The Wikimedia Foundation and Internet Brands(IB) has finally reached a settlement over the site, Wikivoyage. The two companies have been battling each other for several months now, and the battles have finally come to an end. The lawsuit began in September of 2012, when Internet Brands filed a lawsuit against two volunteers that worked on the Wikivoyage project. Internet Brands claimed that the two volunteers created an infringing website against Internet Brands’s own Wikitravel website, and that they were deliberately trying to take users away from them.
Wikivoyage is a free, world-wide travel project that’s kept up-to-date by users. It was created back in December 2006, but was relaunched on January 15th of this year. It’s a non-profit site that thrives on the collaboration of information provided by its users. It is also the latest project in the Wikimedia line-up.
The two volunteers, along with many others, used to work for Wikitravel until it was bought by IB. The site that was once non-profit became for-profit and the management style caused many of the volunteers to leave. When IB sued the two volunteers, the Wikimedia Foundation jumped to their aid and backed them up financially. The case was moved to the federal court where the volunteers also filed an anti-SLAPP motion against Internet Brands, because they believed their freedom of openly discussing the Wikivoyage project was being threatened. Internet Brands had to abandon its federal claim because they had no factual basis. This also resulted in the court dismissing all of Internet Brands’s remaining claims.
But the Wikimedia Foundation didn’t stop at that. They filed their own lawsuit against Internet Brands. They wanted a declaration from the court that “Internet Brands had no proper basis to block the travel wiki project”. As of two days ago, on February 14th, a settlement was signed between the Wikimedia Foundation and Internet Brands. IB has released both the Wikimedia Foundation, and Wikivoyage, from all claims related in “any manner to the creation and operation of the travel wiki project”. With this, the Wikimedia Foundation will drop its lawsuit against IB.