What is Wikimedia Commons?
Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to everyone, in their own language. It acts as a common repository for the various projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, but you do not need to belong to one of those projects to use media hosted here. The repository is created and maintained not by paid archivists, but by volunteers. The scope of Commons is set out on the project scope pages.
Wikimedia Commons uses the same wiki-technology as Wikipedia and everyone can edit it. Unlike media files uploaded to other projects, files uploaded to Wikimedia Commons can be embedded on pages of all Wikimedia projects without the need to separately upload them there.
Launched on 7 September 2004, Wikimedia Commons hit the 1,000,000 uploaded media file milestone on 30 November 2006 and currently contains 48,524,539 files and 48,294,988 media collections. More background information about the Wikimedia Commons project itself can be found in the General disclaimer, at the Wikipedia page about Wikimedia Commons and its page in Meta-wiki.
Wikimedia Commons and its fellow sites are hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in the United States. Sites like Google or Yahoo are hosted on thousands of servers, with thousands of employees; we have around 800 servers and ~280 staff, and cover our costs through donations-almost all from members of the public.
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