Talk:Copyright wishlist/Archive 1

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See also[edit]

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User:LetterRip: Orchestral Library[edit]

Purchase one of the symphonic libraries (or commission a new one - production costs were reportedly 1 million for the Vienna Symphonic Library). Purchasing a symphonic library sample costs from 200$ for a very limited library to many thousand dollars. Resulting in the tools necessary to compose ones own symphony (or even simple compositions involving a small number of instruments) largely out of the reach of any but those either willing to 'pirate' the major commercial librarys, or those with a substantial available funds. This would provide the tools to create new symphony's and other less ambitious compositions to anyone with a love and interest in music and a computer. or or

similar sample library for jazz, rock, and other instrumental styles would also be valuable

User:LetterRip: Sound Effects Library[edit]

Producing movies, videos, animations, games, and audio recordings all benefit from sound effects. There is currently no quality source of publicly available sound effects. Thus I would recommend attempting to purchase a sound effects library such as that which was produced by the BBC.

Inyuki: free the Open Univ learning video materials[edit]

Suggestion is to make the video lectures from, for instance, The Open Univ ersity ( ) publicly available at .

Video recordings of university lectures could be very useful for, say, a poor child somewhere in a developing country wanting to study mathematics BA on his or her own.

Using a 100$ computer one could start attending the lectures of a desirable degree's study program right away. (Imagine something like Google Video or YouTube, embedded in wiki-style pages.)

Technically, as far as I know, these lectures are usually provided in DVD formats, so, one would need to compress to make them available over the web. Otherwise, if made publicly available, free downloads, or services of sending them as free DVDs/CDs could be possible. (Though I am not sure if 100 M$ could be enough for all that. Maybe initially only a subset of the most desired BA programs could be made public, but idealistically *Free education for all* is what I believe could be a good thing.)

Jeff Martin[edit]

Coming from the archival moving image world, I have two specific suggestions (variations of which have already appeared below):

1) Newsreel collections From the 1910s through the 1960s, newsreels (news films shown in movie theaters) were the primary means of moving image documentation. One newsreel collection, Universal Newsreel, was donated to the National Archives in the 1970s, along with the rights. the material is now free for anyone to use for the cost of duplication, plus a National Archives handling fee. In addition to Universal, four other companies produced newsreels in America (Pathe News, Paramount News, Hearst Metrotone, and Fox. All five were known as "the majors," but there were a few others that did not last as long in theatrical distribution (e.g., Kinograms). Rights to the majors are held by different public archives (National Archives, UCLA, and University of South Carolina) and commercial entities(Grinberg Libraries,currently under litigation; and Fox News). Negotiating a fair price for one of these libraries could, with a single transaction, release a huge amount of historical material to the public,assuming a significant investment in preparing and copying millions of feet of shrunken nitrate and acetate film to make the footage accessible.

2) Television newsfilm collections: Until the late 1970s/early 1980s, television stations shot 16mm film for newsgathering. Unfortunately, when the changeover to video occured in the 1980s, many stations trashed their film. Others donated their film to archives, historical societies, libraries, etc. But many stations did not donate rights--just the film. This copyright encumbers their use, and provides little incentive for the custodians to preserve the materials (since anyone using the film must pay the tv station, not the repository, for the use, there's no revenue stream to spur preservation activities.)

Both of these would be of immense value to documentary producers (among others!) of all stripes.

--Jeff Martin 17:05, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

20th Century Music Sheets[edit]

Free the music sheets for the 20th Century Music, which may be lost forever due to eternal copyright laws.

I'm talking about Jazz, Swing, Big Bands, Blues, Rock & Roll, Rock Music, Experimental, Country, Folk from all the four corners of the world, Pop, Techo (if they have of course), everything.

I don't want people of the 22nd century being unable to play 20th century music freely just as we play today all kind of music from previous centuries with the exception of the 20th. the recordings are a different matter but the sheet notation is the source code of music.

Free Music!

xonicx: Basic 10+2 books[edit]

Books which gives deep understanding of maths and physics at +2 level.

Noclip: Technology standards[edit]

Buy out things like MPEG-4 and PDF, turn them into open standards. there are other standards bodies (such as ISO, IEEE) whose standards may not be free. It would be good to buy them out and free them.

How does this help the wiki* projects? This project is about information, not just removal of copyright issues. Removing the standards themselves may marginally simplify the spreading of information - it seems more sensible to be getting access to information that is currently not publishable on wiki* because ofo copyright limitations.
PDF is already an open standard, and there are free alternatives to MPEG-4. However, I would be in favour of opening up at least some of the standards published by the likes of the ISO, who charge (IMHO) unreasonably large fees to access their documents. Doing so would provide a valuable resource to developers and innovators, especially in less well-off countries. -- 11:15, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that there are more useful ideas when you're just considering wiki* contents, however, this is an issue for Free Culture as a whole. If access to the most widespread standards is restricted then how should we overcome a divide between producer/consumer culture on the one hand (using encumbered standards) and collaborative working-together (using free standards)? It doesn't look like free standards like Ogg Vorbis/Theora are anywhere near the breakthrough for the masses, instead, even free content is locked into non-free standards. I support the original proposal of using the money to free that content so that everyone can make use of it. I pledge for either MPEG-4 or MP3 (PDF seems open enough for virtually all uses, and no chance with .doc ;). (jpetso) 12:43, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I agree standards could be usefull. I posted my proposal, before reading yours, shame on me. To argue: Standards help to develop products which are compatible to the rest from the world. Consider for example: nuts and bolts. Free standards would help any contry of the world to develop itself. Standards are not just MPEG 4 they are also about environment issues and they are a state of the art howto. Think about a state of the art howto: For gold extraction without releasing mercury to the environment. -- thePacker 17:39, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

User:jwblase: Hardware version of the Wikipedia...[edit]

Developing a wireless hardware version of the Wikipedia (ala HitchHiker's Guide) would let people access the Wiki without having to have access to a laptop computer. I would love to be able to pull a paperback-sized piece out of my briefcase to check/edit the wiki. No, I'm not talking about a WinCE machine or Palm machine... but something dedicated to the Wiki.

Why not just write new OS for existing systems. Also modifying them in away that would make them dedicated. Good possible platforms could include 80x68 tablets, Nokia 770, SmartPhones.
ALready works very well on opera mini on just about all cell phones smart or otherwise

User:brewster: digitize the Library of Congress Public domain works[edit]

It would cost about that much, and it would keep it open for all. there are those that would like to put the digital forms of LC's PD works under perpetual restrictions.

Yes isnt google trying to do something like this? Would be nice if the scans were open to the public and not owned by google.

Complete set of DaVinci's notes, scanned of course[edit]

This would provide a detailed insight into the work of one of the worlds finest minds and make accessable some of the most beautiful and accurate diagrams ever drawn.

these works are in Public Domain. DaVinci died in 1519. 555 05:24, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Public Domain does not imply that the paper is publicly available for scanning and publishing. Bill Gates currently owns the Codex Leicester that he bought in 1994 for $30,8 million. Olivier Mengué |  09:21, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Not only are they public domain, they are available here: Sethwoodworth 05:12, 16 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

FCsaszar: Buy Web of Science, JSTOR, and a create a system to annotate them[edit]

en:JSTOR has back issues of several hundred well known journals, dating back to 1665. the bulk of scientific knowledge is in there. en:Web of Science is an index of basically every scientific paper that has ever been published. I believe that puting these resources in the public domain would accelerate the creation of scientific knowledge. Imagine the millions of intelligent people that today can't access these sources because they are expensive. Also, making scientific knowledge available for public scrutiny would make scientists more accountable for their work. Note that this is the big promise of the Internet: to create Vannevar Bush's Memex, a system to annotate and cross reference all knowledge. This would even be better: a collaborative Memex.

I agree that releasing the contents of scientific journals would be an excellent use of this money however Web of Science, JSTOR etc. are generally not the copyright owners. Some possible ways to spend the money:
  • Pay the publishers to release content under the GFDL
  • Tackle the problem of generally taxpayer funded research ending up inaccessible to all but those at rich institutions by putting some of the money aside to pay for current research to be published in open journals - spending some on the current/future research output rather than the past.
  • Make a major gesture - buying and releasing the rights to a flagship journal (eg. Nature, Science) for a decade or so. As well as having a direct affect - this would increase awarenes of open publishing and help solve the problem into the future.
  • Couple any spending on rights with lobbying Universities, Research Councils, Governments etc. explaining the problem.
As FCsaszar suggests, making the scientific literature free is about more than just access (Though access is a big and real problem); when the content itsself is free there are endless possibilities for improved annotation, cross referencing, quality assessment along with more open access to routes to "publication" / promotion (Improving peer review). there could be an knock on effect on all aspects of the way science is conducted the distribution of grant funding as if science publiction became merit based, funding and academic appointments would find it difficult not to follow.
Richard Taylor 01:31, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I believe JSTOR doesn't own any relevant rights to the works in their collection; they just have licenses from a stack of publishers. the Web of Science is owned by en:the Thomson Corporation, which is not generally known for its friendliness to the public domain. I wonder if they'd sell for a reasonable price. But maybe Google Print/Google Books would sell enough data from scanned journals (especially the abstracts and citations) to create a public domain competitor. -- Pde 04:21, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
the Science Citation Index/Web of Science is the best idea I see on this page. 17:33, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I think releasing those journals would be great too. Philosophistry 06:00, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed - there are lots of people (including myself) who would like to do academic research "part-time": keep a day job, but be able to write a paper now and then. This is very hard without access to journals, which is very expensive, unless you have an affiliation of some type with an university or similar institution. 12:57, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
JSTOR is a wonderful resource and something that I hugely miss since graduating from university a couple of years ago. Even if the licenses are owned by a variety of different sources, the inclusion of a large number of online academic journals would be massively benefical to the online community.
I agree that making the content of JSTOR and WoS freely available is a laudable goal. I think it's particularly better use of money than to improve accessibility to gov't documents or publicly-funded research. Developed gov'ts are generally sympathetic to the idea of making the research available to the citizens who paid for it; whereas commercial interests assume a business model whereby they profit from limiting access. Freeing commercial works represents a paradigm change, whereas working to make public research accessible accelerates an existing trend. As a symbolic gesture, freeing commercial works would have a greater impact for the open access movement. Ktheory 16:17, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
True. Same goes for en:MetaPress. If any one single distributor, I'd say Springer historical archives. their content goes back to the 1850s. Web of Science (or more properly Century of Science) is a pure indexing service w/o real content. --Dysmorodrepanis

FCsaszar: Build the equivalent of MIT's OpenCourseWare for K-12[edit]

Create a basic hierarchy of topics and courses, create basic templates for typical courses, and allow teachers (and students, and everyone) from all over the world to upload their content. I imagine people sharing their slides, videos, quizzes, experiments, teaching tips, etc... This could potentially benefit billions of children.

I agree this would be useful, however the continual advancement of knowledge and our relative lack of understanding about how to create good online teaching programs means that this kind of purchase would have a short shelf life. Many comments are focusing on archives simply because they are set in stone, if you will, and thus once freed never need to be touched again.
Learning is not about accessing information. Especially in k-12, the emphasis should not be on the course material. Learning is about developing the child's ability to process information (whatever), a correct world view and moral standards. Unfortunately, there is no universally agreed set of world views and moral standards, there cannot be any common "syllabus" which will be agreed. In terms of information, again, this is a moving target and should be left to the individual learners and teachers to select. Producting a set of easily available course material will seriously undermine the multi-culture of this world and this is NOT a good thing.


  1. Abamedia: Russian Archives Online. — contains a hell of a lot of stuff that can't be reproduced — photographs, films, sounds etc. Much of the stuff would be in the public domain (e.g. newsreels from the 1920s.)
  2. Stuff formerly licensed as {{PD-Soviet}}. Some of the stuff that has been deleted should be able to be bought for a reasonable price... if the original author can be found. (I have an off-Wikipedia archive of around 3,000 of the former PD-Soviet images). - FrancisTyers 16:27, 15 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    I think en:ITAR-TASS agency is major copyright holder of Soviet photos.
  3. Another thing, it might be worth spending some of the money to get professional legal opinions/judgements on the copyright and historical copyright status of countries and items that are questionable. For example, who owns the rights to works published in X by Y at Z time. (I'm still thinking about PD-Soviet stuff here -- or stuff published during the Spanish Civil War. - FrancisTyers 12:20, 21 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Frederick "FN" Noronha[edit]

  1. Government-funded software.
  2. Archives.
  3. All UN-related publications.
  4. Photographs of archival value.
  5. Textbooks.
  6. Out-of-print books.
  7. Documentary film and sharable footage.
  8. Music created by non-corporate artistes.
  9. Recordings of state-funded radio stations.
  10. Newspapers' content (which are over 24 hours old, in case of dailies)
  11. Local language computing solutions
  12. Translations tools across languages.
  13. Archives of content of all websites prior to 2005.
  14. Government records and files over five years old.
  15. Old musical recordings on wax cylinders and especially porcelain, depicting the development of modern music around the world. Like films, these would have to be remastered, at a considerable costs.


  1. Schemes (from designers of them) of machines throught all ages (especially 16th-21st century):
    • ships
    • steam engines
    • warmachines
    • fuel and electric engines
    • full factorys/power plants/etc.
    • cars
    • locomotives (train engines)
    • planes
    • space ships
    • etc.
    • Especially vector versions would be very nice (or scans precise enought to construct all of those machines and vectorise the plans itself) --WarX 17:37, 15 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
great idea. support! --Jacopo86 08:19, 18 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Support from me as well. Add w:microprocessor schematics to that list as well. Shd 23:04, 22 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Though I have no idea where these things may be obtained however such information would be most interesting, especially machines from the industrial revolution. I note however that they are more a matter of locating the schemes as at this point, most are already public domain.Idyll M 00:03, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Erik Zachte[edit]

Why reward non-community efforts when their is a community effort which also has latin type support which would make the font acceptable as the default face for the majority of the internet using world? See DejaVu. --Gmaxwell 00:43, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Three things from me:

  1. Power scanners to help absorb materials, including scanners with page-turning capacity that do not destroy old books.
  2. Invest in the restoration of old films, mainly on celluloid, which would then be entered into the public domain, rather than controlled by the people who first manufactured them. these films, which are disintegrating day after day, are part of our cultural heritage, and include works by Chaplin, theda Bara, Buster Keaton, etc. (for Americans) as well as the great European masters (Vigo, Eisenstadt, Lumiere Brothers, etc., for the Europeans. Old newsreels are an important historical document of key events such as World War I, the Russian Revolution, etc.
  3. Old musical recordings on wax cylinders and especially porcelain, depicting the development of modern music around the world. Like films, these would have to be remastered, at a considerable costs. Danny 16:03, 15 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • these are great - I especially like the idea of buying a fleet of power scanners. Instead of just buying a fish ("a single copyrighted item") we could have a fishing pole instead ("a public domain digitizing machine"). --Jeresig 05:18, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
But there would still be the problem that even that you could scan (catch the fish) you could not share the fish because it would violate copyrights.


there are a few types of photos for which a free equivalent is very hard to find:

  1. photos of 20th century presidents and other incumbents of various countries.
  2. plants and animals in isolated places. Anyone can take photos of the plants which grow in the backyard or the nearest forest, but the greatest diversity of species in our world is found in places like Amazonia and Indonesia. A collection of identified plants would be of great value.

But also, it would be great to try to obtain Public Domain works:

Wikimedia could try to collaborate with various governments for the digitalization and preservation of public domain works and archives. the governments of many countries have extensive archives of old photographs, engravings or even paintings, which would be of great encyclopedical values for our history and biography articles.

Also, Wikisource and Project Gutenberg could try to collaborate with various libraries, also for the scanning and OCRing old books and periodicals.

Bogdan 16:59, 15 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Copyright property of translations of classical texts that don't have yet a public domain/free use version, copyright property of best selling books to allow development of paralel universes and fan-fictions to everyone, copyright property for a high quality dictionary (monolingual/bilingual) and copyright property of Scansoft OminiPage to release it under GPL and port do Unix/Linux OS may be a good start point =D 555 17:04, 15 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I agree that a high-quality digital dictionary would be of great value. For English, I suggest the Oxford English Dictionary, which has an excellent online version, but is, unfortunately, cost prohibitive.

Dictionary in all wikipedia's language, classical texts in all language and culture, and a repower of Tesseract that is Open source:
The Tesseract code is under the Apache 2.0 License and now there is Google engineers who work on the project part-time. [1] [2]. Sandro kensan (it.wikipedia)

Lincher / on english[edit]

  • Earth imagery to create nice images to go with articles.
  • University theses, if not copy-lefted, at least, available to everyone.
  • Pictures of artefacts that come from museums, galleries (even hidden ones like the Louvre), libraries and more.

Lincher 03:05, 16 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Jakob Voss[edit]

  • You can invest the money in
    • promoting the idea of free knowledge and open content in general. We don't even have a simple open-content-for-dummies handout - the community fails on creating enough qualitative promoting material about our own projects.
    • promoting to cut down the today-70-years-tomorrow-even-longer copyright regime - it only helps big company copyright holders while its of no use for authors and hinders preservation of works where the copyright holder is unknown. A timespan of 20 years after publication should be enough for a monopoly.
      • I agree with the idea. But copyright is for creative works and to promote creativity. Patents are for monopolies and they do have 20 years lifespan. It is a sad issue that xxAA are abusing copyright to drive their businesses instead of funding schools of art/music/etc. If they really respect the intent of copyright law, they should be promoting creativity. Shouldn't they? What I would like instead is a law that automatically converts copyright to creditright (yay! i invented a term. can I copyright it? just kidding.) after a period of 20 years. well, the length of the period can be debated upon but you get the idea. (I also made minor typo edits under this sub-section) - Jhshukla
    • Freeing knowledge organization. License the Dewey Decimal Classification and other classification and thesauri.
    • Free fonts that cover all of Unicode (already mentioned)
    • Drawn illustrations and instructions for Wikibooks that are usable by non-english-speaking-geeks too (how do make fire, how to produce electricity, how to clean your water, how to learn to read...)
    • Methods that let the people free themselves :-)

Daniel Schwen[edit]

Geodata. Data to generate free maps (or a Wikiatlas, or better maps for the WikiMiniAtlas extension), country borders (up to date and high res). Major rivers, cites and roads worldwide. the US is a model country in this respect, but for the rest of the world mos governments sell the data acquired by geographical surveys funded with tax-money to companies like TeleAtlas.

  • I agree! Basemaps + 1 meter satelite imagery of the world. --Amos
  • Also agree; being in Australia is a pain when it comes to availability of map data... always seemed unfair this information cost a fortune when it was already collected with tax money in the first place. --JerryJvL 02:10, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • One more vote for this idea. This is is better than satellite imagery which tends to change every few years and doesn't have as much practical use.
  • Another vote. This would be invaluable in so many respects. --Jeresig 05:12, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • And another! Try to find a a simple free map of any country which you can use without restriction, very tricky. 09:45, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • A vote from me. Google's done so much with mapping already, but it's hardly a truly "open" resource.
  • Agreed!
  • I recently tried to get some geodata for the Nations of Europe in form of Arc-info-Maps. there are some, but not enough, not easy to get to and not with every Info I'd like to have (e.g. Country-Borders inside the Nation). So my vote goes here!
  • A vote from me, too. the data could be used for an open Navigation System, couldn't it? Would be nice to connect Navigation and Wikipedia :)
  • I vote for this one too, though I believe the data in NASA World Wind is free already? -- Chuq 05:23, 26 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


the collections of the most relevant newspapers of the world (at least one per each language of wikipedia)


I have no direct references to mention, but I'd invest such a budget in world history and collective memory. Newspapers can be fine, but also the public governative archives of the nations of the world and of sovranational organizations. Although I'm scared of the huge work it'd take to "wikify" all that stuff.

the Doc[edit]

May be the most practical request. Two books: one of chemistry (p. Silvestroni Fondamenti di chimica ISBN 88-408-0998-8 in italian to be traslated) and one of medicine (Harrison's principles of internal medicine McGraw-Hill U.S. ISBN 0-07-13914-1) that I consider the most complete books. Put them on source and books will give to the world a great amount of knowledge and their contents will continue to grow becouse of wiki principles


I suggest illustrated text books such as art history books general history books or technical books with a lot of technical drawings. Also photography of people will be good. I mean photo of politician, scientist, writer, singer, film director and so on. Also the books suggested by the Doc are very useful.

Oppose photographs of living people. they are not impossible to take your own free versions. Dead people is another matter. - FrancisTyers 11:29, 17 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I mean large collections of photographs (if existing). Something like a sticker album or an illustrated who's who. However i don't know if this collection is alvaible... --Jacopo86 13:02, 17 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I think something like some of the collection of Rolling Stone, BBC, Time, Life, or some other source of cultural benchmark photos. I know this is highly unlikely, but it'd be cool to be able to use even only a portion of these photos. Youngamerican 17:40, 17 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Something like a chunk of the video archive of the BBC might be nice to have. Basically, the foundation could have something along the lines of a youtube-type site that legally shows much of the archives of the Beeb (I only picked them due to their longevity and international scope, but some other tv outlet, network, or production company would work too). Imagine how much could be at the tip of your fingers if something like this was available, especially as broadbadn goes global. Just a thought. Youngamerican 17:46, 17 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

the BBC are the right choice, they want to, they are trying to:


  • How much would it cost to buy EB, or a smaller encyclopedia? (Even smaller ones tend to have better and more comprehensive "encyclopedic" content of many core categories... I know, we are working on it... )
  • the right to reproduce images from leading museums, such as the Louvre, British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, etc (we often claim that they don't own the copyright for 2-dimensional works, under Corel v Bridgeman, but access is often difficult).
  • Rather than buying copyrights, it would be nice to have a mechanism (à la Rambot) to get existing free content into Wikipedia (as far as I am aware, we don't have the complete text of the 11th edition of EB from 1911, for example, and there are other out-of-copyright sources that could just be dumped in; 1st edition of the DNB and its supplements will give us decent biographical coverage to 1901; 2nd edition of Grove would give decent musical coverage to 1910; any number of encyclopedias of classical history, etc). Perhaps tarticles could be copied to a subpage, for ease of merging with existing content? -- ALoan 17:57, 17 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

(Just so you know, Distributed Proofreaders has been working to get the 1911 EB into Project Gutenberg for a while now (under the name "the Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia" for trademark reasons). It's a monumental task for a volunteer organization, though. I think I'd personally prefer to see the 1911 presented whole and complete on PG, so all the context is preserved, rather than melded into Wikipedia, but that's just my $0.02. --sparrow_hawk (on Wikipedia))

Britannica is becoming less valuable every year (because their content becomes less valuable as Wikipedia and other free web resources improve). the longer you wait, the better the deal you'll get. --caywood


  • Copies of (or actual) primary source material. Ease of ability to use it from, say, Wikisource or Wikibooks would be incredibly useful.
  • Equipment to incorporate any and all posible public domain materials into the servers and projects. Encouragement of PD use would be very helpful.


  • Photographs of 20th century politicians, scientists, athletes, and other celebrities.
  • Digital images of museum works (Corel v Bridgeman helps with 2-D paintings but quality images can still be hard to obtain)



  1. Create a non-profit that researches "orphaned" works for copyright status. A large percentage of works published post-1923 are eligible for public domain status but it requires time and work to track down the copyright holders.
  2. Purchase any number of excellent encyclopedias that are usually only available at libraries. the 13-volume authoritative Dictionary of the Middle Ages for example (which its self was paid for in part by grants).

Monk of the highest order[edit]

  1. Books, baby. Science books. Let's digest other encyclopedias. the best would be Textbooks and Schoolbooks for wikibooks to share and improve on forever. Knowledge baby; pure, unadulterated knowledge is what I want. Knowledge knowledge knowledge. the more the better. It's better to spend $5000 freeing a giant textbook than freeing three scientific papers, despite how cool it would be to set free scientific papers. Books. Please, please, please, books.
    1. I agree with this. Books usually have a much higher quality than papers. I think that schoolbooks are easy enough to create ourselves, so I think it would be more valuable to free university (post-graduate) scientific textbooks.--MarSch 08:50, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Source material. Like newspapers. We should consider, however, policy as to whether this source material can further be edited, or whether it will only be edited in a fork. Because quoting a source which has been edited by anonymous wiki users is just about as useful as quoting original or unfounded research - it doesn't mean anything. So if we are going to get stuff for source or reference material, we should have an untouched version of it for reference, and if need be, a fork wikibook for improvement.
  3. Dictionaries have been suggested. That's cool. Double the reach of wiktionary. And if you could get them for multiple languages, you could like, multiply the amount of Mongolian words by like 100 or something.
  4. Things which have a smaller knowledge-to-probable-price ratio like images or video should come second.
  5. Images of famous people for whom we don't yet have a picture of yet and whom we are unlikely to get a public domain photograph of in the near future would be nice.


  1. Images of characters/objects/places from fiction - these are generally 'derivative works' by definition and thus all existing images are often 'fair use'. Purchasing the right to freely release certain images from the copyright holders would vastly benefit these articles.
  2. Images of notable people - these tend to be taken by news organizations and thus to be 'fair use'. Buying such photos from the press or having a 'Wikinews photographer' with press credentials to cover them would be an improvement. Individuals can and do take such pictures, but this is haphazard and often at a distance, in poor lighting, or otherwise of lower quality than those at staged press events.
  3. Other 'fair use' images - In addition to the two large categories above just a general purchase of fair use images which are difficult to obtain through other means would be beneficial.
  4. Out of print 'encyclopedias' - there are hundreds of topic specific 'encyclopedias' and similar compilations which are out of print, unlikely to ever be reprinted, but still under copyright for decades to come. Purchasing these from the copyright holders might be viable as it is income they would not otherwise get and could provide us with vast amounts of detailed material on plants, animals, diseases, civil war personages, dance steps, archaeological dig sites, embroidery patterns, ad infinitum.
  5. Newspaper archives - these could go in Wikisource or a new sub-project and become a vast library of reliable/verifiable reference materials. the Times isn't likely to sell their archives, but newspapers which are shutting down might be willing to.


OK, Jimbo, you said think big. So I'll think big:

  • As Lincher said above: earth imagery. World Wind is free, but not detailed enough. If we could get better resolution, it'd be great. Unfortunately (since I'm not geodata expert), I don't know the service which offeres better quality except Google Maps, and I guess buying Google Maps is not an option :-)
  • Maps. Atlases, charts, maps. Lots of those. Detailed atlases of every country in the world. Buy it and release it into PD. Everybody will love you for it, and I'll buy you a beer (I guess that buying a beer to a guy which has $100M to spare is a lame thing, but I'd do that anyway).
  • Encyclopedias. Preferably more specific (pardon my bad English, but by specific I think of those that are not general, fot instance "maritime encyclopedia", "encyclopedia of aviation" and such) ones and local ones (which tend to have more information on history and geography of a location, for instance en:General Encyclopedia of Yugoslavian Lexicographic Institute).
  • Dictionaries. English-somelanguage dictionaries. Get few of these and dump it to Wiktionary. That gives you rudimental but imense somelanguage-someotherlanguage dictionary. And then you can brag like this: look, we didn't invest all of it into Wikipedia, we invested some in other projects ;-) If this option is chosen, I buy you another beer for Persian dictionary ;-)

Those are just my first ideas, maybe I think of something later. Am I thinking too big? :-) --Dijxtra 18:51, 17 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Regarding satellite imagery, Google mainly repurposes satellite data from DigitalGlobe. Since the images make up a large part of the company's business, I don't think they'd be willing to set any of it free. I suspect the same is true of similar companies.
That's why we need $100M, because nobody will set anything free for free. ;-) But, if you buy the copyrights, then you are free to set it free for free. Lots of "free"s here. --Dijxtra 11:29, 18 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Maybe Wikimedia could buy a satellite to produce photos in-house. :^P – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 21:23, 17 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
the best imagery comes from cameras on planes, not satellites. 23:36, 22 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Not an option here, we're supposed to figure out which material we want to be set free, not how to spend that money ;-) --Dijxtra 11:29, 18 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
But it makes the point that purchasing satellite imagery is silly. To attempt to buy out such a big market asset is just wasteful. To be honest, the copyrighted material currently is pretty adequate already; for example the free version of Google Earth. Google's terms are hardly restrictive and provide very powerful access to very lightly watermarked imagery. Wikimedia isn't about communism, and I think digital mapping, at least for now, is an industry which is well suited to its current capitalist model. Bigbluefish 11:56, 21 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I don't see what communism has to do with it. Communism as we have seen it is ideologically continual class struggle to return the means of production of market goods to the poor and thus equality, and in practice it has essentially been an incompletely succesful violent revolution leading to a sloppy authoritarian doling out of rights, because of the lack of resources after said violent revolution. Wikipedia isn't about the market, or money, or obtaining means of production for the purpose of enforcing social and economic equality. Rather, this is all about using our freedoms. Everyone already has access to the means of production (the ability to send satellites into space with sufficient cash, the ability to research and explain, and exercising our ability to license out our own works), we're just deciding what do with those means. No violent revolution or Marxism involved.


  • Top level recent information ==

I agree with Frederick, copyrighted information/publications from the United Nations (UN)[[4]] and departmens of it and sortlike public funded organisations. (How about the EU ? which is doing the same) , Speeding up the circulation of that type of information is helpfull for society,

  • Or, where another part of information is created, in the Academic Journal/Peer review system.
Lift copyright on Medical tech publications, donate 3 million and ask MIT to produce 100$ medical laser equipment for those in need, (yes, you can have ours, we didn't use it in the past 5 years).
Or fund an opensource project /Wikibook on it.Mion 11:28, 25 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


  • definately a library of pictures of notable people (current and 20th century politicians, scientists, artists, others...)
  • library of good resolution pictures of 2d and 3d art etc as found in museums and art galleries around the world both for work which is in the public domain and still under copyright (it's hard to legitimately get images of public domain works of art when they are housed in collections)
  • medical quality photographs and diagrams of the human body and its organs etc both in health and disease (all too often we have to fall back on a single image from gray's anatomy when any article could benefit from more than one diagram and photographs with different focus/perspectives)

Seed music[edit]

While James Brown was in jail, the upcoming rap artists used samples of his works extensively. If you could find some pieces of modern music with such a potential for reuse, that could be great. I wonder, Michael Jackson had the rights for the Beatles music. If he has not resold them yet, could he use 100 million dollars? The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

IIRC, the value of the catalog was estimated at 250 million in one of the stories about Jackson's deterioriating financial situation.
en:the Beatles#Song catalogue:
In 1985 - after a short duration in which the parent company was owned by Australian business magnate Robert Holmes à Court, ATV's music catalogue was sold to Michael Jackson for a reported $47 million (trumping a joint bid by McCartney and Yoko Ono), including the publishing rights to over 200 songs composed by Lennon & McCartney. A decade later Jackson and Sony merged their music publishing businesses. Since 1995 Jackson and Sony/ATV Music Publishing have jointly owned most of the Lennon-McCartney songs recorded by the Beatles. Sony later reported that Jackson had used his share of their co-owned Beatles' catalogue as collateral for a loan from the music company. Meanwhile, Lennon's estate and McCartney still receive their respective songwriter shares of the royalties.
-- 14:12, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Mailer Diablo[edit]

Not sure if the funds would be enough, but I think buying down the royalties of past Associated Press photo collections (those before the 1990s) en-masse would be great.

  1. Definitely encyclopedic. For every photo that a reputable news agency has shot, probably another Wikipedia article out there demands for it.
  2. We can get rid of a whole lot of fair use images, especially when it comes to time-based events where there is no previously known free replacement other than from news agencies.
  3. Benefits project-wide. these photos can then be uploaded to Wikipedia Commons, and then applies to all editions of Wikipedia.
  4. Sustainable returns. Giving them away in return for crediting Wikipedia (GFDL) brings in more visitors to the project. - Mailer Diablo 19:29, 17 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Yes! Many of these AP photos are just as encyclopedic as old paintings that have their own articles at Wikipedia. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 21:28, 17 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I second this idea, the AP catalog would be invaluable. Nhandler 02:54, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Textbooks. --angus (msgs) 20:01, 17 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Textbooks is seconded. Identify the 100 core subjects of standard undergraduate education, for each subject choose a leading textbook, then liberate these textbooks of all copyright restrictions, make them available for free download and use them to seed wikibook projects. (This might require a bit more than $108 though.) AxelBoldt 20:08, 17 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

A wonderful qualifier, texts used as a basis of undergraduate education would provide a lot of information. Personally I would prefer engineering texts but that's just me. If we were to further specify, undergraduate texts used predominately during the third or fourth years of four year programs. Less complicated informations are more likely to have already been wiki'd or could be wiki'd for relatively less work (since more people complete the first or second year of an engineering program before being smashed to bits by something like a senior thesis.) Idyll M 00:18, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
MIT has put a number of its undergraduate and graduate textbooks online under a Creative Commons A-NC-SA license as part of the OpenCourseWare project). I don't think that means you can pull their text directly into WikiBooks, but it's something to be aware of so you don't duplicate effort. --sparrow_hawk (on Wikipedia)


Textbooks is thirded (is that a word?). Textbooks much more than any other information consumed is a major financial burden. More so than news, encyclopedia, or pictures. It is also very difficult to find free alternatives. Also other information (news, pictures) is more a luxury than a necessity. Free textbooks can change the world allowing a global standardization of education. Jon513 19:40, 18 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

If textbooks are freed, it's probably best to not spend good money on subjects that obsolete quickly. Math has more value over time than, say, web design. It wouldn't make much sense to invest millions of dollars on something that'll be useless in seven years.


  • Satellite imagery (there are many cool ways we could integrate such a database into MediaWiki software)
  • Sheet Music
  • Contents of scientific journals (this could be huge)
  • Back issues of political journals (e.g. Far East Review)
  • Judicial Commentary from Lexis-Nexis/Westlaw/etc, as appropriate by countries (although I suspect they would not be interested in sharing this information)
  • Archives from legislative summary services
  • Collections of Responsa/Fatwa/other religious rulings and discussions

Categorically, it would be interesting to enter into an agreement with journal companies whereby when specific journal issues become 10 years old, we acquire them under GFDL license - presumably they're not reselling them beyond that point, and it would not be hard to build a large list of journals we're interested in.

Instead of buying, spend money on persuading[edit]

A huge pile of content is non-free not because the author wants to control it or profit from it, but for purely historical reasons, negligence, and cluelessness. So I'd propose to spend part of the money on a low-noise, targeted promotional campaign. Mail personalized letters to world governments, various agencies, publishers, all kinds of content creators. Explain, persuade, help them make however much of their content free. I'm sure this will open up more content than outright buying. 21:06, 17 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I wholeheartedly agree. National archives, art galleries, scientific research, museums, geographical data, even governmental press releases containing useful images... most of the world knowledge is "owned" by the governments and paid with people's money. Lobbying them for releasing that materials under a free license would prove more worthwhile than paying slave traders to release their slaves. Cinabrium 02:44, 19 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
That's certainly a good point...see if you can get something for a few hundred before you buy it outright for thousands.--HereToHelp (talk) 18:35, 21 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I think this is the best idea yet. Instead of buying a limited amount of content and making it free, educate people about how information doesn't have to cost money. 23:33, 22 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I also am for this idea. Somehow I think a lot of people would be more than happy to 'donate' or make their content free, as long as it is going to a good source. Personally I'd be glad to donate to such a great cause (as wiki).
Though this may be the most efficient option, it will not succeed at helping Wikipedia in the areas that it needs the most, namely those copyrights that are held by people who will not give them up without actual money. 06:31, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Many researchers transfer the copyright of their papers to publishers simply because it is the standard/easiest/most common way to get their research published in a respectable way. I.e., having your paper published in a well known and respected journal counts more than just having you paper published on the net. It may also mean that the researchers themselves no longer can publish their own paper on the net, because they have just given the copyright away. Having a respected way to publish research, without having to give your copyright away would be very helpful to researchers. 15:26, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

501(c)(3) ?[edit]

I think has a good point, but where is this $100M coming from? If it is from the 501(c)(3) foundation, aren’t there limitations as to how we can use the money? Personally, I want pictures archived by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA--a Japanese equivalent of NASA). the Japanese government can claim copyrights under current Japanese laws and regulations……and there is (almost) no “fair use” concept in Japan. I can use most of NASA’s pictures in our Japanese Wiki pages thanks to U.S. taxpayers, but Japanese Wikipedians in Japan cannot use JAXA’s pictures (and/or most of pictures and photos made by Japanese government agencies) in Japanese Wiki pages thanks to......--Californiacondor 16:55, 18 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

  • I like this idea, although I don't think this is a money issue (as this sum likely could not be used for this sort of thing) so much as it is a communication issue. We are talking about persuading large governments that have a lot invested in these things to make a major policy shift. A few letters will likely not do it -- it would be great if local chapters of Wikimedia were to take this up as worthwhile causes, seeking help from the foundation as necessary and helpful. --Improv 19:26, 18 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    • “Liberate” (copylefted by Shanes) “the world knowledge ‘owned’ by the governments and paid with people's money” (copylefted by Cinabrium)! I love that! Delete this message if inappropriate (sorry, but I’m a newbie.). Improv, who are “We” and where is this discussion taking place? I want to be part of this worthwhile cause. Yeah, we don’t need to pay for materials again when taxpayers have already paid for the materials. --Californiacondor 02:55, 21 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
      • We're us, and we're talking about it right here. I'm not saying that it's not a worthwhile cause -- far from it. I'm saying that tossing a bit of money at it isn't likely to do much besides waste the money -- effecting this change would involve some political maneuvering/clout, and that's something probably best handled/coordinated by Wikimedia chapters, especially if they can get in touch with political figures. --Improv 15:03, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


  • High definition pictures of medieval illuminated manuscripts (for example, low res pictures are available at Bibliothèque nationale de France, but you have de pay for the high res versions).
  • Photo sets of pieces in museums like the Louvre (similar to what was given by DirectMedia for the York Project on Commons).
  • Geodata : map templates, elevation terrain models, hydrographic data, etc.


  • Old manuscripts (to be scanned, transcribed and translated). they are already in the public domain but having free access to them is difficult, and this is a shame. Libraries, archives and universities often make you pay for high quality copies, or retain the copyright to the scanned images, or just refuse to digitize full manuscripts. Creating a new, free digitization project in collaboration with the major manuscript archives in the world would open up this sealed source of knowledge to anyone. If this can't be done, buying a single collection of manuscripts and funding its digitization could be a less expensive alternative.
  • Another idea: abandonware. You could buy discontinued copyrighted software, release it under the GPL and create a free and legal Internet archive for it.
  • And pictures! A free picture for every Wikipedia article, especially for those where it's difficult or impossible to make a new one.

American Patriot 1776[edit]

I'll limit my book wishlist to 3:

  • Cold War Secret Nuclear Bunkers By: N.J. McCamley
  • A comprehensive description of continuity of government programs in the Cold War and it's structures. Putting the exact wording of some sections into our articles would greatly augment ur Cold War knowledge.
  • To Save a City: the Berlin Airlift 1948 - 1949 By: Roger G. Miller
  • A wonderful, detailed description of every aspect of the Berlin Airlift. Once again, the precise and gripping language of the book would fit perfectly into several different articles.
  • the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich By: William L. Shirer


  1. Photos' archives, as they are something we most often use and is hardest to reproduce.
  2. Maps, per above.
  3. Film (documentaries) archives?
  4. More archives :)
  5. Perhaps some proprietary software that our devs would like to play with?

--Piotrus 02:39, 18 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


the Library of Congress has a wide variety of folk music recordings, such as here, that are public domain (mostly, I think, IANAL) but are not easily available because you gotta pay for an audiocassette - some are downloadable, but not all, and not many of the most interesting ones. I'm not entirely sure how one would go about taking an audiocassette and making it an ogg vorbis file, but I'm sure it's possible. One way or another, we should be able to vastly increase the amount of free, educational folk music available on the Commons and other projects. Note that though this is the Library of Congress, there are recordings from all around the world, not just the US. I know there's a British library or two that also has recordings that are public domain but not easily available, and I suppose many other national libraries probably do as well. Tuf-Kat 03:03, 18 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


there would be several ways to go about this. Would you want the contentto be quickly integrated into the Wikisource or Wikipedia? Could you wait seveal months/years for content to be digitized? Digitization is costly in terms of staff time and digitizing works as a collaboration can be done, but it doesn't seem to fit the wiki model. Digitizing items using the collaboration would require physical materials to be sent to someone in order to be digitized. However, Wikimedia may want to outsource or partner with some organizations (archives, libraries, etc...) who want to do this. (example conversion process)

It may be more cost effective to purchase reference material that has been already digitized, batch digitized (which would be a good collabroation project for error correction), or "born digital" and batch integrate it into the collection. This could be something like a photo collection, newspaper items, or a database of biographies on authors. Kunzite -----

Régis Lachaume[edit]

It'd be great to have free on-line access to the text of major specialised journals in the field of sciences, arts, and literature. And also to that of most striking novels of the 20th century ! It'd be costly though... 17:25, 18 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


I'd go for history textbooks, preferably more than one on each subject (for NPOV reasons), and especially ones covering non-Western history. We could go beyond textbooks in English and rely on the community to help with interwiki translation. Any textbooks that cover more traditional encyclopedia topics would be great, in fact. Or, if you want to get really crazy, purchase the copyright to an older edition of a dead-tree encyclopedia, like a non-current edition of World Book, with the goal of assimilating all the information on topics that are no longer changing (world history, art history, literary history, etc.). | MrDarcy 03:54, 18 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]



Buy all of Bob Dylan's music. That deserves to be in the public domain.

Seriously, if you want to do something useful, don't buy history textbooks-- anyone can write a history textbook with the proper sources. Buy the primary sources: newspaper archives, firsthand accounts, videos, letters. And although this is more subjective, I wouldn't buy science stuff at all, there's little benefit in having a particular explanation of public domain facts made reprintable. I'd say the best use of money would be to buy huge amounts of out-of-print music and literature, so that they can be better preserved. Ashibaka 15:55, 18 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I agree. Let's write our own textbooks; get the valuable stuff before it is lost to time.--HereToHelp (talk) 19:06, 21 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I also agree. History-sources are very important to be free. THOMAS (German Wikipedia)
Ditto. 555 05:27, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Thinking big? en:Factiva + en:JSTOR :)

Thinking smaller?

  • Local (i.e. only about one country) or specific (i.e. on medicine, on aviation, on music) encyclopedias. there is nothing new in general encyclopedias (i.e. EB) that WP does not have already.
  • Textbooks, and lots of them. See [5] for $0 textbooks.
  • Image and map archives / libraries.

Renata 17:39, 18 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Only if lawfully feasible, buy all some photos taken by Ernesto "Che" Guevara when he travled around the world (at least one photo from each country he visted) or all photos depicting him. --Californiacondor 17:06, 18 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


I'd survey tenured professors at major universities and ask for their recommendations, particularly regarding out-of-print titles that they regard in high esteem. This would have several benefits:

  • $100 million could buy a large number of copyrights for useful hard-to-find textbooks and reference works.
  • Wikipedia editors could cite these books to improve articles.
  • Professors could include these works in their assigned course reading without the usual misgivings: students would have free access to them (through Wikiversity?) rather than pay exorbitant prices for new textbooks or wait for short-term access to a single library copy.

Much of this material isn't cost-effective to republish via traditional book publishing and remains unavailable until copyright finally expires. Durova 21:26, 18 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I think thats a really cool idea, but how will those poor execs at (major college bookstore chain deleted) buy their new yachts if they can't sell used paperback copies of the Birdcage for 14.95? :) Youngamerican 00:45, 19 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Heh - they could always fill the shelves with other interesting titles. Remember that many of these are out of print, so the bookstores themselves wouldn't lose much. ;) Durova 01:38, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I add my vote to Durova's suggestion, but include not only text-book and reference works but also out of print literature. I think this area is the biggest black hole in the copyright system - that copyright holders can sit on out of print works and thereby withhold them from society indefinitely (apart from the often small number of prints that are already in circulation). Putting the $100m into this area would not only free up a lot of important works but also draw more public attention to this area. I would also suggest working closely with Project Gutenberg on this as they have a lot of experience in copyright issues. mikej

Good idea for expansion. Durova 15:33, 27 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Paintings are especially important. Even paintings that are out of copyright are hard to photograph under gallery rules. --Grahamec 00:16, 19 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I don't think we need to buy old encyclopedias, we can already quote these sources and we should not need to plagiarise them. On the other hand images like paintings and the London Underground map are hard to come by. --Grahamec 04:59, 21 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
the problem is that we could spend a small fortune on just one image. Just think about the London underground map - it would cost lots of thousands to get the rights to print it in the back of a diary or something - but we want FREE access for all the world - which amounts to destroying the owner's ability to sell it over and over. That would cost a LOT of money - and even assuming we could get it - it could take months of negotiations and big financial outlay for what? One or two articles. It's just not cost effective. SteveBaker 02:57, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


  1. Liberate as much and as recent images/media from as many News agencies as possible. the agencies who liberate their archives know it will give them good publicity, both because they're doing a favour to human mankind, and because the content (with courtesy attribution notes) will be seen by a larger audience, something their marketing departments will like. While the agencies who don't follow will know that the media they own the rights to will now drop in value anyway, since so much is being released by other agencies.
  2. National Geographic media. they have lots of high quality pictures that is very hard for us to get even close to have.
 I support this. Great idea.
  1. Books and media (images, diagrams, etc) from modern medicine. If we could offer accurate and up to date media that can help people around the world learn modern medicine, that would be huge.

Shanes 01:25, 19 October 2006


  1. Textbooks.
  2. Map imagery.
  3. the rights to Bartlett's Familiar Quotations for Wikiquote.
  4. the rights to Shelby Foote's the Civil War: A Narrative.

--Neutrality 03:50, 19 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Your last entry makes me wonder. the Civil War is the most popular of American wars for publications. the Official Records ... in 128 volumes is already available on a single CD, as are the further 27 volumes of naval operations. Foote's book may give a particular perspective on the war, but I think that before real decisions are made we need to broadly evaluate the literature on a subject. Eclecticology 06:45, 20 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
That being said, if Bartlett's is up for grabs as a reasonable cost (and we know it won't be), it's a great idea.--HereToHelp (talk) 19:11, 21 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

User:Riana dzasta[edit]

Oh, wow.

  1. Audio
  2. Pictures, especially for biographical articles
  3. Textbooks
  4. Maps
  5. Satellite images
  6. Access to "pay-per-view" journal articles on the web?

riana_dzasta wreak havoc|damage report 05:06, 19 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


We are in real need of photos of endangered or recently extinct species. We have very few good photos of extinct speices, and we have few endangered speices also. Also, flora/fauna of areas with very few or no Wikipedians, such as New Guinea, areas of South America, etc. I am sure the community could come up with quite a good list of species we are in desperate need of. --LiquidGhoul 14:40, 19 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I don't understand this need to buy the rights to other encyclopaedias. We can always use them as a source, and then we have a well referenced article. If we just copied an entire article from an encyclopaedia, it wouldn't make it a featured article. We would need to change it, expand it etc. and it probably wouldn't end up in the same shape in which we bought it. It is much better to use it as one of the sources, then there is less chance of innacuracies getting through. Go to the original source, not another encyclopaedia. Most will be out of date in no time as well, Wikipedia is better for its ability to stay up-to-date. Sounds like a waste of money to me. --LiquidGhoul


My first proposal is: We heavily need a well developed catalog system, to meet future developments and to describe out free content by a simple catalog number of any media (common, wikipedia, wikibook and wikisource materials). We need this for encylopedian articles, Textbooks, Audio-files, Image-files and even Videos. Thus we would be able to search along all projects (and maybe even outside the wikipedia, because of a free catalog standard), to make cross references by using a simple catalog numbers. So content can be moved, without linkfixing. This catalog number can be used to find similar or more general topics. -- ThePacker 17:28, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Another proposal is, to buy standards. Standards helps to save a lot of money. Standards or older standards should be free. I think about older material from ISO, ITU, DIN and others. (I mean all kind of standards, not only computer releated, but also those about nuts and bolts.) -- ThePacker 17:28, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

A third proposal is, to free older Researchmaterial (10 years or older) i think about IEEE, ACM, and other Conference and any Scientific Publications even if we could not get the newest one, we should try to get the newest, we can get. -- ThePacker 17:28, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

A fourth proposal is, to integrate the complete Project Gutenberg into wikisource ( -- ThePacker 10:03, 25 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Early Internet or Near-Pre Internet[edit]

May or may not be appropriate, but perhaps focus on documents over a period of time? Early Internet documentation would be interesting. Or, in general, things just before the Internet that never made their way onto the net in any detail.

A Well-Fed Populace is a Populace that is More Willing and Able to Learn and by Extension More Able to Lobby for Copyright Reform[edit]

FACT: many in the world are starving, hungry, under-nourished or malnourished. FACT: people are more willing and able to learn, a higher-order need, when they have fulfilled their lower-order needs, such as hunger FACT: 100 million dollars would buy AT LEAST 100 million tacos (Taco Bell/soft taco/Oct 2006 menu prices[U.S.]); given economic analysis of bulk purchases and developments, it is REASONABLE to assume that 100 million dollars MAY VERY WELL buy many more tacos than even 100 million; 200, even 300 million tacos IS NOT OUT OF the QUESTION. FACT: people LOVE tacos FACT: 300 million people that have just recieved a taco, GRATIS, would be much more willing and ABLE to march the streets of WASHINGTON demanding the ABOLISHMENT of COPYRIGHT on books. FACT: there is an old chinese proverb: 'teach a man to fish, and he will eat fish. therefore we must FEED the PEOPLE OF AMERICA TACOS UNTIL OUR LEADERS make copyright A THING OF the PAST.' and it is with this wise proverb that I rest my case.


One word: Britannica. Zocky 17:08, 19 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Can we get the OED too? - theDaveRoss 22:22, 19 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Yeah. Britannica and nothing but Britannica. Such a merger would rise to become the worlds primary source in the area of encyclopaedicas. please don't water it down with other datatypes, music, video, satellite images! :) --pit 15:07, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Andrew Levine[edit]

Idea 1: Make a deal with national libraries that hold public-domain content to make it all easily available. For example, the Library of Congress has an extensive collection of mid-20th-century images from Look Magazine, the New York World Telegram, and U.S. News and World Report, which were all donated to the public domain by their copyright-holders, but only a small number are online. Tuf-Kat mentioned above the LoC's collection of folk music recordings for which you have to go through a lengthy process to get a reproduction. Pay the Library of Congress $5,000,000 to have all of these images, recordings, etc. uploaded in high-res format. Do the some with other major national libraries.
Idea 2: Buy the rights to old, specialized encyclopedias which are not yet out of copyright. This would be moot of we got the orphan-works laws passed, but it's a slightly more "down to earth" option. For example, my great-uncle used to have an enormous multi-volume encyclopedia of music that was published in the 1950s, some of it on compositions and composers which probably don't even have Wikipedia articles yet. Chances are, if the publisher even still exists anymore, they'd be willing to part with the rights to a half-century-out-of-date encyclopedia on classical music for less than a half million dollars. If not outright purchasing the material, an agreement to license the text under the GFDL or CC-SA might cost less. Do this with any number of other specialized encyclopedias (focusing on art, history, biographical, etc. Not so much science because that may be too-out-of date to be useful). then hire some new staffers to upload all of the content to Wikisource. Andrew Levine 21:38, 19 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


According to my count, fourthed satellite images. For geography articles, we are able to get free (as in license) photographs, create free maps, but satellite imaginery (and what better way to illustrate urban sprawl, light pollution, patterns in human settlement, secret government installations, etc) is a bit out of your average editor's ballpark. --user:Qviri 00:15, 20 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Really? Have you looked at the stuff from Nasa, especially en:World Wind. - FrancisTyers 12:05, 21 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

UNIX SVRx[edit]

Buy all (if any) outstanding copyrights to the UNIX source code, on a "bounty" basis. This should not cost very much, since the current copyrights are tenuous. UNIX is seminal, and the current uncertanties about the copyrights are an impedement to the development of new software.

Great idea! Buy UNIX copyrights, so other free operating systems (Linux, *BSD, etc.) don't have to worry about infringing on very old copyrights. Wonder what that'd to to the IBM-SCO case?
copyrights aren't patents. We already have a free unix-clone and it's called GNU/Linux. --MarSch 09:19, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
You guys aren't thinking meta enough. If you used the $100M to buy SCO, you could sue everybody else for access to everything else. --(Huey, anonymous coward, 12:04PM 23 OCT 2006 (-0400))
Seriously: Computing systems should not be much of a problem. Basically, if you go to a shop and buy a computer, you'll get all software for free that you need in order to access wikipedia. Buying some dull software licenses is not an efficient way to improve world knowledge. (anonymous coward) 17:09, 25 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I disagree. These copyrights might be threatening to the open source software world. In order to improve world knowledge, we need to have cheap computing. Those computers you are buying come with proprietary software and add to the price of the computer. I think is selling computers without a monitor for $150. Guess what operating system it comes with. Metric 22:55, 28 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


I don't think buying textbooks is such a good idea. Textbooks are an eample of work which we can generate free replacements for. If we can build a free encyclopedia, i don't think textbooks are so far off. All we need is the time, and perhaps more people, to build completely free textbooks.

I think it would be better to put money into buying and freeing works which we trying cannot make replacements for.

  • Primary sources - old photos, pictures, original footage, manuscripts, sheet music, designs, drawings..etc Especially things which could be used to improve our other projects - like replacing Fair Use pictures wikipedia articles with truely free pictures.
  • Things which will help us - softwares like translation software, or things like old newspaper articles, journal archives, earth imagery, etc. which will be useful to wikipedia editors
  • Freeing things which can be incorporated into our projects - like encyclopedias and/or dictionaries. Not nessasarily english ones either - buying rights to encyclopedias and dictionaries in some languages could seriously give a boost to the wikipedia/wikitionary projects in those languages. It would be better than a textbook, which would just be converted into a softcopy and slapped onto wikibooks.

I also think putting some money into advertising and publicity work would be really good. We should

  • encourage people (or groups/companies) to free their own work
  • contact newspapers, journals and other publishing groups to see if we can strike any deals on freeing work of certain years old
  • contacting governments - to quote "A huge pile of content is non-free not because the author wants to control it or profit from it, but for purely historical reasons, negligence, and cluelessness. So I'd propose to spend part of the money on a low-noise, targeted promotional campaign. Mail personalized letters to world governments, various agencies, publishers, all kinds of content creators. Explain, persuade, help them make however much of their content free. I'm sure this will open up more content than outright buying."
  • encouranging places like libariries to get already free work online or more easily avaiable.

--Yaksha 03:19, 20 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


User access to solid verifiable peer reviewed material via services such as EBSCO and Proquest. --Vicarious 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes, please! User:riana_dzasta 15:27, 22 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

TV News Archive (user THOMAS/German Wikipedia)[edit]

I think a TV news archive from the beginning to now would be great. But that's a big job and of course it's very difficult because of the licenses.

Dover Publications[edit]

Dover has a very nice assortment of books, some already in the public domain (but already digitalized by them). Buy the rights to their collection.Somoza13:04, 20 October 2006 (UTC) Yes![reply]

This is an excellent idea. I learn most of my science from them because they are such classics and so cheap. It would be fantastic if I could wiki them instead!

An excellent idea. Dover is great. 07:40, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Nice Idea, would like to see this

This makes a lot of sense, since Dover currently does not publish ebooks. Making their editions aviailable on the Web would not affect their business model in the least, so they might be willing to do it cheaply. Caywood

I like this idea because it's an inexpensive way of getting at large amounts of public domain material, but wouldn't it make sense to find another way of getting to that PD material without having to buy a copyright to do it? 14:56, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Legal documents[edit]

West Publishing holds the copyrights on the legal reporters (volumes of caselaw) that contain the published opinions of state and federal courts in the United States. (In some cases, West can't claim copyright to the opinions themselves, but does claim copyright to the pagination system and the headnotes that to some extent are the basis of the most common forms of legal citation). Making this information publicly available could make it easier for people who do not have easy or affordable access to Westlaw or Lexis/Nexis to research legal points. 18:27, 20 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

All US Court decisions, of course the Supreme Court being most important, but the rest of them too. - theDaveRoss 06:32, 21 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
See Wikisource:Case law.--HereToHelp (talk) 19:32, 21 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I second this suggestion. Not only is case law sometimes copyrighted, but also codes of municipal ordinances and state statutes. Eveyone should have free access to the text of all laws! 15:56, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

National Geographic photos[edit]

the National Geographic photo library 18:27, 20 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Support from me! This is an archive of irreplaceable cultural and artistic merit... 14:50, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Also, all National Geographic maps. 13:57, 26 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Use for technical images[edit]

Technical, high-level drawings and maps. Example: cut-offs of mechanism (planes, locomotives, cars, motors, electronic circuits etc.), plans of industries (i.e. production flows), detailed maps of cities. I think it would not cost so much to acquire the rights of some professional works. Some 3000 drawings would make this encyclopedia stunning. -- 15:41, 21 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

A lot of that can be done ourselves, but it's still an interesting idea.


I think that the money is best used to free some of the best of 20th Century Literature. I'd like to see some good classics available, like:

However, those will probably cost a heck of a lot, and will be out in twenty or thirty (as opposed to seventy) years. Still, their what I put priority on (and may be cheaper because it's a shorter time until the rights holder loses that title, anyway.) Non-fiction is also fine (I like #American Patriot 1776's suggestions), as are #Danny's wishes for equipment to digitize old recordings. (Speaking of which, sound files of classic speeches or musical pieces are also fine by me.) Biblical translations are also good (try to get a clear, modern one; in my opinion, "thys" and "thous" distort the understanding of the text). Textbooks for Wikipedia is also an interesting idea, but we should not use them to simply replace encyclopedia articles, and we should look into citing them (fair use style) first. Images are also an interesting idea, but we manage alright without them. Those should only be bought on a specific, case-to-case basis.

Mieciu K[edit]

Just one wish, but a big one. Let's buy the rights to one or more w:Tank Man photographs. Tank Man aka "the unknown rebel" is w:TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Right now many of the wikipedias that do not allow fair use images cannot use tank man photographs Tian'anmen-Massaker (de wiki) 01:04, 22 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


  • Buy the GFDL rights to one (or possibly two) un-reproducable news images at the end of every week, could be done via a vote/discussion to decide which image(s) to buy. Probably would be cheap enough that it could be kept going indefinately. Images could be attributed via invariant text to the donar.
  • Work with a number of museums to photograph their collections of objects (not art - but objects) in a professional way. Probably would cost less than $2 million to "rent" and photograph the collections of a dozen major world museums. Images could be attributed via invariant text to the donar.
  • Hire an inhouse graphic artist to work on diagrams/maps full time. Cost would be less than 100k/year - could be continued indefinately. A decent artist could produce in the region of 1,000+ diagrams a year. All work could be attributed to the donor via invariant text.
  • Hire a decent Orchestra to perform the 100 greatest (however you want to determine it) pieces of classical music that are in the public domain.

That's all I can think of right now. Megapixie 13:03, 22 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Alkivar's request[edit]

  1. get the "proper" licensing from all of the major music licencing groups so we can legally sample/post samples of musicians for all of our music articles.

Thats all I can think of that I'd want personally. Alkivar


Music metadata. Believe it or not, there is no standard, agreed-upon scheme for recording the names of artists, albums, and tracks. This information is not typically encoded on a CD. there are several competing standards: FreeDB, AMG, Muze, etc., but the best data is all proprietary. A big, common location where everyone can contribute would make finding music much easier.

MusicBrainz seems to be doing a good job of this already. -cm

Pat Furrie[edit]

I second this recomendation. And I'd like to expand on that idea, for what could be done wiki-style and aided by proper capitolization.

Whoever had the idea of giving songs/music/media a single "genre" classification from the outset was fantastically short-sighted.

Yes, there is a ID3 means for multi-genre classification, but that's just not used. Why? Because it doesn't cross the threshold of having enough added value in the way it is implemented.

In the spirit of "being constructive," here's my suggestion:

Bit map the genre/category/groups information.

Divide up this data field into many unique genre "descriptors" which cover the gamut of descriptive types, in a heirarchical (sp?) structure, and configured so as few or as many descriptors can be flagged for a given file.

the descriptors cover a range of major topics, from classical genre types, to local descriptions (New Orleans, Asian, French, etc), instrument types (strings, percussion, horns, etc), band type (orchestral, quartet, acapella, etc), mood (happy, inspirational, flamboyant), and others (such as a set of "adult" bits).

Who decides? A database, run wiki-style, which maintains all the classifications that users give input to. the same sort of mechanism for mediation which exist for wiki articles also exists for genre disputes. Some fields for certain media are locked when there is no dispute about a song being in that catagory (if the song has trumpets, it has trumpets).

So what if a song ends up classified as both rock and jazz? Some stuff will have mutliple classications -- that's the whole point.

New classification terms can end up in the database through a submission process...


Though it may be slightly unorthadox it would be a good idea to purchase the rights to several underapreciated music albums that are not currently availible such as King James Version by Harvey Danger. Some great films would also be better liberated from copyrights, especially the films Salo, Day of the Fight and Flying Padre.


As an engineer it would be great to see deesign standards and materials data freely available. This information currently costs a lot of money to access and thus isn't integrated into design software very well. Here are some examples of things that would be great:

  1. Steam tables. these are in the back of most thermodynamics textbooks but the textbook copyright prevents you from duplicating them in software. the software that comes with the textbooks is uniformly miserable. Tables for other common fluids (air, refrigerants, etc.) would have the same value. the nice thing about this is that with $100M, you could purchase lab equipment required to perform the measurements and then publish the results for many different fluids.
  1. Solid material properties. As with the above, paying someone to carefully run experiments on a variety of materials would be great if the copyright holders were unwilling to publish their data. Data include things such as elasticity, fatigue strength, impact strength, failure curves for uniaxial stress and bending moment tests, etc..
  1. ASME and ASCE and SAE (and JSME and iMechE) design guidelines. these societies publish design guidelines for pressure vessels, automotive components, pretty much anything mechanical that humans build. Often the guidelines are codified as local and national building codes but are not freely available.
  1. Engineering textbooks on basic subjects like Physics (e.g., Halliday and Resnick), Chemistry, thermodynamics (Cengel and Boles), Statics and Dynamics (Beer and Johnston), Fluids (Fox and MacDonald), and Machine Design (Shigley).
By my count, a fifth in favor of engineering texts and data. Idyll M 00:34, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Just buy out the people who produce the CRC Handbook? --sparrow_hawk (on Wikipedia)

Free the Literature![edit]

there are plenty of old journal articles out there which are nonetheless incredibly important - things that helped start new scientific fields and subfields. Science is, supposedly, the publicly held, publicly verifiable knowledge of humankind. there is no decent reason why all scientific literature before 1996 should not be online - journals have no excuses to keep this information locked up; they've already been paid for it.

Dead trees are not information, they are pictures of information. You can't run NLU algorithms on hunks of wood, or even search them properly. That literature needs to go online and free, so that humanity can make proper use of its own knowledge.

I don't know if $100M is enough to get this done, but it might be enough to get it started.

-- 23:03, 22 October 2006 (UTC) I second this idea. If it is done, efforts should be made to use the same instruments as the original composer used or intended to be used.[reply]

It's certainly an idea to pursue. But 100m could run out pretty quickly with all of this buying.--HereToHelp (talk) 01:57, 27 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Specific textbook suggestions[edit]

any specific texbooks people have found extremely helpfull in their respective fields should be mentioned here

  • the Feynman Lectures on Physics - arguably the best set of physics textbooks ever written, they encompass basic physics through reletivistic space time and quantum mechanics in very intuitive and easy to understand language.
  • An Introduction to Database Systems, by Christopher J DATE (Data and databases)
  • Transaction Processing, by Jim GRAY
  • Economics, by Anthony SAMUELSON
  • Calculus with Analytic Geometry by Howard ANTON
  • Classical Electrodynamics, 2nd Edition (not 3rd) by J. D. Jackson
  • the Berkeley Physics Series, especially Volume 2 by Ed Purcell.

Recordings of classical music[edit]

Convince an orchestra to record music such that they are paid strictly on a salary basis -- no royalties. Use this orchestra to begin to compile "reference recordings" of the world's music, and place the MP3s in the public domain. This would work well for composers who have been long dead, where the actual composition is no longer under copyright.

Make sure a decent (if not outright the best) orchestra makes these reference recordings.

Why not have an one recording per work rule. Make it a matter of prestige for an orchestra to be the one that performs a particular work in the reference library.

On the other hand, it might be useful to talk with folks from the Classical Archives. If they have convinced orchestras (notably, some Russian ones) to hand them recordings for inclusion into a $25/year subscription library, they may as well try to work out a public domain deal for the same recordings.

Yes, please! there are so many delighting compositions in the public domain, yet no actual recordings of them. Although I'd prefer the recodings in a lossless (e.g. FLAC) format.
I agree, it is a good idea. Sandro kensan (it.wikipedia)

Why Not $200 million / Medicine[edit]

I suggest whatever you decide on purchasing right to... you get other agencies to match what you put up for the rights. Or request it at half cost... make $100 million into $200 million. I don't know if this is feasible.. but how about Medicine intellectual property... buying research on AIDS/Cancer treatments and making it public domain might save lives. If you were doing something like this... for the "Public Good" the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ( might match the $100 million.

I have to disagree on this. I dont find that this project is to save human lives - there are other fund rasing projects that aim to that. -- 06:18, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Regardless of whether it would help save lives, I'd like to see all full-text articles in Medline ( available for free.


the OED has already been suggested, and I'd like to add Lewis and Short and Liddell & Scott. Keenan Pepper 01:00, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Note that Lewis and Short is already in the public domain and is not being revised at all. Some editions of Liddell and Scott are already in the public domain. Public domain searchable versions of these have already been digitized and made available to the public by the Perseus Project, although they don't seem to allow full-text download. w:User:Schoen

Translations of classics which are public domain only in other languages[edit]

For example, although the Hebrew and Greek text of the Bible is public domain, all the good English translations are copyrighted. Many other ancient pieces of literature share the same predicament. Keenan Pepper 01:14, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


(I took the liberty of making this a subsection. Keenan Pepper 01:14, 23 October 2006 (UTC))[reply]

Translated by Ahmed Ali; Princeton University Press; 2nd Rev edition; ISBN: 0691020469

Critical Editions of the Bible[edit]

Although the Hebrew and Greek text of the Bible is in public domain (or at least certain versions of it), the primary critical editions are not public domain. For example the BHS (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia) for Hebrew and both NA27 (Nestle Aland 27th Edition) and UBS4 (United Bible Society 4th Edition) for Greek.

User:SteveBaker's wishlist[edit]

there are a lot of individual works (many very worthy - many listed above) that it would greatly benefit the world as Wikipedia fodder. But we can't just go out with a big pile of cash and magically get them. You'd have to negotiate with individual copyright holders - some things we want might simply be unobtainable at any price - in other cases, the copyright owners are impossible to contact. In general, our members can read these works - and write about what they learned. We just don't need the copyrights in a vast majority of cases if all we want is to suck out the juices and write them down in our own words.

the biggest place where copyright issues crop up right now is in 'fair use' photographs - but again, negotiating a price for the use of these photos would be exceedingly difficult - and in many cases impossible.

Furthermore, things that will come out of copyright on their own in the reasonably near future are a waste of a valuable one-time bequest.

We need to think in terms of things that none of our eminent contributors can possibly come up with by themselves.

In terms of single items - I think that the purchase of high quality satellite imagery of the earth (including elevation data and any other meta-data that might be available) would enable us to provide a Google-Earth-like service, but with the ability to add Wiki links from every location. We could have people attach ground-level photography - eventually add 3D models. This is all within the scope of a Wiki-like process...but obtaining the imagery is not. We don't have free satellite access - and given the cost of getting it - we probably never would. We could, however, uniquely add value to that imagery in the way that Google or MapQuest cannot.

Another possibility is not to spend the money on freeing the copyright on materials that already exist - but instead to commission works from the greatest minds of our day - and simply donate them to the world. I would imagine that even the greatest thinkers and researchers of our time would write something quite substantial for us if offered (say) $100,000 cash. If we hade $100M to play with, we could get 1,000 major works of totally up to date materials with open copyright and on our own terms. This could be ground-breaking for the sciences (for example). What would the worlds greatest minds come up with if given an offer to write literally whatever they want as their contribution to the world's greatest encyclopedia?

SteveBaker 01:13, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Music is the fuel of life. I love to play guitar and sing in my spare time and it would be great to have guitar tabs and lyrics freely available. It could even inspire me, and others, to write fresh original material.

User:geekwithsoul's suggestion[edit]

Scans of Census forms for U.S., United Kingdom, and other countries as available for as many years as are available. these are a vital piece of history and contain information simply not available elsewhere. the wiki-fication would include transcription of text in images and annotations (showing important data, errors on orginal forms, etc.).

For obvious reasons, census data is kept confidential for a century or so after the census, and is thus not available to purchase at any price.
DrPlokta 07:06, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Not correct. The data in the U.S. at least is available after 70 years, and many pay sites have purchased and scanned in these images starting with colonial census and continuing up through 1930, with only the 1890 and 1900 mostly missing because of fire. This is public data and it should be in public hands.

User:humpback's suggestion[edit]

All the ISO standards and maybe other sets of standards that are not available for free. Dont know if these could be bought and placed in a wiki.

Great idea. --MarSch 09:25, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Course Writer-in-Residency Program[edit]

Provide a fellowship program to distinguished academics and educators, with the goal of creating a complete, University-level, online course. Authors would be supported for several months, and given access to volunteers to assist with web/multimedia design, etc.

Common sheet music[edit]

I would like to see common musical scores opened up to the public domain. Currently publishing houses charge an arm and a leg (and occasionally a thumb and two toes) to 'rent' musical scores for a short period of time. the cost associated with these scores can be crushing to a semi-pro group, and is outright prohibitive to not-for-profits or amateur organizations.

I feel that if the works of some of the major composers, or some of the most commonly played symphonic, concert band, operatic and musical (think 'broadway') scores were made available in the public domain it would do amazing things to help all musicians. Our kids could learn with great works, and our tax dollars wouldn't have to pay to rent the music. Amateur groups could play the music that they want to play, and the music that the crowds want to hear (which would probably increase their revenue streams). Semi-pro organizations could afford to pay their talented workforce.

If the music was stored in an easy-to-manipulate or commonly used format (there are several XML based markup languages) a music wiki could be set up that would allow the public to create and share different arrangements (it's not just the original score that costs a fortune, but all arrangements of that score as well), annotate works, or appropriate portions into new scores.

I also feel that a site such as this would encourage future donations of existing musical works, or would encourage future composers to add portions of their own works to the collection.

Some examples of common composers or works (and this list is certainly not exhaustive) might include: West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, or works by Holst, Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven, etc.

I completely agree! In fact, I don't see why all classical sheet music shouldn't be freely available on the internet. Certainly there are new editions that are copyrighted, but what about the old editions - are not these no longer subject to copyright? This seems like the perfect place for that.

Spectral Band Replication[edit]

I would use a sum of the theoretical money to purchase the patents related to Spectral Band Replication and free up United States Patent 6680972 and its dependent technologies. This would allow Xiph to enhance Ogg Vorbis to surpass MP3Pro and AAC easily for perceptual quality per encoded bitrate.

--John R. Moser

Form a Lobby Group to limit the current length and scope of copyrights[edit]

It would be a great idea to use this money to form a powerful lobby group (Like all the big corps do) to publicly and openly oppose the abysmal state of the US (which influences the rest of the world) copyright laws. the lobby group should have clear goals:

1.A complete rewrite of the DMCA removing the articles about making the circumvention of security devices illegal, even for fair use.

2. Limit the length of copyright.

3. Limit the scope of copyright.

4. Make region encoding on DVD's and other artificial barriers illegal.

5. Abolish the Trusted Computing consortium

6. Punish companies for deliberately intruducing anti-competitive non standard devices

7. Eliminate or at least curb DRM so that it may not erode any of the current fair uses for copyright works in place.

ie can copy 10% of a cd or one song for personal use. One chapter of a movie or 10% for personal use.

8. Anything that will generally benifit the consumer over the corperation.

the effect on rest of the world would be very limited-- 06:20, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

the Human Genome[edit]

there is quite simply nothing more important, and nothing that more deserves to be free!

Seconded! I may be a nobody, but I fully agree that nobody but all of us should 'own' the human genome. JanGB 08:14, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Thirded! Yes, this is definitley one that should be free to all... however everyone should realize that by making something like this free you are also giving access to very powerful information... knowledge is power.
Agree, with reservations. the data should be public. But I think some are confusing knowledge with information. the ability to think is more powerful. I am fond of a quote (can't recall the author) regarding the recent publication of the entire human genome: "Oh, yes. I read it this past three months. It was very enlightening."
Another vote for the Human Genome. When the Fountain of Youth is eventually "thoughtfully" discovered, it may be illegal to use in application due to current patent and/or copywrite restrictions. How would you like to be dying from an illness with a cure too expensive due, in part, to royalties on the Human Genome?

Knowledge search engine[edit]

the development of a search engine and a XML format for the representation for structured knowledge sources. Wikipedia would just be one of the knowledge sources. the free dictionary and project guttenberg would just two other examples. there are already many structured knowledge sources available on the internet, but they all have their own way of representing information. But in fact anybody would be able to make his/her own collection of structured knowledge available, once they have made an interface to the XML format. (Of course, part of the budget would be donated to organisations with large structured knowledge sources to create the interface.)

User:Dipskinny's suggestion[edit]

Saddam's Weapons of Mass Descruction

Empower other people to make an impact[edit]

I am fairly disappointed at most of the suggestions. I believe the maximum impact can only be done by empowering other people to make a difference in the society. Hence my suggestion is to create an organization that identifies and finances the best social companies/concepts each year to get them off the ground. For example, maybe one laptop per child can use some more research to launch. It will become kind of like a "social research fund" that will encourage most promising "social startups" to succeed.

Seed Fund for a Private Version of Voted Compensation[edit]

the concept of *Voted Compensation* is explained in my article Published Digital Information is a Public Good: the Case for Voted Compensation.

Very briefly, it is a form of Alternative Compensation System which works as follows:

  • Taxes are collected against Internet useage, computer hardware and digital recording media.
  • these taxes are to be used to pay for content which has been registered and licensed for free distribution.
  • Taxpayers vote for which registered content should be paid for by the fund.
  • Voting includes negative voting and voting thresholds to prevent corrupt voting (i.e. voting for your friend who produces valueless content).
  • there may also be meta-voting, where voters vote on adjustments to the system for translating votes into compensation decisions.
  • Receipt of compensation is entirely transparent, i.e. how much is allocated to which registered content producers for which content is public knowledge.

$100,000,000 could be used as a seed fund for a private version of this concept. New users could join the system by signing up for an entry fee (maybe $20) and a monthly fee (maybe $5). This would given them the right to vote for content in the system. In principle the content of a private voted compensation scheme would only have to be licenced for members of the system, i.e. it would be like a giant licensing collective, although for moral propaganda purposes it would be preferable to license all content freely (also given the stated intention of the donator behind this fund).

Two benefits could derive from using the $100,000,000 this way:

  • It is devoted towards content according to the tastes of the actual public (which is supposed to be what copyright achieves).
  • It highlights the benefits of the Voted Compensation scheme, which might result in it being adopted in the original suggested public form (in at least some countries).

Comparing my suggestion to most of the other suggestions given here:

  • Don't prejudge which type of free content is best funded.
  • Don't pay content producers before they produce their content.
  • Let the public decide which free content most deserves to be paid for, and how much.

Language-related Data[edit]

  • Creating an online database of all extant texts in various undeciphered languages (Linear A, Indus Valley Script, Rongo Rongo, etc.), along with summaries of any relevant research on these scripts, could very likely aid in their decipherment. This would probably be less an issue of purchasing copyrights as it would be of collecting the texts from disparate sources and digitizing them.
  • Online dictionaries, grammars, and audio samples of all the world's languages, especially endangered languages. Again this would probably be more an issue of collecting and digitizing the data than purchasing copyrights.
  • Automatic translation in more languages. As far as I know, you can't even get rudimentary automatic translation in languages like Hindi, Farsi, and Hebrew that are of interest to many English speakers. Even a program that simply substituted word-for-word would be very useful.

Classified Information[edit]

I suppose the CIA probably wouldn't overtly start handing over juicy secrets for cash, but there are some private intelligence agencies that might have some pretty interesting dirt that could be made public.

Old Aerial Photographs[edit]

Wouldn't it be neat to see how cities and other places evolve over time?

Pictures are also profitable to non English wikipedias[edit]

Please, remember that wikipedia is not an English speaking project. So targeting only textual material in English would only benefit a subset of WP, in the short term (until a gigantic translation effort occurs for each other languages).

Meanwhile, what every WP lacks the more (whatever the language is) compared to other encyclopedias is pictures, because most of the time we can make our own (so not pictures of things, flowers, places, animals, etc.) :

  • 20th century peoples biographies (artists, politicians, misc. celebrities ...) need pictures, and we can't usually get them (in particular for dead people). So a database subset from an international press agency would be useful (even if those are the lower quality / not event-related pics they can't usually sells or that they sell cheaper) : AP, en:AFP, en:Reuters etc.
  • Movies screenshots and music albums covers are lacking for articles on those arts (in particular on WP that can't use fair use, like de:, es:, fr: ...). So asking big studios (MGM, Disney, Nikkatsu, ...) to free one or two medium resolution shots from their best movies would be excellent.

the lack of pictures may be less visible at first sight on English WP because of the fair use acceptation there, but it strikes hard other WP, and would strike en: too for any commercial printed version.

Multi language out-of-print scholar manuals[edit]

If old, out-of-print scholar textbooks can be cheap enough, getting some of them (eg. two different last year high school books for history, maths, literature, geography, physics, chemistry, philosophy, biology, art), in a dozen of languages would be a super booster :

  • Straight on wikibooks : can be used for scholars on poorest countries (whenever they speak one of the covered languages), like in en:OLPC
  • We can split them and inject the content in wikipedia articles : this would ensure wikipedia a good minimum coverage of all essentials encyclopedic & scholar subjects

<jbb> I very much agree with that of taking out of print textbooks; it is so interesting to see how our parents, or even ourselves were learning in the past compared to now.

Alessandro Ronchi This is the best Idea, I think. Some books are the same, untouched, for ages, but the price is always greater than the previous year. If you buy an out of print scholar textbook the community would give all the updates needed and the result could be printed on our own or by a cheap tipography (because any tipo could print it, they will run down the prices).

Elevation data & Modified Copyrights[edit]

  • Releasing elevation data of the entire earth. Two main reasons: (1) most are generated using govt funded projects which use public money; (2) there is nothing creative about it. Copyright is for creative works. the idea has already been suggested.
  • Release university level research literature if the work is completely funded by public money. If a private entity has funded a part or whole of the research, it is understandable that the entity would like to reap the benefits of investment. In such a case, adjustments could be made that the entity retains copyright for a fraction of period compared to "regular" period of copyright. It is the responsibility of the private entity to recoup the cost of investment within that fractional period. After that period the copyright will automatically change to creditright. I invented the term and believe that it is self-explanatory. ping me at <insert my username>@gmail DOT com if this term is discussed.
  • As someone as already suggested, copyrights should be limited to a period of 20 years. In addition, I would also like to create the concept of creditright. the reproductions/replications must clearly credit the original creator as the author of the work. Creditright never expires. I observe that the practice has already existed for centuries but I would be happy to see a legislation. If something similar is already in effect, well, then the discussion is irrelevant.

For last two ideas, a lobby group needs to be created as already suggested.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention my username. It is jhshukla.

And as much as I love the intentions of may users here, please do not forget that discussion is about copyrighted works. It is not about patents. Businesses have invested money in research and it is understandable that they want to benefit from the investment. there is nothing creative in patents. Patents are for inventions and innovations. And they do expire after 20 years. As enlightened users of Wiki projects, please do some research using Wikipedia. It is there for you. And it is free.

- Jhshukla

Most countries recognize the right to be credited as the creator of a work as a droit moral. Unlike other rights such as the right to distribute copies, it cannot be handed around or licensed. I'm not sure if it expires; not an expert since my own country does not recognize them. 09:30, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Buy Textbooks to be used as "Seeds" for Wiki to grow[edit]

Divide the $100 million into 200 parts of $500,000 each.... then select the top 200 textbooks across fields of science (including mathematics).

For each field (e.g. Cellular Biochemistry), choose two books: an intro one, equivalent to that used to teach a freshman course in college, and an advanced one, equivalent to a graduate school text.

there are way more than 100 ``fields of science (including mathematics)``. If you can get the best book for $500,000 or five good books for $100,000 each, then the 5 good books are way better value. Actually I would hope that we can get decent books for much less than $100,000. --MarSch 09:40, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Yes but please, don't forget non-english wikipedias. So it would rather be 5 good textbooks * x languages.

In some cases, it may not be possible to choose and buy the rights to "the best" or "best known" book in the field... that's ok.

the purpose of this plan would be to create the "seeds" for wikipedia to (a) absorb this information, and (b) provide the basis for future editors and authors to add to these pages once they were online. Within a relatively short period of time (perhaps 2-3 years), these new "wiki" editions of the books would become authoritative for their fields... and having an into and a graduate version allows for wiki authors to fill-in the gaps and cross-reference the two.

Plus, choosing only science topics ensures that a broad, but deep, range of books could be purchased. If this is successful, then perhaps another sponsor would step forward with another $100 million and the same could be repeated for history, etc.

Academics and experts seem to often write texts for reputation purposes. Why not set up a project to draft star teams of authors to create new definitive texts for each field. If reputation is an important motivation, just make sure principal authors get credit for it (say, as editors).
Point of clarification. From what I've seen, you generally do need principal authors, which should be credited as the authors. You often have contributors, which may write a chapter or a smaller section. An example of this would be Speech and Language Processing by Jurafsky and Martin. Andy Kehler from UCSD is listed as a contributor for having written chapter 18 (if I remember correctly). Often, these books are written out of a need for them. Either due to the field being young, or as a result of out-of-date text books where the original author is unable or unwilling to produce a new edition.
No. Too short-term. Textbooks can become obsolete within 5 years. Besides, text books are available in public libraries. Or at least most undergraduates have access to them already.

A baseline education effort[edit]

I'd like to suggest that the money be used to fund the creation of a method to take illiterate people in any language and get them to the point where they can USE the Wikimedia resources. Think of 'the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer' from the book 'the Diamond Age', it taught the protagonist how to read, how to ask questions, etc. A resource like that, whether it fed into Negroponte's $100 laptop effort or not, would be the rosetta stone for bringing progress to 3rd world countries. - CHAIRBOY () 23:04, 22 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Arrange a license for Whitesmoke software[edit]

Arrange a license to use Whitesmoke Enrichment and integrate it with the Mediawiki edit or preview function. This is one a hell of software ! which helps you write in a good English. I think this tool will be very useful especially for non native English speakers (and even native). It can also incidently serve as good translation complement when coupled with an automatic translation tool. Please note that I am no way affilated with this company, I have been contrbuting to Wikipedia for a long time ! see my edit history here and here --Khalid hassani 23:31, 22 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Argument Against Buying Textbooks[edit]

Writing a textbook requires a lot of expertise. You need to have a complete grasp of everything in the textbook, plus a lot of understanding of related materials to write something that is complete, informed and correct. It is something easily done by experts in a field, but not by people who only have a basic understanding.

For example, one of the math professors at my school (UC Berkeley) has written hundreds of pages of supplementary material for students that he gives out for free (link). Among these is a 200+ supplementary companion to a graduate level analysis textbook. This material has been written by him over the years, and is freely given to his students -- for someone who is an expert in a field, this is a fairly easy (albeit time consuming) task to do. As more college students grow up under the influence of Wikipedia, accumulations of knowledge like this will be put up by experts in the field. the people who are the most qualified to write in these subject areas generally do not need public domain texts.

  • I think this argument is against the basic principles of Wikipedia itself. A massively peer reviewed, open body of knowledge is superior to one produced by a few experts. A broad collection of texts from primary and secondary education (kindergarden through 12th grade and a bachelors degree in college in the US) would be invaluable to countries that simply cannot afford all those books for its students. And I see no reason why advanced post-secondary texts should not also be included to fuel higher education and advancement accross society in poor regions. This includes places in affluent countries like the US, too. Not every school district can afford texts on top of the basic necessities such as buildings and teachers. Not every university has an unlimited research budget for procurement of texts.
    • More than being an argument against the principles of Wikipedia, I believe it is an argument against itself. Writing a textbook either requires a lot of expertise from an individual or the collective expertise that generates the content in Wikipedia. the question is not what it takes to generate a good textbook, but its value to society when it is put in the public domain. If you claim that writing a book requires an expert and a publishing company who are later going to charge for copies of it, despite rare examples as your professor in UC Berkley, it is more of a reason to free textbooks from copyrights.
    • I am lolling at this. "A massively peer reviewed, open body of knowledge is superior to one produced by a few experts." You think college shelf textbooks fit that? Go read "Security+ Guide to Network Security Fundamentals, Second Edition," by Mark Ciampa, and tell me what you think. Especially about how current day systems (Copyright on the book: 2005) "store data next to code" and "buffer overflows alter the program instructions by overwriting them" (hint: not possible in modern systems, the code is write protected); or how "the private key is used to encrypt the message and the recipient uses his public key to read it" (not talking about digital signatures, but actual passing of secret messages). Don't buy existing textbooks written by one expert; get a few experts together so they review each other.

Besides, we already have Wikibooks.

fyi, Encyclopedias generally ask famous professors at prestigious research institutions to write their articles. Textbooks are generally written by "drop out" professors at teaching colleges. So, on the face of it, their is considerably less "expertise" behind your average textbook. You just need methods for "selling" wikibooks more effectively to universities (see next). Nyarlathotep 13:24, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


MediaWiki software improvments: specifically more support for forking and "content configuration". Here is a more specific idea for wikibooks:

Allow paying "instructional accounts" who may create customized forks of wikibooks (and add more "flow control" so such forks may easily be merged ack into the main tree). Such instruction accounts could create customized versions for their own students (still using the foundations hosting service, but paying for it). Wikignomes could merge their changes back into the main fork, often as special configurations.

Departments always fight over various details in textbooks so customizability might be a killer app. Nyarlathotep 13:24, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Fund the production of new stuff[edit]

Spend part of the $100 million buying masterpieces, which cannot be reproduced.

For technical material, rather than buying $100 million of non-free stuff spend the $100 million paying experts to produce up-to-date replacements, making the non-free stuff obsolete. John Dalton 23:33, 22 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Depending on what you're thinking of buying/recreating, it should be cheaper to buy the existing non-free version if your threat to produce a free competitor is credible. -- Pde 04:24, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Don't buy stuff which should be free already. You'll just make the "life + 70 years" copyright term more pofitable for those who bought it. Nyarlathotep 13:27, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Handbooks are most important, some cost upwards of 500 dollars for some tables (and the tables are by and large very important for all the sciences.)

Handbooks of note:

  1. CRC handbook (chemical resource handbook)
  2. Some russian formula book it's about 1100 pages long, the most commonly used formulas in math/science/engineering... someone help me out with the name here.
  3. Actuarial tables
  4. Logarithmic tables (note that as these are depreciated in most of the first world they may mean nothing to many wiki users, but to some others they would be quite useful.)

these would be primarily used to certify values found on substances or formulas, and these values could then be LOCKED because the solubility of sucrose in pure water at 20 degrees celcius will not change readily.

Opening these books up to public domain would be the most important step forward as they could then be modified for a better use.

Barring that, please spend as much money possible on entry level science material, and primary literature(rights to use all of a journals articles perhaps?). Wikipedia is a ground up foundation, so start with easy to verify subjects and material.

Handbook of Mathematics

by I.N. Bronshtein, K.A. Semendyayev, G. Musiol, H. Muehlig, H. Mühlig

Why log tables?[edit]

Why buy something that is quick and easy to generate with a computer?

Why math formulae?[edit]

I don't think you can copyright math formulae either - certainly not the ones that you find in those big thick books. So just type them into Wikipedia yourself.

It is not only about typing them inside Wikipedia, but it is about explaining them and write them down in an useful way. Wikipedia will not buy the formulae, it will buy a fully comprensive work about formulae and will make it available. And think about the value of time. It is better having the formulae before or after? What is the value generated from having them before?

Fund writing of textbooks and courseware[edit]

Spend some of the amount on paying experts to write textbooks/courseware that will be licensed under OSS-type licenses. these should include both school- and university-level textbooks. More money can be spend on translation of the created textbooks/courseware into various languages.

Courses could be geared towards subjects that are clearly pragmatic (i.e., personal finance), or for which there is a widely-accepted proficiency test (i.e., GED in the US). Courses in fields that conventionally require a degree and/or licensing would be a much lower priority (i.e., medicine, law, engineering, etc).

Language instruction would be ideally suited. Professional instructors could be contracted for short-term projects to development multimedia language content, with the goal of preparing students for widely-accepted tests of language proficiency (i.e., TOEFL, JLPT, DELF, etc).

Invest in automatic text translation research[edit]

Would be nice if we had to possibility to translate articles on-the-fly.

Let me expand upon this:

  1. partner with google (whoever) to aquire their text translation as open source, improve upon it, and implement it here.
  2. take ideas from professional translation software which assumes the users knows much about the langauge already, and mearly focus upon improving their vocabulary.
  3. add a "translate each word" user option which produces dhtml floating translations of each word as the mouse passes over it; thus making wikipedia, wikinews, etc. into the best way to read in a foreign langauge. (Google Toolbar has this only for English)

electronics schematics[edit]

i would like to see electronics schematics for various production electronics, not sure exactly how that would work because everyone and their mother makes electronics anymore... but it would be nice to have somewhere to go to find schematics for something im trying to repair

Classic Mathematics Textbooks[edit]

the textbooks

   Principles of Mathematical Analysis, and
   Real and Complex Analysis

by Walter Rudin are considered the bibles of this type of mathematics. they are considered necessary reading by any serious student of mathematics. However, they are ridiculously expensive. Currently only form is a hardback book from I think McGraw-Hill costing (from Amazon) $150 US each. This is even more ridiculous when you consider that the edition that is being published dates from 1976 and hence there can be no excuse for costs associated with editorial work or what not.

Copyright reform[edit]

I agree with the concept that the best way to use money like this would be not to buy individual copyrights, but rather to invest in copyright reform. If the Sonny Bono act hadn't been passed and we'd have been able to use any work up to 1930 today, that would do more good than any amount of buying copyrighted works could have done. (I'm not sure if even 100 million would be enough, though.)

Other than that, I would go with the idea of putting the money towards restoring and preserving old films. Old films have a physical deterioration problem which is a heck of a lot worse than for, say, old books. We don't even have enough resources to preserve all the public domain old films out there, let alone the copyrighted ones.

I also like the idea of putting the money towards researching orphan works.

Of course, none of those choices involves actually buying copyrights. If the only option is to literally purchase copyrights with the money, then you've specified a condition that the money is to be used very unwisely. If we have to choose between somewhat unwise ways to spend the money, and slightly more unwise ways of spending the money, I'm not even sure a meaningful answer could be given. Arromdee 00:26, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I second this. American legislators are cheap, often bought for thousands, not millions. Creating a system by which all works pass into public domain after a reasonable amount of time would generate lasting impacts far into the future instead of a one-time cultural stimulus. [AP]

European legistlaters might be even cheaper. Nyarlathotep 13:36, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

SUPPORT - I wrote something about this below. I believe that money is far better spent working to loosen the hold of copyright (for all works) rather than to completely free an extremely tiny minority of works from it. $100m may not be enough for this, but it may be enough to research and then organize and raise funds to achieve this goal. --Jmccorm 13:48, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Oxford English Dictionary (OED)[edit]

the information in OED would mesh very well wikipedia's content, and it's hard to imagine a wiki-generated etymology that would compare. OED is prohibitively expensive for many people.

^while that's true, part of what makes the OED the OED is it's continuing research by lexicographers. i'd wonder if investing in the rights would actually be worth it in the long run^

I'd love to see wiktionary seeded with OED entries.


Slashdot has linked to the Copyright Wishlist and it might be a good idea to simply review the posts there instead of duplicating them here.

Personally I'm suggesting textbooks and perhaps a more up-to-date revision of a printed encyclopedia, then we can replace the 1911 Brittanica references, put all the textbooks on Wikibooks, and make it all available to the rest of the world. ~Kylu (u|t) 00:50, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


spend the $100M on bandwidth. To "free" copywritten material all you have to do is provide a place to put it for a few hours out in the wild. People do the work of obtaining the material and redistributing it for free. Buy an island near a country that doesn't respect copywrite law. Better yet, launch a sat into space and host from space.

Last idea... create an ebay-style site for facilitating the buying and selling of copywritten information. Register it as Pour the money into a protected market place and the work will all be done for you, and more efficiently than you would ever think to do it.

Sports photo archive[edit]

New users on the English-language Wikipedia are forever adding sports photos to articles, from professional football, soccer, basketball, baseball, car racing. these photos are always copyrighted by Sports Illustrated or CNN or the AP, and GFDL photos of the players are never available. they all have to get marked for deletion. This is an indication that the users of Wikipedia want the photos pretty badly. there is no fair use argument that is legitimate. (Even bad-quality photos that a Wikipedian snaps of the form of "60-year-old ex-football player I saw at a convention" are absent, much less exciting in-game closeups of Barry Sanders dodging 3 linebackers simultaneously.) It would strongly improve Wikipedia's sports articles -- or, at least, users' initial impression of all the articles -- if we could acquire a sports photo library of a broad assortment of players. We don't need 50 photos of the same guy, just 1 great photo of each. It does seem crazy for an encyclopedia that has an article on Magic Johnson to lack a photo of him slamming one in. 00:51, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

See also Associate press feed for wikinews below.

Massachusetts Medical Society[edit]

the New England Journal of Medicine is a huge resource for practicing physicians. It's run by the Massachusetts Medical Society, a non-profit. How about giving them some of the money to fund moving NEJM to PLOS-style Open Access?

I came here to recommend the NEJM too. the first place I would look for an authoritative, reliable answer to a medical question about a major disease, like leukemia or schizophrenia, is a review article in the NEJM. If you need information for a life-or-death decision, it *must* be peer-reviewed.
the NEJM also has definitive articles answering major questions, like (in the issue before me), do DHEA and testosterone have any value as anti-aging drugs? Often, to answer a medical question from first-hand information, you *must* read the NEJM article; everything else is second-hand.
the 4 major medical journals are NEJM, JAMA, Lancet and BMJ. Parts of those journals are made public immediately (e.g. NEJM Perspectives) immediately, other parts are made public after 6 months (NEJM reports, all of JAMA, etc.), but other important parts (NEJM review articles, editorials) are not. the editorials, for example, often give the weaknesses of the review articles.
Other people have recommended Harrison's Internal Medicine. I'd second that too.
Interestingly, drug companies have promotional services in which they pay the publishers to make Harrison's, NEJM, and other publications available free to doctors. So it might not cost all that much to make it available to the general public. Nbauman


the Merck Manual and Physicians Desk Reference.

the Merck Manual of course is available free (though not open source) on the Merck web site [6]Nbauman 03:00, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

J. St. Amand[edit]

Buy the rights to formulas of some of the most in-demand, expensive prescription medications so that generic manufacturers can start mass-producing them on the cheap. So many sick people go without prescription meds because they can't afford them until the copyright wears off.

That's not copyright, it's patents. This ( is what should be done for medicin patents. --MarSch 09:52, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, has the right solution, and 100 million won't buy you much. You might however spend money lobbying U.S. universities to insert a "generic in developing countries" clause into the contracts under which they lissence their patents to pharma cos. Nyarlathotep 13:51, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Useful Things[edit]

user manuals installation diagrams and instructions recipes chemical mixtures repair manuals (chilton, oem for cars, motorcycles) sheet music and samples out-of-print books maps (high res images) art (high res images)

spending priorities[edit]

I would use the cash for the following: OED (First edition for the most part in the public domain) Just to allocate the cash to scan and enter it appropriately. Map data. I would take the vmap-1 data, or use the money to free it, and use it as the basis for a global map project. Norton Critical editions. I would attempt to create books based on the format of the norton critical editions using supplementary material to increase the value of already PD books. Webmuseum. Make a wiki version of the webmuseum and free all the rights to the pictures

What about the DSM? It would be a great addition to the psychology sections.

Expanding on OED1 in public domain: to my understanding, all of OED1 except for W was published before 1928 and so is fair game for data entry. Someone has to do this. Who better than Wikipediationary? 00:10, 25 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine[edit]

Something newer than Gray's Anatomy -- maybe Netter's?[edit]

the pathologic basis of disease[edit]

Knuth's books on CS[edit]

Excellent idea! This is probably the one set of books in Comp.Sci. that most deserves being available to everyone. --JerryJvL 02:08, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Money a bad thing?[edit]

the handbooks sound good. Maps.

I enjoy contributing to wikiversity and hope it will not be replaced with purchased textbooks. We ended up with a better encyclopedia, and may well end up with something better than textbooks. Keep hope alive!

Maybe better to not buy anything and keep the wiki projects pure voluntary work. Use the money to keep the servers running and connected forever.


I would like to suggest purchasing ScienceDirect, a database which currently "owns" a quarter of all scientific journals. This would cost far more than a 100 million dollars but it would place scientific knowledge into the hands of the public that would previously have to be paid for. the cost of accessing scientific journals is increasing rapidly and libraries are having a hard time keeping up with the rising price. In most cases the studies published in these journals were funded with money from the U.S. government, it is paid for with taxpayer money. the results of the studies have to be purchased from corporations that make a profit off of what taxpayers fund. the purchase of ScienceDirect would help in efforts to keep knowledge free and open to everyone. the Public Library of Science (PLoS) has been trying to make "the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource". the purchase of ScienceDirect would be an enormous step forward in making scientific and medical literature free to the public.

not a good idea. Why purchase an old database why not create you own? Establish a peer-reviewd scientific publications system where you can publish!
Newer publications (in certain fields) are already put in an open access archive;, w:arxiv. I'm not sure about licencing though. --MarSch 09:58, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

This opportunity may never come again- create an endowment for the long term[edit]

I'd reccomend using the money to create an endowment that would primarily fund the creation of new works. At 5% a year, that would be $5 million dollars a year that could fund authors, musicians, photographers, etc. to produce new content that Wikimedia (or some specially created organization) would own the copyright to. And that's the catch- because Wikimedia owns the copyright, it could lease exclusive sales rights to the new content to publishing companies for a limited time, say 5 years, and use the revenue recieved to either grow the endowment or fund the creation of even more works. In exchange for a delay of a couple years before the content is truly made free, you'd have a constantly growing source of funding for new content that's copyrighted for a sane amount of time, and you'd be providing a prominent example of alternative copyright regimes that the world as a whole should consider.

If licensing revenue on average paid for the creation costs of new works, and that money were plowed back into the creation of more works, the amount of revenue available to fund new works would double each year, from a starting value of $5 million. One compromise would be the need to at least partially target works that are commercially viable, such as music or documentaries, but that's just another way of saying that the foundation would have to target works that have popular demand, which is hardly a bad thing. And in return, you get a constantly growing body of new content distributed under free licenses (in exchange for being willing to wait a couple years before the work becomes free). In fact, the rate of growth itself accelerates, and hopefully, by releasing the works under a license that encourages the creation of derivative works that are also licensed freely, you encourage the creation of even more works through that mechanism as well. This scheme is thus "viral" in two ways.

I would definitely agree with this investment plan. Forgive the misqote, but, "interest is the most powerful force in the universe"; an investment body could purchase copyrights for years to come. With that said, I also advcate the purchase of the copyrights of textbooks, for use in the "seed" model proposed earlier. I've attempted to teach myself many things, basic electrical theory, Java, etc.; the lack of low level information that was oriented to a complete beginner was discouraging, and forced me to seek other sources of knowledge. the seed model releases essential information for beginners, and for experts (once the beginners get the ropes). Another thing that would be nice is a large sheet music archive; so much music is difficult to find, that is unless you belong to a conservatory or college of music. But, I can't emphasize enough the power of interest and investment. Dragoon235 03:21, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

  • Propose and Support - Dragoon235 03:21, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support - I second this idea! Each year wikipedia could take applications from people for a grant to create new content. A bit like the google summer of code, except for new content. ~ Luke.
  • Support - This is by far the most useful idea on this page. Buying specific works is a bad idea. For the most part, the works that are sure to have a lasting. Put the money into the Wikimedia Foundation and turn it into a real philantropic enterprise. Mstroeck 11:29, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support - Marvellous idea. -- 11:39, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support - Great idea! I do not know the conditions of the charity, but this would certainly be most useful in the long term. - Kashomon
  • Support - Very cool idea. there might be some legal complexity involved with a charitable endowment trying to generate revenue by licensing like this, but if the mystery funder is one of the Google founders, as seems likely,'s for-profit status might be assist in that regard. 15:08, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support in part - I like the idea of a gift that keeps on giving, but I think that the biggest asset Wikimedia has and its biggest opportunity for growth is the support of its members. Invest the cash directly into a seed copyright-release project to get people interested, then allow them to donate directly to a cause of their choosing on a narrowly-defined wishlist (like this one) to allow the project to grow. Johnpseudo 15:57, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support - Fuelbottle 17:14, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support --Micru 12:52, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support -- (jpetso) 12:54, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Support - While I think that the money of this fund should be used to free copyrighted stuff and not fund the creation of new works the idea itself is brilliant. I really believe a long term fund is a much better answer to the problems of copyright than a one time big buy.

The main problem is that we don't really know what we will need in a future wikiverse. Maps and satelite photos sound great, but at some time in the future it might be much cheaper to buy than today. Textbooks sound great but it might be that the community aproach to textbooks will be so successful, that we don't really need old-style textbooks anymore. Furthermore the publicity effect of a small buy every year will be much bigger than the publicity effect of one big buy now.

Nobody would remember Nobel if he had given all his money to fund research in his time. Now the Nobel Prize is the first thing that comes to mind when you think "Progress in science".

For the first year I would recommend something with huge publicity value. Perhaps free the "Happy Birthday-Song". The PR-Value of that would be really priceless. ;-) Sirana 15:57, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


  • Audio and video content, and software to make them integrate better with wikipedia. Right now the content is pretty pitiful and running/creating it is a pain.
  • Is enabling the easier creation of free content as good as buying content? Arguably wiki software enabled wikipedia to become what it is, what could good A/V software do?
  • How much content from PBS and BBC could be purchased for $100M?
  • Finance creation of better SVG tools for creation of maps etc
  • A problem we have is getting good articles on topics people aren't very interested in, w:cone is a good example. the only way content is going to get created in these boring but useful areas is by paying people.
  • Finance the fulling of wikispecies to completeness. Finance pictures?
  • Buy WebMD and start a medical wiki.


Public Textbooks for Mass Education[edit]

I personally believe that all of the world's problems are rooted in ignorance. Ignorance can be eroded by education. therefore, education is powerful enough to act as the limiting step in evolution. Colleges have recognized that education is valuable and, as a result, prices have increased dramatically. Textbooks cost a hefty amount and tuition is entirely unreasonable (given that most professors simply guide students through a textbook). Textbook vendors are happy to meet the demand and release new editions for the sake of increasing revenue, even though few advances in knowledge are made in between releases. Together, these middle men (college administrators and textbook vendors) impede the progress of society by limiting access to knowledge through education. Thus, I think it makes sense to check their counterproductivity by releasing the most current, comprehensive academic material (textbooks) in a variety of fields into the realm of truly public information. And, after an effort has been made to organize it systematically, experts will be more willing to contribute cutting-edge information and maintain this current resource (just like the textbook seeder idea already contributed above). then, the cost of a respectable erudition will be reduced to the cost of a computer and internet subscription. Career centers where people would like to join the workforce can expose these resources to interested individuals. Employed individuals will use the resource to update and/or keep up-to-date on recent developments. Private organizations may reward Wikipedia for cutting their training costs, increasing Wiki's turnaround to buy more material. And everyone that wants to change career paths will know that the only costs involved are time and patience. I also like the idea (already presented above) of dividing acquired material into a beginner section (for novices) and an intermediate section (for people in the field). This may be Wikipedia's chance to consolidate what's already been happening on thousands of blogs--discussion of contemporary issues in specialized fields.

Rebuttal against all above specialized requests: Many interests in detailed information are exclusive to a small number of people. If resources are directed to satisfying specific needs, the scope of the project becomes severely limited and all efforts, ultimately, useless. Textbooks offer a sufficiently broad collection of information to be the public springboard in our societal swimming pool. Everyone will benefit from the venture in some way and its utilitarian nature will adequately represent the Wikipedia community. That's my two cents. VIVA WIKIPEDIA!!!


Two primary ideas. the type of information I am always annoyed when it is not free is "how to books" information. I feel that everyone has the right to all of human knowledge, especially in practical matters. This wouldn't help wikipedia because how-to information is not allowed there, but one of the related projects which does allow how-to information would benefit greatly. Purchasing the rights to how-to books on cooking, self-defense, relationships, crafts, woodworking, and so on would be a great launching point for a wiki that could build upon the methods and improve them. the second idea is to get a competent musical orchestra, band, synthesizer arranger, etc., to perform notable works that the scores are out of copyright. the modern recorded performances of out-of copyright music are still under copyright, so nobody can hear Beethoven, the Pirates of Penzance, etc., freely, even though the scores belong to everyone. the millions could hire someone to perform the works and release them either to public domain or under a license that works for wiki. (Or, if more practical, the rights to existing recordings of the classic works could be purchased.) Barash Barash 03:00, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

the Pacesetter English Curriculum[edit]

Pacesetter English was/is a 12th grade English curriculum developed in the late 90's by the College Board as an alternative to their AP curriculum. It represented a large amount of R&D by leading academics and English teachers, incorporating contemporary literary theory in to a curriculum which addresses multimedia production and consumption as well as literature. However, it ultimately didn't fit the College Board's business model, apparently, since it didn't culminate in a specific standardized test, and Pacesetter English became abandonware. It was completed, marketed and successfully deployed in schools across the country for several years, but it is not commercially available today.

I have blogged about this idea here, with other followups.

Don't buy, indemnify[edit]

Set up a fund to indemnify people who reproduce and distribute works whose copyright holders cannot be identified. the fund would only have to pay out in case people are are sued, which would probably be rare. Furthermore, the fund would have an interest in defending against abusive suits, which would tend to create a healthier atmosphere.

Right now copyright law has a chilling effect on anyone who cannot afford large legal bills (and maybe damages), so huge numbers of works are unavailable simply because their copyright status cannot be determined.

Relatedly, this fund could support efforts to identify copyright holders, and gain releases from them.

support:: This is a great idea... it will aid private efforts to return our intellectual heritage to the public domain, without undertaking the burden of high expenses of paying for the labour of doing so.

Films, Drugs, and DNA[edit]

I would recommend purchasing the rights to some still copyrighted films in the National Film Archive. I also like the idea of buying the patents/copyrights on important drugs, genomes, treatments, etc. --Neo3DGfx 03:33, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


$100 million doesn't go very far when it comes to important drugs. Besides, the patents aren't all that long, at least not compared to copyrights. See the Gates foundation for details. I wonder how much great arthouse cinema you could buy for $100 million. Or whether it would be cheaper, as others have suggested, to purchase changes to copyright laws that liberate those works. -- Pde

Some thoughts.[edit]

I have a few suggestions - the first one is really easy. Make wikipedia easier for elderly people and people with age related disabilities to partake in. Think of all the knowledge that the elderly contain 'because they were there' that they cant share because of an obfusticated geek designed interface prevents them.

Second one is that if there are six human senses (taste, sight, touch, hearing, smell and emotion), why not work on developing an interface that allows some or all of those senses to be used (someone posted an idea on recording the musical greats which would be a start). Plain old black and white text was a marvel in gutenbergs time, but I suspect its not all that great for imparting knowledge. there are even pictures on the wiki that are plain and boring - convey no emotion or anything.

Thirdly, once you've figured out how to do that, why cant I see the information located on the globe (like the one that google earth uses). I want to zoom around the planet, click on a location, zoom in to the local park bench and see all the information related to that place (over time) - kind of like tagging grafiti.

I want to be able to tag locations with grafiti too - so I can contribute to my local neighbourhoods historical knowledge base. Make it so that each knowledge or social category tags a different virtual reality. So if I put my globe in the history reality - only historical information is shown. If its in the technical reality, then techy info. If its in the social networking reality, then I want to see the tags my friends left for me (and/or others).

then, transpose that information so I can use my GPS device in my phone/pda so that the information is around me while I walk down the street in my local neighbourhood (History channel does an advert 'know where you stand' that shows someone on a beach in Normandy with the ghosts of soldiers running past).

All that technology is there now, so dont see why it isnt already being done. there is no point in storing lots of information if you are not intending to use it. Why not stick it out on the planet and let people interact with it daily if they want.

I think that starting a location without copyrights is the only real solution.

What you do is us 50 million to buy up old sea worthy vessels and put servers on them in international waters. Anchor them far from pirated shipping lanes. then use the other half for buying off legistlatures for the next 20 years. By then people will be addicted and/or rely on it enough to need it more than their Fascist governments.

[how this applies to (c) is that it allows the creation of a free commons where information can be created easily and shared. At the end of the day, (c) is private data and unless people can identify the really important stuff that benefits humanity - why spend money on it. I would rather someone spend money on creating a system to capture information that comes out of (c) than to spend money on capturing info thats still in (c).]

Buy land to establish a state with no copyright[edit]

And he saw that the land was good.

the only problem with this is that, other than the logistics of finding a large enough plot, convincing everyone to move there, setting up infrastructure, etc, just to be copyright free, and then be able to transfer all the copyrighted stuff to be copied and distributed, considering that the cuntry (hehe... cunt!) would most likely be embargoed by the us, how would the country defend itself? A country this small would have such great military defense that the RIAA itself could afford a militia to just take over it

Is anyone actually reading the question?[edit]

the question was not "what should wikimedia do with a $100M windfall" but "Imagine there existed a budget of $100 million to purchase copyrights to be made available under a free license. What would you like to see purchased and released under a free license?"

I'm with those who would buy out scientific articles and bankrupt Elsevier et al. Another good thing would be to clear the copyrights for all masters/doctoral theses and make them easily available to the masses. --unknown

I think the premise of the question is slightly off. Rather than using $100m to free an insignificant minority of works from the grip of copyright, wouldn't $100m be better spent towards developing and then organizing support for a method of directly or indirectly attacking/weakening copyright itself? It is the old "give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime". I'm not saying this would be easy (buying some copyrighted works would be so much easier), only that it is potentially far more valuable. --Jmccorm 13:45, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Open Education[edit]

the concept of textbooks is too abstract. For 100 million you should sponsor an open source education. This software/data would be made available to anyone including the millions of laptops being developed for OLPC. All those laptops need quality software that will inform and educate future generations.

Don't buy copyrights to old textbooks that have boring ways to teach math and science. With multi-media, great writers and animators you could teach math, science, biology and history in a much more interactive, compeling and rich way then has ever been possible before. If we can educate the world the rest will follow.

textbooks would go a long way in making this possible. It's probably all that is missing to make what you want happen. --MarSch 10:11, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Open Sourced Hardware[edit]

Purchase engineering firms and/or their designs & release under an open license. I imagine the open hardware movement would be invigorated much as the OSS movement was invigorated by Netscape releasing Mozilla code, or any of the other many Closed->Open Source success stories.

en:Open source hardware


the MSDN library on Wikipedia would be very useful

I cant agree because its already accessible for free-- 06:26, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


I agree with many of the comments about purchasing/gathering newspaper archives. Factiva and Lexis-Nexis go a long way in providing this information, for a price. By having this information open and free in wikipedia, other users can translate, fill in any missing gaps, or provide context to other wikipedia articles.

Best of all, Wikipedia would have a database of highly trusted sources that could be cited in the wikipedia articles. Several times I have seen the hyperlinks expire for existing sources. Having newspaper archives in wikipedia would go a long way in solving this problem.

I'm sure there are other good ideas for this information.

I am not sure about the world wide situation of this but at least Finnish main library archives all finnish and major other newspapers for open access.-- 06:27, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Voting Machine software[edit]

Diebold and the rest of them: Purchase the companies and open-source the software.

First Homer Simpson has to be elected president. --MarSch 10:16, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I second the idea of buying vote machine software and making it free and open-source. This is a critical component in the infrastructure of our democracy. 16:00, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
That's great, but what about the other 6.2 billion of us? -- Chuq 07:37, 26 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


mp3, video codecs, etc.

Why bother with inferior codecs that put to waste the talents of artists. FLAC is already free and superior, as well as many other codecs.

Happy Birthday Song[edit]

the song "Happy Birthday to you..." is still under active copywrite which is why you will never hear it on TV, Radio, etc. If there is any cash spare this would be a good one to purchase.

Hilarious Idea!! :)

Sorry, I'm new to wikimedia (not Wikipedia, though). Hope you don't sockpuppet me. But this one would likely have a great effect on society. Would also generate a lot of publicity. If I were in charge of spending money to free copyrighted works, this would be near the top of my list, if just for the PR value alone. --Jmccorm 13:36, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

...have a great effect on PR Value? priceless

Very Great Idea, that really shows how much is to do to have a world that gives everyone acces to free information! This song is known by everyone, and would be a much greater thing for the world than just one single part of science...

Brilliant idea. It's in copyright until 2030 (or forever, if the Mouse have their way). It would be worth its cost in publicity alone. --Caywood

the genome for genetically modified plants[edit]

I'm told that farmers have to purchase every year seeds for crops because the seeds are trapped under copyright...

Farmers have to repurchase every year because the seeds are infertile hybrids or have terminator genes. To set them free you have to *both* own the intellectual property rights in the genome (within our hypothetical) *and* re-engineer them to knock out the terminator or to put all the desired genes in one fertile line (not really within our hypothetical, unfortunately).

It's true that the terminator genes were put there to defend intellectual property. But buying the rights won't knock out the genes, any more than my completely legitimate uses of DVDs make region coding stop being a pain in the butt.

Building codes/copyrighted law[edit]

In many areas of the United States and probably elsewhere in the world, some portions of the law (particularly building codes) reference copyrighted material which is not readily available to the average home handyman. This has the net effect of making many kinds of self-performed home improvement illegal since there is no way for those of us who wish to do such work to know what the legal requirements are.

While there's no reason these should have ever been allowed to be closed in the first place, opening them up again is something I believe many people would appreciate.

Maybe the top so many textbooks in major college courses. that way, you get students not to spend as much and they might contriubute back. 05:22, 23 October 2006 (UTC)poor college student[reply]

Free academic journal access for the public[edit]

Make most or influential academic papers open to the public, i.e., current papers in science, social sciences, and humanities.

Attract more interest and...[edit]

Buy LexisNexus.

I'm amazed at this point that Google has not approached LexisNexus and purchased them. But, there is a massive wealth of information there. Just WestLaw, which I believe is owned by LexisNexus now is a massive collection of Law materials.

So, take that $100 million, and use it to attract other capitol and then purchase LexisNexus and open up it's huge database. Given what they charge for access to the system, it would probably take upwards of 10x the initial amount to purchase their system, but getting that type of capitol from subscribers would be extremely easy if you promised them cheap/free access in the future.

Other than that, purchasing satelite imagery, or world street level maps (is it insane that a CD of US Street level maps from Garmin is over $100?).

Or, start a legal, public, abandon ware system. Hire an individual to contact software companies and purchase the source for abandoned software, then open it up. Eudora worked out in the long run, seemingly. But, what about other software that just rots away in the basement of MS, Symantec, or Sierra?

Lastly, and perhaps one of the most useful: a public, open, free typography library. Something that can be used in education that is comparible to Adobe Type Set.

Good luck!

I second the law material purchase, great idea - w:User:Ravedave
Second the typography library --K33l0r 07:22, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Lets not waste the cash on stuff that's hip[edit]

- I'll be frank here, there is really no need to waste money on some of the overpriced media and mickey mouse stuff .. really a lot of the stuff people are asking for are already available in some form on the net for free viewing. We can assume if they can access wikimedia they can access the net. What we need are comprehensive modern texts in the major fields that will be of maximum jumpstart use to those who need the most assistance. If copyright holders dont wish to release the copyrights to top selling books, we can offer cash to individuals/authors to develop a textbook from scratch (i reckon we'll find the top selling books will be high school/college level so authors wont be that hard to find). I reckon the following: $5 million budget for modern up to date textbooks on mathematics from the kindergarten level to a level needed to get a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics. So then other fields as well: $20 Mil for Physics. Chemistry, Biology, Microbiology, computational biology (bioinformatics). Another $10 mil for medicine, pharmaceutical knowledge. Also, we need to spend $15 mil on agriculture techniques, urban planning. And of course we need to get the latest texts in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, communications, electrical and computer engineering: $25 mil. then of course we also need texts of economics, public speaking, project management, computer graphics, computer game making, computer security (let's only spend $10 mil on these total). My grand total? $85 mil. *gulp* I really hope I overestimated the amount of money needed for these. Maybe it will only cost a fifth of the total. But I really would like to see this stuff made available. Cant we just pay the respective experts/NOBEL LAUREATES in each field $1 million each to write us a text book? That would drop my total to a mere $20 million. One other thing .. we should make sure we are getting the latest of whatever fields (unless it can easily be updated).

Commissioning textbooks seems like a good way to do it. It should be cheaper than buying copyrights from a publishing house, and may be more tightly targeted to whatever is seem to be the 'market.' If these textbooks were wikified, it seems that there would have to be a slightly different editing procedure, with, perhaps, greater expert oversight. Not in line with the principles of wikimedia, perhaps, but editing content that is already at a very high level is different from creating content from scratch. Samgra
Yes looks like a good idea. But don't forget to include translators in the budget, too. So it could benefit the world (including poor countries), not only english-speaking places.

Why not use the money to buy a small island nation, base Wikipedia there, and reject the notion of copyright entirely? No intellectual property laws, no problems.[edit]

1. Legal Classics — Classic Textbooks With Latin characters intact and hyperlinks for content, table of cases, index, interlinked sections and footnotes(though Project Gutenberg has some great legal classics, plain vanilla text makes it impossible to read.) In real world, many legal classics are very hard to get and the available ones are usually very expensive(maybe because market is lesser) and even though many(/most of) books are in public domain now, cheaper reprints are very rare(at least very hard to get in Asia, Africa and Australian continents!)

2. Classics in Criminology, Sociology (like Edwin H. Sutherland' on Criminology, which introduced the concept of White Collar Crime) there is hardly any access to quality books on Social Sciences for a student/enthusiast from a small town(other than in USA and some parts of Europe and Australia, where you have a public library network that works).

3. Sponsor digitisation of literature(in public domain) in Indian and other South Asian Languages(get the books scanned, transcription can be done/managed by the community, which is already active in maintaining Wikipedia in their respective languages.)

the idea of forming a nation has been discussed before on this page. Problem would be to found the infstrastructure of that nation. Also defending the country against US's "liberation" operations would be impossible.

a wikipedia island without interntet.. or u wanna buy an entire rest-of-the-the-world-indipendent LAN infrastructure?

ravi's Wishlist[edit]

1. Legal Classics — Classic Textbooks With Latin characters intact and hyperlinks for content page, table of cases, index, interlinked sections and footnotes(though Project Gutenberg has some great legal classics, plain vanilla text makes it impossible to read.) In real world, many legal classics are very hard to get and the available ones are usually very expensive(maybe because the market is less) and even though many(/most of) books are in public domain now, cheaper reprints are very rare(at least very hard to get in Asia, Africa and Australian continents!)

2. Classics in Criminology, Sociology (like Edwin H. Sutherland' on Criminology, which introduced the concept of White Collar Crime) there is hardly any access to quality books on Social Sciences for a student/enthusiast from a small town(other than in USA and some parts of Europe and Australia, where you have a public library network that works).

3. Sponsor digitisation of literature(in public domain) in Indian and other South Asian Languages(get the books scanned, transcription can be done/managed by the community, which is already active in maintaining Wikipedia in their respective languages.)


  • there are many wildlife movies here. these movies would make excellent additions to the articles about animals. I doubt that the Wikipedia community could ever create such movies themselves (in a reasonable span of time). 05:56, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Servers / storage / bandwith / gps receivers for[edit]

the OpenStreetMap project would need more of the above to reach sensible speeds in rendering updates and map viewing, so as to be on par with google maps. Also, we'd need gps receivers so as to be able to lend them out to interested people at mapping parties all around the world.

Map the whole Planet in 8 years[edit] has the audacious goal of mapping every road, street, footpath and byway on the planet. Progress in the UK in the past 12 months has been amazing (just last week a whole county, Rutland, was mapped in a weekend). there is currently OpenStreetMap activity in at least 25 other countries. Even so it is a massive undertaking. It took the Ordnance Survey 80 years to complete the first survey of the UK. With this kind of funding OpenStreetMap could create a comprehensive and authoratative map of the whole planet in just 8 years. 80N 07:42, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Openlocalhistory? Openlocal geography?[edit]

I think using the money to devlop a wiki so that people who have historical knowledge of local area's can add their knowedge to the wiki, also perhaps a system for adding photographys of your local town/city /enviroment and allowing annotation would be good, would also allow for intergration to a openlocalhistory system.

As for purchasing core works i beleive this to be a very good idea, not much has changed in computing fundamentals and there are alot of other areas where this approach would be usefull.

Also purchasing the rights to the human genome and updating any information found about the specific function of genes would be very usefull .

---google could map the entire world in less than one day.. or something more reasonable than 80 years.

Music, poetry and the Beeb[edit]

I would go for the archives and countries of the world and try to get as much as music as possible, which has predated the 20th century. Be this world music, "folk music" or classical music. It would contain the music, the scores to the music and the possible lyrics to the songs.

Other nice thing would be to get as much poetry as possible to the open. Poetry is rather short and light stuff, local deals could be done in all the wikipedia countries as poetry is global. then after that, projects to translate the texts would start.

And finally, buy the BBC. :)


Maps of the world would be nice.

I agree that we need some good high res maps/satellite images - i am sure we can get these for reasonable price. But also putting effort in finding the cheapest offer and being able to decide what maps/satellite images to buy would be very hard task. -- 06:34, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Not to forget vector based maps in order to have a choice of open source navigation systems.

Old maps and mapping software would also be nice.

Entire taxons[edit]

Buy up the scientific pieces for identification of new species, for each species (including publications with taxon or identification keys). then use the rest of the money to take pictures or obtain pictures of each species. That way every biologist on the planet could theoretically identify every species they have. -Kugamazog

Scientific whitepapers[edit]

there are thousands of useful and quality scientific whitepapers hidden behind subscription website/magazines. Buy copyright for these subscriptions. Make them available to the world.

Here's one particular target:


there are many things that are in print that cost a fortune, but even worse is that there are recordings and manuscripts and books that are out of print but still copywritten. In a digital age where it would cost little to nothing to bring these works back from the vault, many are left to die. Out of print material is at the greatest risk of being lost--recordings, sheet music, books, etc. Try to find a recording of Berio's "Cries of London"! It should be against the law to retain copyright on something when it's been gone for too long!

Abandonware games, Da Vinci or Music?[edit]

Lets buy abandonware game titles and create a WikiOSS... And on further reflection why limit i to just games, any other applications could be good as well... Okay, I recognise that this might not be the best way of spending the cash... Maybe digitized versions of Da Vinci's works would be good... Or perhaps create a reposatory of musical works (WikiMuse anybody?), think Bach, Mozart and Beethoven... And what about recordings that are in the public domain? --K33l0r 07:17, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

en:ciphergoth - Photographs and maps[edit]

I'm surprised that people want to buy textbooks. We have many textbook-quality articles already, and the number grows all the time. That's material we don't need to license, because we can create it ourselves. What we need is the material that we cannot create, that can only be licensed. Photographs fall into that category, as does some map data. Let's buy a huge chunk of en:Corbis. - ciphergoth 07:20, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

This is a very, very wise advice. We do not need textbooks (we can write them ouerselves), weather data (this is something you have to buy constantly, not just once) etc. - we need photographs of historical and cultural value, which are not and will be not free for a long time. Lack of free licensing of such photographs is a serious bummer in a development of free replacements for, well, pretty much of everything. Corbis is probably the most important rightholder now, but even $100.000.000 may be not enough... 08:49, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

You greatly underestimate the information contained in textbooks. Take any maths textbook and see how little information in there is in wikipedia or wikibooks. Yes, the big theorems and definitions have an article, so does w:Mona Lisa. Now imagine taking out all pictures from the Mona Lisa article. What you get (Mona Lisa article with no pictures) compares to the real Mona Lisa roughly as a math article compares to a math text book. the same holds for other fields of science. --MarSch 10:32, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I don't understand this argument. the maths can be included in articles, we have a great math function, and if someone wants to put the work into it, they can. Buying text books seems like we are trying to fast track the process for some reason. We will eventually get to the stage where we are comprehensive in many areas. there is no reason to waste such good money on it. there is no way for us to get photographs of some historical events or species withouth buying them. Also, publishing companies make a huge amount of money off text books; they can cost hundreds to buy, and thousands (if not millions) of people buy them. there is no way we could get rights to a text book for less than a million, and I would say that they could be considerably more. We would get a lot more content buying photographs. I agree with buying maps, but don't know enough to talk about it. --LiquidGhoul
Completely disagree. A textbook and an encyclopedia are two completely different things, especially when it comes to math and science. With history, biographies, an encyclopedia can do just as well as a textbook. But when it comes to math and science, teaching someone how advanced theorems work requires that you have a logical build-up of lesser parts. Wikipedia is random and chaotic in how it links concepts together. But a textbook works in a progression from simple (1+1=2) to complex (). This is extremely important in learning -- moving in a progression and building on lesser concepts. --Wolf530 02:08, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
But do you seriously think that we would be able to buy the rights to that many text books? Publishers make far too much money from them, it would be better to buy lots of smaller things (photos and maps etc.) in many different fields, than buy a few textbooks in narrow fields, which wouldn't be of much use to a large majority of people. --LiquidGhoul

Classical music[edit]

there's a bunch of "classical music" works that are actually copyrighted by the composer. Average citizen probably defines classical music in two ways: "that violin-torturin' art music that was composed by some old, now decomposing, composer" and "probably out of copyright by now". But surprising amount of what passes these days as "classical music" was actially done in the 20th century. A lot of what I wish were included in Mutopia cannot be added there, on the grounds that the original composition is still copyrighted.

You think the case of Happy Birthday To You is pathetic and iconic to copyright shackledom? How about the fact that Sibelius' music is really dear and important to Finns, and is still copyrighted? (Yeah, the guy was deep in debt when he died, but I suppose those have been paid, many times over.) Luckily Pacius died a bit earlier... --Wwwwolf 07:21, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Hackwrench: Working Designs[edit]

Everything Working Designs put out: en:Working Designs Hackwrench 07:22, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Copyright Hoarding[edit]

I want all creative works that are older than seven years and not currently for sale at a 'reasonable' price to escape the bounds of copyright.

Our heritage is rotting in the archives of companies who don't care, if something is going to disappear I would much prefer that it dies in the open where it may give life to new ideas not buried in a cell and never seen again.

Even an organisation like the BBC who want to allow public access to thier archives cannot because they cannot dig up all the copyright holders. (sometimes literally where the copyright holder is dead)

Personally I think the copyright holder should pay (in cash money) for the monopoly right that copyright gives (probably with a pay only on legal procedings for the first 7 years), after all copyright is a commercial law, enacted to prevent businesses wasting the court's time. 07:25, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Weather information ![edit]

Many of my sugestions have already been posted, so I wont repost them. I suggest historic and current weather information. It is usually available with local meteorological departments for a small sum, but is stored in proprietary formats and mostly on tape. Money will be required to free up this information and store it in a common format. It can be used to create a composite weather model of our planet over time.

Also, this may create an open source community of weather modelling and may give more acurate weather prediction models to third world nations.

Wikipedia will then become the encyclopedia of our planets weather.

ps: Among my other suggestions are, buying out sites like Investopedia[7] and uploading scanned versions of ancient transcripts purchased from museums.

Popular music albums/singles with remixable elements under Creative Commoms[edit]

I think some of this cash should go towards buying up a few well-known music albums/singles and releasing them under a Non-Commercial Sampling Plus Creative Commons license. For example, buying up some old rap records (example off the top of my head, Tupac) along with a few rock records (another random example, Nirvana) and allowing DJs and remixers to do what they please with producing mashups, reproductions, covers and so on.

Wikimedia Prize[edit]

Create a yearly or biennial rewarding projects or initiative in the spirit of the Wikimedia foundation, sort of a WikiNobel prize.

User Hook[edit]

I'd like to see a collection of public domain data expressed in XML complete with full schemas. What kind of data? Well, pretty much anything available. Others have mentioned satellite pix (which don't morph into XML well!), music and books all of which are valuable and none of which are what I'm referring to. I'd like to see geographical, political, physical, chemical (you get the picture) data.


I'm sorry that I've posted my suggestion on the mailing list instead of here. I suggested to buy Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, because they should have entered public domain for a long time. That may also stop Disney from messing up with copyright law.-- 15:17, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Liberate copyright registration / renewal info[edit]

A few people have mentioned doing copyright research into "orphan works". It's a lot easie to do this when the copyright information is readily available online. Some of it's already been scanned, and has been by various projects to put nonrenewed works online that people would otherwise think had been copyrighted. Pointers to renewal information can be found at

When this information is freely available, searchable, and repurposable, you can find out interesting things. Like that fact that many newspapers, magazines, journals, and other periodicals didn't renew their copyrights a lot of the time, so there's a lot of public domain post-1923 historic serials that could be scanned. See, e.g., a list of first copyright renewals for periodicals at . A presentation on this inventory and the potential for doing interesting things with historic serials can be found at .

As far as I know, no one's yet done a similar inventory for images, but that could free of up *lots* of photos etc. whose status is otherwise unclear. (I've seen some listings for photograph renewals in the early 1950s, for instance; they're not online yet, but I was surprised at how few photos actually had renewed copyrights then.)

there's a fair bit of copyright information not yet freely analyzable online this way. the Copyright Office has a database, though, of all copyright records filed since 1978. they have it searchable online, but in a way that's suited for retrieving individual records, rather than doing the sort of complete-file anlysis that makes it easier to build inventories like the ones above. BUT-- they sell their files, including a retrospective file that contains all copyright renewals in the system from 1978 to the point at which renewals became automatic. For instance, at they mention that they sell their complete retrosepctive file (back to 1978) for $55k. (That includes both renewals and original registrations. Of course, if one is planning to buy up existing copyrights, both kinds of information could be useful for tracking down owners of things still in copyright as well.)

there's also a bunch of pre-1978 records that haven't been scanned yet from printe records, that could be if someone wanted to take the effort. (As you can see from the first URL above, book and periodical renewals have been scanned as far back as they're relevant, but there are also a number of other kinds of copyright records that would be useful to have online.)

support: good idea make it easy to see what is alraedy free


Not one %!$# thing! buying such things will only lengthen copyrights! Spend the money reducing copyrights to 5 years. I'd imagine money can be spent more efficently in Europe where individual countries can be targeted, France being a likely & influential choice. While your at it, why not try for source code publication for even the 5 year copyright on software. Nyarlathotep 09:28, 23 October 2006 (UTC) WN[reply]

Copyright in the EU is governed by a directive of the EU: you'd need to buy at least 50% of the european commission votes to get it changed. 10:36, 23 October 2006 (UTC) (en:User:JulesH)[reply]
Likely still cheaper. Plus EU copyright directive is low hanging fruit. It clearly harms Europeans for the benifit of the American special interest groups who paid for it. European voters are also far more aware than Amaerican voters, meaning you get considerably more bang for you buck whenever you create debate. Just look at Sweden. Nyarlathotep 13:08, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Thoughts on open Geo-Data[edit]

I like to add some thoughts about the idea of buying Geo-Data (satellite images, maps, elevation data etc.) to make it freely available. Although i much support the idea of free Geo-Data it might not be the best idea to spend 100M on simply buying existing data (possibly even from government institutions that should have the obligation to make it freely available anyway).

Technological development in remote sensing is fast so for any satellite data available today there will soon be much better and more up-to-date data available for a much less. This is different for most maps - but it is unlikely those this will be sold in large scale for the purpose of making it freely available - the mapping agencies usually have their thumb on this quite strictly.

What would make sense is to (co-)finance a remote sensing satellite project for the purpose of making the data gathered freely available. the scale of such a project would be adequate for the 100M (i.e. you could pay a significant fraction of such a satellite to be able to have the freedom of the resulting data imposed on it). This would mean there is regularly updated data available for use here. It would also (in contrast to a lot of other suggestion) not reward a restrictive policy by paying someone a lot of money for his 'intellectual property' that has not been freely usable before.

What should be also noted is that the currently freely available data (for example SRTM elevation data, Landsat and Modis Images) are not used on Wikipedia to the extent that would be possible. So for any project buying Geo-Data it would make sense to also put some thoughts (and possibly money) into the means of using this data. Imagico 09:48, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Bach, Bach, Bach[edit]

Some of Bach's greatest works. I would prefer recordings by Gould, but whatever. the Golberg Variations ('81 if Gould), the Well-Tempered Clavier, the concerti, all Bach is good Bach. Dysprosia 10:04, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

REBOL, the Relative Expression Based Object Language[edit]


REBOL, the Relative Expression Based Object Language (pronounced ['rebl]), is a data exchange and programming language designed specifically for network communications and distributed computing. Its designer, Carl Sassenrath, calls it a 'messaging' language, and says this about it: "the main idea of REBOL is that it gets used for: server, client, communications between them, and storage on them. the power of REBOL comes from its unique integration of programming language concepts and meta-data language concepts. the ultimate goal of REBOL is to provide a new architecture for how information is stored, exchanged, and processed between all devices connected over the Internet. It [REBOL] is meant to be used for the semantic exchange of information between people and machines."

open mechanisms for simple conversion and adding of data to wikipedia and new distribution areas and methods, localization.[edit]

$100 million is not that much in the scheme of things. Try to 'play the long game' and foster something that continues to help even after the money has run out.

I would like to see assistive mechanisms put in place that simplify the physical and legal processes of adding content to the Wikipedia.

For example, generate a watchlist of works/desired knowledge to be added to Wikipedia. This could include existing works, abstracts for new works wanted etc. Also include a framework for people to publish original work under the umbrella of Wikipedia that does not fall into the encyclopedia framework, such as creative writing, textbooks, music - you get the idea... Wikipedia could become a publisher on a grander scale.

Once this framework for easy addition and publication exists it becomes easier to add works once original copyright no longer applies to them. Many hands make light work, so for works where many copies exist make it simple for people to 'add a section' of a work. Comparison of 'same sections' helps provide error checking.

Make a number of distilled downloadable sizes of Wikipedia available for download and redistribution: the DVD distribution, the CD distribution, the 1GB version and so on. It would be nice if there was an option to run but not to install search software. It would be very nice if a stripped, fast low machine spec custom linux (/BSD/other OSS) containing Wikipedia,other free published texts and basic user tools to cut/paste/print/write/calculate submit articles back could be booted from disc with options to install. This would make the software easy to distribute to areas where connectivity and new technology is an issue, and provide a platform for users to contribute something back to the project. It would provide snapshots of editions of the project, a common knowledge platform to build upon and a 'safe computing' environment for users. Broadcast the data over the airwaves, MD5 hashes and all, so that it is not constrained by physical borders and infrastructure.

Put some legal framework around the content that maintains the spirit of the project and doesn't risk it bacause another party controls the licencing that it is published under. Make it resilient to sudden changes. Multi home the project legally, physically and virtually so that it can survive changes in government, natural disasters and man made catastrophe.

Translation of articles to many languages. Keep it global. Keep knowledge above political and religious squabbling, but, air all points of view attributed properly to their originator.

Thanks for listening,

Greg Bell, Dromiskin, 23 October 2006

Make sure that the project can continue to be helped and extended by its contributors and fans, no matter whether they contribute articles, time, distribution of data, work on WikiLinux, whatever.

3D Scan of Natural History Museum Exhibits[edit]

Birds, plants, insects, etc. are decaying in the museums and only the visitors of the musuems can glean the information presented. By scanning the exhibits in 3D, one could virtually pick up the objects and examine them closely. All the exhibits could be linked to wikipedia articles and mass amounts of biological data could be preserved.

Sculptures, clothing, and other man-made relics could be scanned in.

the scans can take various forms. Visual range 3D scan, X-Ray, and MRI would be useful.

Legal Defense Fund[edit]

Start a new nonprofit: a legal defense fund.

Whenever individuals/small businesses are hit by over-reaching copyright claims, they often give up - it may be fair use, but it's not worth hiring a lawyer/etc.

This fund would provide defense lawyers and pay the defendant a bit for time off work. That way, we wouldn't have such a chilling effect on fair use - you would know that if you were sued for your parody, you would be well defended. And conversely, Disney (or whomever) would be less inclined to sue because they would have a legal battle instead of a pushover.

Ideally, it would also aggressively countersue in cases of barratry.

It costs a lot to defend yourself - by making it free, we could really give people the liberty to do legal-but-risky speech without worrying about the costs of a lawsuit.

Riffington 13:05, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Problems and counter arguments about the idea of buying newspapers archives[edit]

We can read several people suggesting to buy newspapers archives. But before looking at this, we've problems to address / think about :

  • Which language will we choose for such a newspaper archive ? I'm sure many proponents implied "english is the language of the world", highly debatable but even, subjects that matter - then press coverage - aren't the same on different countries (even in english speaking ones). Should WP become more culturally biased ?
  • Which newspaper archive would we buy ? A leftist ? a conservative one ? An excellent very neutral one ? (but if this even exists, how come would they sell their database for low cost ?) * What can we do with this material in wikipedia ? What percentage is really encyclopedic data, error free (remember, newspaper are tightly following event fluxus, not looking back and sometimes, like in war periods, they are subject to gvt propaganda : will we be able to distinguish this ? or will we expose WP to POV, culturally biased propaganda ?), newspaper uses strong "implicits" related to the country and period of publication, important long standing event coverage is splited on many articles, much of the content of an ordinary newspaper is clearly irrelevant for us (games, necrologies, editorialists opinions, ads, ...).
  • How will you find a newspaper that hold all their authors copyright ? (I mean, they have the right to use the author intellectual production, but how will we deal with the need to cite every journalist/author name and/or get their agreements ?) Also remember that newspapers don't own most of the picture they uses : they buy rights for limited publication to agencies like Reuters or AP.
  • What would be the price/useful content ratio for such material ? (I believe it will be pretty high if we target high quality newspapers)

Associate press feed for wikinews[edit]

I've argued above against paying for any old works, as this rewards the hoarding of old copyrights, but the right to use new associated press does not posses this problem. I would not recommend simply buying the rights, as this is likely quite expensive, but perhaps some deal can be struck where either the Associate Press or Reuters grants the foundation the right to use their stuff, and we grant them the right to use wikinews articles (under their commercial lissence). AP stories could seed wikinews & be modified. AP authors could likewise use wikinews articles as starting points.

One can also imagine a deal where article must be modified by some amount, with an algorithm determining if the changes are sufficent. AP articles could still seed wikinews, but begin life marked as APcopy. Editors could change the article until the submission fuction descided the changes were sufficent (from the initial version) and automatically removed the APcopy tag. Nyarlathotep 13:46, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Wikibook: How to rebuild the world[edit]

Purchase the books that comprise the human knowledge. then summarize them in a guide to rebuild the civilization up to their state in year 2000. For instance, all the technology needed to build a nuclear plant, a car, a satellite, a computer, etc.. And more important: how to fish, grow crops, etc. It would be helpful to divide it in different technology levels. If we had to start from scratch, would be better start using carriages instead of cars. 100M$ will not be enough, but we can try it. --Micru 13:51, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

A second vote for the OED[edit]

It has long mystified me that the canonical source of the english language was not only a copyrighted work, but an improbably expensive one. It is so expensive that typical small town libraries don't have copies. It would be an incredible gift to the world to buy and open the Oxford English Dictionary.

Fade 13:56, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

OEP is a company likely worth more than 100 million. A more effective strategy is to fight copyright laws in enough places that older OEPs are available for free.
Oxford publishing is also a private company and would probably refuse to be bought.

Force companies to release their drivers as open souce[edit]

IMO a good way to spend the money would be to force companies to release their drivers as open souce (especially nvidia and ati). greets jano.

Carl Sagan[edit]

I think that Carl Sagan have "some" interesting material that could be made available for the community. Some of his spetacular books:

  1. Cosmos
  2. Contatc
  3. the Demon-Haunted World
  4. Pale Blue Dot
  5. Billions & Billions

And the entire Cosmos video series :)


Cosmos video is already available for free on [8]. 15:22, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
But those videos are from Google Video... they are low quality videos... Are they legally published on Google? I didn't know that Cosmos videos were public licensed. capagot
Oh, you're right, maybe its illegal on google video. 18:11, 25 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

patents on energy[edit]

energy that is green and environmentally sustainable.

energy that could used by everybody, everytime everywhere free of charge

free the energy, thus energy set you free


the documentaries of the National Film Board of Canada.

Don't spend all for english language, please[edit]

Looking at the "Suggestions Summary" (and other people comments) :

  • Establish endowment - perpetually use earnings to accomplish other suggestions.
  • Technology standards - MPEG-4, PDF, etc.
  • Digitize the Library of Congress Public domain works
English-centric (and mostly American culture centric)
  • Scientific journals
Mostly english centric (and science centric)
  • Create an open-source education system
  • Media Archives - old movies, picture, songs
Which language ?
  • Educational Textbooks for addition to "seed" wikibooks
Which language ?
  • Government-funded software
"Government" in singular form ? there's only one, the American government, right ?
I'd see government funded software as referring to ANY government-funded software (regardless of country)
  • Source material (ie, newspapers, journals, etc.,)
Which language ?
  • Music sheets and recordings
  • Schemes - of ships, engines, machines, electronics, etc.,
  • Promoting open-source
  • Geographical Maps
  • Encyclopedias, especially on narrowed topics like art, science
Which language ?
  • Bible translations
Which language ?
  • Dictionaries
Which language ?
  • Images of famous people
  • "fair use" images
"Fair use" concept doesn't exist in most of the world laws systems (but America). "Fair use" content is fully denied in de, :pl, :es, :pt, :da and recently :fr wikipedias (and fully accepted only in :en, :id, :ru and :sr).
  • Earth imagery
  • Medical photographs and diagrams
  • MIT press books
  • ACM publications
  • # Educational Videos [i.e. BBC has very good stuff - but they might make it available themselves, other tutorials, hostorical background information (what happemed to the Berlin Wall and how and why did that happen, ...)]
Which language ? the example, BBC, show yet another english-centric bias

Please, consider that the World is not America. Not even english speaking.

While I agree English should in no way be the main focus, remember that once the works are in public domain they can be translated freely. And, as someone mentioned already, there is an active community doing that for Wikipedia already.
Among all of the most actives non-english-speaking Wikipedias, none can even sustain the translation of the 1000+ english "featured" articles. So you see, things like a newspaper archive have no chance to be useful for the rest of the world until a decade or two (let alone the cultural bias)...
Old newspaper archive is strongest useful for historical recorder and preservation, and to work as base to write new encyclopedia articles. And, please, help the another cultures, buy something in another language. 555 17:59, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Another point: if you see the wikimedia:Our projects page you see more projects, not only the Wikipedia. And possibly the buy may be done per another institution, not per the Wikimedia. 555 18:01, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Liberate “Xenopedians” from fear of foreign scripts/languages![edit]

  1. Buy OCR software in multiple scripts and distribute it as open-source software (currently, OCR software for non-Latin scripts might have a lot of issues especially of not accurately recognizing the scripts, etc.)
  2. Buy commercial and/or proprietary machine translation software, develop it, and distribute it as open-source automatic text translation software.
  3. Buy or develop software that automatically translates a web page written in multiple scripts/languages (i.e. one “namespace” page where a number of editors post their articles/thoughts in their own language) into one language of a reader’s choice.
  4. Invest in/develop a system/program that allows a single login username in multiple scripts including in non-Latin scripts. There are many non-English speakers who are afraid that their username in their own language would be taken away once the single login username system is implemented, but they cannot express their concerns just because the most discussions on this matter are done in English.
  5. Hire IT-developers as necessary. We should not let our volunteer developers burn-out and be mentally decapitated because of this project.--Californiacondor 17:47, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

User:designbot: Preserve & restore the original Star Wars trilogy[edit]

George Lucas has declared that, as far as he is concerned, the original Star Wars trilogy, as originally shown in theaters, no longer exists. It is his wish only his updated versions with CGI effects will be preserved for history. the original films are important historical artifacts, and they should be restored & preserved as such. If that means that the rights have to be purchased from Lucasfilm, then that is a worthwhile investment.

Francis Sandow: Hitchhiker's Guide, Source Material, and Pulp.[edit]

  • I believe that a Hitchhiker's Guide-like multi-platform application heads the top of my wishlist. I think this would take wikipedia to an entirely new level. Freeing wikipedia from a standard browser interface so it can work on Palms, Pocket PC's, iPods, etc. via a lightweight independent app that allows for viewing and updating the wiki as well as the option to store a snapshot of the database locally would, in my opinion, allow the wiki to evolve as never before.
  • I'd also like to n-th the suggestion for purchasing source material as opposed to textbooks. Textbooks are temporal and subject to any number of bias' and faulty info, source material is forever.
  • A decent Bible translation in a wide variety of languages would also be good. BHS (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia) for Hebrew and both NA27 (Nestle Aland 27th Edition) and UBS4 (United Bible Society 4th Edition) for Greek is a good suggestion. I'd also like to suggest the Lockman Foundation's Revised NASB for the English though I can't speak for other languages.
  • Rare public domain literature. This has been sugggested but I'd like to specifically suggest older Sci-Fi and pulp publications as they become available. these are already becoming relics and should be preserved for future generations. With pulp comics and such I can see an issue with the disc space they take up compared to simple text but this is another issue entirely.

--Francis Sandow 10:39, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

fund reseach and documentation of endangered languages and their cultures[edit]

Since language is the most prominent way of expression and there are many small cultures with their own way of thinking and expression in danger of extinction, it might be an idea to fund reseach and documentation of those endangered languages and their cultures to keep records of the diversity of the human nature. there was no better place than the open anf free wikipedia to preserve this.

Give all people on this planet an even chance to access information[edit]

Dear Community,

I'm missing:

  • an easy-to-use ontology-based replacement/ enhancement software for MediaWiki with a clear article/ theme-based workflow/ release concept (that's worth just $500.000 developer time)
    • content (article with all the special data in them) needs to be retrievable by its attributes, queries like "Which capital in Europe has the most inhabitants?" should be possible.
    • Use that chance and do a complete re-design of MediaWiki. there are a lot of issues open that might enhance usability. Why still stick to PHP?
    • Why buying content if you do not have the facilities to retrieve it properly?
  • Give all people on this planet an even chance to access information: translate the most important articles into other languages. Everybody on this planet should have access to the most important Wikipedia articles at least in hers/his second language. (spend $25.000.000 on this)
    • there is already a lot of content but infortunately mostly accessible to those which have the money on this planet ...
  • there should be a rewarding system for wikipedia authors: contributions and corrections/ redactations might be worth points. Each registered user might distribute per month - say 100 - points on the work of others. the best ones should be rewarded on a popular event, with $1.000.000, each (they consecuently should dedicate this money for work of their choice on Wikipedia). Make a foundation with $50.000.000 start capital for this.
    • That's worth more than content; you buy content one time - by this method you encourage contributing continuously.
  • Spend the rest against population growth global warming and climate change. Illnesses, diseases, war, having nothing to eat and no drinkable water are bigger problems than access to Wikipedia. - TMaschler -- 14:28, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Invest the money[edit]

Everybody of you wants to spend the money on copyright protected knowledge but I can't understand why. In my opinion it would be much better when the money is used to start new fantastic researches or support extraordinary and promising researches. Only condition of promotion is that the results are copyright free and accessable for everybody. I think this solution is more effective and will bring a lot of more chances in using the money and promoting knowledge.

-- Don't you think people should read and learn a bit about life before they go into research?

  "Napalm came from Harvard. Veritas!" -- Kurt Vonnegut

-- Ehhmm maybe an outstanding amateur scientist will get a promotion, who knows? Don't be so fuckin' ignorant, damn.

Newly translated canonical texts and academic non-textbooks[edit]

Consider purchasing the rights to recent, well-respected translations of canonical works in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Together, these cost undergraduate students a lot of money every year: the average first-year, full-time student spends 26% of tuition ($898) on books for their classes. (_Washington Post_, "Books: Colleges' Budget-Busters," Thursday, July 13, 2006)

Even after they've purchased them, much of the non-English canon remains unavailable to most students. This is because the public domain translations are so old that the English is archaic and difficult for students to understand. the best translations of Plato or Descartes will frequently be out of a middle- or working-class student's price range, so professors at public universities will assign the older, cheaper, and less comprehensible versions. Students come away from these texts with the sense that the classics are stupid and poorly written. A campaign to make public the most recent translations of 500-1000 of the most commonly assigned translations would help a lot of my students tremendously. In addition, it will create an incentive for scholars and publishers to provide new, clear translations of neglected texts.

After that, start on purchasing the English-language books that are regularly assigned: classic case studies in the social sciences, recent classics of literature, poetry, and philosophy, and the cream of the popular science crop. Textbooks are overly expensive because they're constantly updated; this project can't do anything about that except in a few instances where innovation is very slow. Much better to figure out all the -other- books that a large, public university is assigning over the course of two or three years, and purchase the rights to those.

Best, Joshua A. Miller Philosophy Department Pennsylvania State University

the happy birthday song and beatles works[edit]

please free the happy birthday song and release it under creative commons. also, the beatles music since thier label is notoriously snarky about anyone referencing them or sampling or anything creative regarding them really. Thanks

the Open Graphics Project[edit]

From their website: "the Open Graphics Project (OGP) is developing graphics cards with fully published specs and open source drivers." As operating systems become more advanced, they are becoming more dependant on graphics hardware. More specifically, 3D graphics cards. Currently the open source operating systems are relying on bad and closed-source drivers, or scarce and outdated open-source drivers. the OGP is not only working on opening the drivers, but the actual hardware design as well. Imagine how cheap these cards would be when some Chinese hardware manufacturer gets their hands on it... Cheap computer hardware benefits everyone. Open hardware specifications makes sure this happens. further details and updates

Kurt Vonnegut[edit]

This amazing contemporary writer is the author of the following quotes, which should be available at least online, now that libraries are not very popular these days...:

  • Human beings will be happier — not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie — but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That’s my utopia.
  • Here’s what I think the truth is: We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey. And like so many addicts about to face cold turkey, our leaders are now committing violent crimes to get what little is left of what we’re hooked on.
  • What is it, what can it possibly be about blowjobs and golf? - Martian Visitor
  • If God were alive today, he would have to be an atheist, because the excrement has hit the air-conditioning big time, big time.
  • So let’s give another big tax cut to the super-rich. That’ll teach bin Laden a lesson he won’t soon forget.
  • I was taught that the human brain was the crowning glory of evolution so far, but I think it’s a very poor scheme for survival.
  • Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. they are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas.
  • Evolution is very creative. That is how we got giraffes.

So it goes.

Vote [Kurt Vonnegut] and spread the words of wisdom!

Short Stories from Fiction Magazines[edit]

there were a lot of short stories published in magazines in the early-to-mid twentieth century that are still under copyright but no longer available anywhere. It would be extremely useful to have an online archive of as many of these stories as possible licensed under a CC license.

I'm thinking mostly of science fiction magazines such as Astounding and Amazing Stories, but there were magazines for all sorts of genres.

the hard part, of course, is tracking down the copyright holders, but that's what your hundred million is for. I suspect most of the rights to most of the stories themselves would go very cheaply.

You could also commercialize this scheme. Instead of just putting them on the web, you could use a Creative Common's non-commercial license (maybe with a clause that makes it automatically revert to share-alike if this enterprise goes bust). then, you could sell commercial rights to third parties. If you offer to split the proceeds with the original author or his/her estate, that may well drive down the initial purchase price even more.

the Delphian Course - A Systematic Plan of Education[edit]

I would like the copyright of "the Delphian Course" to be purchased and scanned to provide the seed of a new adult self education Wiki. the Delphian Course is a 12 volume set of books intended to provide the reader with a structure that would make self-education simpler and more complete. the volumes are copyrighted 1910 but as the nature of the material is historic it remains relevant. Although some of the articles are somewhat out of date the concept of education it uses is the more valuable asset here. the system breaks liberal arts into easily digestable and related divisions then provides a comprehensive history of the subject. It is written in a very narative way that encourages the reader to read on. If the text of this work were placed into the public domain it could be the seed of a new wiki devoted to self-education. the intent would be to provide a site where anyone could go and have access to the information necessary to get a comprehensive liberal arts education. Articles on literature would link to the books, art history would display the works, music articles would link to examples of the artist. This is similar to existing Wiki pages to some extent, but the naritive would be the structure to hold all of it together. the important thing is that which it is not. It is not encyclopedic, not written in a strictly time line way, and not boring! Think of the style of Wells's "A Short History of the World" or Van Loon's "Story of Mankind".

Ever since reading about Tarzan who educates himself using nothing but the books brought by his parents to Africa, I've thought that english speakers needed a way to educate themselves at their own pace and without teachers. Once the adult text was prepared, a primer could be added to provide those lacking the education to understand the more advanced texts a way to "catch up". This could provide an end-to-end work allowing any reader to gain a complete education with the only initial skill required being reading.

---if it was copyrighted 1910, it's been in the public domain for some time and can be posted freely. Thebt 23:59, 29 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

PDF creator tool for wiki books[edit]

An easy to use PDF/e-book creator tool would be nice, see the tool would help spread WP content.

Use en:OpenOffice.Org

self-sustaining wikipedia-city[edit]

create a small village/city where all the wikipedia-servers are hosted, staff lives, but in contrary to other companies headquarter let the city be totally self-sustaining, economically as independent as possible, solar panels and windmills for gaining energy (like google is planning), as pollution-free as possible, cars go by electricity or ethyl alcohol from sugarcane, walking and using bicycles is endorsed, no smoking in public, etc.


I think best would be Encyclopedia Britannica. 17:00, 23 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

recordings of classical music[edit]

the composers have been dead for hundreds of years, thousands of recordings exist, yet we currently have to pay money to listen to the pieces. Wikipedia could use the money to identify good recordings (say one per piece), and buy the rights to the recording from the artist/studio. Since classical musicians rarely make much money on their recordings (because there is so much competition), we should be able to get the music cheaply.

I agree. A large, free, public libery of classical music would be a great idea, and something that needs that kind of money to be created.


We had that all mentioned before, but:

  • Geodata, maps and/or satelite fotos.
  • Multimedia stuff, ie. images and audio for illustrating WP-articles. You don't have to buy this but you could pay people for creating it.
  • Maybe scanning and digitising old, already PD stuff is worth to be supoorted.

If some money is left:

  • More free fonts that cover the complete unicode space. You don't have to spend 100 mio $ on that, but you never can have too many fonts.

I don't think that buying textbooks/encyclopedias/whatever has a good cost/benefit ratio as such work might be really expensive and we have just begun to prove that we are able to create free content ourselves.

the Entire Metagaming Microgame List[edit]

the US claims that copyright encourages the creation of new intellectual property, but in reality it too often eliminates works that are no longer publishable but which remain under copyright.

the Metagaming Microgames are in just such a limbo. No one knows where Howard Thompson, who owns the copyrights, has slunk off to. Steve Jackson games has managed to acquire the rights to Ogre and GEV and brought them back into print, but the others - some of them true classics that should never have gone out of print - are no longer easily obtainable. I refer to such classics as WarpWar, Melee, Wizard, the Fantasy Trip, Chitin, Rivets, Olympica, IceWar, BlackHole, Sticks & Stones, Annihilator/OneWorld, Holy War, Hot Spot, Invasion of the Air Eaters, Artifact, DimensionDemons, Lords of Underearth, Dragons of Underearth, Helltank, Helltank Destroyer, Trailblazer, StarLeader Assault, RamSpeed, Fury of the Norsemen, OrbQuest, Master of the Amulets, and many others, as well as expansions like the Microquests including Death Test, Grail Quest, Treasure of the Silver Dragon, and Treasure of the Unicorn Gold.

Individually these games are probably not worth a great deal, but to return them to print - electronic or otherwise - would be a great boon to younger gamers who had no chance to pick these up before they vanished in the Great Copyright Black Hole. 21:17, 23 October 2006 (UTC) Larry Smith[reply]


With 100M$ you could buy several politicians in every country in the world to lobby for more reasonable copyright laws (e.g. 20 years after creation and the instent of author's death). Maybe a more effective approch would be to buy 51% in the parliament of the USA and than wait for the rest of the world to (sadly) follow.

I know that my idea is mad, I was even tempted to post it anonymously.

it:Utente:Paulatz 22:22, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

user: en:Marc Schulz[edit]

Why not integrate the Project Gutenberg for $100M to combine literature articles with literary works? Or integrate several media outlets to receive streamed video so the Wikipedia is a truely news site for journalistic experience?

Commision Art Work[edit]

I got the idea from Jason Rohrer's (awesome guy, he's my hero) paper on free distribution Following the ideas from part 5, specifically part 5.2 I think that the money should go towards commissioning art work to go into the public domain. Of course there are other uses for it, knowledge to be spread around, things to be learned. To me knowledge should be free to everyone but art, which is unique, should be spread around for everyone to enjoy. I think it is very important to have more art work, literature, music, fine arts, to be put into the public domain (or some similar licensing). I'm not wanting to type a lot but I would love your input (and I know this isn't a completely thought out idea).

Universal open-source translator[edit]

Buy a few dozen completist dictionaries (as above) – fast-track development on WiktionaryZ – either buy SYSTRAN (babelfish and google translation component), or fast-track development of one of the alternatives (List of machine translation software) – add speech recognition – distribute globally. C'mon! Singularities are fun!. --Quiddity 00:56, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Rather than free the works completely[edit]

Use the $100million to buy some things with a high popular value. Charge very small amounts to access them, using e-cash accounts.
Use the accruing income to purchase more things. After some time, liberate the first items, while continuing to acquire more. Purchase some newer things at first, so that there is a benefit to living creators. Twang 01:39, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Propel research: WikiAwards[edit]

Don't buy stuff that's already on the market. Things are expensive nowadays. Use the money for bounties to propel research that may benefit Wikipedia instead. Less than $50M of private investment and price money bought a sub-orbital space ship last year. there are hundreds of grad students and faculty with top-notch expertise, that are eager to take on a challenge that pays a few million $. Everybody in my lab is working on the Netflix challenge.

Some possible targets:

  1. Machine translation
  2. Intelligent information retrieval 03:04, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Xprize for Wikipedia??[edit]

I think this kind of money would be best spent on establishing an X-Prize of sorts for copyright reform groups. It just seems like we shouldn't spend all this money on a broken system.

Communication network, landtrust, FOIA, a special IPO[edit]

  • Communication Network -- purchase rights to existing cell-phone infrastructure, enabling hardware hackers to create Open Source personal communication devices.
  • Landtrust -- Jump out of the virtual world, establish a landtrust, preferrably in a country in Economic transition (one could consider this a freedom from exclusive 'copyright' to the land-use for said area).
  • FOIA -- Stimulate development of digitization of FOIA requests.
  • Special IPO -- Could be any profit-generating enterprise (perhaps so, perhaps not relating to any of the above ideas) with special rules as to how profits should be spent.

While I can respect the opinion that my suggestions do not directly to relate to a particular copyright, I'd like to see 'Wikification' occur in an arena besides encyclopediac information. There are many other restrictive forces at play, in this world, besides the use of written works. While there is definite disadvantage to education throughout the planet, I do not believe it is the only disadvantage that can be mitigated by the 'give it away' nature of WikiMedia.

eikonik @ gee - mail

ps: Unless you have prescience or omniscience, I'm not interested in your shoot-downs. There are obvious flaws to any suggestion at this stage. 04:03, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Videoediting software with transition effects etc.[edit]

One of most wanted in open source/free software is a program like [Adobe Premiere Pro] or similar. In opensource community we have a lot of cool videoutility (like Virtualdub) but NOT a program like this.

  • See Pitivi as a good starting point.
    • See Blender it has a built in non linear editor (called sequencer in Blender Lingo) and node based compositing. It can do 3D text, particles, text effect, text textures, wipes, fades, etc. It has input and output formats for film and image formats (Cineon, OpenEXR, tiff, png) LetterRip 09:22, 27 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Liberate moving image assets[edit]

It might be interesting to focus attention on moving image assets in private hands that have already been used to create some of the more educational programs known to man--from Jacob Bronowski's "Ascent of Man" to Kenneth Clark's "Civilisation" to remarkable, recent documentaries such as Rob Gardner's "Islam" (on PBS), Brian Lapping's "Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation" (BBC/Discovery), "Stanley Nelson's "The Murder of Emmett Till" (PBS) and just about every FRONTLINE program on the current Iraq war. The challenge is that, in the absence of some declaratory statement, some associated lobbying, or something akin to production subsidies for new works, as mentioned above, by seeding a purchase fund with $100 million you cede victory to the current regime governing access to creative works.

Maybe we parse Jimbo's question with Clintonian acuity and use some of the potential funds to acquire copyrights from...Wikipedians, in a contract structure that itself challenges the governing regime and is at the same time a subsidy for collective productions here--in rich media especially, something text-heavy Wikipedia could use, in fact. That could be fun, newsworthy, and educational, and it would leverage some of the energy focused on these questions today by the BBC and the Library of Congress, among others.

The Visible Human data set?[edit]

This was a project that took a human male and a female corpse - put them into blocks of solid blue wax - then sliced off sections one millimeter or so per slice from the top of the head all the way down to the bottoms of their feet - taking a full colour photo after each slice. Stacking up those photos produces a fully 3D volumetric image of two 'typical' human bodies.


The result is a stunning view of human bodies that deserves to be freely available.

SteveBaker 04:30, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Free organisation of knowledge that is copyright-protected[edit]

There a are many ontologies, thesauri, classifications and standarised wordlists out there that should belong to and supported by the community. The organisation of knowledge in the web (in a semantic web style) would benefit tremendous from free to use standards and free to link(!) thesauri and ontologies, held and mantained by a non-profit organisation like wikipedia. I'm thinking about things like ...

... and others.

G. Hohmann - Germany - 2006-10-24

Bontenbal's favorites[edit]

  • Maps & satellite images
  • Technology standards
  • develop good open source video software/technology
  • oh, and all the archives about the murder of JFK... ;-)

Bontenbal 08:03, 24 October 2006 (UTC) Amsterdam[reply]

Open hardware, human genome and free energy[edit]

I think these aren't bad things:

  • setting up a company to produce open source hardware
  • purchasing the rights to the human genome
  • patents on free and green energy


Philosophy classics[edit]

In my opinion, the money would best be spent purchasing rights to information which (a) is still likely to be read in hundred years from now; (b) this excludes information which gets outdated relatively soon (maps, compilation of research results in textbooks), (c) it should provide some value to humanity in general.

Therefore, I vote for classic texts in philosophy (Original Texts from contemporary classics like Wittgenstein, Sellars, Davidson, Quine, Putnam,...) and recent translations from foreign-language authors (like Kant, Aristotle, Hegel, ...) as far as they are not already copyright-free. Hundred years from now, our engineering textbooks will be outdated, but people will still wonder about the meaning of everything and therefore study classic philosophy.

FfmPhilosopher (philosophy researcher)

Blues artist images[edit]

I would love to buy the rights of pictures (and maybe add a few signature-tunes  ;) ) of all the important pre-war blues-musicians. Of many of these artists only a single or two photographs are known and they are mostly in the hand of collectors, who hold the copyright too. As the pictures are almost always anonymously made in the 1920's and 1930's, we are not able to illustrate the concerning articles before 2020-2040. This does not only affect the artist-articles, but those on the genre too. Just have a look on the commons-gallery. It is so sad, that the origin of most western popular musical genres needs to be almost text-only still for decades .... Denis Barthel

Dictionary diagrams[edit]

For instance some paper visual dictionary, or this online visual diccionary: [9] --Micru 09:09, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Funds for Free Content[edit]

To have funds for creating a database of free content for wikipedia would be to my mind very valuable (images, graphics, pictures, maps, sounds, etc).

--great idea /glattering


i think one of the most important things its publicity of the wikipedia, in the tv, in the news papers, in the streets... there is a lot of people that doesn't know wikipedia yet.

Only One Product: Microsoft Windows XP[edit]

  • free as source for all peoples. Thats it!
  • we would need to spend it on something that isn't junk (anything by microsoft). we would need to spend the money not helping out copyright owners but rather freeing as much information as possible and then trying to dismantle the draconian copyright laws. all these suggestions to buy the happy birthday song, beatles music, microsoft products etc really don't see the big picture at all.

Thebt 01:34, 25 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Art of the 20th century[edit]

Some examples of the greatest art works of the 20th century. Key-works of for instance, es:Pablo Picasso, nl:Piet Mondriaan, de:Paul Klee, en:Edward Hopper, no:Edvard Munch, fr:Pierre Bonnard, en:Andy Warhol to mention some famous examples. Their Wikipedia articles have copyvios or no illustrations of their work at all. (Please extend this list to more countries and please accept my apologies for my western bias...) Ellywa 17:58, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Create an international web site for public financial data comparison[edit]

How are our taxes used? How do people spend their money? Where go the money flows?

These are essential data to understand how people live, since money is condensed work of the people. It's difficult to compare accross countries. And across time. It's also difficult to understand what governments of all layers do with the money they grab from everybody. And so on.

A site which collects such data and makes it searchable and displays it in an understandable way certainly would contribute to a better understanding of our societies and enable people to better appreciate different countries. Which seems to be important in an epoch with globalization, international resources conflicts and so on.

Such a site might also include details about global ressource flows (other than money, like "copper", "water", etc.).

Painlord2k 19:17, 24 October 2006 (UTC)[edit]

Use the money to setup a progran where the "books" (anything valuable under copyright, like a song, a book, a newspaper, etc.) can be selected by market force and then acquired. People could be required to do a donation to put their preferred "book" on the wishlist of the Wikimedia fundation; something like a 10% of the cover price of the book or 1$ it it is not on print. This would work like a multiplier of the initial fund and let prioritize what acquire before and what acquire later. The donors would act not for selfless principles, but for selfish interests. Many people would part for 10% of the cover price of a book if they could do it available for free as a printable PDF or something like it. And they could change their spending patterns (I would not spend 100$ for a book, but I would spend 200$ for freeing twenty books I'm interested). Any donors could setup a wishlist of books he is interested, and back it up with a donation. After a fixed time period, the copyright of the book with more requests will be acquired if available, and the users will be informed about the acquisition (so they will be happy, and will have an incentive to disbourse other funds for other books).

  • that would never work because once the copyright owner finds out how many people would pitch in to buy the work, they would realize how much more valuable it is. no money should be going to enrich copyright owners when it is not neccessary Thebt 01:37, 25 October 2006 (UTC)[reply] 05:21, 25 October 2006 (UTC)[edit]

I do like the idea of some competitive, aggregate solution, but personally, I want all of Wizards of the Coast's d20-related material (D&D, d20 Modern, SWRPG, etc.) released to the public! I would be overwhelmed with happiness...

Photograph of 189 world leaders at UN 50th anniversary ceremony[edit]

See [10]. This web page says that the photograph as follows: "United Nations photo by Paul Skipworth for Eastman Kodak Company ©1995 ". Extremely valuable historical document. 13:54, 26 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Bogoris 22:35, 26 October 2006


If I had 100 000 000 $, I would try to free Flash, because the becoming of the World Wide Web must not be property of a commercial society.

Send Lawyers, Guns and Money[edit]

The best investment would be in a kennel team of high-powered copyright attorneys on retainer. Then we could stop being so overly paranoid about the legal status of images and get back to improving the project. Your Humble WikiPeon, IP Freely

Some Ideas from Switzerland[edit]

Two things I thought about:

The secret Library of the Vatikan The Windows Source

- smile -

But both would cost a little more...

Printed versions of the Wikipedia[edit]

Definitly, the Wikipedia can become in a real global Encyclopedia by printing a yearly edition of verified contents an distribute those copies in poor countries, mainly in schools.

Printing maybe can be done in collaboration with UN, to use their logistics and distribution capabilities.

Also, a "copy" of Wikipedia can be a essential part of the "100 dollars PC" of Nicholas Negroponte.

Do you have any clue just how big that would be? Look at a copy of Encyclopedia Britannica - it's like 30 huge books. Well, Wikipedia is vast by comparison to Britannica - in print we'd need maybe 1000 volumes - it woould take several large truck to carry it and an entire building to store it in. Give copies to schools! I can't think of a school that would take one! Nobody will be able to afford that. Better to give people computers and network links - hence the Negroponte's OLPC (aka $100 laptop) project. SteveBaker 17:59, 2 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

education material for learning how to read, children books and audio wiki[edit]

  • hundreds of millions of people can't read the wikipedia, just because they cannot read. Any kind of material which enables people to learn reading in all written languages, also as print version.
  • Wikipedia is for adults. Seen from a child's view, all children books should be free.
  • Wikipedia should provide an audio format for all people who can't read and people who want to listen to audio. I think of a system which tansforms written wiki text into audio.

--Madam 23:58, 26 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Jim Cramer's Mad Money Books[edit]

Buy Them. Buy them all.

It's a good investment.

And He's God.

Photography "scholarship"[edit]

You could buy me a digital SLR camera and really big storage device, and send me around the tropical rainforests and isolated regions of the world taking photos. It would only cost in the thousands, and it would probably be cheaper than buying copyrights for all the species/other things I would be able to take photos of :). --LiquidGhoul 23:25, 26 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

You know, joking aside, I think something similar to this would be a good idea. If you have a scholarship type deal, where we give photographer Wikipedians $20,000 for camera equipment, and travel expenses. We could only spend 1% of the hypothetical money, and have 50 wikipedians going around the world getting heaps of good, free content for Wikipedia. It seems like a much better idea than hiring professional photographers as:
1) Professional photographers will cost more. This would be just for equipment, travel, and living costs.
2) It is a long-term investment, as we would have 50 people with great camera equipment, and real experience in whatever type of photography they decide to do.
3) The Wikipedians would probably feel grateful towards Wikimedia for the opportunity, and remain long term contributors.
4) We know and trust people from the community, and as they are already contributors, we know they are willing to release their photos for free. If we use a pro we don't know, they may not be willing to release their best work, as they would rather make money from it.
I don't even know if we have 50 photographer wikipedians, but I am sure we'd be able to find people willing to give it a go! Thanks --LiquidGhoul 05:41, 27 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I used to be a Navy photographer's mate. Look me up if this suggestion is accepted. Durova 15:31, 27 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

free the research[edit]

In one single transaction, the largest collection of scholarly research can be freed up by buying the copyright to Elsevier's catalog. Most all of the the journal publications are avaiable online from

"ScienceDirect offers more than a quarter of the world's scientific, medical and technical information online.Over 2,000 peer-reviewed journals Hundreds of book series, handbooks and reference works Back to volume one, issue one"

Most of this research was paid for by US and other national government grants, but now held hostage by Elsevier at a ridiculous $30 per article copyright fee! Only 20 years ago the same article from the same journal had $3 copyright fee. They raised retroactively the copyright fee to all titles, making the fulltext articles out of the reach of the typical scholar, who is not associated with a university which subscribes to the catalog. This tiny corporation from Amsterdam has the power and legal right to criminalize a researcher who cant afford to pay for where his interests take him.

Again, they would be making more than $100m in a few years, maybe less time, so they would have no interest in releasing their copyrights for that much money, when all they have to do is wait a couple years. For someone to release the copyright of a piece of work, they have to sum up what they think they will earn if they keep the work, and what they are offered. If the amount of money they make when they keep work is greater than the money offered, it would be stupid to sell. Especially when it is a business. What you are basically asking to do is to buy a business for less than it is worth. Think Google and YouTube.
The same applies to things such as text books and encyclopaedias. Sure, they may sell the rights to these for less than $100m, but is it worth it? Wikipedia can always cite them as sources, and we get just as much value from them than if we bought them. We need to spend our money on things which we cannot reproduce. --LiquidGhoul 05:32, 27 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]


depositing Utmostone1 (talk) 12:42, 21 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]