Archive:GuildWiki/GuildWiki talk:Wikia Move/Forking

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An Open Letter to Gravewit[edit]

← Moved from Talk:Wikia Move

I've posted my feelings on this matter on User talk:Gravewit. —Tanaric 21:38, 13 September 2007 (CDT)

Oh my. The plot thickens. *pops popcorn*-- 21:44, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
FYI Tanaric, I think you listed it as starting in May 2007, when I personally joined in December 2006. Did you possibly mean 2006, or are you speaking of something different? edit: Tanaric fixed it as I typed this.
But that aside, the letter is very well-written, and you bring up many good points, as well as information many users haven't seen previously. The more I see, the bigger an issue this proves to be; compounded by the fact that Gravewit has pretty much vanished in the face of all this. After selling GuildWiki in this way, could he have simply left, figuring there was nothing left for him to do here? He already got his money, obviously, no matter the amount. I don't like the idea of anyone threatening to sue over such matters, but the fact remains that this is currently the wrong move to make, and too many laws seem to have been ignored in the process.
A question, to nobody in particular. While Wikia owns the servers currently, they technically can't buy the content, nor have ownership of it, correct? If another user were to freely offer a hosting solution, couldn't GuildWiki as we know it simply migrate over to that, leaving Wikia with an empty server? Also leaving behind most of this drama regarding Gravewit and whatnot. --Image:GEO-logo.png Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^ 21:54, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
I can't help but think that "leaving Wikia with an empty server" is not going to happen. Too much time, money, and effort lost (no matter how much that actually was). GuildWiki, even in its declining age, is much too valuable of an asset to simply let go like that. If anything, remember that they have every right to copy ALL of our content to some other server if they want, as long as it is sans ads. That couldn't possibly be difficult for them at all. Hoping for a situation like the Builds Wipe turning into PvXBuilds is idealistic though I too would be very satisfied with such an outcome. Image:Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 21:57, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
Well I don't mean leave Wikia and start fresh; but under the current license, couldn't we legally take the entirety of GuildWiki's content and simply put it on a different server and URL? Wikia would have basically bought our URL, while GuildWiki simply switched servers and addresses. We'd still be the same place, just in a different location; and Wikia would own our old URL, if they wanted to legally copy as much as of GuildWiki as they wanted, it would be up to them to do so. --Image:GEO-logo.png Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^ 22:05, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
Yes, this is totally possible and legal. —Tanaric 22:07, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
That would be an *awesome* way to stick it to the man. --Macros 22:11, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
The only question there would be, who's the "man" in that scenario. Wikia would still retain the ability to use our information for their own wiki, but it would have to be done via hard work, and under their own power. Legally. --Image:GEO-logo.png Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^ 22:14, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
If you read above, User:Toxik and some others showed some interest in that possibility. Image:Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 22:20, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
Of course, in that situation, you would probably cause more harm then good to the Wiki as a whole; not every member could be expected to follow to the new location. But under the license, if it's already proven that the edits are made under an incompatible copyright for the Wikia version, someone would need to run through the wiki and delete every contribution ever made under the old license. Wikia would be left either forced to adapt their license to match ours, or ask each and every member to release their contributions under their copyright system. Most people would probably prefer to simply scoot over to the new "old" GuildWiki, which of course would retain the copyrighting of the original. --Image:GEO-logo.png Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^ 22:12, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
(reseting indent)(replying to Entropy's comment) Of course, I wouldn't want to try anything until a bit more is figured out on this end; but should it come to that, and if enough people are on board, I would happily go over to a new server, same wiki. Fyren had server access, and presumably still does; if he could be bothered into an answer, would it be possible to completely copy EVERYTHING, users and content included? I imagine it would be a massive project, but where there's a will there's a way. I would suggest waiting for Gil and Angela to respond, before users end up getting worked into a blood frenzy over this. But adding this to our currently-bare list of options sounds like a very good idea. --Image:GEO-logo.png Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^ 22:30, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
P.S.: If it ends up being that Wikia can't legally buy the domain name, and they manage to get their money back from Gravewit, it would just be a matter of finding a new server for us here. Preferably one that isn't Gravewit's idea. --Image:GEO-logo.png Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^ 22:31, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
Enough people are not gonna go out on a uncertain mission to establish runnable servers when they are already available. I don't much care about what gravewit did but I think it is safe to say attempt to counter the url selling will fail for the above reason. --Alari 22:43, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
No, not a counter to the sale; a fix. No matter what happens, in the current situation, Wikia's copyright isn't compatible with GuildWiki; worse come to worse, they'll be forced to remove content that doesn't fit (that being, every edit by a user who didn't already release their edits to public domain). We might end up with a Wikia version of GuildWiki, sans content. Moving won't be an option, it'll be a necessity. Either that, or we start fresh. In which case, GuildWarsWiki will have the distinct advantage of already existing. If enough of the "big players" follow to a new URL, and also considering that users and userpages will switch over as well, I don't doubt that most everyone will follow. --Image:GEO-logo.png Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^ 22:48, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
Thats just it tho, you will have to start fresh, and there will be no reason. with GWW, they had the plus of being "official" when they started but there will be no reason to go to a new restarted guildwiki.--Alari 22:51, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
The whole point trying to be made here is, if everything in the wiki was copied to a new location, it wouldn't be "starting fresh". It would function just the same as any old server move; the only difference being the URL change as well (which is a simple fix in the form of a site-wide announcement, "hey, we have moved to this new location, please update your bookmarks accordingly."). That is, assuming the URL sale was illegal, and the copyright is incompatible. Any other situation, say, Wikia making sure we retain our copyrights, and/or any clarifications on the URL, would result in us simply staying here. I have no problem with Wikia. I just don't like the idea of the Wiki being "bought and sold", and shoehorned into a system that it doesn't fit into. --Image:GEO-logo.png Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^ 23:02, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
Hell, if we could force ANet to change their license to conform with ours, I'd be more than happy to support a sale of GWiki to GWW than to Wikia. At least that way, we would be benefiting what we know and love (Guild Wars) without any of this stupid third-party debate with Wikia folks..."if you can't beat them, join them" as they say. GWW (despite whatever ANet says to the contrary) was specifically build to siphon off our traffic, and as much as I'd hate to give in to their (perfectly legal but underhanded) scheme, that would be better than giving all of the potential GWiki revenue to someone who's not even related to the game in any way, other than their insignificant little Wiki that already was. Sigh. Image:Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 23:13, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
We'll need someone to pay for server costs, etc. I agree with entropy though. No need to get a new server if we could simple move the official one. We'll get "official" status, they'll have their database updated by alot, we wouldn't be scammed, and everyone would be happy. the imperialist
I believe all this is the definition of "Wikidrama". It's just so annoying that something like this would happen in the first place. Why would Gravewit sell something he can't sell? Why would Wikia buy something they can't buy? Did Wikia know before they made the deal? Did Gravewit know? And what the hell happened to Gravewit? He's not doing anything to help his image here, unless he wanted to play the part of the guy who gets paid then vanishes.
Between boycotting the official wiki and rebelling against the build wipe, I frankly don't have the time to angrily storm off on the Wikia deal.
Official Wiki's got no problems in my eyes; while it's not in my best interest to edit two of the same thing, I don't begrudge the fact that it's there. PvX is doing a good job of supporting build creators, despite the obvious complications. And I have no problem with Wikia in general; it's a friendly community, and they've got enough wiki experience not to go running anything into the ground. But I don't want to sacrifice morals to make this work; I'm willing to stick it out until everything gets cleared up here. I'll leave this wiki when it truly and honestly draws it's last breath. I just don't want to have to see stuff like this speed up the process, I'd like to have an account on GW2Wiki before I have to wrap all this up, here. --Image:GEO-logo.png Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^ 23:48, 13 September 2007 (CDT)
What would you want Gravewit to say? You say that his disappearance and lack of comments here just makes him look bad. What I see is that Gravewit has wisely decided not to participate in this, as any attempts he makes to defend himself and his position will simply give rise to more drama. It's much harder to rouse peoples' enmity toward someone who just stays mum than it is against someone who is actively present, and thus a symbol around which they can gather and rebel. Meanwhile, data is being migrated, and the deal is proceeding as planned. --Lucielle 2:15, 14 September 2007 (PST)
If not communicating is a sign of wisdom, then Gravewit is a genius. And I suppose unabashedly making money off of other people's work does take some devious sort of intelligence. — HarshLanguage HarshLanguage 04:52, 14 September 2007 (CDT)

Forking a copy of guildwiki will require a sysadmin who can get a full database dump of the text + all images. Just getting that ball of wax out of the servers will consume a chunk of bandwidth. It will surely require gravewit's consent, if not his blessing, or it will be theft pure and simple. I don't think Fyren is ready to martyr himself for such a cause, frankly, assuming he still has his server access. For all intents and purposes, gravewit has the ability to hold guildwiki hostage and there's nothing you can do about it. 01:51, 14 September 2007 (CDT)

Technically, I don't think Gravewit has any such rights. He doesn't own any of the site's content, and as of a few days ago, he doesn't own the servers. All of the site's content is released under a CC copyright, which does allow other users to take it, providing it's kept under it's original copyright. Gravewit pretty much sold any rights he has to anything here, aside from perhaps a few edits, which are released under the same license as the rest of the site. And frankly, he hasn't done much editing in the actual wiki namespace; he's edited a lot of talk pages, site notices, and occasionally the main page, but his last actual edit to an article was over a year ago. --Image:GEO-logo.png Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^ 02:48, 14 September 2007 (CDT)
It's not theft, lrn2license. - Candle.jpg Krowman (talkcontribs) 11:04, 14 September 2007 (CDT)
I think that if a serious attempt was made to set up independant servers, Hammerwiki would support it. - Pendrako talk 04:47, 14 September 2007 (CDT)
I think HammerWiki is also included in this deal. The whole of GamewWikis is now owned by Wikia. Biscuits Biscuit.png 05:05, 14 September 2007 (CDT)

Personally I don't see a fork as being more successful than guildwiki for a few reasons, even with a full database dump from guildwik. The first is that I don't see all the contributors switching over to the forked wiki. The second is that there is nothing stopping wikia coping any changed made on the fork back to guildwiki as if they are breaking the license then they are willing to break it again in the same fashion, and if they aren't breaking it then they are legally able to copy any changes. But even if they don't do that there will still be 3 wikis, the official one which won't lose contributors over this alongside guildwiki and the fork both of which will have less contributors that gulidwiki currently has. So the best case I can see if guildwiki being killed off by this fork attempt, but the fork not taking off either, thus leaving us with one wiki and removing the problem of content thats one one but not the other.

PanSola's thoughts on Forking[edit]

Currently Wikia is still talking with Gravewit and the community to work out issues of the "Wikia Move" of GuildWiki. Now, whatever arrangements end up happening, I'm pretty darn sure it's gonna be one that will not get Wikia into legal trouble while still allowing them to host GuildWiki's BY-NC-SA content. However, just because they are legally safe doesn't mean all of the community will be satisfied.

There will definitely be members of the community who won't care as long as everything is legal. There will probably be members of the community who feel certain loophole was exploited and remain dissatisfied. There will probably be members of the community who had very different interpretations/expectations of the meaning of certain words/phrases, and end up feeling betrayed or cheated. There will probably be members of the community who simply disagree.

I believe those who does not the resulting arrangement with Wikia to work together on a fork. Heck, if you think you *might* be dissatisfied with the resulting arrangement, then you should help with the initial planning of establishing the fork (to save time), even if you may end up staying with Wikia's version due to arrangement end up being acceptable to you.

Because Wikia will be owning the GameWikis domain, and many people have that on their bookmark, and because there'll be people who will be satisfied with the arrangement (or completely apathetic), the GuildWiki community will be split by having the fork.

However, I believe it is the healthy thing to do. The ability to fork a wiki shouldn't just exist as a theoretical ideal possibility, but should be a right that people will not be intimidated to exercise. If a fork is created just for spite due to some private vendetta, it will die out on its own. If a fork is created out of ideological differences, emphasis it and the success of the fork will be (partially) based on the strength of the vision. Don't be afraid to divide up the community, especially when the licenses are compatible so you can still make use of each other's content.

That said, I believe there is one thing to keep in mind for those who want to create a fork -- how to prevent the debacle from happening again.

I believe that if a fork is to be created, it should be owned and run by a foundation, an entity with legal standing, similar to how Wikipedia is run by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Any expenses for the fork (paying for server and bandwidth etc) should be paid by the foundation. Any revenue (donations etc) to pay for the operational costs should be made out to the foundation. The leadership ("Board of Trustees" of Wikimedia) of the foundation should be selected/elected from the fork's community with fixed-length terms, and the community should have the power (via some established process) to remove any members of the leadership.

This is the only way I can see for the fork to be truly owned by its community, and to prevent an individual from selling out on the community (the community as a whole can probably still sell themselves). The treasure of the foundation might find a way to embezzle funds, but there'll be legal grounds for the foundation to go after the treasure. This is the only way I can see the community holding the "management" people of the wiki accountable.

I'm not a lawyer, but back in college and grad school I had been involved in constitution and bylaw revisions for my (Residence) Hall Association, Residence Hall Assembly, and the Graduate Students Assembly, with emphasis on accountability. I would happily provide counsel/advice to any individual or group who seriously have the initiative to take leadership in a forking effort. -User:PanSola (talk to the Image:Follower of Lyssa.png) 03:45, 20 September 2007 (CDT)