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This article is from:

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: 

Enciclopedia Libre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Enciclopedia Libre Universal en Espaņol is a Spanish language Wiki encyclopedia, released under the GFDL. It uses the MediaWiki software.

Enciclopedia Libre screenshot of April 1, 2006.
Enciclopedia Libre screenshot of April 1, 2006.


The Enciclopedia Libre was founded by contributors to the Spanish-language Wikipedia (Spanish Wikipedia), who decided to start an independent project. Led by Edgar Enyedy, they left Wikipedia on February 26, 2002 and seeded the new website, provided by the University of Seville for free, with the freely licensed articles of the Spanish-language Wikipedia.

Reasons for the split

The reasons for the split as explained on Enciclopedia Libre are listed at Why we are here and not in Wikipedia (in Spanish, under GFDL, registration required). Key issues included concerns about censorship and the threat of advertising on Wikipedia.

Below is a translation of this page from Enciclopedia Libre:

The principal motive for the project's separation lies in our rejection of censorship, of an editorial line, and of including advertising.

Critical voices were censored and the opinions of editors with administrative power continually used personal wording.

The commercial venture Bomis, Inc., owner of the domain name, announced the possibility of hosting advertisements on wikipedia's pages. Moreover, this idea struck us as unfortunate, as it implied the existence of a commercialization of the selfless work of volunteers to profit Bomis, Inc.

Bomis, Inc. was asked for explanations, and for a promise not to include advertising in the Spanish wikipedia.

They neither gave explanations nor made any sort of promise and, in addition, they maintained an arrogant attitude out of line with what we understand should be respect among people and cultures, given that it was based on a supposed superiority.

In the face of this attitude, we have preferred to abandon that project and begin another from scratch, basing it on the following platform:

  • This encyclopedia is protected under GFDL.
  • This encyclopedia will not host any advertising.
  • This encyclopedia will not be directed by editors who censor and impose an editorial line.
  • Culture should not be a commercial object.
  • Everybody has the right to access culture freely.
  • Having been born in a one society or another depends not on individual merit, but only on chance.
  • The chance of place and time of birth cannot serve as basis for any negative discrimination.
  • No culture is superior to any other.

Possibility of a merger

In October 2002, an effort led by Wikipedia editor Daniel Mayer (who goes by the username Maveric149) and others was made to reunite the projects, but the participants of Enciclopedia Libre voted against reunification before Wikipedia could offer a reunification proposal. The users of Enciclopedia Libre did, however, leave open the possibility for a future merger and expressed an interest in maintaining lines of communication. This episode also sparked a great deal of discussion about the role of the non-English speaking Wikipedias and has led to several changes and planned changes wanted by the non-English speaking Wikipedia communities.

Several talks have been made to make a merger. There also have been changes on Wikipedia and Enciclopedia Libre that may contribute to a merger:

  • Creation of a non-profit Wikipedia organization, known as Wikimedia Foundation;
  • Multilingual portal
  • Installation of Phase III software on Enciclopedia Libre

Like Wikipedia, the Enciclopedia Libre uses the GNU Free Documentation Licence, so material can be freely copied between the two provided attribution is preserved. In October and November 2003, the Spanish Wikipedia used a wikipedian-designed bot to import articles from a dump of Enciclopedia Libre, but when the creator of this bot left Wikipedia due to a personal conflict, she took the bot with her.


While Enciclopedia Libre initially grew much more rapidly than the Spanish Wikipedia, the Spanish Wikipedia overtook it in 2004. Since then, the Spanish Wikipedia has grown at a much greater rate, possibly due to greater media focus on the English Wikipedia and thus related projects. Currently, the Spanish Wikipedia hosts approximately six times as many articles as Enciclopedia Libre.

See also

Other wiki encyclopedias:

  • Wikiweise (German)
  • WikiZnanie (Russian)
  • (Swedish)
  • Baidu Baike (Chinese)
  • Wikinfo (English)
  • Everything2

External links and references

  • Enciclopedia Libre Universal en Espaņol
  • User page of founder Edgar Enyedy at Enciclopedia Libre
  • Newspaper source
  • Newspaper source


Retrieved from ""