Enciclopedia Libre Universal en Español is a Spanish language wiki encyclopedia, released under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses the MediaWiki software. It started as a fork of Spanish Wikipedia.
The Enciclopedia Libre was founded by contributors to the Spanish-language 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 are explained on Enciclopedia Libre. Enciclopedia: Por qué estamos aquí y no en es.wikipedia.org (Spanish) Key issues included concerns about censorship and the possibility of advertising on Wikipedia.
Below is a translation of this page from Enciclopedia Libre:
Critical voices were censored and the opinions of editors with administrative power continually used personal wording.
The commercial venture Bomis, Inc., owner of the wikipedia.com 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 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.
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