WikiNotYetFree

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This is a proposal for a new WMF sister project.
WikiNotYetFree
Maybe an eggtimer, or a clockface, but marked in decades not hours.
Status of the proposal
Statusunder discussion
Details of the proposal
Project descriptionA repository for NC, ND and other copyrighted material so that it is available when it comes out of copyright. -->
Is it a multilingual wiki?One multilingual wiki.
Potential number of languagesmany languages?
Proposed taglineIn the future, all this will be free to use.
Proposed URLWikiNotYetFree
Technical requirements
New features to requireThe existing deletion options need tweaking so that the metadata is still public, but the file is "deleted" however "deleted material would be described as "not yet available" rather than "deleted" and they would be available to the individual uploader as well as admins. Admins would also need the ability to "delete" material so that the uploader lost access as well. Each file would need the possibility of a year stamp and each year everything marked to come into public domain that year would need to be undeleted and migrated to Wikimedia Commons or WikiSource as appropriate.
Development wikiNo
Interested participants
List of project participants
  1. WereSpielChequers (talk) 09:14, 8 August 2020 (UTC)


This project is almost the opposite of NonFreeWiki (2). I can see a problem in making a site that contains non free information freely available to the public. Even if you restricted it to NC and ND licenses, you risk getting flak from both the reusers and the uploaders when there are disputes as to whether a particular use is commercial, or such a poor copy of a work that it counts as derivative. And anything less free than NC or ND licensed material would be a copyright violation to post on the internet. But we want, and at some point can get, much of the material that is currently only available under a license that is too restrictive for our use.

So there is a project sized niche that would be a good fit with the community. A not yet free project.


WikiNotYetFree would hold but not make available, works that are not yet free, list them, categorise them even build metadata for them, and every year a new tranche of them would be migrated to WikiSource or Wikimedia Commons as appropriate. You could even have planned uses or deferred edits "when this image becomes public domain, use it with this caption to replace this image on Wikidata or Wikipedia".  One of the key bits of data with each item would be the date or criteria when its copyright lapses and it becomes public domain. OK those who cherish the instant gratification of your edit immediately going live to humanity will probably not be tempted to work on a project where some of the material will be marked "migrate to Commons in 2090". But some of us rather like the idea of leaving a digital legacy that will persist for generations after we have been composted. A commercial organisation could not take on such a project where most of the benefit won't be seen for decades to come. But a charity can think long term. Of course some of these materials will be available in decades to come and could be loaded to Commons as and when they come out of copyright, but just because we can get a digital copy of something now we cannot be certain that digital copies will be available in decades to come - unless of course we have archived them into a repository such as  WikiNotYetFree

Deletion processes on Wikimedia Commons and elsewhere would be radically changed if one of the options was now "move to WikiNotYetFree until it comes out of copyright".

Anyone could access the metadata, but only admins and the individual uploader would be able to access the files that someone had actually uploaded.

It also raises the possibility of an outreach campaign to creatives such as photographers, asking them to preserve their legacy by  putting a clause in their wills to release their intellectual property under CC-BY-SA once they've died. "You can't take it with you, but you can make sure your work is not forgotten" Now that Wikipedia is almost twenty years old, and the WMF has an endowment fund, we can start to plan and talk long term with a credibility that younger organisations and those that lack an endowment fund lack.

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Related projects/proposals[edit]

NonFreeWiki and NonFreeWiki (2) are superficially similar, but they relate to non free materials that are currently in use on certain sites within the Wikimedia movement. WikiNotYetFree is for content that we want which is not yet free to use.

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