What is Freebase?
About Freebase's data
Freebase has information about approximately 20 million Topics or Entities at the time of writing. Each one has a unique Id, which can help distinguish multiple entities which have similar names, such as Henry Ford the industrialist vs Henry Ford the footballer.
Most of our topics are associated with one or more types (such as people, places, books, films, etc) and may have additional properties like "date of birth" for a person or latitude and longitude for a location. These types and properties and related concepts are called Schema.
For more information see Freebase data.
About our development platform
Our hosted app development platform, Acre, makes it easy to build and share Freebase applications. It encapsulates many of the trickier steps (like OAuth access for writing to Freebase) and lets you view other people's apps, clone them, modify them, and share your improvements.
More information: Development
About our community
The Freebase community are data contributors, schema builders, data curators, application developers, and many others who use Freebase. Much of our community activity happens on our mailing list. There are also regular meetups, occasional hack days, and other events.
More information: Community
About data licensing
All the data contained in Freebase is licensed by a Creative Commons Attribution License (aka CC-BY), which means that it's free for you to browse, query, copy, and even use the data in your own systems or software, even for commercial use; all we ask in return is that you mention that your product, service or even just a little chart uses Freebase data (see attribution). Attribution not only helps us promote Freebase, but helps you by making explicit the provenance of your data to others and to help them discover the same data without you having to publish it yourself (or offering sophisticated access and querying services over it).
Note that our data license is does NOT force you to contribute any changes to the data back to Freebase: we want data contributions to be voluntary and inspired by your own needs to share data to reduce maintenance costs. If you or your services depend on data that needs to be kept continuously up-to-date but it doesn't give you a competitive advantage, we believe that just like it happened for Free and Open Source software it makes sense for people to share the maintenance and curation costs over such data. In practice, this means donating the data to Freebase and use it to entice a community of people that share the same interests over that data and can come together to share data maintenance and curation costs (which, like for software, end up making up the greatest majority of sunken costs).
More information: Licensing