By Ike Suarez, Tech Times
WikiPilipinas, an online
encyclopedia of Philippine-related content has launched on the
Internet, wherein any user can freely copy, use, and distribute
these contents, even as registered users can edit them and upload
new articles on the website.
Its publisher Gaspar Vibal, a
balikbayan from New York City and scion of a family long-established
in the Philippine book publishing and commercial printing industry,
formally announced WikiPilipinas at a recent press briefing in
Vibal told reporters he had
patterned WikiPilinas after the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia,
whose copyleft intellectual property rights (IPR) model is now
threatening the financial viability of traditional encyclopedias
such as Encyclopedia Britannica and Groliers.
Copyleft refers to the IPR
concept that enables users to freely copy, modify, and distribute
various intellectual properties as long as there has been proper
attribution to their source. Some variants of this concept allow
commercialization of such copied and modified intellectual
properties subject to certain conditions.
Vibal added that while inspired
by the Wikipedia concept, he had improved on it by putting in
additional features to the WikiPilipinas. Among these were an
almanac of lists, a Yahoo-style directory of top Philippine
knowledge portals, and community portals specifically targeted for
underserved Philippine communities such as Tsinoys, Kapampangans and
Among WikiPilipinas’ knowledge
portals are people and society, culture and arts, media and
entertainment, sports and leisure, history, economy and business,
government and politics, geography and travel, religion and beliefs,
science and technology, Philippine communities, and Philippine
Vibal stated that WikiPilipinas
has targeted 100,000 articles uploaded into it by the end of the
year. It currently has 33,000 articles.
He said the target was in line
with its vision to join the ranks of the world’s top 10 Wiki
portals made up of the English, French, Chinese, Dutch, Spanish,
German, Polish, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish wikis.
Replying to a question by Tech
Times, Vibal said WikiPilinas is not intended to earn a profit even
if its bricks-and-mortars address shares that of the Vibal
Publishing House offices and printing press in Quezon City.
But cornered by Tech Times
immediately after the briefing, he admitted there might be a way to
make money out of it in the future. What the revenue models would be
he still did not know, according to him.
At the briefing, he said
WikiPilipinas is a Vibal Publishing House project that seeks to
thank the Filipino people for their decades-long patronage of its
published textbooks and commercial printing services.
Vibal said that the WikiPilipinas
server on which its contents are hosted is managed by VConnect, a
Philippine data center services provider. He told Tech Times
immediately after the briefing that the online encyclopedia’s
contents would soon be mirror-sited abroad.
He further told Tech Times that
he would also launch in the near future another project, the
uploading into the Internet of Philippine-related digital audio