Rewrite of Wikimedia Terms of Use 2012

The Wikimedia Terms of Use document covers all Wikimedia content sites (Wikipedia in numerous language editions and numerous legal jurisdictions, as well as other sites like Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata, Wikisource, Wikivoyage, etc.)

The needs for such a document are quite complex. It needs to codify the values behind Wikimedia, and protect the rights and guide the behavior of a wide variety of people and entities. A corporate site's terms of use might have pretty simple needs (protect the interests of the shareholders), and even a centrally-guided non-profit might have similarly simple needs (protect the non-profit's mission).

The Wikimedia Foundation undertook a substantial rewrite of its Terms of Use in 2011-12. It was a complex task, but in my view it was carried out admirably, and there are many worthwhile lessons that could apply outside the Wikimedia world.

I plan to use this wiki page to start drafting my version of this story. It's a project I've wanted to do for many years.

This page arose out of a discussion with Robert Sterbal and others, about Wikimedia's unusual, and relatively non-restrictive, requirements regarding hosting its images and media on other website. Embedding Wikimedia Content