I quoted your statement verbatim and in full in the op-ed. Moreover, your
statement had a context. Alexrk2 had said,[1]


Read the above.. at least under European Union law databases are protected
by copyright. CC0 won't be compatible with other projects like
OpenStreetMap *or Wikipedia*. This means a CC0-WikiData won't be
allowed to *import
content from Wikipedia*, OpenStreetMap or any other share-alike data
source. The worst case IMO would be if WikiData *extracts content out of
Wikipedia and release it as CC0*. Under EU law this would be illegal. As a
contributor in DE Wikipedia I would feel like being expropriated somehow.
This is not acceptable! --Alexrk2 (talk) 15:32, 16 June 2012 (UTC)


Note Alexrk2's three (3) specific references to Wikipedia.

Alexrk2 referred to imports of content from Wikipedia, and how it would
make her or him feel expropriated if WikiData extracted content out of
Wikipedia and released it under CC0.

You replied,


Alexrk2, it is true that Wikidata under CC0 would not be allowed to import
content from a Share-Alike data source. *Wikidata does not plan to extract
content out of Wikipedia at all*. Wikidata will *provide *data that can be
reused in the Wikipedias. And a CC0 source can be used by a Share-Alike
project, be it either Wikipedia or OSM. But not the other way around. Do we
agree on this understanding? --Denny Vrandečić (WMDE) (talk) 12:39, 4 July
2012 (UTC)


Alexrk2 specifically mentioned Wikipedia. So did you in your reply,
assuring Alexrk2 that Wikidata did not in fact plan to extract content out
of Wikipedia at all. Does this lend itself to the interpretation that you
were talking only about databases, and not about Wikipedia?

Alexrk2 then replied to you,


@Denny Vrandečić: I agree. But I thought, the aim (or *one* aim) of
WikiData would be to *draw all the data out of Wikipedia (infoboxes and
such things)*.


You did not respond to that post, or participate further in that section.
And these bot imports of Wikipedia infobox contents etc. have happened and
are ongoing. They have been mentioned in many discussions. There are
millions of statements in Wikidata that are cited to Wikipedia.

Just a few days ago, Jheald said on Project Chat,[2]


But my own view is that we should very definitely be trying, as urgently as
possible, to *capture as much as possible of the huge amount of data in
infoboxes, templates, categorisations, etc on Wikipedia that is not yet in
Wikidata* -- and that (at least in most subject areas) calls to restrict to
only data from independent external sources are utterly utterly misguided,
and typically bear no relation to either what is desirable, what is
available, or what is still needed in order to utilise such sources
effectively. Jheald (talk) 23:49, 8 December 2015 (UTC)


It's not plausible to my understanding to argue that Wikipedia's templates,
infoboxes etc. are not "data sources" when contributors speak of capturing
"the huge amount of data" contained in them. Much of the existing content
of Wikidata consists of data extracted from Wikipedias.

If you feel I have misquoted you anywhere on-wiki, please point me to the
corresponding place (here or via my talk page in that project), and I will
do whatever is necessary.


On Sat, Dec 12, 2015 at 12:05 AM, Denny Vrandečić <>

> On Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 4:18 AM Andreas Kolbe <> wrote:
> > According to Denny, Wikidata, under its CC0 licence, must not import data
> > from Share-Alike sources. He reconfirmed this yesterday when I asked him
> > whether he still stood by that.
> >
> > In practice though we have Wikidata importing massive amounts of data
> from
> > Wikipedia, which was a Share-Alike source last time I looked. Isn't
> > Wikidata then infringing Wikipedia contributors' rights?
> >
> > Why is it okay to import data from the CC BY-SA Wikipedia, but not from
> > European CC BY-SA population statistics?
> >
> >
> Andreas, what I said was that Wikidata must not import data from a data
> source licensed under Share-Alike date source.
> The important thing that differentiates what I said from what you think I
> said is "import data from a data source". Wikipedia is not a data source,
> but text. Extracting facts or data from a text is a very different thing
> than taking data from one place and put it in another place. There was no
> database that contains the content of Wikipedia and that can be queried.
> Indeed, that is the whole reason why Wikidata has been started in the first
> place.
> In fact, extracting facts or data from one text and then writing a
> Wikipedia article is what Wikipedians do all the time, and the license of
> the original text we read has no effect on the license of the output text.
> So, there is no such thing as an import of data from Wikipedia, because
> Wikipedia is not a database.
> I have repeatedly pointed you to
> and you yourself have repeatedly pointed to
> so I would assume that you would have by now read these and developed an
> understanding of these issues. I am not a lawyer, and my understanding of
> these issues is also lacking, but I wanted at least to point out that you
> are misquoting me.
> Please, would you mind to correct your misquoting of me in the places where
> you did so, or at least point to this email for further context?
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