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Re: [tlug] You are Not a Gadget, by Jaron Lanier

On Fri, 02 Apr 2010 10:00:40 +0900 
Charles Muller <> wrote:

> This is exactly the point. Nothing can legally be done about the 
> problem of Jimmy Wales' drones copying material from one's own web 
> resources into Wikipedia. In theory, of course, yes, they have a 
> copyright department that will investigate your claims. But by the 
> time anything has been done about it, the material has proliferated 
> all over the web into Wikipedia copycat sites, so it is too late.

First of all, what's the issue when the same text is in your dictionary
and in Wikipedia? Wikipedia is a non-citable information source with
text that could come from anywhere. Your page is well-researched and
backed by academic peer review.

The difference is trust. I can trust your page, I can't trust Wikipedia.
This is what is worth money, not the words itself.

You can get rid of the headache by just dumping all of your text into
Wikipedia: You no longer need to worry about people copying it, because
it's there anyway. Will this make your page superfluous? No. You still
have the citable source where the text doesn't degrade over time by
edits from idiots. Readers who care will come to your site.
You can even use your text dumps to draw visitors to your site, by
adding a text box with "This article contains donated text from the
Digital Dictionary of Buddhism" and a link.

Competent editors who currently waste their time on Wikipedia might even
join the effort on your site if you provide a more productive

While we're at it, How much money does your site make on subscriptions?
It says U.S. $110 for 2-year access, but I can't tell how many people
are willing to pay that.

If you adopt the Wikipedia business model (offer it all free and do
regular donation rounds) you'll probably earn more than with your
subscriptions. Or, since you're an academic project, why not get some
decent academic funding instead?

As a bonus, your position in google search results will improve
dramaticly without the password protection.

In a digital age, where the written word can be copied at zero cost, I
think your problem is not wikipedia, but your attitude and your business
model. (Business model in a loose sense, even if profit is not your aim
somebody has to pay for server and traffic.)



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