Hello from wikia
The following – up to this date-and-time – is moved here from User talk:TVerBeek where this discussion broke out. - Todd VerBeek 15:50, 4 August 2006 (EDT)
I ran across some of your postings, and wanted to invite you to join us at WORLD where we're trying to build a more open and flexible travel guide that is not controlled by a big company that is mainly focused on owning copyrights, and doesn't believe in GFDL truely free content. I'd love to chat with you if you're interested Gil
- (I replied on his user_talk page at wikia.com, but here's a copy for reference.) Wow. That was a load of badly informed nonsense you just dumped on my user_talk page on Wikitravel. For one thing, Wikitravel is – and always has been – licensed under CC-BY-SA, not GFDL. Internet Brands doesn't own the copyright to it; the contributors do. CC-BY-SA is a perfectly valid and widely popular open-content license; the main difference is that the attribution/documentation requirements aren't as difficult to comply with. As for whether IB believes in open content, that remains to be seen... but what evidence do you have that they don't? (And since the license is legally binding even if they don't fully believe in it... what difference does it really make?) Given the fact that you don't even know the basic facts about Wikitravel (such as it always being CC-BY-SA, and why), I'm inclined to dismiss this accusation as just an uninformed assumption on your part. (Hell, your notion that a company could take GFDL content and convert it to CC-BY-SA suggests that you haven't even read the GFDL; that's explicitly prohibited.) By the way, trying to steal contributors from Wikitravel seems pretty sleazy; someone who's trying to claim the moral high ground ought to avoid that kind of thing. P.S. Wikitravel's guidelines say not to add external links to other guides (they detract from the development of Wikitravel itself); please don't add any more. - TVerBeek
- Let me start by appologizing, if my recent frustration with IB was directed at you, I like what the community has built here. My understanding is that it took GFDL content to start it, and then switched to CC. I can certainly be wrong, but this is what I was told by some wikipedians. I agree with you that anyone with half a brain knows that you can't take GFDL and convert it to CC. But in the last WEEK, I have become concerned that internet brands is not "a free content company" and does not respect licenses and I plan to talk to Evan about this this evening at wikimania.
- Seperately, I appreciate your point about links, I will certainly honor that as it is new to me that a wiki site wouldn't want to have external links, and wikitravel does link to world66, from the nav bar... and the about wikitravel page links to internetbrands, so apparently it's OK to link to Internet brands sites, but not other people, which I find curious. I also saw this page http://wikitravel.org/en/Milan which had links to a number of other sites, so apparently the policy may need more promotion, as my cursory look around wikitravel showed me lots of links to other sites... That said, if it's the policy I will honor it, it was not clear to me till you pointed it out.
- Do you think it's OK to link to my user page on wikia in talking with you, as I don't check wikitravel... GIL
- If you have concerns, why haven't you raised them here where the community can participate? See Wikitravel talk:Internet Brands where others have done so. Why are you clarifying things with Evan after you have already started a new project instead of before? And lastly, TVerBeek pointed you to our Wikitravel:External links policy. If you'd read that you would understand that the Milan article includes only valid links to stuff like hotel websites (when providing contact info for the hotel); transit websites (when describing the transit); Wikipedia DMOZ, and W66 from the nav bar, and so forth. It's not an unrestricted link farm -- we defer to DMOZ for that difficult task (at least until there's a serious Wiki doing the job).
- The strange GFDL->CCbySA switch you are referring to occured at World66 before Internet Brands was involved there. Wikitravel has always been CCbySA, and we have always been rigourous in protecting the rights of Wikipedia GFDL authors whose works occationally get copied here in error -- we delete them as soon as we spot them.
- Internet Brands knew what they were getting into here with respect to free-content licensing. They have actual lawyers who, before they acquired the website, understood exactly what that entails. IB is just a hosting company and they know it -- they intend to make money off this by imitating Wikia and adding some ads around the article. You, or anyone else, will remain free to reuse our guides -- even to seed a fork.
- Ultimately I think you should start a new site if you feel it is required. But it makes sense to try to work things out first, and split the effort at a new site only if you must. And even then, if there are other splits (see User:Hansm) you should consider joining with them first in preference to going it alone. Starting a new project from scratch instead of forking Wikitravel makes about as much sense as starting a new Wiki Encyclopedia project from scratch. -- Colin 15:08, 4 August 2006 (EDT)
- Hi, Gil. Let me quickly point out that Wikitravel is not a copy of Wikipedia massaged and re-licensed under the CC-by-sa 1.0. I've heard this ugly rumor before, and as it's easily confirmable as false, I find it to be beneath the level of the Wikipedians I know and like. I'd be happy to straighten out your sources on the subject if you'd like me to.
- I think this mistaken idea may come from a couple of places. First, we do use dual-licensed images and other works when the copyright holder has assented to make the works available under a license that is compatible with ours. Second, we did lay out the skeleton of the Wikitravel geographical hierarchy with imported versions of the CIA World Factbook, a public domain work put out by the US federal government. It's possible that people see Wikipedia and Wikitravel articles using the same source (the Factbook), and think that one was copied from the other when both were copied, both legally and ethically, from a third.
- This all said, it's an ugly assumption to make. We are all allies in making Open Content works and it's a bad idea to jump to conclusions about others. Wikitravellers are extremely vigilant about GFDL'd work on Wikitravel, and we make sure that people who mistakenly copy content from Wikipedia know that the licenses aren't compatible. We've done a really good job at that.
- Let me know if you have any more questions about Wikitravel -- I'd be happy to answer them. Also, feel free to come talk to me at Wikimania. --Evan 15:11, 4 August 2006 (EDT)
Open letter to Wikia
I sent an email to Gil Penchina, the former eBay executive who's now CEO of Wikia (), as well as Angela Beesley and Jimmy Wales, about world.wikia.com. It's available here:
I hope we see some response. --Evan 17:56, 9 August 2006 (EDT)
- Hi Evan - I still haven't gotten your email, but someone forwarded your blog to me. We are very interested in finding ways to work together with you. As you can see on our discussion, we had several travel, city, and tourism related projects that had bubbled up and we're trying to find a way to better organize them. We are also more open on things like external links, etc. I think the easiest thing we can cooperate on, would be if both Wikitravel and Wikia World were to agree to use both GFDL and CC. Then our data could be completely compatible and we could share freely. We didn't intend to create an incompatible guide, it happened because Wikia users started writing a wide variety of content. As Jimbo frequently says, it's better to try a lot of things, than to plan for perfection and move slowly.
- We've already got 17,000+ articles and unfortunately we cannot just unilaterally and retroactively relicense, or even re-double-license them, as GFDL. However, at this stage World Wikia could still adopt a dual license, although I'm not entirely sure what you would get out of keeping GFDL? (The reasons Wikitravel doesn't use GFDL can be found here.) Jpatokal 01:54, 10 August 2006 (EDT)
- I would like to start, by offering to cross-linking on all our Worldcity pages with wikitravel and to share categorization (continent/country/city) so at least we're organized as sister projects. I'm not sure what we should be doing with World66, but we're happy to talk about that as well. gil
- On a seperate note, I am disturbed that Wikicars.org continues to display dozens of pages of content 100% copied from Wikipedia, without providing attribution. These are the car manufacturer pages on the right hand side of the home page. I had mentioned this to you at the conference, and I assumed that a big company like Internet Brands would try to respect the GFDL copywrite requirement of attribution if they wanted to be a positive force in our community. Obviously this doesn't benefit anyone, if big companies don't respect our licenses... and you assured me that IB is a good actor, yet it's been a week and no attribution yet... so I thought I would just bug you again since I don't know anyone else at Internet Brands.gil
- I was told at Wikimania that wikis hosted by Wikia are unable to have any license but GFDL so neither Wikitravel or World Wiki can change the licenses unless WorldWiki is willing to fork from Wikia and set up a new server, but that requires more money and time than is currently required by being hosted by Wikia. I recommend keeping our relationships at the linking level only to avoid violations of the legalese. On WikiCar or whatever it is called it would be best to contact the admins over there, because you're more likely to get an answer although I do understand why you'd tell Evan. -- Sapphire 02:06, 10 August 2006 (EDT)
- Hi sapphire - it's largely true that Wikia is GFDL, but if it would make Evan and the Wikitravel team happy, I'm saying we would spend the money on lawyers to try to make World dual-licensed if Wikitravel did as well. I'm just trying to manage what our users have already build - a very rich, but different travel guide, like Roman Churchesgil
- Gil, a couple of notes. First, you may not know that policy, editorial, and most technical decisions for Wikitravel are made by consensus by community members, guided by our goals and non-goals. Our external links guideline, for example, wasn't created by a project manager in a 8-hour product meeting; it's the result of years of experience, discussion, and clarification. Although admins are typically over-represented in these discussions (or, rather, people who participate in these discussion tend to end up as admins), we've always found that a bottom-up approach to site development has been best. Around here the traveller comes first.
- Second, I'm not really involved with Wikicars; nor are most Wikitravellers. You may want to leave a message on http://wikicars.org/en/Talk:Main_Page (don't forget to sign your post with four tildes (~~~~)).
- We've already got a Wikitravel:Dual licensing page; you might want to set something up on Wikia for that.
- We've got "other sites" links with friendly, Open Content Web sites that provide complementary viewpoints on subjects covered by travel guides in Wikitravel. If the community here decides that Wikia meets those criteria, it'd be pretty easy to do.
- Lastly, I'm glad to see that you've changed world.wikia.com from a "travel guide" to a "travel directory". That makes a lot more sense. --Evan 10:10, 10 August 2006 (EDT)
Moved from page
From the section on dual licensing.
- This is a great idea - Both Wikitravel and World wikia should encourage their users to make content available under both licenses. Can you suggest ways for this to happen? gil