Referencing IMDb on Wikipedia film infoboxes

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We'd like to use IMDb information as a reference for Wikipedia film infoboxes. We are updating the film infoboxes as part of the Wikidata project. We think this will be beneficial for Wikipedia and IMDb because the high traffic of Wikipedia film articles will drive users to IMDb when they click the reference in the infobox, for example, if they want to see the full cast listing of a film. We would be using some of the IMDb information for about 80,000 films. This seems to fit all of your terms of use except for the "personal" part, but I thought it would be worthwhile to ask because it seems like it would be a beneficial arrangement for IMDb as well.
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Michael Hale

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Posted 7 years ago

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Emperor, Champion

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I'd assume most uses of data that someone like Wikipedia would want to need would fall under fair use.

Changing hats to my one as an admin on Wikipedia, the main issue I see is that IMDB has never been a reliable source (because the data is user-submitted):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedi...

IMDB has been included as a link in the film infobox, which was something I thought was handy, but that has removed after lengthy disucssion:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template...

So, unless I've misunderstood, you'd need to overturn long-standing consensus which will meet with some fierce objections (I'd personally oppose a use of IMDB as a reliable source) and I've looked around and can't find any discussion started on the relevant pages at Wikipedia. Then again, I don't know much about Wikidata (other than what I've just quickly read up on now) and this might have already been addressed.
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Michael Hale

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Thank you, that was very informative. So basically, we don't have any reason to believe that IMDb's crowdsourced data is any more reliable than the crowdsourced data that is unreferenced in the Wikipedia infoboxes? IMDb just has more of it related to films.
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Emperor, Champion

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Pretty much - my experiences on IMDB pretty much underline this too, rather than allaying my concerns. If you have a look at the Contributors Help forum you can see the problems some expert contributors run into, when well-meaning by less-informed people sweep through contributions and change them (see threads started by horn-5 for good examples).

All submissions are reviewed by staff and, by and large, key elements like cast and crew, are pretty solid and reliable but other elements aren't (trivia and goofs for example). However, it isn't really to the standard required - although it should be possible to implement procedures that would make these more solid. Interestingly with the comics project we had a long debate about reliable sources - comicbookdb was out because the submissions are unchecked (although it is relatively accurate) while GCDB is as because all submissions are reviewed. IMDB does require evidence for uncredited cast and they could, in theory, get a scan of the credits stored behind the scenes to make sure there is no dickery with them further down the line (although foreign language titles might also be problematic), which could satisfy Wikipedia's RS policy, but then there are often problems with e.g. release dates of obscure works and fake entries, etc. which could cause issues.

However, as you say, it is the crowdsourced nature of the data (which does mean you can get a lot more data in than if you relied on a limited set of authorised contributors) that makes people wary, as a lot of information can be found elsewhere from reliable sources - box office from Box Office Mojo, for example. It may even be that you are overthinking it, as most infoboxes are unsourced except for "controversial" items (where you might be thinking "are you sure?"), which is the general standard for facts in Wikipedia - not everything needs sourcing, a film's cast can be easily checked (IMDB is a bit of a shortcut here, but if there was dispute people can usually rummage up the credits, except for lost films, but there people would already be relying on other sources). Have a look at FA quality film articles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category...

A quick check shows they are only sourced for budget and box office (sometimes not even that, see Jaws), which can be sourced through Box Office Mojo, a reliable source. It seems to me that if you stick to that standard you'll be fine and won't have to wade into the concerns about whether IMDB is a reliable source or not.

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