They also appear to be using photos from Wikimedia Commons without paying 
attention to the license. I can find photos of mine that are CC-BY-SA-4.0 
licensed that are being used without any metadata at all, let alone attribution 
and the correct CC license info…

The same is also true for Everipedia, BTW.


> On 10 Apr 2018, at 14:43, Rob Speer <> wrote:
> BabelNet ( is a multilingual knowledge resource that
> defines words and phrases in many languages. I've noticed that it copies
> large amounts of content from Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia,
> Wiktionary, and Wikiquote, while violating Wikimedia's CC-By-SA license by
> placing the content under an incompatible CC-By-NC-SA license.
> As one example, I can search BabelNet for "Timsort", a Wikipedia article
> whose first sentence is one I wrote:
> The sentence I wrote appears at the top of the page (with credit to
> Wikipedia). The rest of the page is also content remixed from Wikipedia,
> including a gallery of images that are presented without credit. A scrolly
> box in the footer of the page says the content is under the CC-By-NC-SA 3.0
> license. Other pages, such as,
> combine data from multiple different resources.
> The BabelNet creators are aware of the CC-By-SA licenses of the resources
> they use (see In addition to the
> non-commercial license they offer, their company, Babelscape (
>, sells commercial licenses to BabelNet.
> I reached out to Roberto Navigli, who runs BabelNet and Babelscape, over
> e-mail on March 23. I asked if the non-commercial license clause was simply
> a mistake. In his reply, Navigli stated that BabelNet is not a derived
> work, but is a CC-By-NC-SA-licensed collection made of several different
> works. I responded that BabelNet doesn't meet the Creative Commons
> definition of a "Collective Work", which would be necessary for it to not
> be a derived work. Navigli responded:
> "actually it is a collection of derivative work of several resources with
> heretogeneous licenses, each of which clearly separated with separate
> licenses and bundles. By transitivity derivative work is work with a
> certain license, so it is work. Therefore, it is a collection of works with
> different licenses and it can keep a separate license."
> I believe this is nonsense on multiple levels. BabelNet is a derived work,
> and if someone could disregard their obligation to share-alike their
> derived work simply because they derived it from multiple resources, there
> would be no point to putting ShareAlike clauses on data resources at all.
> As a Wikipedia contributor (and a lapsed admin), I am sad to see BabelNet
> appropriating the hard work of Wikimedians and others, placing a more
> restrictive license on it, and selling it. This is also relevant for me
> because I run ConceptNet (, a similar knowledge
> resource, and I have made sure to follow Creative Commons license
> requirements and to release all its data as CC-By-SA.
> In a way I see BabelNet as a competitor, but ConceptNet is an open data
> project and this space shouldn't have "competitors". If the Creative
> Commons license were being used appropriately, then all of us working with
> this kind of data would be collaborators in the world of Linked Open Data.
> My preferred outcome would be to get BabelNet to change the copyright
> notices and Creative Commons links on their site to remove the
> "non-commercial" requirement, and to be able to download and use their data
> under the CC-By-SA license that it should be under.
> I'm sure Wikimedia has dealt with similar situations to this. What would be
> the most effective next step to ensure that BabelNet follows the CC-By-SA
> license?
> -- Rob Speer
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