Wikimedia Foundation v Internet Brands

Background information

Wikitravel was a wiki founded in 2003, allowing volunteer authors to add and edit content related to worldwide travel and tourism. All content on the site was published under a Creative Commons ShareAlike license. In 2005, the domain name was purchased by Internet Brands, a for-profit company. In 2012, a group of volunteer site administrators and authors approached the Wikimedia Foundation about making a new travel-oriented wiki, which would incorporate some of the content from Wikitravel owned by contributors.

Case summary

Internet Brands filed a lawsuit against two of those Wikitravel editors, asserting trademark infringement, unfair competition, and civil conspiracy. The Wikimedia Foundation then filed this declaratory judgment action against Internet Brands in California state court, requesting a judicial determination that they have the right to start the proposed new travel wiki and incorporate content from Wikitravel under the terms of the CC license. After Internet Brands agreed to dismiss their unfair competition claim, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California dismissed the remainder of Internet Brand’s claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Wikimedia and Internet Brands settled their state court dispute.