Google agrees to pay for Wikipedia content displayed on search engine

Google has agreed to pay Wikipedia for content displayed by its search engine, reflecting similarities the American tech giant has made with news outlets in Europe.

The Wikimedia Foundation, the charity that oversees the online encyclopedia, said Google was the first paying customer for its commercial enterprise Wikimedia Enterprise, which launched last year.

The Internet Archive, a non-profit that owns a site called the Wayback Machine that stores snapshots of web pages and is used to repair Wikipedia links, will provide the commercial services for free.

“We are excited to work with both of them as our longtime partners,” Wikimedia Lane Becker said in a statement on Tuesday.

Wikipedia, one of the most visited websites in the world, is free to use, updated by volunteers, and relies on donations to keep things going.

The new commercial arm will not change that regulation for individual users, the foundation said.
Google uses material from the site for its “knowledge panel” – a sidebar that guides the main search results.

The source of the information is not always displayed, a practice that has raised complaints from Wikimedia.

Google has previously donated money to Wikipedia through donations and subsidies.

“We have long supported the Wikimedia Foundation in pursuing our shared goals of expanding knowledge and access to information for people everywhere,” said Google’s Tim Palmer.

The foundation’s statement does not disclose the value of the Google contract.

French regulators and Google ended a year-long dispute on Tuesday by agreeing to a framework for the U.S. company to pay news outlets for content.

Google said it had already made agreements with hundreds of news outlets across Europe, Agence France-Presse among them.

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