WikiLeaks has discovered a new way to bring in revenue for its non-profit company known for publishing classified documents–licensing.
Made famous when it released more than 76,000 previously unreleased documents about the war in Afghanistan in 2007, WikiLeaks and its founder, the Internet activist Julian Assange, have now become household names.
The company, with the help of the newly created licensing agency WikiLicense, now aims to expand that reach and support its freedom of speech and transparency efforts through branded products.
“WikiLeaks and Julian Assange enjoy amazing worldwide recognition and possess all of the key attributes of major global brands,” says Olafur Sigurvinsson, chief executive officer, WikiLicense. “They represent a cause that a large proportion of people are passionate about, have strong momentum and speak to a growing consumer demographic that is emerging from a tide swell of changing opinion across the world.”
Sigurvinsson says that the company has already received expressions of interest from a number of companies and expects branded products to begin arriving on shelves soon. WikiLicense is also currently setting up a network of local agents for the brand in key territories.
“We have created new ways for our supporters to fund our work and WikiLicensing is an important part of that,” says Julian Assange, founder and publisher, WikiLeaks. “This is also a positive way of both spreading the awareness of our work and protecting the integrity of the brand.”