Forums  ForumsTen Forward → Memory Alpha Wikia Visit 2015 (replywatch)
This forum discussion has been archived
This forum discussion has been archived and should not be added to. Please visit the Forums to begin a new topic in the relevant location.

Original plan

Hi all. As I first mentioned here, Wikia is extending an invitation to five Memory Alpha administrators to visit our office in San Francisco. We want to give as many admins as possible a chance to get to know Wikia more, see our offices, meet our teams, and learn about our Star Trek programming for the 50th anniversary—and, of course, resolve the legal concerns relating to the CC-BY-NC license face-to-face.

The admins we invite will be flown out to San Francisco for a week in August. We plan to put them up in hotel rooms near our office. Here's a basic rundown of what the trip entails:

  • What are the dates? The five admins will fly to SF on Monday, August 10th. The admin visit (aka the days in the office) will be Tuesday, August 11th through Thursday, August 13th. The admins will fly home on Friday, August 14th.
  • Who is invited? We are extending the invitation to five administrators. These five are Sulfur, Archduk3, Cid Highwind, and Renegade54. The fifth admin can be chosen by the admin team or the community. We leave that decision up to you.
  • What will be discussed? The two biggest discussions will be (1) the licensing questions, concerns, and debate; and (2) an introduction to our plans for the 50th anniversary next year. As with any other admin visit, the admins will also meet with as many other teams as possible, including Community Support, Community Development, Product Design, and Mobile; as well as key individuals within the company, up to and including CEO Craig Palmer (pending availability).
  • How is travel arranged? Once we confirm the list of attendees, we will contact each person individually to get their travel details. We will then book travel and lodging for them and send them their flight and hotel confirmation info.

I have contacted each of the above referenced admins letting them know that they are invited. Please feel free to discuss who you want the fifth admin to be in whatever way you deem fit. If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know. Thanks. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 22:34, July 21, 2015 (UTC)

I will just say now that my circumstances do not permit me to travel at this time, so I will be unable to participate. 31dot (talk) 22:53, July 21, 2015 (UTC)

Sorry to hear that. Thanks for the speedy and preemptive reply. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 00:30, July 22, 2015 (UTC)

While I'm willing and available to go, I don't currently see why I should. I'm not interested in having a "debate" with a lawyer, especially since I won't have one of my own with me, and debates don't result in resolutions between the two sides anyway, but negotiations do. If wikia is actually willing to engage in good faith negotiations to resolve this, then this can actually be worth the time and money everyone would be putting into it.
That said, a few things have to happen for this to work:
  • Wikia's last purposed version of the copyright text has to be placed onto the copyright page and links to that page have to be restored to the "acceptable" mediawiki pages. This doesn't constitute an agreement with that text on MA's part, but it's better than what's there now. MA continues to operate under the CC-BY-NC 2.5 license, not 3.0, but accuracy isn't really the thing we're going for here.
  • If Cid isn't going, and the last time I checked he hasn't even logged in for over a year, then MA/de should still have someone present. This effects all MAs, and at the very least the two who are aware of the issue should be there.
  • It's got to be more than just me and sulfur, assuming he can go, for MA/en. We have 22 admins here, you would think we can scrap together three.
If this thing is actually happening, I promise not to revert the copyright text if my sysop rights are restored, though I still explicitly do not agree with it or wikia's ability to impose such text on us in the first place. I don't plan to contribute to anything other than talk pages until this is resolved though, so it's a moot point unless no one else is interested in making the actual changes I've outlined above. - Archduk3 22:17, July 26, 2015 (UTC)

Hey Archduk, thanks for the reply. Some points/questions:

  • So I know I'm understanding you correctly, can you clarify what you mean by "Wikia's last purposed version of the copyright text?" Was "purposed" a typo, and you're referring to the text that I proposed in the other thread? If so, we of course have no objection.
  • Like I said in the other forum, links to the copyright page can absolutely be added to MediaWiki pages, with the exception of MediaWiki:Copyright. Is that what you mean by "have to be restored to "acceptable" mediawiki pages?" If so, no objection.
  • We agree with you regarding a representative of MA/de. I've sent Cid an email about the visit but I haven't gotten a response. Do you have any contact with him? I'm guessing not based on what you said, but I figured I'd ask.
  • We also want to bring out more than two admins. Renegade can't go, per his response to my talk page, and we haven't heard from Cid, meaning so far it's you and Sulfur (if Sulfur can go), so please feel free to offer up suggestions. Assuming that Cid can't go, we'll have our German team talk to MA/de about who they want to go, meaning there's at least two other spots from MA/en (due to costs, we can likely only fly one person from Germany). The only parameters for who could attend from MA/en would be that they're over 18 and they live in North America (to keep down costs). Should be doable, like you said.
  • Thank you for agreeing not to revert the copyright pages. That is much appreciated. I have re-added your admin rights.
  • Regarding my use of the word "debate," I'll clarify: that was in reference to the conversations that have been had on Memory Alpha, Community Central, etc over the last few years. I don't anticipate a debate with our General Counsel. We're interested in a discussion.

Thanks again for the reply. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 22:48, July 26, 2015 (UTC)

Hey guys. Following up here. Have you had any discussions regarding who should go to the Admin Visit? We're getting down to crunch time on when we'd need to book travel and accommodations, since we're 2 weeks from our original intended date and travel and accommodations are going to start getting more expensive. We can also push the visit back a week, if need be, which would give two options for the visit dates:

  • August 11-13, with Monday August 10th and either late Thursday August 13th or early Friday August 14th being travel dates. This is the original proposed date.
  • August 18-20, with Monday August 17th and either late Thursday August 20th or early Friday August 21st being travel dates. This is a new proposed date.

Our German support team is also going to be reaching out to two admins on MA/de because we haven't heard from Cid. These two admins would be in addition to four admins from MA/en.

We're going to need to know by the end of this week who will be attending. Please let me know ASAP who will be in attendance for MA/en. Thanks! - Brandon Rhea(talk) 19:26, July 28, 2015 (UTC)

I can make either of these work, whichever work for as many people as possible is my preference. After sulfur, Renegade54, 31dot, and I, the remaining active admins are either "semi"-active, and therefor harder to contact, or outside of the US and Canada. If anyone meets the basic requirements to go, even if they're aren't an admin, and is willing and able, please mention it now. This involves everyone here, and even if people can't attend in person I think it would be worth their time to lets us know if they want to teleconference in. There are non-admins here who are core contributors, even more-so than most of the admins, and this is very much about them as well. - Archduk3 05:12, July 29, 2015 (UTC)

We can do teleconferencing for sure. That's no problem. As for non-admins, I think that's probably ok, but we've never done that before so let me just confirm that tomorrow and I'll get back to you. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 05:25, July 29, 2015 (UTC)

Following up here as promised. Bringing non-admins to the office too should be fine, as long as they are core contributors and everyone understands that the maximum number of people we can bring from MA/en remains four. And to reiterate, so anyone who goes knows what they're getting into, this will be a full visit, so it's not just the legal side. It's an introduction to the entire company (which should hopefully be of benefit for Sulfur and Archduk3 as well, since Wikia has evolved quite a bit since they were last in the office). Additionally, when it comes to teleconferencing, like I said we're fine with that too, but the logistics of it will, of course, depend on how many people actually want to call in.

Can others chime in about who would like to go? We're going to need to nail this down by Friday. So far Archduk3 and Sulfur (who emailed me) have said they can go. Who else will be attending? At this point, I defer to the admin team for choosing who they want to represent them. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 22:11, July 29, 2015 (UTC)

I'm certainly interested in the teleconferencing option. --Defiant (talk) 00:00, July 30, 2015 (UTC)
I'm working on freeing myself up at work... I don't have anything scheduled that week, and I've cleared it on the home front, so one last hurdle, and I'm good to go. -- Renegade54 (talk) 02:52, July 30, 2015 (UTC)

Thanks Renegade. Any update? - Brandon Rhea(talk) 17:52, July 31, 2015 (UTC)

I'm disappointed to say that I'm not going to be able to make it. There are several projects coming due soon, and with my week off next week (and some training this week) deadlines would be missed if I took another off. I'm really sorry. :( Thanks for inviting me! -- Renegade54 (talk) 22:33, August 2, 2015 (UTC)

Hi all. Following up here since we're now two weeks out from the backup date, so it's crunch time if we want to make this happen. We have two admins from MA/de who have told us they can go. Archduk3 has said he can go and Sulfur has said he can probably go, so that's a good representation I think. We are going to start reaching out, via email, to the four of them to get the information we'll need to book travel. If any other admin from MA/en wants to attend, we have a hard deadline of this Thursday, August 6th, for letting us know. And per what I said before, we can also loop people in via teleconference. Thanks. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 17:49, August 4, 2015 (UTC)

Alternate plan

Hi all. Been awhile, so I would like to provide a quick update regarding our plans for an admin visit. Unfortunately, once it came time to start booking travel for the proposed dates, we did not hear back from anyone from MA/en other than Sulfur regarding coming to SF, so the visit did not happen this week.

Instead, here is what we are doing. Sulfur and Shisma (an admin on MA/de) have both been invited to and will be attending a big event Wikia is holding called Community Connect. You can read more about that here. That event is September 9th through September 11th in our office in San Francisco. Both will be arriving early. The day before that, Tuesday September 8th, we will have a "Memory Alpha Day" in our office with Sulfur and Shisma. This will be an abridged admin visit, since much of what we would have covered in a general admin visit will be covered in Community Connect. The two big focuses for this day will be on laying out our Star Trek programming plan for 2016 and, of course, the legal discussion.

Since only two admins will actually be attending in-person, we will also open the two major Tuesday meetings up for teleconferencing so as many admins can participate in these two discussions as possible, especially the legal discussion. That's not very logistically challenging, so we should be able to bring in as many English and German admins as we can.

We would still, of course, love to have admins in the office, so we're also open to having a second admin visit with those who aren't going to be here in-person in September. We're looking at some time in October for that, so if you're interested in visiting our SF office, please let me know what dates in October might work best for you. We'll choose the date based on when the most people are available.

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks! - Brandon Rhea(talk) 19:02, August 19, 2015 (UTC)

Will the teleconferencing option still be available for non-admins? If so, which program(s) will be suitable? For instance, will Skype and/or Facetime be suitable? --Defiant (talk) 11:28, August 20, 2015 (UTC)

Whether or not it would be open to non-admins will be dependent on how many admins want to attend. It could also be that non-admins would have a listening role instead of a speaking one. We'll figure out the logistics of that as we start to see who wants to attend. Regardless, it would probably be on Bluejeans, which has the option of calling into it. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 15:18, August 20, 2015 (UTC)

Meet up day

Hi all. Quick reminder that next Tuesday, 9/8 is our Memory Alpha Day in the SF office. The meeting about our 50th anniversary plans will be from 10-11am PT, and our meeting about the legal issues will be from 12:30-2pm. If you are interested in teleconferencing into that meeting, please let me know and I will send you the conference information via the email that you have in your Wikia account. Thanks! - Brandon Rhea(talk) 19:42, September 3, 2015 (UTC)

Send me the info. - Archduk3 21:56, September 3, 2015 (UTC)
Me as well... thanks! -- Renegade54 (talk) 16:24, September 4, 2015 (UTC)
I'm still interested. Please send me the info. --Defiant (talk) 09:00, September 7, 2015 (UTC)
Renegade54, did you get an email yet, because I haven't got one. - Archduk3 20:01, September 7, 2015 (UTC)

Hi all. Just sent out an email with the details. Please let me know if you didn't get it. Thanks! - Brandon Rhea(talk) 21:23, September 7, 2015 (UTC)

I got it earlier today, Duke... did you get one as well? -- Renegade54 (talk) 00:49, September 8, 2015 (UTC)
I got one late yesterday, though I beginning to wonder if the info I got was correct. - Archduk3 17:06, September 8, 2015 (UTC)

It's correct. Everyone is in the call, including Renegade and Defiant. Are you encountering technical problems? - Brandon Rhea(talk) 17:07, September 8, 2015 (UTC)

Apparently. - Archduk3 17:08, September 8, 2015 (UTC)

What happens when you try to join? - Brandon Rhea(talk) 17:09, September 8, 2015 (UTC)

Silence. - Archduk3 17:09, September 8, 2015 (UTC)

How far into the call are you able to get? Are you able to input the code, and then you hear nothing? - Brandon Rhea(talk) 17:11, September 8, 2015 (UTC)

That is correct, code then nothing. - Archduk3 17:13, September 8, 2015 (UTC)

Do you have Skype? If so can you email me your username? I'll bring you in that way. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 17:14, September 8, 2015 (UTC)

Made it in, though it took four times. - Archduk3 17:15, September 8, 2015 (UTC)

Great! - Brandon Rhea(talk) 17:16, September 8, 2015 (UTC)

For the next meeting, if anyone would like to be called in via Skype to avoid any potential technical issues, please don't hesitate to let me know. Just email me your Skype username and I'll call you at that time. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 18:20, September 8, 2015 (UTC)

Post-Meet up

So... when and where can we plebs read how this went? -- Capricorn (talk) 16:50, September 10, 2015 (UTC)

I'll try to doodle something up after the weekend, but if R54, AD3, or Defiant want to post some notes from their side of things, that'd be great too. -- sulfur (talk) 17:23, September 10, 2015 (UTC)
Due merely to the technology involved, I personally found it quite difficult to hear and know when to speak (I had been under the impression the "teleconferencing" was going to include video messaging, not just audio, but this unfortunately wasn't the case). Nonetheless, I did find the conversation very insightful and interesting, so it was certainly good to take part (at least IMO). I made some notes regarding the first of the two discussions (mainly because I expected to be most interested in that one but, as it turned out, I ultimately found the second talk to be of more interest, and must admit I just got caught up in listening to a fascinating discussion).
Anyway, the ideas I noted were about what wikia is planning to do for Star Trek's 50th Anniversary. From what I could hear, this included: in partnership with StarTrek.com, a character tournament with several rounds; a lot more Star Trek census videos (from conventions, etc.), much like those that are already on the website Trek Initiative; and a Star Trek edition of the online game show Qwizards. Also, Paramount, CBS, and IDW are very interested in working with Memory Alpha. There was also talk of a Simon Pegg interview with questions from our community, around the time Star Trek Beyond will be released (much like the previous J.J. Abrams interview featured here) though there was a concern raised about whether it will be too self-referential to host such an interview (and/or similar content) on MA. --Defiant (talk) 07:02, September 11, 2015 (UTC)

The anniversary plans sound like they could be pretty cool (didn't expect anything less though, wikia is pretty good at this kind of stuff), except, did I read that right and are videos going to be added? More importantly though, I'm very curious, even a bit anxious, about how the second meeting went (the one about if we are in fact wikia's whores :p). Have to say I'm a bit surprised not to have heard about that yet. -- Capricorn (talk) 21:03, September 15, 2015 (UTC)

The census videos are already online on Wikia (they've been doing them for a year or so). You can sometimes see those in the right sidepanel. I'm still... uncomfortable with videos because they've been unable to present what we'd like to see here (ie, a limited library of licensed videos, and only those being available/etc).
Quick summary of stuff (there was a lot to take in over the course of the week, so forgive me if I miss large amounts of stuff, but feel free to ask me to expand on stuffs).
  • 50th Anniversary Meeting: This was a fair bit of fluff, because very few plans have been finalized at this point in time. Having said that, there may be opportunity to participate in some Star Trek conventions during the 50th year if there is interest (both in the US and UK). In short, Roddenberry Inc has plans. IDW has plans. CBS has plans. Paramount may (or may not) have plans. There will likely be a lot of tie-in opportunities with Wikia.
  • The Trek Initiative: As noted above. One idea floated was a Q/A with Simon Pegg (who has apparently expressed some interest already). This would likely be hosted on TTI rather than MA (so that we can try to avoid being self-referential!). Another idea (floated by shisma was to to lengthy interviews with scientists/etc who were influenced by Trek (ie, de Grasse, Krauss, etc).
  • Lunch
  • Legal gathering. There were some serious technical issues with this one unfortunately to start, but once they were resolved, things got rolling. It was scheduled for ~90 minutes... with the extra 30+ we went _after_ the end of the phone-in portion... it was almost 2h45m. I think that the biggest win out of this meeting was that the Wikia VPs (WAS and Moro) and legal guy (Des) understood a) where MA came from, b) why we're different historically, and c) why we do things the way that we do. I get the impression that there was some level of understanding previously, but not to the extent that there is now. The major issues that were discussed and are on the list of things to be addressed include:
    • CC-by-NC on all MA wikis properly. [This is being worked on with help from R54]
    • We currently use v2.5. Wikia lists v3.0. [Aside: CC now has v4.0 released].
    • Advertising in the middle of content (I was able to find three excellent examples that I took screenshots of and shared with them).
    • Using MA materials for money elsewhere. (This does not appear to be occurring, which is good)
  • Some other meeting happened in here... I'm blanking on what offhand. Sadly.
  • Data futures on Wikia. This one was kinda interesting. Not quite WikiData (which has the potentially to be awesomely cool here), but using the portable infoboxes/sidebars as a stepping stone to be able to store that data in a central place, do data checking on it when added to sidebars, and use those to auto-populate tables or other data objects. For example, having a DB with episode data in it. That would auto-populate episode sidebars. It would also populate the episode tables on season pages, etc.
End of Tuesday. Shisma and I went for drinks (he drank some wine, I drank some beer, we wandered around the area we were in for shits and giggles).
Wednesday. Meet up with lots of people from other wikis, other countries, totally other walks of life. Almost all young pups too. Wanted to wave my cane at them and tell them to get off my lawn!
  • Lots of sessions, you can see the complete list here. If you have questions on what was contained in any of them, I can try to help, but no promises. What's really cool is that during the introduction shisma and I were pulled off to the side to have a video conference with Rod Roddenberry (aka Gene Jr). This was lots and lots of fluff, until Rod mentioned two magic words... "call sheets". It turns out that they've got copies of almost every single call sheet from modern trek in their archives. It also turns out that they've got copies of almost every single shooting script from Trek in their archives. I expressed our interest at having access to these things for research... and they were open to it. I'm going to followup this week with the Wikia VP and Roddenberry to see if any progress on the idea has been made.
  • The big thing that came out of this in terms of the tech side is that the portable sidebars are the stepping stone towards something similar to wikidata. We have a full set of data built already that Bp used to use his bot for to update episodes/season lists/etc. If we can automate that with the system, that'd make life a hell of a lot easier.
  • The other cool thing that I did while I was there was to write a tool that extracts the complete MA history. Haha. Shisma wrote one that can pull down all files and their revisions.
If anyone's got questions, please ask. If there's anything you want more detail on, ditto. -- sulfur (talk) 00:32, September 16, 2015 (UTC)
Hey. Happy to provide an update. Sorry I wasn't able to sooner. Last week, starting the day after Memory Alpha Day, was our Community Connect event, so things were crazy busy last week, as you can imagine. To add on to Defiant's great summary of the programming discussion, the biggest point about how Memory Alpha would interact with programming, as Defiant already mentioned, is that Memory Alpha doesn't want to self-reference. That means that we will plan for our programming to continue to live on Trek Initiative, while also tailoring it when we can around things that would be of interest to the Memory Alpha community. One thing that hasn't been mentioned already is the possibility of Memory Alpha contributors being used as experts in 50th anniversary panels/events throughout the year. This is all very vague and fluid right now, though, since we are still working to formalize what our plan is with CBS. We also have not yet had any discussions with Paramount, but we expect to soon, which will ideally allow us to have programming around Star Trek Beyond.
As for the legal meeting, that discussion went very well. The key takeaway that Wikia had was a better understanding of Memory Alpha's point of view, which isn't too surprising; in-person and even phone conversations are always more conducive to this sort of thing than just text. Here's a high level summary of the action items that Wikia walked away with from the meeting:
  • The biggest thing missing in this situation is trust. We hope to be able to build trust with the community, which we know will take a lot of work since much of these issues stem back all the way to Wikia's acquisition of Memory Alpha. One way we want to work on that is to have regular conversations, on the phone like last week, with Memory Alpha. Eric Moro, VP of Programming, is particularly keen on this idea heading into the 50th, so we can work closely with you on programming.
  • We want to find out more about community concerns regarding the Wikia Star Trek app. It was mentioned that, from at least one person's perspective (apologies—I can't remember who that was), it seems to be lacking in attribution. What can we do to improve upon that, in MA's opinion?
  • Determine whether we can link to the 2.5 NC license in the Wikia Licensing policy, as it currently only links to 3.0 while MA is 2.5
  • Translate the Commercial Use Waiver into ALL available languages. Many international Wikia Licensing pages are a mess, and are lacking this information.
  • Reorganize the Wikia Licensing policy into a clearer format. This isn't specific to MA, but it was rightly pointed out that it's difficult to know where the Commercial Use Waiver even is in the policy.
  • Determine if there are any tweaks that can be made to the licensing language on Memory Alpha to address community concerns regarding Wikia's intentions with MA content, while acknowledging that a) there are not going to be any major changes to the Commercial Use Waiver and b) because of that, a big part of this is the trust issue. We want you to trust us when we say that the Commercial Use Waiver only applies to advertisements, but we know that will take time and effort.
As an added bonus to thank Sulfur and Shisma for flying all the way to San Francisco for both Memory Alpha Day and Community Connect, we also surprised them with a half hour video chat with Rod Roddenberry, the son of Gene Roddenberry and the CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment, our partner in the Trek Initiative project. Rod and Eric Moro talked a bit more about the Wikia/Roddenberry partnership and the plans for the 50th anniversary, and Rod talked about all of the many things that his company does, including the entertainment side, the Roddenberry Foundation, and Roddenberry Adventures. Rod's vision is less about creating the next new Star Trek entertainment project and more about spreading the message of Star Trek and fueling Star Trek fandom as much as he can. As part of that, he said he would try to get Memory Alpha some information that the community has been looking for to help its behind the scenes documentation efforts around the Star Trek shows, including The Original Series. I'm not going to go into too much detail here, including what that information is, but I can tell you that I saw Sulfur and Shisma's eyes light up once Rod said it!
Another thing we talked about more casually, not in a meeting setting, was about helping Memory Alpha whenever we can with its internationalization efforts. MA/en and its various international counterparts are, both philosophically and from a licensing perspective, a unique family of communities on Wikia, so when we can support that then we will.
I think between this and Defiant's comments, that just about covers everything. If you have any questions about any of this, please feel free to let me know.
p.s., Capricorn, the videos that were referenced live on Trek Initiative and will continue to do so, rather than on MA. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 00:38, September 16, 2015 (UTC)
Trust...is something wikia does not deserve, because we've tried it before, more than once in fact, nor are they truly willing to work toward it, which is the whole point of the CUW in the first place. The short answer to your question Capricorn is yes, wikia does think we are whores, and they expect us to keep working for the "opportunities", aka peanuts, they are now willing to provide. I don't remember the exact words they used, but the wikia is under the impression they already "own" our content, and they can do whatever the fuck they want with it. Making the most money off of our work is the only thing they care about. Everything else they say is as meaningless.
The long and short of it is that there are many people who want to work with us, but none of them work at wikia. They have been very clear we are expected to work for them. There was a lot of fluff thrown around, but the text of the CUW is all that really matters, and if they aren't willing to alter it in completely reasonable ways, the only smart and legal thing for us to do is leave, because there are plenty of users who contributed before the CUW was added without sufficient, or any, notice it seems, and if they aren't here now, they certainly never agreed to the CUW.
Wikia has to be made to realize that they shouldn't "worry" about a possible financial avenue not being available to them in two years or so if they aren't "allowed" to advertise in the content, maybe using the very fucking words that are explicitly copyrighted non-commercial, but rather they should worry about having to pay to fight us for content that will be worth significantly less going forward if we leave. Just check the recent changes at the Halo wiki and WOWWiki with their counterparts that left, and that's assuming we would lose and wikia would get to keep a copy of MA online.
That said, I don't think it's prudent to walk away from the table just yet, because there is still a chance that someone at a high enough pay grade at wikia will take this seriously and be willing to negotiate a mutually beneficial arrangement, but I'm not really expecting that to happen. I am fairly certain of one thing though, if we build a better MA somewhere else, and let's be honest here, a basic up to date mediawiki installation would be better than the bastard version wikia is running right now, people will follow. - Archduk3 02:07, September 16, 2015 (UTC)
A few thoughts and observations, in no particular order:
  1. Wikia is not one cohesive organism, it's a group consisting of many discrete individuals, some of whom are worthy of trust, and some of whom are not, just like any other corporation. I know there have been trust issues in the past - I've been active here for close to ten years now, and I've seen everything that's gone on in that time period. I also know that there are many new folks at Wikia since we first joined them; in fact, several of the Wikia staff who were at the meetings were relatively new, only having worked at Wikia for a year or two. I'm inclined to take people at their word until they prove untrustworthy.
  2. One of the questions I posed to the technical staff (via Sulfur) was related to the MediaWiki version that AD refers to above. We're currently on MediaWiki 1.19.24, and the most up-to-date release is 1.26.x; 1.19.24 isn't even supported any more by Wikimedia, which means no more patches or bug fixes will be released for 1.19. The reply from the Wikia technical person was that they have no plans for a MediaWiki upgrade this year, i.e. in the near future, which means that if and when they do upgrade, MediaWiki will most likely be at 1.27 or higher. There may not even be a direct upgrade path from 1.19 to 1.26 or 1.27. I'm starting to get a bit worried that Wikia is planning on forking MediaWiki from the general release 1.19.24 to a "Wikia 1.20.x" or some such, and going their own, customized direction with the MediaWiki code. This means that we (and the rest of the Wikia wikis) won't have the benefit of the code development being done with the help and input of the larger MediaWiki user community, including new features.
  3. Moving to another hosting provider would mean coming up with a method of funding for the hosting services. One of the main reasons MA moved to Wikia (WikiCities at the time) in the first place was that it was costing too much for our service provider at the time to keep on hosting us. We've since grown in size and number of page hits, so the cost would be even greater that it was back then. I don't know that anyone has done a sizing analysis to determine what the average monthly cost would be based on the size of our database and our bandwidth requirements. I'd be interested in seeing the results of such an analysis.
  4. If we moved, it would be without the memory-alpha.org domain name; Wikia now owns that. We could probably get something like memory-alpha.info or memory-alpha.tv; if I remember correctly, a while back someone offered us the use of memory-alpha.net, but I don't know if that offer still stands.
  5. More later. -- Renegade54 (talk) 03:14, September 16, 2015 (UTC)
A few responses:
  1. When I refer to wikia, I'm referring to the company only, which is the only "person" we have a relationship with legally and in a business sense. I generally don't think the people there knowing "lie", but that's because I think they're ignorant cogs for the most part. There is clearly brain drain and talent retention problems at wikia, and we've heard more than once that people aren't aware of or empowered to discuss something. That makes them untrustworthy, because their word is meaningless for the most part and where it matters. Just because it's not their fault doesn't mean they aren't at fault collectively. Trust is about follow through, and wikia has followed through on precious little since I've been here, and based on the talk pages, not much before then either that couldn't be solved by Sannse within a day or two. Don't get me wrong, I've been drinking with some of the people who work(ed) there, so I don't have any issue with them as individuals, but individually their word isn't worth anything when they're talking to us. I want them talking to the people where their word is worth something, and that's to the people above them at wikia. I also want them sufficiently motivated when then do, and it seems to take a "kamikaze run" to get that kind of motivation, which should be all we need to know about how things work at wikia.
  2. You've probably right there, since my thinking is the same, and that's not good for us at all.
  3. We're most likely going to have to have some ads, unless kickstarter like methods will work better than I think, but it will be less than the number of ads right now, and we would have control over them. That makes it worth it in my book. Since we don't have our own domain anymore, a report like that will be much harder to put together, but not all of our hosting options would require us to put together such a report, since some, if not most, of them would do it themselves, though I too am interested in those numbers. I'm pretty wikia has them based on the info I remember being on displays when I was there, and sulfur might if it came up, but if he does I'm sure there's an NDA covering that. That leads me to the next point though...
  4. Not all options where we leave actually require us to actually "leave". They're all very, very, very unlikely based on wikia's complete lack of interest to agreeing to anything that makes them any less money on our content then they get right now, because it takes an adult to delay immediate gratification in favor of a better long term deal, but those options do still exist. I've already secured serviceable domain names awhile ago just in case though, and getting our domain back is a priority, but how would depend on how we "leave". Let's be clear though, we don't have the domain right now, not really, so other than the old acknowledgments and sentimental reasons, which I do have btw, it's still a net positive in getting a new one we control as far as I can see going forward.
I'm willing to discuss my thoughts on these topics in extensive detail, but not here, for reasons I think are obvious. If anyone is interested, feel free to email me at my username @hotmail.com for more info. - Archduk3 05:00, September 16, 2015 (UTC)

Licensing Text Tweaks

Hi all. Today, we're starting on making some of the changes that we talked about during the Memory Alpha Day meeting. These are smaller ones at this point, and we're still looking at the text of the Memory Alpha Copyrights page so an update on that is still to come, but for now we have two updates based on our conversations:

  1. The Commercial Use Waiver is now clearly identified with a header on Wikia Licensing. It was correctly pointed out that it was difficult for readers to know where the Commercial Use Waiver was without that header.
  2. We recommend adding a link to the CC-BY-NC 2.5 license to MediaWiki:Copyright. The Licensing link will need to stay where it is, but "2.5 license" can become a link to CC-BY-NC 2.5 on the Creative Commons website. That way the licensing text is available to all readers.

Similarly to the second point there, we will also be adding in a note on the Licensing policy at the bottom of the CC-BY-NC section saying that some communities use earlier versions of the CC-BY-NC license (the Licensing page currently links to 3.0 only) and that the exact license a relevant community uses will be reflected at the bottom of every page on said community. That will cover Memory Alpha.

More to come. Let me know if you have any questions. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 17:04, September 22, 2015 (UTC)

I've updated the 2.5 links in the footer. They point to our internal copy (which links to the CC website on its own).
Note that with the new 4.0 license out, there is a pending discussion on "upgrading" to that one. If we do move to that, we'll let you guys know, and update our internal stuff (since we've actually documented what falls under which license along the way...). -- sulfur (talk) 17:39, September 22, 2015 (UTC)

We have added text to the CC-BY-NC section of the Licensing policy that states the following: "Please note that some wikias use an earlier version of the CC-BY-NC license. This is reflected at the bottom of all pages on relevant wikias." If Memory Alpha upgrades to 4.0, we can again amend the text to state that some communities also use a newer version of the license. Now that have finalized our tweaks to the Licensing policy, I will be working with our international team to ensure that the Licensing policy and the Commercial Use Waiver are translated and available in all languages, which was another concern brought up in the meeting earlier this month. Let me know if you have any questions about this change. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 23:07, September 30, 2015 (UTC)

Updated discussion on CC-by-NC 4.0. Forum:Memory Alpha licence update discussion -- sulfur (talk) 16:24, October 2, 2015 (UTC)
Community content is available under CC-BY-NC unless otherwise noted.