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::::Oops, sorry, I didn't realize your comment was directed at the part of the sentence after where I quoted. I somehow had mistakened to think it was directed at me. -[[User:PanSola]] (talk to the [[Image:follower of Lyssa.png]]) 01:08, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
 
::::Oops, sorry, I didn't realize your comment was directed at the part of the sentence after where I quoted. I somehow had mistakened to think it was directed at me. -[[User:PanSola]] (talk to the [[Image:follower of Lyssa.png]]) 01:08, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
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== Hi from Jimbo Wales ==
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Hey everybody, I am currently in South Africa promoting the growth of free culture in South Africa. I haven't had good Internet access and so I am sorry I was unable to comment earlier.
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I just wanted to give my personal assurances that we want to work with everyone to make things better, no problem. The issues raised here are complicated and interesting, but please rest assured that we don't intend to change anything unless you want things changed.
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As Gil Penchina has said, but worth repeating from me: this wiki has had advertising for a long time, and our intention is to reduce the amount of advertising, not increase it, for sure. This wiki has more advertising on it than is typical for wikia. We want to offer you some new features and skins, but that's never mandatory. And as everyone knows from my work, the one thing that I think I do really well, and that Wikia does really well, is respect communities and work with people.
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Of course the content is under a CC license, and will remain so the same as ever. The NC license does not mean that a wiki can't have advertising on it... any more than people uploading CC NC photos to flickr means flickr can't run ads. It means that no one can package up a book from the content and sell it, and that we can't charge people for access to the site. No problem there. In any event, our intention is to reduce the commercialism of the site, not increase it.
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Beyond that, as for people's beef with Gravewit, I am sad to say that I really did not anticipate this or know anything about the history here. We will do what we can to make things right for people. I welcome people to email me personally at jwales@wikia.com so I can better understand the situation. Let me know what is your personal pain point, and let's see if there is a way to resolve it.--[[User:Jimbo Wales|Jimbo Wales]] 03:24, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Revision as of 08:24, September 17, 2007


Donations

In Guildwiki's early days, we were kept afloat for awhile by the generosity of our users, which we depended on not only to pay for the server, but to keep the site alive and fresh as they always have. Asking for money wasn't an easy decision, and it never sat particularly well with me; we switched over to ads once it was viable to do so, and stopped accepting donations at all.

Following the announcement that we were moving to Wikia, many of you have brought up issue with this bit of site history, and I feel with good reason. Now that it is possible to return that money, I have begun doing so. Anyone who donated to the site whose information I can find (paypal seems to be having issues going back that far) will be fully reimbursed monetarily, and enclosed will be my personal thanks. This is only the first step in doing what is right by our still-amazing-after-all-these-years userbase, in light of our coming changes.

I truly thank you for every single edit. Gravewit 00:19, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Organized Dicussions

The lack of organization of this talk page is causing many things to be repeated and getting nowhere. Therefore I have decided to be bold to create sub-articles on individual issues.

  • Gravewit's compensation - On issues pertaining Gravewit receiving money from Wikia in the transaction, and legal/copyleft/license issues on the monetary transaction surrounding a BY-NC-SA site.
  • BY-NC-SA vs Site advertisements - On issues pertaining the GuildWiki (a BY-NC-SA site) having advertisements, either during the Gravewit era or under the new Wikia dominion.
  • Technical - DNS, server, extensions, skins issues related to the Wikia move.
  • Forking - For people with thoughts on taking a database dump (which Wikia will supply if requested) and start a fork elsewhere.
  • Poll of the community's opinions of the sale.

Other readings

These readings are from various talk pages addressing specific issues between individuals. It may or may not be appropriate for others to join in those conversations, but they may provide additional background information on the issues.

  • This posting to Gravewit's talk page covers the founding of this wiki, and how other co-founders and financial contributors to the wiki have been, for lack of better words, cheated and deceived by Gravewit's actions, including the sale.
  • This post on Gravewit's talk page addresses one of the more vocal user's legal concerns. Especially around the site license, which is explicitly non-commercial.
  • This post on Tanaric's talk page covers a potential route for the community to create their own branch, as Gravewit is believed to have never owned the guildwiki.org domain (even though it was the domain under which this wiki operated for quite some time).

Misc discussions

  • Talk:Wikia Move/Archive 1 - Contains many discussions that do actually belong in one or several of the "Organized discussions", but this talk page was generally getting too in-conducive for discussion. You are free to unarchive any of the threads and place them into unorganized discussion section below or one of the above organized topics.

FFXIcyclopedia

Wikia acquisition of another gaming wiki is also stirring up problems... forum post regarding FFXIcyclopedia here [1]. Can't confirm the authenticity, but it has parallels to what's happened here. — HarshLanguage Qswearing small 20:56, 16 September 2007 (CDT)

http://euphidime.com/wiki_scandal/10.png http://euphidime.com/wiki_scandal/13.png + http://euphidime.com/wiki_scandal/23.png http://euphidime.com/wiki_scandal/18.png are among some of the most interesting caps, if true. Assuming the numbers hold true across the board, it'd indicate Gravewit's compensation is somewhere around a quarter of a million. And the finale is just cake. http://euphidime.com/wiki_scandal/26.png
Considering Wikia's main source of income appears to be from ad revenues driven through acquiring large existing communities, compounded with pushing traffic from Wikipedia, I don't really doubt it. Merengue 21:32, 16 September 2007 (CDT)
Wow. Just wow. --Dirigible 21:44, 16 September 2007 (CDT)
Apparently, if we look at all of that, Wikia's had their eye on us for a while already. WoWWiki got snapped up first; probably because it's one of the biggest. THE biggest, I believe. Once they have the biggest one they can on their network, they're raking in enough money to pay for the other wikis, plus they can say "WoWWiki joined us already, and look at how well they're doing!". It's not looking like anyone from Wikia's going to help us out on this issue at this point; we might have to end up either folding like a lawn chair, or making a new GuildWiki. Unless someone finds a lawyer willing to go up against Wikipedia/Wikia. (good luck.) --GEO-logo Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^ 21:53, 16 September 2007 (CDT)
Ugh. What a mess. Does anyone have any info on the source of those images? Biscuits Biscuit 21:55, 16 September 2007 (CDT)
The images were supposedly taken from a private e-mail account through hacking, so there's really no verifiability. Due to the issue of transparency, or the lack thereof, we're likely never going to see any hard information short of a lawsuit forcing the issue, I'd imagine. Until then, it's a he-said, she-said issue, isn't it? Merengue 22:01, 16 September 2007 (CDT)

If these images are valid, then our number 1 priority is to get as much of the guildwiki data off the servers as possible for a fork. Wikia may buy off one person, but they cannot buy a community. 193.52.24.125 22:08, 16 September 2007 (CDT)

So long as Fyren can still access the servers, then we should be able to copy over the Wiki in it's entirety, and legally as far as I know. Wikia would be left to deal with a cheap imitation, basically. --GEO-logo Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^ 22:17, 16 September 2007 (CDT)
All I can say is that we need to get as much information over to new servers if this is how it is. That doesn't look very good. Kind of underhanded if you ask me... The Imperialist

Anyone else find it ironic that Wikia's slogan, at least according to Wikipedia, is "creating communities," when really they're "buying wikis"? BftP 02:26, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Subtopic pages

General note: please direct indepth discussion of any forking efforts into the relevant subpage, so it's more centralized and other people of like mind can find it easier. It may be possible that some of the community may be interested in forking but didn't care about the FFXI topic so are not reading it. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 23:57, 16 September 2007 (CDT)

Your obsession with categorization is commendable, but for this particular topic it is a nuisance. This discussion is not solely about forking anyway. 193.52.24.125 00:38, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
I was just about to revert Pan's move myself. This discussion is important enough to deserve to remain here, and as 193.52 noted it's neither exclusively about forking nor Gravewit's profits. --Dirigible 00:40, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
It is my belief that important discussions related to how much Gravewit made should be in the appropriate sub-page so that the people interested in that subject will see it, instead of putting it under the Misc Discussions section under the generic main talk page. The forking discussion didn't go very far, but if you feel the need, you can further sub-split that part of the topic into the Forking sub-topic. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 00:50, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
Pan, you are missing the point; this section is not exclusively about how much Gravewit made. Read the link, it involves the whole behind the scenes process. Also, I don't see why you think that an "important" discussion belongs hidden in a subpage; if it were up to me, this would be on the Main Page right now. --Dirigible 01:01, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
On the second point, my apologies. I had failed to realize that the Organized Discussions section may not be prominent to certain people. Can you help think of ways to make the sub-pages more prominently noticeable? Keeping every non-dead discussion on the main general talk page is gonna lead to many redundent repetative points being made over and over again and overshadow new thoughts. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 01:04, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

FAQ and working through the issues

Thank you all for the patience -

FAQ's: A few things I can tell you now, at least to provide some amount of updates for those who are afraid that too many changes will be made:

  • We will not be changing the licensing for the wiki - it will stay with it's current license. For some of the smaller wikis on gamewikis.org - where there is an existing GFDL wiki, we will work with the two communities to try to merge them so that the communities can come together if they're willing
  • We DO NOT plan to put lots of ads to the site, in fact if you look at our sites, they typically only have ONE ad per page instead of TWO so I had hoped we would be viewed as an improvement. Also when you login to our new skins, the ad unit is EVEN smaller
  • We always maintain monobook as an option for people that want to use it, if you don't like our new skins, like on http://tv.wikia.com
  • We do have a number of wiki communities that have come over to Wikia and some but not all received some compensation for this. My contract doesn't permit discussion of this, but I will talk it over with Gravewit as some of the estimates have been speculative
  • What I can tell you about the contract is that we acquired the domain name and did not ask for a copy of any CC-NC content as part of it. However we did acquire any commercial licenses or rights that came with the URL.
  • The content GameWikis presents to the public is available under CC and we WILL continue to make public dumps of it available on a regular basis to insure that it belongs to the community
  • We try to support communities so those who want to stay on their old URL have been able to do so and we would talk to you before making that sort of change.
  • I had hoped that by reducing the number of ads and improving the software, we could help make Gamewikis a better place for fans and that this would be a positive change and one that would improve the experience on the wiki.


I have been trying to work through the various issues raised and want to see if there is consensus about at least the issues

  • Some people appear to be angry that Gravewit received compensation for this, or at least curious about how much.
  • Others are trying to determine what exactly CC-NC-SA prohibits
  • Some are angry that the site was not run by a company, although it was hosted by a commercial hosting facility paid for by Gravewit and will now be hosted by a different commercial hosting company. What I find a bit troubling is the notion that ads are ok if there's no profit. Once there are ads - it is a site with some commercial flavor to it. (Not sure that's a legal term)
  • Others think Wikia is making lots of money from this. If the community has one volunteer who is designated by the admins, I will put them in touch with our accountants and they can hear directly from them that we lose lots of money every month. We hope over the long term that revenues will increase as we attract more passionate users, but for the moment, we are definitely not making a profit despite having over 4,000 wikis on Wikia. That is something I am happy to be super-transparent about.


If there are other issues I need to work through let me know, otherwise I will keep working on these three. I am going to try to be as transparent as I can here - so please continue to contact me if you see things we need to be talking about that we aren't.
Thanks,
Penchina 23:14, 16 September 2007 (CDT)

You are answering a lot of FAQs no one is asking, and failing to answer the one question that everyone wants answered: how much was Gravewit paid for this? Also, there is no uncertainty about what CC-NC prohibits. Just read clause 4(c). I am sure you don't need an army of lawyers to understand what "you may not exercise these rights ... in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed towards commercial advantage or private monetary compensation" means. Unless you are willing to publicly certify that Wikia will make zero profit from hosting the GuildWiki content, you are in breach of license. 193.52.24.125 23:24, 16 September 2007 (CDT)
Gil, I think one thing we really want an answer to is whether or not this is a legal sale at all. And by answer, I mean a clear, legally sound reference to licensing law that states it's okay to sell a CC-NC-SA licensed site. Regardless of dollar figures, we at GuildWiki want to know that the integrity behind this "Non Commercial" license is still sound. Even though we're not lawyers some of us feel scammed. And we want a clear explanation of why this is. This statement:
"What I can tell you about the contract is that we acquired the domain name and did not ask for a copy of any CC-NC content as part of it. However we did acquire any commercial licenses or rights that came with the URL."
...is one thing that especially troubles us, where the muddy waters begin. What, exactly, does the purchase of the domain name entail? How much of GuildWiki was built up under the idea of being "non-profit", only to be later sold? What "commercial licenses or rights" came with the URL?
I realize and have seen it repeated many times, that "My contract doesn't permit discussion of this". But, at this point a lot of us want to hear every last little detail explained until our questions are answered. We want to get as close to the "Truth" as possible while you can still remain within bounds of your contract. It just seems that any time we get answers, they are vague, non-specific, generalized, and/or dodge around the question(s)/issue(s) involved. Entropy Sig (T/C) 23:30, 16 September 2007 (CDT)
I just want to say, Gil, thanks a lot for the response here, you have answered a few questions. But yes, like Entropy just said, there are still much more important questions that have been unanswered, and without those answers, the majority of the people posting here will still feel scammed and duped. A few users were closely involved in the very founding of this Wiki, yet only Gravewit is getting paid for this. How much you paid him you can't disclose, but you should at least be able to tell us if the sale was legal, what exactly you bought, and so on. --GEO-logo Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^
I can't answer every question overnight, but what I am saying is that we acquired the domain name as the primary asset. We specifically did not acquire anything under CC as it is freely licensed, but if there were trademarks or other commercial "things" we typically try to cover ourselves for that in a contract, as we never know. The purchase of a domain is pretty simple legally. What would be particularly helpful to me is if anyone can provide documentation that the site was DEFINED as a non-profit anywhere. I can't find any reference to non-profit, only CC-NC-SA on content. Similarly on the founding, if there were founders agreements, or anything like that. Otherwise, it being a wiki it's hard to really determine who created what value, as it really is a group effort. My understanding is that the asset (the domain) was purchased and paid for by gravewit. That said, I talked to him tonight and will be talking to him again on Tuesday as my goal is to try to get a close to making everyone happy as is humanly possible, while also trying to sort out the legal questions and provide max transparency during the process, with my continued apologies that it seems to move slower than some would prefer. We are looking at CC-NC-SA issues, but I hope you can take my word that as with everything else here, it seems to be more complicated than it looks at first glance. More on Tuesday I hope. Penchina 00:13, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
You are failing to see the point. Probably willful failure on your part, given the content of the leaked emails from the FFXI wiki episode. The domain and servers were paid for by donations (for the old site) and ad revenues (for the new site) that were gleaned from the CC licensed content. If GuildWiki was *not* a non-profit, then why was it busy profiting from non-profit CC licensed content? If GuildWiki was a non-profit then there are different laws in different states governing the acquisition of non-profits, the taxing of non-profits, etc. If GuildWiki was a non-profit, then were these laws followed, at least in spirit?
The only way we can know for sure is 100% transparency. The contract, specifically the compensation. An accounting of ad revenue prior to the selling of the domain and how it was spent. Is Gravewit an employee/contractor of Wikia, in the recent past or anticipated future?
(disclaimer: I remain Not A Lawyer. My words are equivalent to a monkey randomly shitting on a keyboard, as far as my expertise is concerned.)--24.206.111.186 01:54, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Gil mentioned earlier that "If the community has one volunteer who is designated by the admins". I can volunteer, though I think approval should be from the general community and not the admins in particular. Just to be up front with things, I am partial to Wikia's cause, and am currently an unpaid intern (since July of this year) working on gaming-related stuff with them. If you guys just want an in-between person for communication purposes, I shouldn't be a problem. But if any issues arise that requires negotiations and stuff, the more critical/skeptical members of the GuildWiki community may feel I shouldn't represent the GuildWiki community. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 00:30, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

People who are officially on Wikia's payroll would tell you exactly what is most convenient for Wikia to tell you, and that helps this situation how? --Dirigible 00:44, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
*Shrug* I am an unofficial intern who works for free. Didn't sign any paperwork with them whatsoever. They offered me university credit for it, but I have no use for that. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 00:53, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
Also, by your logic, Gil's on Wikia's payroll. Wikia's accountant is on Wikia's payroll. An independent inspector would need to acquire Wikia's books from a person Wikia's payroll. So how does any communication help the situation? How does any communication with Anet via someone on Anet's payroll help any situation? -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 00:59, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
For what he is proposing to mean anything, we'd need to somehow trust the accountants that work for Gil more than we trust Gil himself (that's what he's saying, isn't it? "If you don't trust me, come ask our accountants"?) . I don't see why that would be the case. --Dirigible 01:03, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
Oops, sorry, I didn't realize your comment was directed at the part of the sentence after where I quoted. I somehow had mistakened to think it was directed at me. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 01:08, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Hi from Jimbo Wales

Hey everybody, I am currently in South Africa promoting the growth of free culture in South Africa. I haven't had good Internet access and so I am sorry I was unable to comment earlier.

I just wanted to give my personal assurances that we want to work with everyone to make things better, no problem. The issues raised here are complicated and interesting, but please rest assured that we don't intend to change anything unless you want things changed.

As Gil Penchina has said, but worth repeating from me: this wiki has had advertising for a long time, and our intention is to reduce the amount of advertising, not increase it, for sure. This wiki has more advertising on it than is typical for wikia. We want to offer you some new features and skins, but that's never mandatory. And as everyone knows from my work, the one thing that I think I do really well, and that Wikia does really well, is respect communities and work with people.

Of course the content is under a CC license, and will remain so the same as ever. The NC license does not mean that a wiki can't have advertising on it... any more than people uploading CC NC photos to flickr means flickr can't run ads. It means that no one can package up a book from the content and sell it, and that we can't charge people for access to the site. No problem there. In any event, our intention is to reduce the commercialism of the site, not increase it.

Beyond that, as for people's beef with Gravewit, I am sad to say that I really did not anticipate this or know anything about the history here. We will do what we can to make things right for people. I welcome people to email me personally at jwales@wikia.com so I can better understand the situation. Let me know what is your personal pain point, and let's see if there is a way to resolve it.--Jimbo Wales 03:24, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Community content is available under CC-BY-NC-SA unless otherwise noted.