emergency@ wound up in our spam folder. This seems to be a backend issue with our email provider and we are currently reviewing the problem. If you do not receive a response to your message within 1 hour, please send a note to Thank you.

Corresponding notes were added to Wikipedia:Responding to threats of harm. Village Pump discussion.

"First solo museum exhibition of a Wikipedia photographer" concludes

Last month, the Museum of Northern California Art in Chico, California, concluded what has been described as "the first solo museum exhibition of a Wikipedia photographer." Titled "Northern California on Wikipedia", it featured photos by User:Frank Schulenburg (also known as the owner of the "Wikiphotographer" website and as the Executive Director of the Wiki Education Foundation), taken between 2012 and 2023.

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The headline mentions "new Creative Commons licensing", but I'm not seeing any explanation of that that new licensing is, or how it will affect me? Cheers  — Amakuru (talk) 10:24, 19 June 2023 (UTC)[reply]

See for an overview of what's new in Version 4.0.
Note however that the sui-generis database rights mentioned on that page don't apply to Wikimedia projects. The new Terms of Use include a specific waiver:
Where you own Sui Generis Database Rights covered by CC BY-SA 4.0, you waive these rights. As an example, this means facts you contribute to the projects may be reused freely without attribution. Andreas JN466 12:46, 19 June 2023 (UTC)[reply]
You may also see the legal note by WMF Legal Team and the detailed comparison published by Creative Commons. Thanks. SCP-2000 14:29, 19 June 2023 (UTC)[reply]
TL;DR. I still have no idea what this is all about; it's just all mind-numbing legal mumbo-jumbo. My understanding: 3.0: you have no rights. 4.0: you still have no rights. In other words, nothing changed and this is just an exercise allowing lawyers to collect more legal fees. I know that I just edit at the pleasure of the Wikimedia Foundation, and they have all the rights, including the right to ban me at any time, for any reason, without explanation. – wbm1058 (talk) 22:20, 23 June 2023 (UTC)[reply]
You have the right to start your own wikipedia if you don't like the way WMF is running things. The right to fork is the right that all freedom springs from. Bawolff (talk) 07:12, 26 June 2023 (UTC)[reply]

I want to inform you that there are (in Slovak) the reports of violations of CC SA-3.0 and violations of the GFDL and reported on --Dušan Kreheľ (talk) 10:54, 19 June 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Terms of use—I clicked on BrEng and found "Practice" as a verb. Really? They need copyediting. Tony (talk) 13:17, 28 June 2023 (UTC)[reply]


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