It’s almost an after-thought when you realize that Wikipedia doesn’t have any online video. But better late than never. The online user-edited encyclopedia will introduce video clips for its users to run by the end of the summer, Technology Review reports (via ReadWriteWeb). The news comes about two months after Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales pulled the plug on Wikia Search, which let users edit and suggest search results for different queries.
That project never really caught on, though Wales cited economic reasons for shutting it down. The video effort has the backing of the Mozilla Foundation, which runs the open-source Firefox browser, and is predicated on the hopes that more content companies will make their videos accessible in the public domain.
But since media companies are looking for ways to charge for content, as opposed to giving it away, it’s not clear what sort of incentive they’ll have to share their videos with the non-profit, non-ad supported Wikipedia.
Still, Wikipedia expects to launch the project with hundreds of thousands of archival videos from three partners it has lined up: the Internet Archive, which houses roughly 200,000 videos, including documentaries, items such as 1950s educational clips; the Wikimedia Commons, which holds 4 million media files, many of them video; and Metavid, which archives Congressional speeches and hearings.