This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments should be made in new Senate Hall or Consensus Track pages rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. jSarek 09:32, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
For example, our Black Sun entry says, "Black Sun was the most powerful and infamous crime syndicate in the Galaxy. It held a massive amount of reach and influence, extending its tendrils of corruption deep in the various galactic governments of each era. It was infamous for its involvement in illegal activities, including piracy and smuggling."
Their Black Sun entry says, "Black Sun is the most powerful and infamous crime syndicate in the Galaxy. It holds a massive amount of reach and influence, extending its tendrils of corruption deep in the various galactic governments of each era. It is infamous for its involvement in illegal activities, including piracy and smuggling."
They just changed it from past tense to present tense. All of the other entries up there appear to copy from us, although some rephrase things to a degree. -LtNOWIS 08:45, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Given the touchy legal status of our own enterprise, I think we should give Lucasfilm and their official licensees as much of a blind eye as they've given us. jSarek 08:56, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree. I don't think we should go after Lucas companies....but it is interesting, to say the least. Why copy us? QuentinGeorge 08:58, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Maybe it's LFL's way of giving us a wookiee-cookie. --School of Thrawn 101 08:59, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Maybe they're using us because their own resources are sorely lacking. (You know the bit in Clone Wars where Obi-Wan does this little eyebrow-raise when he realises that Durge is still alive and kicking? That's what I just did. Yeah.) At any rate, I think this is pretty nice, if we're aiding the dusting off of old an really, really obscure canon elements. Thefourdotelipsis 09:07, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I like to refer to that particular eyebrow raise as the Doubleyou Tee Eff. But that's just me. --School of Thrawn 101 09:11, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't see the problem. In fact I see it as the ultimate recognition and as an indicator that what we are doing here is actually useful. KEJ 09:28, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Credit, however would be nice, since it's due. Thefourdotelipsis 09:41, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I see the conversation going something like this: "Wookieepedia has sent us something, asking that we give them proper credit per the GFDL for using their text." "What? But that's our material, even if its their text! Okay, send them a Cease and Desist order from using all Star Wars trademarks and copyrighted materials, and get Lawyer Team A on the line. Even if they've got Fair Use grounds for some of their material, I doubt the Wikia Corporation will have the wherewithal to face a concentrated legal assault. This little Wiki experiment has gone far enough." jSarek 10:25, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
After all, one can hide behind Fair Use only so long. --School of Thrawn 101 10:28, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
An official LFL division finds our effort here useful - that should be recognition enough; we have already received lots of credit and mention by several LFL affiliates. Besides, as jSarek and 101 point out, our material is essentially LFL's material. KEJ 11:12, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Questionable or not, LFL trademarks or not, the actual text content is copyrighted by us and GFDL'd period. I'll look into it. - Sikon 17:24, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Despite Lucas' scripting of the Emperor's death, he's the emperor of his own universe, I suspect that his greedy hands would blast us into oblivion with the blink of an eye if we suggested anything in their direction. Moreoever, so what? What would we be trying to accomplish if we suggested LFL was breaking GFDL policies? --MIS Tau 1 18:13, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Just because LFL holds the copyrights and trademarks for Star Wars doesn't mean they can reuse someone else's work without giving them attribution. And if they did try to "blast us into oblivion", it would create an outrage in the fan community, which is usually touchy about such issues. Sikon 18:04, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Just because LFL holds the copyrights and trademarks for Star Wars doesn't mean they can reuse someone else's work without giving them attribution.
Actually, they can, since our work is a non-profit, non-official rewording of their official material to begin with. If they felt the need to copy that for another of their official materials, there's nothing we can or should do about it, since it originated with them to begin with. It's not nice, but that's life. :/ VT-16 10:57, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Received: by 10.90.96.19 with HTTP; Wed, 8 Aug 2007 10:58:51 -0700 (PDT)
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 00:58:51 +0700
From: Sikon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Possible Wookieepedia content on lucasarts.com
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
Dear Lucasfilm Ltd.,
I am one of the administrators of the Star Wars fansite Wookieepedia (
http://starwars.wikia.com). It has come to our attention that
lucasarts.commay have been using material from this website without
giving it proper
For example, on the Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron page,
description for "Black Sun" reads:
"*Black Sun is the most powerful and infamous crime syndicate in the Galaxy.
It holds a massive amount of reach and influence, extending its tendrils of
corruption deep in the various galactic governments of each era. It is
infamous for its involvement in illegal activities, including piracy and
The corresponding text from Wookieepedia's article (
"*Black Sun was the most powerful and infamous crime syndicate in the
It held a massive amount of reach and influence, extending its tendrils of
corruption deep in the various galactic governments of each era. It was
infamous for its involvement in illegal activities, including
*This introduction has existed, in its current form, since March 21, 2007.
The edit history can be viewed here:
On behalf of the Wookieepedia fan community, I sincerely request the
webmasters of lucasarts.com to:
- either remove or reword the material
- or add an appropriate copyright notice, as prescribed by the GNU Free
Documentation License under which Wookieepedia's original text content is
awailable. The text of the license is available at
We hope you realize that, while we Star Wars fans are generally pleased to
see their activities rewarded, they would like to receive their due
I understand the principle behind all this, and it makes sense if we owned a business. The problem I see is that we're all members of a free forum, supplying information about a subject that we did not create. Moreover why did we all join wiki to begin with, and what will we really accomplish by getting credit from lucasfilm? I know I personally joined wiki because I enjoy reading about SW and I believe it's one of the best sources (even though it's 100% reliable). I add what I can to the site for the enjoyment of other people, but because it's free, and public domain for all intensive purposes, what can I really get in return? --MIS Tau 1 18:13, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I wish you hadn't just sent that without getting community concensus on it, Sikon. Considering most of the other comments here lean towards "Who cares, it's a compliment to us that they are using it to begin with." I think most people would have preferred that email not been sent. Ah well, if they give us the attribution, or change the text on their site, great. Otherwise, it's been nice contributing with you all while it lasted. - JMAS 18:30, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
All I'm going to say is that I feel that that message is going to be very redundant if somebody completely changes the text in the Black Sun page...Unit 8311 18:35, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
A: Is it possible that whoever wrote the Wiki article -copied- from the LucasArt site? Wouldn't we feel dickish...
B: Sikon, you should have discussed it with other administrators and users of this site before sending that e-mail, which could potentially open up a whole can of worms that will only end badly.
C: We should be grateful to contribute in the Star Wars sandbox, not throwing Fair Use and GFDL at the creators of the universe we're playing in. --Danik Kreldin 18:57, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Goddammit, Sikon. Havac 19:30, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Per Havac. Can we please try to keep the foot shooting to a minimum? -- Darth Culator(Talk) 19:41, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I also agree. I really hope this does not end badly for us here. Greyman(Paratus) 23:42, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, if they wanted to, they could certainly point out that the vast majority of our images here violate fair-use of copyright. I certainly wish that letter hadn't been sent, as it really ain't gonna help. QuentinGeorge 00:00, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Since it would be unbecoming of me to violate WP:NPA... In the words of the wise Master Kenobi: "Good job." -- Ozzel 00:36, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Sikon, you have done a lot of great work here and I respect you as a member of this community, but this was not a wise move IMO. Adamwankenobi 07:37, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Goddammit, Sikon, why can't you ask or something when doing things that affect all of us? Now let me point out that in principle, I actually support your stance (guess I'm a little of a don Quixote), but I just can't agree with these unilateral actions, admin or no. Commander Daal 10:09, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Upon learning that A) Sikon sent off his notice (see above) and that B) No discussion of the matter had occurred with Wikia staffers (who have some stake in this, IMHO), I logged into #wikia and discussed the issue with staffers (rieke) there. Based on their recommendations, I sent off the following e-mail to Angela, with the relevant IRC discussion included. Atarumaster88(Talk page) 19:38, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I am an administrator at Wookieepedia (http://starwars.wikia.com) (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/User:Atarumaster88) and I was advised to contact you after a discussion in #wikia with rieke and some other users.
Recently, a segment of LucasArts.com began displaying slightly modified Wookieepedia content (past tense had been changed to present tense) without attribution of the original source or a GFDL mention. That content, assuming it has not been modified, can be found here: http://www.lucasarts.com/games/swbattlefrontrenegadesquadron/
Concurrent discussion on Wookieepedia can be found here: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Forum:LucasArts_website_copying_our_articles
The community as a whole is unsure of the legal aspects of this issue. While LucasArts is in violation of procedure, it is relevant to note that their parent company, Lucasfilm Limiting, owns all of Star Wars, including the quotes, images, and licensed trademarks ("Wookiee", "the Force", etc.) used by Wookieepedia, which claims "fair use" of these trade-marked items.
Some on Wookieepedia fear that Lucasfilm may respond with a "Cease and Desist" notice to Wookieepedia, demanding that all licensed content be removed from the site. Regardless, no one wants to generate a legal battle over the issue, which would negatively impact Wikia as well. Another issue is that Wookieepedia no doubt has unsourced images and quotes, which potentially constitute a copyright violation, despite the efforts of our users to source or remove such content. As of this e-mail, no content has been specifically identified on Wookieepedia:Copyright violations as violating Lucasfilm's copyrights of licensed Star Wars material.
However, one of our bureaucrats, Sikon (also known as "LucidFox") has already sent a notice to LucasArts without waiting for community approval or opinion that requests that they remove/reword the content or provide the proper attribution to Wookieepedia. So far, the majority of the community seems to oppose this action or at least display ambivalence.
The purpose of this e-mail is two-fold: To apprise you and other Wikia staff of the situation and also to request any advice or recommendations you may have on the issue.
Wookieepedia has not received any reply from Lucasfilm on this issue yet.
Relevant discussion in #wikia is posted below:
<Ataru> Hello All
<Pinky> Hi Ataru
<DGNeree> think this a bit out of my league yet
<Ataru> Got a question for some of the possibly more legal-minded Wikia staffers
<SilentPenguin> there are no stafferes here
<SilentPenguin> sorry, rieke is
*** Markie_away [i=Markie@host86-136-172-14.range86-136.btcentralplus.com] has joined #wikia
<Ataru> Wookieepedia has recently discovered LucasArts is using content from the site without a GFDL notice or other attribution
<Ataru> However, we found ourselves in something of a situation considering that they hold copyrights on virtually all Star Wars names, concepts, quotes, images, etc.
<SilentPenguin> Ataru, as long as they credit somewhere the starwars wiki, it is perfectly legal
<Ataru> Right, but they don't.
<SilentPenguin> if they dont credit your idea, then you can demand that they either:
<SilentPenguin> 1.credit your work
<SilentPenguin> 2. remove the content
<Ataru> True, but it is within their rights to send Wookieepedia a Cease and Desist notice, is it not?
<SilentPenguin> you have to give them those two options
<SilentPenguin> if they fail, then you notify their service provider
<Ataru> But don't they own all the licensed trademarks and names, in addition to images and quotes?
<SilentPenguin> and they remove the content
<rieke_> hm, seems to be a more complaicated case, i assume there are several pages on wookieepedia that also use original lucasarts content without proper attribution, right?
<SilentPenguin> its more complicated, because the startwars wiki should credit the original copyright owner of any content included, such as names, plotlines ect
<Ataru> Rieke: Not as far as we know of
* Ataru will check copyright violations page
<rieke_> Ataru, what about images?
<Ataru> All images are owned by LFL
<SilentPenguin> the best hope i think you have is either:
<rieke_> lfl is what?
<Ataru> Well, all official images
<Ataru> Lucasfilm Licensing, the parent company of LucasArts
<SilentPenguin> email them and offer to resolve all copyrights
<Ataru> How does one "resolve all copyrights?"
<SilentPenguin> or dont say anything about ut
<Ataru> Too late for option #2
<SilentPenguin> you come to some sort of aggrement over the rights
<Ataru> One of our bureaucrats went ahead and contacted them w/out community approval or input
* lbyford goes off to watch TV
*** lbyford is now known as lbyford|away
<Ataru> That bureaucrat has a habit of doing that
<SilentPenguin> so, you need to email them and say something like:
<SilentPenguin> "hello it has recently come to my attention that:
<GreenReaper> I think it is not too much to ask that they credit you, as long as you also credit them on the images.
<SilentPenguin> your site is in possession of content released under <your licence>
<rieke_> well, the first image i clicked on from an article that is linked on that forum page, is actually without any source, therefore if could be called a copyvio (probably LFL content i assume)
<Ataru> That might be unofficial . . . lemme check
<GreenReaper> Yeah, it is important to follow the rules yourself.
<Ataru> Our http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Wookieepedia:Copyright_problems page has no active vios of LFL property
<Ataru> That doesn't mean they don't exist
<Ataru> Just means we haven't found any
<SilentPenguin> you may find that you can come to an aggrement where you can just credit each other in the about page of your websites
<rieke_> that would be probably best
<Ataru> rieke: That image has a soruce
<rieke_> were was it copied from? i don't see such information
<Ataru> It's just not described properly
<Ataru> Map of the Galaxy released by Star Wars Insider
<Ataru> That's in the description field instead of the sources field
<Ataru> I'll fix it
<Ataru> Unsourced images (a lot of them anyway) are deleted every Friday en masse, anyway
<rieke_> it might be worth having a closer look (especially) at images before coming up with such a complaint to LucasArts, as Wookieepedia obviously use a lot of "their" content
<Ataru> Right . .
<Ataru> Like I said, one of the Bureaucrats sent in a notice to them already
<Ataru> We just hope it won't have negative repercussions for Wookieepedia or Wikia
<Ataru> Most of the community was of a mind to ignore it, judging by the current posts
<Ataru> For precisely the reasons that you listed- i.e. we use a lot of their content
<rieke_> Ataru, yeah. perhaps could you send a mail to Angela about this? she'll have a look at the issue and hand it over to one of our law experts if needed
<rieke_> you can use wikimail
<Ataru> Okay, will do
<Ataru> Thanks your help rieke, SilentPenguin, others
<SilentPenguin> your welcome
<Ataru> I'm going to post this conversation as evidence, if no one minds (in my mail to Angela)
<SilentPenguin> i hope you come to some sort of aggrement with lucas
<rieke_> Ataru, sure, np
*Some concurrent discussion removed*
*"Ataru" is my IRC nick*
Thank you very much for your time and concern.
This e-mail is posted after I asked several users in IRC if they would like this message posted and they said yes. Atarumaster88(Talk page) 19:38, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Per the request of several other admins and users in IRC, I have drafted a counter-letter to send to the appropriate parties at LFL and LucasArts. Let me stres that this was approved by several other members of the administration and community. Atarumaster88(Talk page) 04:16, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
UPDATE: The email has been sent. No further signatures on this copy are required. Thanks to those who signed, and to those who would have but didn't get the opportunity.jSarek 05:43, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
TO: e-mail address
DATE: 9 August 2007
SUBJECT: ATTN: "Possible Wookieepedia content on lucasarts.com", sent Thu, 9 Aug 2007 00:58:51 +0700
To Whom It May Concern:
I am Atarumaster88, also an administrator at Wookieepedia. Yesterday, another one of our administrators, REDACTED, also known as Sikon, sent an e-mail to Lucasfilm apprising them of a possible copyright violation on the LucasArts.com website. The relevant hyperlink is http://www.lucasarts.com/games/swbattlefrontrenegadesquadron/
On behalf of the Wookieepedia community, I offer a formal retraction of the letter to LucasArts and/or Lucasfilm, Ltd. Contrary to what he stated, REDACTED was not acting on behalf of the community, nor was his e-mail sanctioned by anyone other than himself; indeed, it was sent in contradiction to requests made by other Wookieepedia administrators. Wookieepedia has no desire to engage Lucasfilm, Ltd. or LucasArts in a dispute over the matter. A significant portion of the community is neutral or agreeable to the use of the content in the LucasArts.com website.
One of the founding principles of Wookieepedia is and has been the free use of its content without the need to obtain permission or licensing from the creators. We stand by that principle and see no need to engage Lucasfilm, Ltd. in a needless dispute over such a small matter, especially when Lucasfilm, Ltd. has been very supportive of fansites such as Wookieepedia which contain trademarked Lucasfilm property as part of their website.
Again, let me stress that REDACTED’s actions were not made with the backing of the Wookieepedia community, and we request that his e-mail be ignored and deleted. Currently, punitive measures are being discussed for him on Wookieepedia. Our community has no desire to create conflict with a group of people that have not only been supportive of our online endeavors, but were also so cooperative with us at the recent Celebration IV convention in Los Angeles, California. Rather, we seek to have only amiable ties with Lucasfilm, with our goal of providing an online repository of Star Wars information that works in conjunction with the StarWars.com Databank and other official sources, not competitively.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
In care of:
(Admins sign here please, real name optional)
1. ("jSarek"), Administrator of Wookieepedia
2. ("Thefourdotelipsis"), User of Wookieepedia
3. ("Greyman"), Administrator of Wookieepedia
4. ("Lord Hydronium"), Administrator of Wookieepedia
5. ("Riffsyphon1024"), Co-Founder and Administrator of Wookieepedia
6. ("LtNOWIS"), Administrator of Wookieepedia
7. ("JMAS"), User of Wookieepedia
8. ("Graestan"), User of Wookieepedia
9. ("School of Thrawn 101"), User of Wookieepedia
10.("Ozzel"), Administrator of Wookieepedia
11.("RelentlessRecusant"), User of Wookieepedia
12.("Erik Pflueger"), User of Wookieepedia
13.("StarNeptune"), Administrator of Wookieepedia
14.(''Redemption''), User of Wookieepedia
15.(''Purpilia''), User of Wookieepedia
Raises hand* Can't we just get this whole thing over with by officially allowing LucasArts to use any of our material without specific consent? Is there any reason why they shouldn't be able to? Besides, if LucasFilm or any of its subsidiaries were to use our material in any official manner, wouldn't it go a long way to validating our own work? I mean heck, Wookieepedia is the result of hundreds of peoples' work and it would be impossible to get universal consent from everyone on every issue. Why not just go for broke and say "To heck with it, LFL/etc. can use whatever they like from here and if you're not okay with that, consider not editing." User:Tony Knightcrawer 08:25, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, it's currently under GFDL. Which means they don't need our consent, but they have to give us attribution. -LtNOWIS 08:38, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Wouldn't that look really cheesy on an official LucasArts page? I mean it'd clutter up their page and take away from that "official look." Can't we have a special exception for LFL and its subsidiaries? User:Tony Knightcrawer 09:55, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
We have to have it at the bottom of each of our pages, so no, we can't. Jasca DucatoSith Council 09:01, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Moreover, I think in order to get that kind of official exemption, we'd have to actually get every single person who's ever edited Wookieepedia to agree to it. jSarek 10:10, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Are you sure? I think that all it would require would be Wikia's official word on that issue. Either way, this particular line of thinking is relatively irrelevant, since operating under the assumption that we have ownership of the information contained within Wookieepedia is a flawed path. --School of Thrawn 101 10:42, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Besides, the idea of LFL/LA needing our persmission to use stuff from Wookieepedia, whose content they essentially own, is absurd. All it takes is a C&D-letter from them and we're out of business. This has not happened. They've been generous enough to let us use their material, including copyrighted images, and LFL-affiliated people have even supported and praised our effort openly. This entire thing should never have taken place. KEJ 11:28, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
As stated earlier, they don't NEED to have our permission, they just have to give us credit (as laid out in the GFDL on our copyrights page). The names, characters, situations, etc are all copyrighted by LFL, but since our articles are written by us in our own words, we technically do have a copyright on the text. I think someone should ask Wikia about this, because this issue is quite thorny. StarNeptuneTalk to me! 12:19, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Answering the original question: no, we can't have such a special exception. All wikis that originated on Wikia have to be under GFDL. And even if Wikia agreed to change the license to "GFDL with special exception", we cannot relicense older material released under the GFDL. - Sikon 16:07, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Wow ok that was the biggest arguement i think i've ever read. Ok so apperently there is some "Rule" or "Law" that says they have to give us credit, but not consent. Well duh, but that's ok if they don't. Credit would be nice, but it's their material. This whole thing was deff. not worth risking a C&D letter....that first E-mail should have never been sent. I'm glad it was retracted. We better drop this and continue on with our happy Wookieepedia lives before they come knocking on our door with a C&D order... Zinthematrix 18:13, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
LOL. I think some of the people on this site take themselves and what they do here a little too seriosuly. In reality more than likely whoever received that e-mail from Sikon just laughed out loud and clicked "DELETED." Had he mentioned something about actually hiring a lawyer and writing up a formal complaint then they "might" have batted an eye. Livingston 06:30, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
It's not their material. It was written by us from scratch, so it's our material. - Sikon 08:11, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
And Technically we wrote it from "scratch" using material created by people working for one of the many outlets of Lucasfilm Lucas Arts included so with out there input we wouldn't have a topic to write about and therefore be thankfull that they look to our fan made site for information as it is just that Fan Made and therefore no recognition should be needed although it would be nice they don't have to do it Dark Lord Xander(Embrace The Dark Side!) 08:21, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
We wrote it from scratch using character names created by LFL. But those are trademarks, and not even all of them; you can't copyright a word, only a work of substantial length. Images and quotes, on the other hand, are copyrighted by LFL, and those are being used under the fair use policy, and we'll have to remove them if LFL complains. As for it being "Wikia's material": no, it's not. Wikia doesn't hold copyright to anything we write; whoever makes a particular contribution holds copyright to it. (So, for example, I hold copyright to this paragraph, but Dark Lord Xander holds copyright to the preceding paragraph.) However, by submitting material copyrighted by us, we agree to release it under the GNU Free Documentation License, which allows others to reuse and modify it as long as attribution is provided. Wikia hosts the site, but it holds no more copyright than any hosting provider does to material you put on your hosted website. - Sikon 13:44, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
I think it's pretty cool that they used us to research their information. Lucas Arts could have used any other Star Wars fansite but chose us instead. We should cut them some slack, I mean without Lucas Arts, half of the articles wouldn't exist.—Unsigned comment bySgt. Smokey (talk • contribs).
Is there any chance the text was copied from LFL text in the first place? Had anyone edit sifted to find the original contributor of the text? (Oh, hi again). --SparqManTalk 05:40, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
To be entirely fair, the edits made to the article did precede the creation of the LFL website, in this instance. That doesn't mean that those edits weren't taken from some other LFL-licensed source. I don't remember checking for that. --School of Thrawn 101 05:43, 24 August 2007 (UTC)