Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mirrors and forks of Wikipedia are publications that mirror (copy exactly) or fork (copy, but change parts of the material of) Wikipedia. Many correctly follow the licensing terms; however, many others fail – accidentally or intentionally – to place the notice required by these terms. Such pages are listed in subpages grouped alphabetically - see section § How to list new mirrors below. If you find such links, please add them here.

Things you need to know

Using these mirrors and forks on Wikipedia
Copies of Wikipedia are not reliable sources and not acceptable external links in articles per the verifiability policy. Articles that use a republished work as a source should be edited to either remove the work or to tag the source with {{Circular-ref}}. Leave {{backwardscopy}} on the article's talk page to identify Wikipedia as the original source.
Copyright status of mirrors and forks
Every contribution to the English Wikipedia has been licensed for re-use, including commercial, for-profit websites. Republication is not necessarily a breach of copyright, so long as the appropriate licenses are complied with.
Effect of non-compliance with licenses
If the license is not complied with, then the republication is a copyright violation. You own the copyright to your contributions, not the Wikimedia Foundation. Legally, the Wikimedia Foundation is in the same position as the republishers (except that the WMF always complies with your license terms), because the WMF is republishing your copyrighted content under your license. If someone violates the terms of the license, then enforcement needs to come from the copyright owner. Consequently, complaints about violations need to be made by a person who actually wrote part of the improperly republished material. See #Non-compliance process for one typical method for dealing with publishers who violate your copyright. If your own copyright has not been violated, then you may contact one or more of the editors who own the copyright for the material in question, and suggest that they follow the steps in the suggested process. The Wikimedia Foundation and the community cannot do this on behalf of the copyright owner.

How to list new mirrors

List new mirrors in the appropriate alphabetical section:


Also include them on the CC-BY-SA Compliance (most sites) or GFDL compliance pages (if they say they comply with that license).

Use this form to add new ones:
{{Wikipedia mirror
|       name = <name of the webpage> (not url)
|        url = URL
|description = its scope, what features it has, differences with WP, innovations, etc.
|     sample = URL
|     rating = "High", "Medium", or "Low/None" compliance with CC-BY-SA (matches Wikipedia:CC-BY-SA Compliance) (compare against GFDL if they choose that license).
| compliance = Describe details of compliance or lack thereof. List violations here.
|    contact = E-mails, phone numbers, contact form URLs, etc. of admin and ISP.
|     action = Actions taken (if any) to attempt to make the website comply.


Wikipedia's main license, the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License (CC-BY-SA), requires that any derivative of works from Wikipedia must be released under that same license, must state that it is released under that license, and must acknowledge the contributors (which can be accomplished with a link back to that article on Wikipedia).

As of 2009, most Wikipedia text is also dual-licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. However, this will gradually change as CC-BY-SA text is imported. Thus, it is not safe for most reusers to use the GFDL. Pages identified to use imported CC-BY-SA content are included at Category:Articles with imported Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 text. The GFDL can still be used indefinitely for pages without CC-BY-SA only content. Generally, the GFDL imposes requirements that are similar to the CC-BY-SA but more stringent.

For details about Wikipedia's interpretation of the CC-BY-SA and GFDL, see Wikipedia:Copyrights. However, always remember that only the CC-BY-SA and GFDL themselves are legally binding.

Note that all notices and/or links must be visible to all users who can see the content. Thus, CSS and JavaScript-only links and/or notices are not acceptable if the Wikipedia article is plain HTML.

The license does not apply to material in the public domain or that is used under fair use. Also, material can be used under other terms if and only if all contributors have approved them.

The web sites listed on the "compliance" pages below use content original to Wikipedia as a source for at least some of their content. Wikipedia itself is not included.

License compliance

If the following websites have not followed the rules above, any person willing may notify them, but it is preferable that a Wikipedia contributor to an article they have copied does so. A possible process is given in the non-compliance section below.

Please add newly discovered sites to one of the following pages: (in their proper alphabetical place)

(Numbers) ABC - DEF - GHI - JKL - MNO - PQR - STU - VWXYZ

You can see all sites on one page. There is also an archive of sites which are no longer active.

Also, please list the page, using a link to its alphabetical place, on the following lists:

Non-compliance process

This section describes the steps that might be taken on discovering a new site that uses Wikipedia content without properly complying with the license.
Note that Wikipedia does not give legal advice. Contributors retain their own copyright for submitted work.

If you do contact a website about infringement relating to work originally submitted to Wikipedia, please note it on the relevant subpage listed above. Doing this will help co-ordinate activities in helping other websites become compliant with our licence, without webmasters feeling harassed by lots of angry no compliance notices.

You may want to consider using a disposable e-mail address for this: since many of the websites listed here are built for advertising purposes, spamming is a possibility. Also, if the owner is planning to shut down the webpage, or remove the Wikipedia content as a whole, suggest to them that they use robots.txt or meta tags so we can remove and prevent future search engine indexing and caching for those websites. Also, if the owner is reachable, suggest that s/he update her/his Wiki with the latest database dumps to keep up with recent changes.


This is not an official guideline but a tool you can use for dealing with infringement. Continue the series below as long as the site is non-compliant. Note that you must choose only pages for which you hold (partial) copyright. These steps only work for dealing with infringement on websites in the United States.

  1. If the text is licensed under CC-BY-SA only, send a standard CC-BY-SA violation letter to the site owner. If it is dually licensed, send a standard license violation letter. You can use a whois lookup to get contact info if it is not otherwise available.
  2. One week (or more) later, send a follow-up reminder.
  3. Three weeks (or more) later, send a final warning, noting that continued infringement will result in a DMCA takedown notice being sent to their ISP.
  4. Two weeks (or more) later, send a DMCA takedown notice to the ISP, enumerating articles that infringe your copyright. Note separately that the site also violates the copyrights of others. To find the appropriate address, first search the ISP's website. To find the ISP, you can: enter the domain name in the DNS search at, then click the IP. First search the ISP's site for a legal address. If that doesn't work, try to look them up at . If they're not in the directory, send the notice to the abuse address. Note that sites are not legally required to accept DMCA notices. If they don't the only recourse is legal action.

Remote loading

Some mirrors load a page from the Wikimedia servers directly every time someone requests a page from them. They alter the text in some way, such as framing it with ads, then send it on to the reader. This is called remote loading, and it is an unacceptable use of Wikimedia server resources. Even remote loading websites with little legitimate traffic can generate significant load on our servers, due to search engine web crawlers.

If you suspect a website is remote loading Wikipedia content, you can report it at meta:Live mirrors.

The appropriate way to run a mirror is to download a dump of the compressed 'pages-article' file and the images from, and then use a modified instance of MediaWiki to generate the required HTML, along with above mentioned copyrights information. Please use Articles, templates, image descriptions, and primary meta-pages (pages-articles.xml.bz2) for mirroring purposes.

Copies of this list

A separate list of sites that utilise Wikipedia content is maintained at the OpenFacts site: Copies of Wikipedia content. This list consists primarily of complete copies of all Wikipedia articles. It is intended to show readers where they can get Wikipedia content when Wikipedia itself is down.

See also

  • meta:Guide to the CC dual-license - for authors who want to make their contributions available to Creative Commons sites
  • meta:James explains law - Some of the interesting legal questions and issues affecting the project
  • meta:Mirror filter - Filter list for filtering mirrors from Google search results
  • meta:GFDL and CC-BY-SA enforcement - if you want to go further
Other online encyclopedias (some are forks of, or are based on Wikipedia, the rest are competitors or colleagues)
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