Difference between revisions of "GuildWiki talk:Wikia Move"

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Now stop whining like 2 yr old babies that lost your pacifiers. - [[User:Lord Xivor|Lord Xivor]] 03:48, 21 September 2007 (CDT)
 
Now stop whining like 2 yr old babies that lost your pacifiers. - [[User:Lord Xivor|Lord Xivor]] 03:48, 21 September 2007 (CDT)
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:Being blunt and opinionated is one thing, being uninformed, insulting, and unable to contribute to the discussion is another entirely. --[[Image:Roland_icon.png]][[User:RolandOfGilead|Roland of Gilead]] <small>([[User_talk:RolandOfGilead|talk]])</small> 04:01, 21 September 2007 (CDT)

Revision as of 09:01, 21 September 2007

Organized Discussions

If an opinion of yours belong into one of the following topics, you are strongly recommended to put your thoughts in the respective subpages, instead of inside the generic "Misc discussions" section on this page. This helps everyone to keep the discussions on tracks, in stead of going in circles and repeating what everyone has said and not getting anywhere.

  • 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.

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)

23.png <-- the motivation of the above posting
Instead of passing out Wikia's money in $50 chunks, how about you donate everything you "earned" to a worthy charity selected by the community? If the money isn't really important, then I'm sure you'll be eager to make that kind of amend.
I'd settle for Wikia making a matching donation (Gravewit's payout) to a community chosen charity. Since Wikia seems to enjoy throwing money away in a dot-com bubble-ish sort of way, it shouldn't be too hard for them to scare up another $200 grand.
If you have nothing to hide, how about agreeing to disclosure of the full contract and making a detailed ledger of all of your ad revenues/expenditures prior to selling the domain name? Shouldn't be that hard, since you probably already have such a ledger for the IRS's benefit. Right?
I'd also like an accounting of how many community members are being paid off by Wikia. I know the number is climbing. Instead of being all sekret shady about it, y'all could be "transparent". -- me, 17 September 2007.
It only took 6 full days of silence, growing community anger, the FFXIcyclopedia disaster, and probably Gil Penchina's help for Gravewit to actually do this. And not only does it sound like it was written by a bad PR department, Gravewit still doesn't take any responsibility for creating the problem in the first place. (And do check that image "me" posted, it explains a lot about Gravewit's post.) But at least it's the right thing to do, and I hope the money is coming from Gravewit's pocket and not as an extra payment from Wikia. — HarshLanguage HarshLanguage 07:26, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
After several years of the use of their funds, you buy them out at the amount they initially contributed, with no interest or share of the profits? Wow, why didn't Microsoft think of doing that to its early investors? "Hey, thanks, here's the money back for the shares you bought when we were just starting out. Please ignore the fact that you are actually entitled to far more now".
Wikia, a for-profit organization, is promising to reduce the ad load on this wiki's pages. I find it hard to believe that they offer to do this if a lower ad level would not still cover costs plus provide a slight profit. Yet, you make the absurd claim above that only now, with the buyout, you are able to repay the initial contributions. This despite your reported (by Fyren) claims in the past that the ad revenue, before you expanded the numbers of them here, were even then enough to cover costs plus cover saving for the costs of the additional server.
Now you also claim that accepting domations was regretable. You likely find it so now, but at the time you reportedly (by Tanaric) claimed "I'm curious if a community-edited strategy guide can exist solely by community donations and effort. It'd be incredibly awesome if it could".
Yet, despite this double talk, we're still expected to trust you, Wikia, and those advising you on your comments? --71.231.175.85 11:32, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Sure. I'll support you for a third of your buyout and stock options, two years of back salary at, say, $20k a year, and two years of back interest.

If I'm going to sell out a non-profit community endeavor, I'm going to paid well for it.

Tanaric 12:15, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

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 HarshLanguage 20:56, 16 September 2007 (CDT)

10.png 13.png + 23.png 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. 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.png 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.png 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.png 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)

In every wiki community there is the vocal minority and the silent majority. In every corporation, they know that they should keep their friends close and their opponents closer. Watch this space as one by one those with the axes to grind fall by the wayside. What saddens me is that you don't see the figures.... You're all talking in numbers of "hundreds" of dollars in revenue... Look at the names involved - Jimmy Wales, Wikia, Angela Beesley... You think they are interested in taking over some crappy "hundreds" dollar website?? Christian Nelson has potentially been getting rich from this site for a long time, Wikia are planning on getting richer. And they'll sit you out, maybe even come to financial settlements with a few individuals? And the sheep will say "baa!" and the wiki will continue and you'll all donate your time and effort to making a small number of individuals richer. Suckers? Or victims? YOU decide whether you are one or the other. Take down this site legally until it is resolved. Meantime, put your desire to share your knowledge and hard-earned experiences into the official ANet wiki. As for ANet, a lot of GWiki stalwarts gave them a hard time over the launch of their wiki... maybe they just had better lawyers and more responsibility towards the community than they could, legally, let on that they knew...

I think that misses the point. From what I've read, there are two issues people are concerned about. 1) That the wiki was able to be sold for profit in the first place, given the non-commercial license. Your post is more related to issue 2) Gravewit is making money from this, when he was only one of a group of people who invested time in the wiki in the early days, and has done arguably little since registering the domain. This is made more sour because people donated money towards server costs and have had the records of their donations deleted, and no share in ad revenue since. In general, I don't see any harm on the people owning a wiki making ad revenue for hosting a community, good for them. It's just fishy that here one person is receiving compensation, and a bunch of strangers are going to be making money from this from now on without the community having been consulted beforehand. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Gravewit had declared he didn't want to host anymore, to see what would have developed then. Biscuits Biscuit.png 06:30, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

A very good page detailing the FFXI scandal and the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars that changed hands is here.

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.png) 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.png) 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.png) 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.jpg (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.png 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.png) 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.png) 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.png) 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.png) 01:08, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Community Issues, for Gil's benefit:

Allow me to describe to you very precisely what our issues are, Gil. And I hope that we see a response from you in a timely fashion (unlike Gravewit) that actually answers the questions, not simply repeats then. I am a certified Toastmaster and trained public speaker and know a bit or two about "disarming" people and making people feel soothed and all that stuff. I strongly suggest you avoid these tactics and get down to business. I don't need you to make a post in which you repeat my points to make me feel like I have been heard. I need you to start addressing some of these issues so that we know that you care about "resolving" these issues, not sounding good while they still linger. I am sorry to put it bluntly to you, but ever since I contacted you, you have placed the same slogans followed by repeating what we have been saying.

With that blunt intro out of the way, here are the issues:

First Issue: Making money
How can Phil be making money out of this when the license says that this is a non-commercial community effort? The license specifically states that the content provided will not be used in any commercial endeavors. Now, the definition of commercial endeavor is not as murky or shady as you make it sound, Gil. The divider that the overwhelming majority of us see and that you don't seem to see is the for-profit vs non-profit status. In a for-profit scenario, the contributions of the users are used to generate money for investors, be they stockholders, private owners of the company (like Phil) or venture capitalist. This does not mean the money has to be made right away (so your point about Wikia not making money off of those $25,000 wikis it's purchasing is irrelevant). The issue is whether or not at any point the data will be used to generate revenue in the pockets of certain people. In a non-profit scenario, no matter how much money the establishment makes, the money stays in the organization, or is otherwise deposited into bank accounts and trust funds and what not for later use. A non-profit CAN hire people and pay them salary, but it cannot give them revenue. More importantly, the manager of a non-profit cannot "sell it" to another entity for cash/stock. You think the CEO of the Ford Foundation can sell it to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and deposit the cash into his own pocket?

Second Issue: Is this really a non-profit?
This site has touted itself as a non-profit since this edit by Tanaric. From that moment on, we told every editor in this community that we are accepting their edits "provided they are never used for a commercial purpose." I would qualify Phil's sale of the site to you as a "commercial act." One that is entirely and solely based on the success of this gaming community which is completely based on the individual contributions of thousands of people all of whom were promised that their contributions would not be used for commercial purposes.

On top of that, from day 1, the assumtpion (and sometimes the explicit mention, as Tanaric showed) was that this is a non-profit operating by donations and that the switch to ads was simply to make it self-sufficient. The fact that Phil actually ACCEPTED donations leaves no doubt that this was supposed to be a non-profit effort. Last I checked, businesses either take loans or investments, they don't ask for "donations."

Third Issue: He's not "selling" the data, just the domain name/hosting plan
This is probably one for the court system. There is no inherent value in the domain name and/or the hosting facilities if not for the contributions of those editors which we established were clearly made with the slogan: "No one will make a profit off your edits." You yourself said that you guys were adding a "community" not merely buying a domain name. There might be a legal technicality under which the purchase can be classified as not selling of the users' contributions and therefore not making money off of them. However, even if this is the case, making money off their contributions through the ads is clearly in violation of the license and the copyright notice. This means that even if you can prove your purchase of the domain name + hosting plan does not constitute Phil making a profit off of our contributions, your continued ad hosting (with the aim of making profits) and his prior ad hosting (from December 05 till now) both ARE violations of the terms of the license.

Then there's the issue of someone ELSE buying the name space (see Tanaric's open letter on Gravewit's talk page). Does that other person KNOW that the domain name HE purchased with his money is being sold for thousands of dollars now? Are you guys at Wikia sure you won't get sued by that person later on because Phil scammed him with the whole non-profit-but-for-profit deal?

Fourth Issue: Going beyond acceptance of the deal
I thikn all talk of whether Wikia is bad or good for this wiki and whether their management style, monobook.css and so o are better or worse should be pending on whether this purchase is legal to begin with and whether the RIGHT people were compensated.

Phil paying me back my $50 two years later and after the site's value has greatly increased seems like a pathetic attempt at pacifying us and at possibly avoiding legal consequences.

These are the main issues, Gil. I would love to hear from you (and possibly Jimbo) on these in a straight and productive conversation. Thanks. --Karlos 18:31, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Input from CreativeCommons

CC has refused to cmment on the specifics of the case, however, they provided me with this very handy tool for determining what constitutes commercial use: NC Guidelines

Read case (3) under section B (Advertising) and you'll see that both Gravewit's money making and Wikia's are disallowed under CC's license. --Karlos 20:04, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

To quote the link you posted (emphasis mine):
These guidelines are a discussion draft only. They are not finalized and they do not represent a definitive explanation of what "NonCommercial" means, in particular they do not represent a definitive statement as to what Creative Commons defines "NonCommercial" to mean.
The purpose of these guidelines is twofold: (1) to demonstrate that it may be possible to reconcile competing views about what NonCommercial means and to provide a flexible set of parameters within which people can understand the term; and, (2) to elicit feedback about whether these guidelines accurate reflect the community's (including both licensors and licensees) understanding of the term.
Additionally, I find it highly curious that while "Click-through ads" and "podcast ads" are explicitly used as examples, pop-up ads and banner ads (which are the two most prevalent forms of advertisements on the internet right now, by my reckoning) are left out. That is an indication to me that the CC folks haven't completely made up their minds about where pop-ups and banners fit in the picture. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 23:11, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
Not exactly sure what you're arguing, but the podcast example fits this to a T. --Karlos 23:55, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
My points:
1. That link can't exactly be quoted to determine what is and isn't ok, due to the bolded parts of my quote.
2. Using podcast ad, which I feel to be a significantly more "clear cut violation", makes it hardI find the podcast example to be highly similar to the click-through ads in that you are forced to sequentially go through "Ad -> Content" order. On the other hand, banner ads do not impose that order. They are typically (not always) placed along the margin of the articles, and when a page loads you can directly go read the content and not spend any time to pay attention to the advertisement. Therefore I consider the banner ad case quite a less clear situation from the podcast example. Thus as an example, the podcast ad case failed to help clarify which side of the line banner ads reside. On the other hand, had CC declared that banner ads are in violation of NC, and since podcast ads is clearly (IMHO) a blacker situation, the "banner ads = bad" ruling can establish that podcast ads are also bad. So, that Discussion Draft's choice of picking podcast ad as example over banner ad suggests the CC community doesn't have a clear idea of the ruling on banner ads yet. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 00:41, 18 September 2007 (CDT)
This feels very ominous to me. Seems like if Big Business(tm) can just buy off enough "licensors and licensees", the "NonCommercial" license will become fully commercial, without anyone being the wiser. This gives Wikia the argumentative advantage again, imo... Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 23:17, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
Wikia has always had the advantage because the NC clause is substantially unclear and has never been litigated. BftP 00:58, 18 September 2007 (CDT)
BTW, the Talk page to the link Karlos posted may be worth a read too. http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Talk:DiscussionDraftNonCommercial_Guidelines -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 23:19, 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)

I think the NC clause is substantially unclear, but I'm afraid we can't look to Flickr for the answers. The Yahoo! TOS states that "with respect to Content you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Service, you grant Yahoo! the following worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive license(s), as applicable... 9(b) [w]ith respect to photos, graphics, audio or video you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Service other than Yahoo! Groups, the license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display such Content on the Service solely for the purpose for which such Content was submitted or made available." This is clearly more permissive than CC-NC, which states simply that the distributer may not profit, and also less permissive because CC-NC doesn't restrict distributers to use the content "solely for the purpose" for which it is submitted. I presume that when there is a conflict, the more permissive license wins. As to the matter of whether the words "primarily intended for" commercial purposes or private monetary compensation have any legal weight, I think we have to wait until CC-NC sees any litigation. I personally don't see a fundamental difference between selling a compilation of GuildWiki articles as a book or profiting from ads served on pages containing GuildWiki content. BftP 04:26, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
Thanks for responding. I think Wikia stepped into a bad situation here. Here, Wikia is dealing with a single person (Gravewit) who was apparently not acting in good faith with you nor the GuildWiki community. And while Wikia's practice of essentially buying out wiki communities by heavily compensating the operators disturbs me, Gravewit's profit off of the contributors here is the issue that rankles more, at the moment. Wikia should have done some easy investigative steps first, like looking at Gravewit's contributions, comments, past actions, and general (lack of) participation and community-building. Wikis make that information easy to find, as you know. You would have discovered an absentee owner who barely contributes, and I think it's safe to say the general sentiment of the community here is that if anyone should profit from GuildWiki, it's not Gravewit. And it seems he may have pulled a fast one on the GW domain name itself, too. It's really too bad, because before the official Arenanet Guild Wars wiki launched, GuildWiki was a thriving community that provided excellent information. Had Gravewit been interested in the wiki rather than the money, it might have continued to thrive. — HarshLanguage HarshLanguage 05:09, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
I believe the main points of contention are the secrecy, the lack of community input and CC-NC-SA related legal issues. If it was an ad-supported hosting deal with no money changing hands rather than a merger and there was community input before the deal was finalised, I believe the controversy would have been avoided. -- Gordon Ecker 05:24, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
I hear you. I am not really the business guy, so I will leave that stuff to Gil to respond. For me, it's all about the communtiy: what do you guys need from us, how can we help? I'm really sorry there is trouble, we don't intend to do anything other than host you, help you, and do what we can to foster friendships and community. One of the things we are trying to do for our communities is to work with the game companies to get beta keys and things of that sort. I want what you want: a thriving community that provides excellent information. A lot of people have been talking about ownership of content and so on, but we don't at all think we own your content. One analogy I like to use is a bowling alley. We're providing a bowling alley here, you guy do the bowling. :) We just want to keep the lights on, the lanes clean, and the beer flowing for the party. :) Anything I can do to help, call on me. --Jimbo Wales 08:29, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
Jimbo, I'll try to say this in the best way I can, but you are insulting our intelligence with such platitudes. The least you can do to placate the community is come clean on how much you paid Gravewit for the wiki, and make a promise to keep an open record of your ad revenue from the wiki. Lacking even this minimal show of faith in the community, we have to assume that we are dealing with a hostile entity. We did not spend years developing this wiki to make one person (Gravewit) or a group of strangers (Wikia) rich. BftP 08:59, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
I hear what you are saying. I do not mean to be giving any platitudes! I am asking what people need here, and you are telling me. That's fine. I am not the business guy, so I don't even know those things from here, I'll leave those questions to Gil and the lawyers to work out. (We may not even be at liberty to announce the numbers on the purchase of the domain name.) Gil has offered to let one trusted member of the community look at the accounting... perhaps that person could be you, or?--Jimbo Wales 00:38, 18 September 2007 (CDT)
I don't know what this "trusted" member is going to be doing. If he is gagged by NDAs from revealing anything except a sunny "yep, all OK", then, far from trusting his word, I would think that he has been bought off. Even if the community decides to take Gil up on his offer, I won't even bother running for this position of "trusted member": I don't trust myself to be incorruptible. I am sorry if this is becoming a drag on your time and your mission in South Africa, which I am sure is an awesome campaign promoting free culture, but I am also sure I don't need to point out the irony of your own company meanwhile trying to buy out wiki communities in secret. BftP 01:28, 18 September 2007 (CDT)
Keep in mind, this wiki prospered in spite of Gravewit, NOT because of him. Despite your assurances of supporting this wiki and not wanting to get in the community's way - there is a huge backlog of bad feelings towards Gravewit. This bad feeling is going to make it hard for many to feel okay with continuing to contribute to a site where an absentee landlord (internet equivalent of a slumlord?) made a profit off the hard work of others. A few points to remember:
  1. This wiki grew to what it is under the guildwiki.org domain name - while still unconfirmed, it's believed that Gravewit has never been the owner of that domain name - attempts have been made to contact the person to whom that domain is registered. However, after this wiki became hugely successful and he decided to attempt to build a multi-game wiki site, he moved everything to the domain he does own "gamewikis.org" - from which he could profit from the sale because he did own the domain.
  2. While Gravewit is offering to refund donations (his post above, currently on this page), this is years after the fact. Those receiving refunds are being bought at at the amount they contributed - no interest and no share of the profit from the sale.
  3. Even while under the domain name that Gravewit controlled, he relied heavilly upon volunteer labor to maintain and upgrade the servers. The site would've collapsed under its own weight long ago if not for the efforts of Fyren and a handful of others.
  4. And on top of all this, we're still being asked to believe that Gravewit was struggling with the site finances. By his own words; at one point the ad revenue was enough to cover costs plus pay for an additional server. As a for-profit entity, Wikia would not be promising to reduce the ads if the current level was not already more than what's needed to cover costs plus get a profit.
It's not hard to understand why there's distrust of Wikia in this transition. Despite your assurances of a bright and happy future going forward, rather than support the community all posts by Wikia have glossed over the issues from Gravewit, supporting the myths he has attempted to spread. It's obvious that Wikia's sole goal is to gloss over these issues as quickly as possible, rather than trying to do what's right for the community and those who helped create it. --71.231.175.85 11:38, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
I understand why people might have distrust, but we are here trying to dispel that. I don't intend to gloss over anything. And I certainly don't support any myths. I understand people are mad at Gravewit, and at least in my limited understanding here (please know that I really do respect that I am new to the situation) people have good reason to be mad at him. That's totally fine. I just want to make things right with you...--Jimbo Wales 00:38, 18 September 2007 (CDT)
"One of the things we are trying to do for our communities is to work with the game companies to get beta keys and things of that sort." Well, if ANet ever did that - which goes against their grain anyway - it won't be THIS wiki that gets it. There are no benefits for the community in this transfer, only benefits for Gravewit and Wikia.
Yeah, I found that line funny, too. Granted, Mr. Wales has no way of knowing how the Guild Wars community works. A.net actively wants people to use the official wiki -- so that it can become as accurate and complete as this wiki.
Well, I am in a good position to reach out to them to try to help you... in far better a position than Gravewit ever was. I am here to be your advocate. What do you want from them, and I can try to get it.--Jimbo Wales 00:38, 18 September 2007 (CDT)
There is little doubt in my mind that the devs are reading about this situation. There's threads on guru, on guild-hall, and probably other places as well. A.net passing out candy to the old GuildWiki makes a ton of sense. I think it's safe to say they loved GuildWiki. Who knows how they'll feel about the new GuildWikia. Since a.net has relationships with so many of the people wronged or otherwise pissed off by this transfer, it's a reasonable guess that they won't be as happy with GuildWikia as they were with GuildWiki.
Anyway, given the mass copyright infringement on this site, we should be petitioning Gaile to remove the fansite status. A community run fork would be a saner place to bear the specialty fansite badge.--24.206.111.186 13:17, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
A copyright license violation does not equal copyright infringement. Additionally, CC has been avoiding to address this case directly, instead referring us to a "discussion draft" that is "not finalized" and thus essentially useless. We probably need to get two dozen lawyers to debate this out. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 23:15, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
I get that confidentiality is a standard clause for business contracts, especially for settlements and compensation, but seriously, while this might not be the ideal place to say it, could people stop acting like the Magical Contract Fairy flew down from the heavens and added the clause without your knowledge of it? Or whatever it is you're telling yourself happened, because both Gravewit, and Wikia are saying it like some dark force is binding them from speaking of it, and they're powerless to do anything about it. You MADE the contracts, and it's got to be within your rights as the creators of said contracts to come together and revise the clause of confidentiality. I mean, both parties are acting like their hands are tied behind their backs on this, but if both wanted to, revising the contract should be wholly feasible. The key words are of course, "Want to." You don't want people to know the money involved, and that's the whole reason it's not being stated. Not because a mystical force arbitrarily decided it couldn't be said. I have no problem with incorporating confidentiality clauses into contracts, but please, we're all grown people here. Could we not pretend it wasn't through your own actions that it was included, and through your own insistence that it is still in effect, and enforced? Is it that unreasonable a request for a little less, to be perfectly blunt, garbage? You're not running for a political office here.
To put it another way, a huge part of the issue is of feeling betrayed, deceived, BS'd, and kept out of the loop. Dancing around issues with pretty words does not help your case. It's nice to hear some responses, but we're at best marginally more informed about the situation than we were to begin with. Merengue 23:18, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Merengue, I totally understand what you are saying, but I am in South Africa at the moment, coming in here to try to understand what is going on. I am sorry that I haven't been able to help more yet. I will do what I can. I get on a plane later this evening to fly back to the US... and so I will be offline for about 24 hours. But I give you my word here: I work for you, and will work to get to the bottom of this and do my best for you. --Jimbo Wales 00:38, 18 September 2007 (CDT)

No personal insult to you, Jim, but you're slick as WD-40 with your replies, despite your claims to not wanting to "gloss over" things...Even if I were in your exact same position, having had limited time to read the debate here, not being "the one with the power to do X", et cetera, I think I could have given some sort of reply which contained one more iota of Answer to the Questions being asked.
"But I give you my word here: I work for you, and will work to get to the bottom of this and do my best for you." This is the exact same sort of (forgive my language) crap that you, Gil, and to a lesser extent Gravewit have been throwing at us as response to every issue or question. Granted that you have an honest excuse, bad Internet access, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt this time...but after another few days, it'll just be the same old broken record. If you truly "work for us", want to "get to the bottom of this", and "do your best for us", then I suggest you take a close read of all the relevant topics and discussion that's been posted. Yeah, Jim, it's a hell of a lot of dense material and interconnected links. But hey man, that's the price you pay for doing business, ain't it. Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 00:49, 18 September 2007 (CDT)
I'll concede that it's a lot to read at this point, and the bulk of the writing will not further your understanding of the situation. I'll see about putting together a condensed report when I can get the time. (Edit: Ok, I definitely do not have the time for this at the moment. A liberal estimate would be Friday before I can even really start.) Merengue 09:19, 18 September 2007 (CDT)
Entropy: I don't think I am being slick at all. I am being plain and honest with you and I hope you will continue to assume good faith here. We are feeling a bit beaten up here when we have done nothing wrong. :) We came into this situation in good faith and we are trying to do right by everyone. I am reading everything. Gil is working on it. I am sorry we can't resolve everything instantly. I welcome productive suggestions of what to do. (Someone else below made the suggestion to simply shut everything down, but uhhhh, I fail to see how that's helpful at all.) I think most users see that Wikia is absolutely not the bad guy here. We have acted in good faith to try to support this community, as we support many others. Simple as that. More forthcoming.--Jimbo Wales 00:16, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
Jimbo: I believe the community would have significantly more faith in Wikia if Wikia hadn't shown itself to be deceptive during the purchase of the FFXI wiki. I'm not saying other companies are better. I'm not saying Gravewit is better. I'm just saying you can't expect a glorious reception as Wikia, the Saviors of the GuildWiki, because the situation is far from that.
Furthermore, I think you're all missing the point. You're using work we volunteered to make money. We volunteered this work under a license that specifically protects against this work being used in a commercial fashion. We don't care how slick your skins are, how savvy your tech support team is, or how fast the servers will be. We don't want you to make money off our contributions. Period. Ever. Nothing you can do can fix this fundamental problem with this acquisition.
Tanaric 00:54, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
Tanaric, does that mean you think the idea proposed here would not be satisfactory? It's something they can do (whether they will do or not is a different question, but if that's something you would accept, at least that opens a starting point for negotiations). -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 02:00, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
No. The benefit of having a network of wikis, like Wikia, is that traffic from one naturally bleeds over to traffic on another. This is profitable and against the terms of our license. —Tanaric 10:10, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
What makes the discussion difficult is that Gravewit has been doing essentially just that, on a smaller scale (the smaller Gamewikis network, some not NC). Just because Gravewit also did it doesn't legitimize things, but since a small handful of people ever really challenged Gravewit while the greater majority of the community were apathetic, it muddles the picture as to what our standard is. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 15:53, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
At the time, it was never explicitly states that the GameWikis were for-profit. And I was too dumb to notice that glaring inconsistency until just about now. —Tanaric 03:05, 20 September 2007 (CDT)

Suggested Course of Action for Jim Wales, ver 1

If you really want the beer to flow...

Step 1: Make a database dump available asap. Step 2: Close down gamewikis and guildwiki.org after a reasonable time. Either point the domains to your existing, crappy Guild Wars wiki or point them to nothing. (Tell us about how you bought guildwiki.org from the original owner so people can stop holding on to the fairy tale of getting that domain back? Cause I think that's how it went down, myself.) Step 4: Fire Gravewit. Call him names in a public forum. Make information about negotiations with Gravewit available to assist the community members looking to recoup their investment from Gravewit, in full proportion with his windfall, with interest and plenty of ass kissing. Invoke weird contractual clauses and DENY gravewit his stock options in October. Step 5: Revise your procedure for acquiring wikis to involve the afflicted communities, so that you don't end up with another situation like this or other fiascoes. BECAUSE IF SOMEONE HAD BLOODY WELL ASKED US, WE COULD HAVE WARNED YOU AHEAD OF TIME.

Duh. --me, 17th of September, 2007

"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."
See, that's where you're wrong. Under the implied intentions of the license, you must not use it for commercial purposes. The thing is, advertisement is where it's "gray", but it's actually pretty clear under Wikia, where they're using it for a commercial purpose, if not directly then indirectly.
Here's another thing: If Wikia is not here for commercial purposes (and therefore legally allowed to recieve the DB dump), the public (that is, all contributors of the GuildWiki) must also be allowed to recieve the DB dump, as the Wikia "corp" should not be considered different than the average user attempting to help, and we should have the same rights. So, give us that DB dump. ~ Lutz 21:17, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
They have said they plan to make regular database dumps available. Biscuits Biscuit.png 21:23, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
If someone asked me in advance, I would've said yes, but only after the legal issues are resolved. -- Gordon Ecker 00:08, 18 September 2007 (CDT)

As founder of PvXwiki I just want to say that making money on contribution made under CC license, it just turns it all up side down. The whole idea of the wiki is gone then. I don't like this, but at the same time I am happy that we at least saved some parts of this Great wiki on our forked wiki. PS I was hopping that at least some things in this world aint for sale. Gcardinal 09:30, 19 September 2007 (CDT)

If there is people out there who want to re-start this wiki, PvX are ready to provide servers and what its needed. Just as we did for builds. For free. Gcardinal 09:34, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
I just want to say that I would support this 100%. PvXWiki is awesome. Please let's do this, guys. BftP 09:38, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
For us it will be no problem to get all servers ready, we have done it ones and have some experience. And if some of current admin will help there will be no problem. And as soon as new dumps are released we will get wiki online in matter of days. And if they will release dumps a few weeks old or something, we have special:export, wget... :P Its all possible. Wikis are community thing, made by the people for the people. free. Gcardinal 09:44, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
You don't need our permission for this. Go for it. —Tanaric 10:11, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
I just want to make sure that this is what community wants. And there will be some admins to run it. But all the things like servers and so on will be no problem. Gcardinal 10:36, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
I think you are going to make a lot of people happy if you do this. :) The main issues would be 1) lots of people wouldn't realise the wiki had moved, unless there was a prominent message on the front page (although if the community here wants that, it's possible, right?), and 2) This wiki would not shut down, so there would be two copies of the same data to confuse people. It also won't stop the fact that we were sold, but it would be a great way to refuse to work with the people that bought us without conferring first, and is the next best thing. Biscuits Biscuit.png 11:41, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
With new money give away... well forking is just pointless at this point. With 60k$ guildwiki can make 1000 of forks them self :) Will be quite some financial power there, but in the end - money based. Fight for the admin place, "smelly" deals, behind the scene cash cutting... I am sure about one thing - I will keep pvxwiki cash free :) ps: if anyone needs any help to start a fork or a new game related wiki pvxwiki are there if hosting/help is needed. Gcardinal 13:54, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
I think it would be cool for us to host a fork... We wouldn't need inter-wiki links anymore, lots of things would just be easier... But yeah, $60k is a lot of $, enough to run the servers for a looooong time. ~~ User:Frvwfr2 frvwfr2 (T/C) 14:20, 19 September 2007 (CDT)

What I'd like to see is a document explaining the complicated legal situation in both plain English and legalese. I'd be happy if Wikia spun off a non-profit foundation to for its' non-commercially licensed wikis. -- Gordon Ecker 19:33, 19 September 2007 (CDT)

The realities

I really should just walk away, but I keep foolishly reloading this page every few hours. The current reality seems to be that Gravewit and/or Wikia will try to pay out those who donated to this site originally. Some are demanding interest on that donation---Karlos, for instance, suggests a 1000% return on his investment. Tanaric thinks that he was never paid a salary he was promised. Wikia will gladly buy such people off to shut them up; even $5,000 is peanuts. Far from solving the problem, we will just have more people profiting personally from a community work.

Does anyone realistically think Wikia will not win this? I don't.

To me, this is the end of the community. We have already allowed ourselves to be sold; a few are just haggling over the price. Maybe it is time.

Inspirational Speech.jpg This user contributed to GuildWiki before it sold out.

BftP 12:49, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

I, for one, am going over to the official GW wiki to help there. t needs alot of work and with this issue I think its about to get a bunch more workers to work on it. I'll also be putting that userbox on my profile, lol. --Hawk SkeerHawkicon.png 13:16, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
"Does anyone realistically think Wikia will not win this?" Yes, I do. If the community decides to move to GWW, or even call it quits, Wikia will have lost. --Toxik 13:19, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
Wikia doesn't need this community. GuildWiki has such a high google pagerank that they can keep profiting for years by doing next to nothing. Plus, it would be monumentally stupid to misunderestimate the Wikia PR/marketing department, who haven't pulled out the big guns yet. BftP 14:12, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
Before the "hostile takeover" I had never even heard of Wikia, so their PR/marketing department must be doing something wrong. --Toxik 15:38, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
Hey man, there is no hostility here at all. Cut us some slack, please! We are not trying to do anything bad to anyone, and we are trying to figure out how to resolve the problems that Gravewit left to us. We are on YOUR side here and trying to figure out how to help.--Jimbo Wales 00:19, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
Oh, I've heard of Wikia before. Back when they attempted to buy out Bulbapedia, which, by the way, is currently the largest Pokemon Wiki in action. But in that particular case, their offer was up-front and direct, and they were shot down by multiple admins and users. You can check that out here. --GEO-logo.png Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^ 16:02, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
Thank you for that link. One thing that really stands out to me is the following: "On top of that, there's already a Pokémon wiki on Wikia, and it's terrible. The only good thing which could potentially come of the two being anywhere near each other would be that the other one might wither and die; and, well, while that might help us, it isn't really necessary." I really see a connection there. --Toxik 16:19, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
Heh, I personally would never lend anyone with interest, it's against my belief system. :) I made a donation to a non-profit that turned out to be a commercial entity. Phil is choosing to rewrite my donation as a "loan" and I am choosing to rewrite my donation as an investment share. On what legal grounds does he posses the right to rewrite my donation as a loan? Simply because it suits him? It suits me more that we rewrite it as an investment. We'll see how this goes. --Karlos 18:35, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
I am afraid as long as you talk money, you dance to Wikia's tune. As I said earlier, if $500 or even $5,000 is all it will take to satiate you, Wikia will cough it up. Same with Tanaric. To Wikia, this whole thing reduces to just a money dispute between Gravewit, Tanaric and Karlos, and they will try to cut the Gordian knot with a sword made of cash. BftP 01:10, 18 September 2007 (CDT)
Well, Gordon himself won't stand for that; it's obviously a copyright infringement! Seriously though - do you really think Karlos and Tanaric will just sit quietly on the sidelines even if/when they are "paid off"? I don't think so. Their interests in this issue run beyond the desire for mere monetary recompensation. Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 01:13, 18 September 2007 (CDT)

DMCA

DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT To whom it may concern, 1. Detailed identity of the copyrighted work that I believe has been infringed upon. This includes identification of the web page or specific posts, as opposed to entire sites. Posts must be referenced by either the dates in which they appear or the permalink of the post The contents of contributors under the by-nc-sa/2.0, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/, license at the URLs http://gw.gamewikis.org http://guildwars.gamewikis.org http://www.guildwarswiki.com http://www.guildwiki.org

The company `Wikia`, www.wikia.com has recently purchased from the original holder Christian Phillip "Gravewit" Nelson, the transfer of all GameWikis URLs, the labour of a data dump of all wiki content and the discontinuation of hosting the sites. Licensed content of interest includes all edits from contributors that have not dual licensed their edits under a commercial license. The sheer size of the user database and number of anonymous contributors are in the tens of thousands and a complete list included in this document would be incomprehensible, instead a list of registered users is supplied, http://gw.gamewikis.org/wiki/Special:Listusers , anonymous edits are not recorded in a list but are recorded on individual article histories. Individual editors will not be singled out, so they will not be listed in this document.

Copyright infringement content includes:- All anonymous edits made to http://gw.gamewikis.org that have not specified their alternate license to be allowed for commercial gain. All registered edits made to http://gw.gamewikis.org that have not specified their alternate license to be allowed for commercial gain.

It is believed that Wikia is gaining monetary gain through providing advertisement, despite the clear indication that content they host is released under by-nc-sa/2.0 and may not be used for such. Wikia have refused to reveal any information to the contributors related to this subject and are believed to refuse access to this information in the future.

Referential material:-

http://gw.gamewikis.org/wiki/GuildWiki:Wikia_Move http://gw.gamewikis.org/wiki/GuildWiki_talk:Wikia_Move http://gw.gamewikis.org/wiki/GuildWiki_talk:Wikia_Move/BY-NC-SA_vs_Site_advertisements http://gw.gamewikis.org/wiki/Talk:Wikia_Move/Archive_1#A_for-profit_company_displaying_ads_over_the_content_isn.27t_commercial_use.3F

2. Identity of the material that I claim is infringing upon the copyrighted work listed.

Histories of article pages can be traced through individual articles history tab. If a user is under a dual license they will have it noted in their article edit comment or their user page.

3. Location of the author copyright notice (for information). http://gw.gamewikis.org/wiki/GuildWiki:Copyrights Or otherwise stated by in the contributors user page or edit comment.

4. Information to permit our company, the provider, to contact you. >Include here your email, fax or postal address to quickly get a feedback from the provider.

5. Statements I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above on the infringing web pages is not authorized by their registered copyright and by the law. I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that these contributors are the copyright owner of an exclusive right that is infringed. Your signature >Signature of the author >Add your name here

A rough draft of a DMCA that can be used, individual copies can be adapted through reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMCA#Exemptions. While I and others have waited patently for a number of days, it seems that Wikia intends to "ride this out". The license that most work at Gwiki is under by-nc-sa/2.0, this specifically states that contributions can not be used for monetary gain, until Wikia accepts this and puts this into practice, Wikia can not host the content. This is black and white. There are no "Others" that are trying to determine what exactly CC-NC-SA prohibits, hosting the Gwiki content in its current form is illegal. Do the moral thing contributors.

More information about DMCA. http://www.pixel2life.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=20185

Submit this to GoDaddy.com, the provider of Gwiki. Details on where you can send it to are listed at https://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/about.asp?ci=8921. 58.107.162.189 13:47, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Do NOT do this until we have gotten a copy of the database out. 193.52.24.125 13:57, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
Bolded the entire thing, since the other way made it go off the page o-o The Imperialist
Can we really do this since they're keeping the BY-NC-SA license? 72.196.131.42 18:29, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
It doesn't matter what they say they're doing if it's not being upheld, which is the question at hand. Merengue 18:40, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
It would be the same as keeping the copyright on the McDonald's logo, then scribbling all over it and using it as my own company's logo. Doesn't matter that I kept the copyright, because I didn't actually follow it. --GEO-logo.png Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^ 19:45, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
From the attitude of certain people here it appears that it doesn't matter if Wikia uphold the license, those people are going ahead with the DMCA before Wikia even makes up its mind on what to do with any ad revenue (if a commercial company doesn't keep the advertisement money for themselves then the NC clause would still be upheld. And the data is public so you really have no grounds to claim Gravewit sold the NC content). -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 02:50, 18 September 2007 (CDT)

So who has the ability to grab the data? And can it be done soon, as I am intending to file DMCA takedown notice within 24 hours. The preceding unsigned comment was added by 89.241.237.75 (contribs) .

Talk to Fyren. If anyone could do it, he could. Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 02:39, 18 September 2007 (CDT)
We will have a dump at least by the time the wiki is locked for moving. -Auron 02:46, 18 September 2007 (CDT)
Who the hell are you anyway? I doubt you have any kind of standing. Your contribution list is empty except for your comment here. 193.52.24.125 02:47, 18 September 2007 (CDT)
Standing? Maybe if I was a founder contributor, then, I would somehow have this mythical "standing" to which you refer. Someone like Gravewit, perhaps? now, HE has standing, eh? The preceding unsigned comment was added by 89.241.237.75 (contribs) .
GW:AGF please. Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 02:48, 18 September 2007 (CDT)
Threatening to shut the wiki down is not good faith. 193.52.24.125 02:49, 18 September 2007 (CDT)
Wake up. The preceding unsigned comment was added by 89.241.237.75 (contribs) .
[personal attack remove] This community has more important things to deal with than DMCA trolls. 193.52.24.125 03:00, 18 September 2007 (CDT)
Comment has been edited to remove a personal attack. Please observe GW:NPA. BftP 04:58, 18 September 2007 (CDT)
Everyone should go to bed and sleep on the issue. Come back in the morning. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 03:04, 18 September 2007 (CDT)

(restting indent) Erm... wait to see what Wikia's intending, at least for a few more days, 2 maybe? The Imperialist

Copy of the contract available?

Can a copy of the contract between Wikia and Gravewit, minus whatever information the contract forbids to reveal (such as the dollar amount), be made available? I am highly curious as to the exact wording. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 23:00, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Wish You Were Here

Can't really join in the discussion, or answer any questions right now... Its Marguerita time!!!! Phil'n'Gil 02:46, 19 September 2007 (CDT) Paradise Beach.jpg

Pffft! ;-D Biscuits Biscuit.png 04:06, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
Let the Bacardi Cola roll!! —ShadyGuy 04:11, 19 September 2007 (CDT)

Change to Deal & Terms

Wow, how much have I missed? Might as well put in my 2 cents now before I go back to real life.

Actually, from remembering the past and now this, it seems that something of this nature has been in the works for a long time now. I remember that I was even offered to help make gamewikis.org profitable and get into it, though not by Phil. At least I'm not aware he knew anything about the conversation the individual and myself had.

I came in after donations were eradicated, so I can't say anything regarding compensation, except for man hours put into the project, but it was fun, so I did it without any thought of commendations or compensation. I say let those that are jaded regarding money get what seems fair, and give the rest to charity. This was a non-profit venture when it started. Not sure what will happen now, but it seems that it would be fitting that a real non-profit company and those individuals that charity helps to benefit from Wikia's "hush money". Sorry, had to say it. — Gares 13:58, 19 September 2007 (CDT)

I've replied to Gravewit directly on his talk page. The question is now, what to do with this money? My initial thoughts:
  1. Kick a chunk ($4000? more?) over to GCardinal to help defray hosting costs, if he hosts a fork.
  2. Return all donations at four times (more? less?) the original amount -- allow a six-month grace period for this. We can get lists of donors from Gravewit, presumably.
  3. Whatever's left, split the rest among the sysop team proportionally, based upon how long they've actively been sysops.
I'm sure there are more ways to spend this, though. What do you guys think?
(there are certain things I think it's best to not discuss until we actually have the money)
Tanaric 14:05, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
Split the money among the sysops?! Are you mad? I think I am fully disillusioned now. BftP 14:32, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
If the community decides to accept the cash, donors are being repayed by Gravewit anyway. As for the suggestion of repaying more than they *freely gifted never expecting cash payback*... I disagree, as in that case all who *freely contributed edits never expecting payment* should be revising their positions, too: what is the current going-rate for researcher/writer's of technical manuals..?
...with the goal that those sysops would then come together to sue Wikia. I had hoped I wouldn't need to spell that out. —Tanaric 14:36, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
That said, now that I think about it, the only way the GuildWiki will get any money is if we sign a paper saying we won't sue Wikia, so maybe that's a bad idea.
Any other plans?
Tanaric 14:37, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
Blah, I'd rather spend it on setting up an independent foundation to manage the fork (wouldn't mind if GCardinal chairs the foundation initially). Any wiki run by private individuals run the risk of the key individuals getting hit by a truck and stop paying the bills (and not notifying others to cover it)... or risk those individuals eventually pull a Gravewit. A WikiMedia-style foundation minimizes that risk, IMHO. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 17:06, 19 September 2007 (CDT)

haha according to one source (http://leapfish.com/domain_name_appraisal.php?url=gw.gamewikis.org) you're domain is worth $24,795.00! first thing i'd do is buy a better CPU :D --Foxx

"the majority of the cash portion from our original contract .... in the neighbourhood of about $62,000 USD". So if $62,000 is the majority of the cash portion, we're talking in the neighborhood of $100,000 cash in the original deal, and most likely more than that in stock. Even if the original deal was equal parts cash and stock (unlikely), Phil could still be making around $140,000 here. If the stock options to cash ratio is more like the 180:25 suggested by the FFXI deal described above ([2]), that's very nearly $1 million worth that Phil's getting. Not much surprise both sides are willing to toss $62,000 to the community to get this deal through trouble-free. Besides most of the things the community could agree on to use the money (better servers, better connection, buying up the adspace for X months for no ads, paying off the loud dissenters) might just as well be money back in Wikia's own pocket. The official wiki, as always, is prepared to welcome refugees with open arms. A lot of familiar faces are already there anyway. - 71.224.123.149 21:42, 19 September 2007 (CDT)
It wouldn't surprise me if the cash is coming out of Wikia's pocket, and Gravewit retaining his original deal in full. Plus, his job with Wikia, if such a thing exists. Full disclosure of compensation is needed before intelligent decisions can be made.--24.206.111.186 00:24, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
Foxx: According to that website, my personal domain (http://tanatopia.net) is worth $12,685. I'd take its claims with a grain of salt. —Tanaric 00:40, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
LOL, a friend of mine's site comes up at 40 bucks, so it's fairly accurate. --GEO-logo.png Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^ 00:44, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
Well christ. Uh... hey Wikia, want to buy my domain too? —Tanaric 03:07, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
Lol, crazy huh, a forum for CSS is worth around 120K, i go there daily :p --Foxx
Well that message from gravewit looked forced and totally out of character for him. Just wondering if I am mixing up histories. At one point didnt Gravewit say the money he was acquiring from Wikia was not much and just enough to cover costs, i thought it was mentioned on the Wikia Move article but i must be wrong because it isnt there or in the history. -- Xeon 14:14, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
All the previous Gravewit apologies were written primarily by me -- I have no doubt that this one was written primarly by Gil. —Tanaric 14:37, 20 September 2007 (CDT)

GuildWiki.org / Community Leaders

I'm in contact with Tabor. He will point the guildwiki.org URL to where the community resides.

If you need somebody to direct and lead a permanent fork movement, well... consider this my application for bureaucrat/community leader status. I'd be doing the same job I did before, but this time, my power would stem from you, instead of from Gravewit. Let me know if this is what you prefer -- I'm happy to serve in this role if the community wishes it.

Tanaric 00:14, 20 September 2007 (CDT)

Addendum:

If you'd rather not have me, I completely understand -- I don't know if I'd support me for something like this. In any case, we, as a community, need to come up with somebody to be the point man in the short term. PanSola suggested setting up a commission or a committee -- this makes sense to me too, as long as there's some obvious leadership for the wiki. Right now we're headless, and this puts us in an incredibly poor negotiating position.

Tanaric 00:17, 20 September 2007 (CDT)

I can't speak for anyone else, but I personally support you in this field. Having multiple "leaders" would also be a great way to go, I think; for anyone who doesn't like the idea of all their eggs in one basket (or basketcase, depending on the situation). --GEO-logo.png Ĵĩôřũĵĩ Đēŗāķō.>.cнаt^ 00:38, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
The term I actually used was "foundation". d-: It's significantly different than a "committee", in the sense that the foundation would have legal ownership of the fork. Nobody will be writing personal checks to hosting services, the check will come from the foundation. Any donation of money would go towards the bank account of the foundation, instead of a private individual. If advertisement income is allowed to pay for costs as long as no "profit" is generated (excess cash beyond a set amount of contingency fund would be donated or use for the community), that income goes directly to the foundation's bank account. The leadership positions of the foundation will be determined by the community of the fork (I don't quite want to equate "the GuildWiki community" with "the fork"). -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 01:12, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
Sorry about that, Pan. My misquote was due to excitement about the domain name, not any intentional misrepresentation.
A foundation is a good idea, but there are something things to be cleared up:
  1. Why start a foundation for a fork of a wiki that's already essentially been forked? Will the wiki last long enough to justify it?
  2. If we decide it won't, what more could the foundation do? A new GameWikis, except non-profit this time? Do we really want to compete with Wikia either way?
  3. How does one legally set up a foundation? Who is in charge of this, and what position does that founder play in the hierarchy of the new foundation?
  4. Can we do this quickly enough to get a check from Wikia?
  5. ...are we ever actually going to see this money anyway...?

Tanaric 01:31, 20 September 2007 (CDT)

  1. . Um, your questions is unclear to me. Basically, on the premise that if there is going to be "a permanent fork movement", then I believe the fork should be managed/owned by a foundation instead of being personally managed/owned by a person. If the forked wiki is not gonna last long anyways, then I don't see the justification of creating it in the first place. But if it's gonna get created, then I think it should be managed by a foundation.
  2. . Again not sure what you mean. The sole purpose of existence for the foundation is going to be to own and manage the fork. If no one end up creating a fork, then there's no need for the foundation.
  3. . I'm not a lawyer. I would say the founder should be the grandfather chair of the foundation, until new ones are elected/selected by the foundation's constitution.
  4. . Well, if the GuildWiki community says "we want to save this much of the money promised by Wikia for the fork's foundation", I would trust Wikia to hold on to that portion of the money until the foundation gets created, so I don't see any hard deadline (of course the sooner the better).
  5. . I'm in the mood to be optimistic.
ps. I think part of the confusion in your question and my answer stems from the fact that you labeled this section as "GuildWiki.org / Community Leaders", but the two paragraphs you wrote were about applying to be the leader of the fork. As I consider the GuildWiki community this current community we have, and I think the fork will end up splitting the GuildWiki community, I do not equate being the leader of the fork's community as being the leader of the current overall GuildWiki community. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 02:13, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
If the fork will split the community, it's doomed to fail -- this community has already been split by the official wiki. That's why I'm hesitant to support a foundation -- I don't see the point in establishing a foundations for a community that's likely to dwindle and die over the next year or two.
Then again, if we get the money and intend to fork the entire community over, it'd involve some sort of consensus-bearing wipe here, similar to the builds wipe, except with links to the new content (with the new domain name) left behind in its wake. This requires someone with a role similar to mine to implement, if only to deal with Wikia when they "What the fuck, you can't do that, we just paid $300,000 for this." In such a case, the leader of "GuildWikia" will end up being the leader of the forked GuildWiki, too.
Tanaric 02:23, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
I see as much point creating a foundation for a wiki that might dwindle and die in a year or two as creating that wiki in the first place. If a fork gets created, I want to make sure its finances isn't controlled by a private person. Otherwise it would betray the principles behind the fork. As an individual, I might trust you with my life, but I still don't want you (or any other private individual) to be paying for the fork's bandwidth/server out of your own pocket, and have donations/revenue for the fork to go into your pocket. If there's going to be a fork, the people involved in the fork needs to show they've learned a lesson from this incident, and structurally have a way to prevent history from repeating itself. Right now, the only way I can perceive this happening is if a foundation is established for it.
I also don't see how a "content-wipe" would work. Instead of Wikia saying "WTF you can't do that", they'll just revert the wipe. And if we are immature enough to go play a revert war on their server, we'd just get banned for it. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 03:08, 20 September 2007 (CDT)

Well, with the cash offer now tossed in the hat, Wikia have achieved their objective. We are no longer focused on some of the fundamental issues here, we are instead haggling over who get's what and where to spend our hush money. The fact remains that all of our NC-by-sa contributions made Gravewit a wealthy individual and are subsequently going to be used to make Wikia wealthier. Something that *seemed* to be at the heart of the matter is now hidden under a pile of grubby dollar bills. Call me cynical, but this is possibly exactly what Wikia wanted to happen, and what several of us warned would happen. The only difference between a crack whore and a high class escort is the sum of money that changes hands... Are all of our previous discussions really just a veiled haggling process?

I imagine Gravewit's sale of the domain is legal -- or at least legal enough to make suing him unrealistic. Wikia is another matter entirely -- but for us to get the money we'd need to sue them, we (the GuildWiki foundation) will have to sign something saying we agree not to sue. The only way to sue Wikia with their money is to distribute that money to contributors and hope they individually donate for a lawyer, without them being involved with this hypothetical foundation. —Tanaric 03:02, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
Actually I don't think a foundation created after the sale would be in a position to sue Wikia. What you need is probably a class action suit from individual contributors of GuildWiki. The foundation idea I have should only be useful for the management and ownership of any fork that a portion of the community end up creating. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 03:17, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
Maybe we should then accept that we've got almost as far as we can short of DMCA. If there is no stomach for DMCA and if there are concerns now that a fork would wither on the vine, then we either abandon this wiki for OfficialWiki, or we take the hush money and carry on here. The 60k seems to have knocked the wind out of the sails somewhat - as it was intended to - and short of the possibility of setting up some kind of foundation to manage that cash, we have no concrete plans and are no further forward. Do we set up a GuildWiki foundation and stay here? I'm not keen on the idea of the cash being distributed to a few contributors and us then relying on their "good citizenship" to do something useful with it... the evidence, this mess we're in now, should ring alarm bells for everyone with regard to people "doing the right thing" when there are greenbacks involved... If we take the cash, then we should accept it in good grace and go back to wikiing. The foundation should maintain transparent, publicly accessible records of its ledgers, and it should be used only for the benefit of the GuildWiki community here, not dished out in thank you cards and to repay donations: Gravewit says that he is taking care of that (read: Wikia is taking care of that) separately to this cash.
What the hell are we going to do with the money? All of our servers and hosting costs are already paid for by Wikia. Channeling it to third parties -- whether for forks, for legal fees, or for compensation for time spent -- is the only thing we can meaningfully do with it. —Tanaric 10:22, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
I agree. It would be absurd to give the funds to Wikia to maintain those servers. Of the remaining options, I'm against paying out compensation for time spent - Gravewit has already sold-out his ideals, and I see no benefit in encouraging others to do the same. As for legal fees, to what end? Even if we win the legal case, it would use up any funds that could potentially be used towards establishing a new wiki. The only two real alternatives that I see are to either use the funds to create a fork of the wiki content on its own servers; or to donate the funds to a charitable cause, but the number of options for that one will again end in endless debate - donate to a legal fund? a medical cause (which one)? an open source technology project (again, which one)? In the end, any donations would be split between so many options as to again be minimal to each, and someone would be bound to complain that their preference got left out or short changed. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 17:23, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
What about taking the money, create a foundation as discussed above, and make a GuildWars 2 wiki, complete with servers and everything owned by the foundation? I for one cannot, in good faith, contribute any more to this wiki, now that it has openly been sold out in such a ethically disgusting way. Leave this tainted mess to Wikia unless you want to go into a full legal war with them, but not before squeezing them for whatever you can, and let people vote with their feet whether they want to support the official wiki or the new old GuildWiki. Write this off as a painful learning experience (and possibly listen to Karlos when he smells something fishy). Try to gather as many of the veterans and make them admins on the GW2 wiki if they so choose. I have never taken much interest in the community matters, just trying to improve and gain insight from the wiki, but I have the highest opinion about every single one of the people that actually ran this place as elected admins and, of course, Fyren as server admin. Make a fresh start as ANet does with GW2, and minimize the chance that any of this can happen again. --Roland icon.pngRoland of Gilead (talk) 17:39, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
Do we know whether Anet has plans for an official GW2 wiki or not? -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 17:43, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
From the last discussion where this issue was raised with ANet people, yes, there'll be an official GW2 wiki. --Dirigible 18:15, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
I think it's a safe bet there'll be a GWW2. If ANet wants people to use a certain service, they are not shy of promoting it with insistence (see official online store), but, as far as I can tell, they are and have always been up-front about it and they don't work with dirty tricks. They just have enough muscle for not having to resort to this kind of behaviour, and once they have momentum, they are not likely to lose it. How much would ANet have to screw up to drive people away from their official wiki once people settle there? No ads, a hail-storm of official promotion, exclusive contributions of high-ranking ANet staff members, and sometimes game update notices and news before they even appear on guildwars.com. These and probably more I've missed are all speaking strongly in favor of the official wiki. As long as they are content with providing the hosting and do not interfere with wiki policy, I can't think of a reason why people would prefer an independent wiki. Server features might be an issue, but could you imagine anything being off-limits for discussion and implementation on GWW? I also couldn't think of a reason why the admin staff of this wiki would not follow the community where it wants to go, as long as they want to contribute meaningfully.
Anyway, thanks for your simple question. It led me to realize that GuildWiki's time is probably over, no matter what will come of this current mess. GWW is catching up rapidly, even though it might never reach the amount of content about pre-GW:EN campaigns that GuildWiki has. But for GW2 and the future, I don't see how another wiki could provide enough incentive to compete with the official wiki or why this would even be desirable on the whole. As for pre-GW:EN content, we shall see for how long GuildWiki will remain the "authorative" and most complete source of info, but all in all, it looks to me like GuildWiki's history is as complete as is that of the game GuildWars 1. The end, as far as we can speak of it as such, could and should have been heralded more gracefully than this, but either way it's time to move on. I can only hope, if GuildWiki's name and reputation remains in Wikia's hands, that this mess hurt GuildWiki's momentum enough to make it insignificant in comparison to GWW2. As for the original question what to do with the money, GuildWiki2 was my best shot. --Roland icon.pngRoland of Gilead (talk) 18:49, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
Money was actually not part of the original question... -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 19:35, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
Well said. I agree on all points. I also agree with Barek above; this money offered by Wikia is pure poison. Don't accept it! For a company that claims to be building communities, Wikia is adept at destroying them. Starting a GuildWiki foundation now is a waste of effort. It makes more sense to set up up a larger gaming wikis foundation, but you will just end up with a soul crushing competition with Wikia, who have a huge lead. I urge people to get some perspective. Most of us are here because we care mainly about Guild Wars. In that respect, ArenaNet's actions have snsured that Guild Wars is immune to parasitic companies like Wikia. I hope more gaming companies are taking notes: run your own wiki and keep your loyal playerbase close. As for community leaders, I detest the ritual fellation of the admins by the rest of the users. Besides, some have been wearing their admin hats for so long, their heads are the size of small planets. No offense to Tanaric, but we don't need 'community leaders'. We definitely don't need to elect ourselves a panel of wiki elders to guide us with their 'vision'. A wiki is one of the few contexts where anarchy can actually work; down with guv'mints! 193.52.24.125 21:25, 20 September 2007 (CDT)

Am I the only person that is sitting here thinking you all are acting like a bunch of whining idiots? I mean seriously, who cares? The official wiki will soon be better than this one will be anyway, and many people use only the official wiki now regardless. And to be honest, I am all for good ole capitalism. I am American, so sue me. If Gravewit made some cash off this project, then good for him. I salute him for taking what many may consider a really low-key website into a way to bring in some bucks. Kudos for him.

Now stop whining like 2 yr old babies that lost your pacifiers. - Lord Xivor 03:48, 21 September 2007 (CDT)

Being blunt and opinionated is one thing, being uninformed, insulting, and unable to contribute to the discussion is another entirely. --Roland icon.pngRoland of Gilead (talk) 04:01, 21 September 2007 (CDT)