This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments or questions on this topic should be made in a new Senate Hall page rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. Toprawa and Ralltiir (talk) 05:49, February 19, 2013 (UTC)
I'm going to start by addressing some concerns. As you know, Wookieepedia had a booth at Celebration VI, and Wikia assisted with our production costs. Many of you were concerned that we were making a deal with the devil and that Wikia would use this as leverage later on.
I'll be frank: Wookieepedia has a reputation amongst the Wikia staff. We are a hard-headed force to be reckoned with, and Eric Moro (Director of Programming, Entertainment), who assisted in getting us support from Wikia, was warned about us. I feel the support at Celebration VI was a means of extending the olive branch to us.
During Celebration VI, Master Jonathan and I had a chance to meet with Moro over dinner, and there we were able to voice not only our concerns, but the concerns of the community. It was this meeting where we learned more of the Wookiee's reputation. Wikia is aware of our community consensus on the site feature policy and exercises care when new features are introduced Wikia-wide. He acknowledged the size and strength of Wookieepedia, and that we are liable to pull Wikia's arms out of their sockets if we lose. Staff know it’s unwise to upset Wookieepedia, but also wish it were easier to communicate with us.
Now, some of you may be proud of this reputation. However, as a professional entity, this is not the reputation that we want. We are the ultimate online Star Wars database, not a temperamental five-year-old. But, I am not here to condemn that, but rather to just share the experience we had at Celebration VI and introduce a topic for discussion.
At the Celebration VI meeting, Moro brought up that Wikia is working on partnerships that would give us access to licensed, behind-the-scenes, and never-before-seen videos from Lucasfilm. This intrigued me. Never-before-seen stuff, if Wikia is able to get it, could actually be beneficial from an encyclopedic standpoint by enabling us to better flesh out BTS sections.
Moro is aware of our site policies, so we talked about how this could possibly be implemented. Since we have no use for such things within the articles themselves, I will let you—the community—decide what to do. Wikia has designed a related videos module, which could be enabled, but is wiki specific rather than page specific. They are still building out this feature, as well as partnerships with more video providers. Their current offerings can be found at video.wikia.com.
Now, onto the nuts-and-bolts. If we were to use these videos in some fashion, it was already determined that the best way to do this would be to have a dedicated, moderated account used solely for those videos. Only that account would be able to upload licensed videos. Videos would otherwise still be disabled and only those approved videos would be used. Nothing else.
So, the tl;dr:
Moro, Director of Programming, Entertainment, can get us licensed videos.
Should we decide to use this content, a dedicated account would be used to upload it.
That account would be moderated and only that account would be able to upload such content.
Only approved content would be uploaded and featured.
Up to you guys to determine a use for the content.
Go ahead. Pile on the cries of "we told you so." Then, before your knee-jerk vote... take a moment and give this some thought. Then vote. As for me, I'm abstaining until I see what others have to say. Trak NarRamble on 04:13, November 12, 2012 (UTC)
Let the chorus of "I told you so" begin! But, stay civil, kids. :) Trak NarRamble on 04:13, November 12, 2012 (UTC)
As for my part in this: I am not enthusiastic about the idea, but am willing to float it in front of the community and see what the opinion is. It was presented to us in a reasonable manner, and I think we owe it to Wikia to least consider the matter. I will, however, wait and see where the discussion goes before making a final decision on my own vote on this matter, and I can be easily swayed either way. Finally, Eric Moro and Sarah Manley from Wikia are aware of this discussion (or will be as soon as I email them), and hopefully will be available to answer the inevitable questions that you will most likely have. —MJ—Training Room 04:22, November 12, 2012 (UTC)
First things, the link to video.wikia.com goes nowhere. -- Riffsyphon1024 04:46, November 12, 2012 (UTC)
I can't see why you still don't seem to understand that our "reputation" is the only reason they're not force-feeding us this crap. They earned every bit of resistance we give them, and we can't afford to let our guard down. -- Darth Culator(Talk) 04:47, November 12, 2012 (UTC)
That may be the case, but it is still not how a professional entity should act. We are not children. We can still get our way without resorting to petty wars, like with the Aayla image. That would have devolved (and was in the process of devolving) into back-and-forth arguments, with no headway made. After taking a moment to clear my head and gather my thoughts, I saw that our "aggressive negotiations" were, quite frankly, not working, and only harming our reputation. So, I went behind the curtain and settled the matter peacefully. One-on-one communication with the right people, a calm and civilized discussion, and plenty of prior research to back one's argument works wonders. It settles matters quickly and with as little collateral damage as possible. And ever since learning of our reputation, I have been going out of my way to turn it around for the better and mold us into a proper, professional entity who takes our work very seriously, but are still willing to open the lines of communication and handle problems without becoming petty or emotionally invested. Trak NarRamble on 04:54, November 12, 2012 (UTC)
This... could be incredibly useful. I'm wary, (as I usually am when it comes to Wikia) but this seems like it could really be worth it. IFYLOFD(Floyd's crib) 04:58, November 12, 2012 (UTC)
I've got to agree with Floyd. This way, we can get something out of the video function without having people abuse it. CadeCalrayn 05:00, November 12, 2012 (UTC)
Setting aside the issue of our reputation (for the record, I'm a temperamental 30-something :P) the basic core of the idea has some merit. I'm not a fan of including videos on the pages, and I do wonder about the technical issues of page load times if we add these videos to large pages. However, if said videos are never-seen before and contain unreleased info that would make articles better, then its kind of our duty to help document it. A dedicated video account would help to control the use of the video, and possibly some method of reviewing the video before upload to ensure its content is needed and applicable should be thought about. Also, a regular sweep of the pages the video is being used on should be conducted to ensure its not inserted into articles arbitrarily. Of course, the question now is whether or not LFL's sale to Disney affects the deal at all. - Cavalier One(Squadron channel) 09:17, November 12, 2012 (UTC)
Roughly, I support Cavalier One in his opinion. If we had the possibility to access unpublished information, that would be a great asset. However, I am certainly not keen or excited on adding videos to our articles. Granted, it would be interactive, modern and even "cool" (sigh), but I don't think it is the way of an encyclopedia, even one that is online. --LelalMekha (talk) 10:30, November 12, 2012 (UTC)
FWIW, regarding video not being for an online encyclopedia, I disagree with that, encyclopedia's do not need to be text and image only, and Wikipedia for example is now focusing on making adding videos in articles easier (its newly released HTML5 video player even made it onto various news sites). :)
Cavalier One: Videos would be lazy-loaded IIRC so shouldn't affect page load times. Cheers, grunny@wookieepedia:~$ 10:49, November 12, 2012 (UTC)
Trak, I appreciate your efforts to provide a professional front to our evil overlords hosting partner. While Culator is right that there has been a long history of, shall we say, executive interference in the operation of this wiki, that's no reason we shouldn't be proper ladies and gentlemen when interacting with them. As for the main topic, it definitely looks like something worth exploring further. For those worried these videos would be unencyclopedic in our articles, note we probably don't have to have them *in* our articles, per se; instead, we could create separate pages for these vids, and then link to them in articles like we link to interviews. jSarek (talk) 11:47, November 12, 2012 (UTC)
For the most part, I agree with Cav and jSarek. My reservation on these is that we're supposed to be a secondary source, not a primary one. By that, I mean we're supposed to compile all the officially released information on a topic and present it in one place (the page on that topic), not be a repository for Lucasfilm's/Disney's own videos. That said, we've kind of already broken that distinction with our interviews, which I do see the merit of. So, provided these videos are kept to a separate section, analogous to how we treat interviews, I wouldn't have a a huge problem with them. My question then becomes how long is the license for? Say we host an LFL video that talks about, say, the creation of the Booga Men in Episode VI. We host the video and then cite it in the BTS section of the Booga Men article. The license to do so continues for, say, three years, at which point it isn't renewed. We must take down the Booga Men video. What happens to our article? How do we then cite the info that we no longer have the right to host? In contrast to our interviews, these videos are not our property, so there's always going to be a specter of a chance that we'll lose them to the Internet ether down the road. Hell, look at how much content has been lost on the officialStar Wars site, StarWars.com, in the past year or so. Second, would our license be exclusive? Or would this be content that might, say, appear on a BluRay release of Episode VII down the road? In that case, the chance of losing access to it would be ameliorated, but if this content isn't exclusive, what's the point of us hosting it? Unless it's exclusive to us until we lose the license. There are just a lot of questions about how this would work legally and with the mission of our site. ~Savage 12:10, November 12, 2012 (UTC)
Bob raises some good concerns, but overall I'm pretty pumped about this. This could mean good things for the site. If we have exclusive videos, that would bring a lot of views which could in turn result in perhaps some more users (I understand it won't result in many, but a few is better than none). As long as these legal worries are resolved, I see no problem here. And thank you, Trak, for being our liaison with Wikia in this matter. MasterFred(Whatever) 21:13, November 12, 2012 (UTC)
Hi All, Sorry to chime in here a bit late but I just wanted to address a few of the questions brought up by SavageBob. So far we have not made any content deals with providers of Star Wars content, so we can not offer specific details on how the license will work exactly. The conversations haven’t begun because we wanted to first get feedback as to whether the community would welcome video content, and if so, the type of content you are interested in. Most licensing deals last the length of the contract - and are agreed upon during the contract process. We know video will be a part of the Wikia platform into the future, and we are working hard at improving our video product feature set as well as working to build out more partners. I will do my best to answer any questions or concerns you have, so just let me know. Thanks, --Sarah (help forum | blog) 22:35, November 16, 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply, Sarah. So, I guess my concerns stand: If we host videos that give us exclusive information, that's awesome. But if those videos disappear at the expiry of the license, we're left with the strange problem of having articles that reference and rely on something that isn't around anymore. If there were some way to guarantee the content wouldn't be lost completely in such a case (that it would be put on a Blu-Ray as a special feature or rehosted at StarWars.com, say), I would have no problem with the video idea. I doubt LFL/Disney would be willing to guarantee such a thing, though, unfortunately. ~Savage 23:40, November 16, 2012 (UTC)
Why not just set up a project to transcribe the videos when we get them? Have users, possibly just admins to ensure preciseness, transcribe the videos onto special pages (or one page). Then we would always have the info from the videos, and articles could use the transcriptions for references. MasterFred(Whatever) 00:05, November 17, 2012 (UTC)
Transcription would work for that. And if the videos are short, then the transcription can be done quicker. I've taken dictation before, so I could sit here with a notebook and a pen and write out a transcription and then type it up after several views to make sure I got everything correct. Trak NarRamble on 02:19, November 17, 2012 (UTC)
That might work for text and basic actions, but what about visuals? I'm thinking here about how I use sources for visual information, like skin tones and hair colors for sentient species. Also, I wonder if that would suddenly push us into copyright violation territory. Sure, to play devil's advocate to my own position, perhaps if we had fair warning our license was about to expire and not be renewed, we could do a quick sweep through affected articles and maybe find alternative sourcing. But I'm just thinking worst-case scenario here. ~Savage 16:35, November 17, 2012 (UTC)
I think we'd be able to add the info from the videos well before our license to them would run out. MasterFred(Whatever) 16:42, November 17, 2012 (UTC)
Do you mean add information to our articles, or transcribe everything? Either way, my concerns would still stand. ~Savage 17:51, November 17, 2012 (UTC)
Both. And even if some info was lost, would /some/ info be better than none? MasterFred(Whatever) 17:52, November 17, 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps. We lose verifiability, though. At any rate, I've aired my concerns. I'm eager to hear what others think of the idea over all. :) ~Savage 18:01, November 17, 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, verifiability is a growing problem as more and more online content vanishes into the ether, and not all of it is picked up by sites like the Wayback Machine. So far, we've taken for granted that citations to vanished content made in good faith by known editors were true, because there's not much ELSE we can do in such situations. In essence, this will be no different. At the very least, we can be sure that some people will retain the content for their own personal viewing, and can continue providing verification after the license expires. (Of course, they would never pass those copies around. That would be copyright infringement, and Nuku-Nuku would like to remind everyone that Wookieepedia supports all applicable copyright laws.) jSarek (talk) 07:22, November 18, 2012 (UTC)
New break because I am tired of counting the asterisks... When transcribing the videos, I think it would be a good idea to take a screen shot of each applicable key frame. If anything, you would have a still to serve as a point of reference. Trak NarRamble on 02:58, November 19, 2012 (UTC)