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Sony The Media Entertainment Your Rights Online

Wikia and Sony Playing Licensing Mind Tricks 108

Posted by timothy
from the thanks-for-the-help dept.
TuringTest (533084) writes "Popular culture website Wikia originally hosted its user-contributed content under a free, sharealike Commercial Commons license (CC-BY-SA). At least as soon as 2003, some specific wikis decided to use the non-commercial CC-BY-NC license instead: hey, this license supposedly protects the authors, and anyone is free to choose how they want to license their work anyway, right? However, in late 2012 Wikia added to its License terms of service a retroactive clause for all its non-commercial content, granting Wikia an exclusive right to use this content in commercial contexts, effectively making all CC-BY-NC content dual-licensed. And today, Wikia is publicizing a partnership with Sony to display Wikia content on Smart TVs, a clear commercial use. A similar event happened at TV Tropes when the site owners single-handedly changed the site's copyright notice from ShareAlike to the incompatible NonCommercial, without notifying nor requesting consent from its contributors. Is this the ultimate fate of all wikis? Do Creative Commons licenses hold any weight for community websites?"
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Wikia and Sony Playing Licensing Mind Tricks

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  • Um, what? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:01AM (#47118357)

    I know Jimbo is a vile, leeching Objectivist ex-pornographer who has created the worst popular web site on the Internet, but he's not influential enough to be above the law. The copyright belongs to the authors, and nobody else can change the license.

  • Re:Nothing is free (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:12AM (#47118457)

    Not quite true - there are some people out there with genuinely altruistic motivations. It's just that the West has managed to make a religion out of selfishness, so they're few and far between, and often lambasted.

  • Re:Nothing is free (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:28AM (#47118581)

    Not quite true - there are some people out there with genuinely altruistic motivations. It's just that the West has managed to make a religion out of selfishness, so they're few and far between, and often lambasted.

    Well, you could argue that some people do altruistic acts because it rewards them with a good feeling, similar to how others feel good about amassing money or power or being desired, so ultimately egoistic motivation. The trick is to have a culture and organization of society that makes the best out of peoples different egoistic motivations.

  • by BobMcD (601576) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:32AM (#47118635)

    It's a great business model, but it pretty much screws over the people who actually built your product.

    ...this phrase describes basically every business model, ever.

  • by pla (258480) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:54AM (#47118829) Journal
    For a change, I need to agree with Sony (and you) on this one. Whether or not this infringes on "NC" really depends on exactly what they've done with it.

    Do they simply display it in a browser-like interface, while preserving the essential webpageyness of the content? If so, I'd call that no more "noncommercial" than using Internet Explorer on Windows to visit Wikia directly. If, however, they've completely butchered the content to fit their marketing department's retarded whims and removed any traces of attribution in the process, that clearly goes well beyond grey area.

    We've already accepted that every TV will eventually function as a more-or-less fully capable streaming media center; we also need to accept the implications of that on exactly the present issue. If device-X has a web browser, does device-X need a special license to view any webpage not explicitly marked as free-for-all? And if so, why doesn't MSIE need the same license? What if the TV runs Win8 and actually displays the content in MSIE?
  • Re:Nothing is free (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @11:13AM (#47120275) Journal
    Ah yes, blame "the West". Of course the East has been a bastion of wisdom, equality and selfless generosity for a long time now. The South did not fare so well, being too busy being sold off by the West into slavery, which the West invented of course.

    Or maybe selfishness is just human nature and a thing of all times.

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