nice link, stolen material October 22, 2004 9:55 PM   Subscribe

This comment directs us to brainyencyclopedia.com which presents a thourough, detailed biography of Stanislaw Lem. Of course, it's a copied Wikipedia article.
posted by stuart_s to Etiquette/Policy at 9:55 PM (13 comments total)

I know that Wikipedia allows this in their terms. And I'm sure that there are a lot of projects that could put Wikipedia material to good use. However, in the case of this site, I would have preferred a link to the Wikipedia article. Wikipedia is a terrific project and it deserves the attention of every link it can get. This site isn't adding anything of value - only popups and garish design.

I've noticed this before here once and elsewhere a number of times. It's obviously not a serious issue, but it would be nice if we try to keep it in mind.
posted by stuart_s at 10:00 PM on October 22, 2004


I find that wordiq, freedictionary.com and other sites which republish Wikipedia content tend to show up on Google much more often, though that's lately changing. The better ones let you click through to the real article, instead of the Wikipedia home page. So, sometimes it's an extra step to find the original (I stick "wikipedia" in as a search term, which works fine).

I don't know that I have a problem with it, per se, but I prefer to go directly to the original. If MeFi did this more consistently, it might work some PageRank mojo and bubble the site to the top of search results more often.
posted by dhartung at 10:20 PM on October 22, 2004


Are you sure that the article is copied from wikipedia, and not the other way around?
posted by interrobang at 11:29 PM on October 22, 2004


At the bottom of the brainyencyclopedia article it says:

The Wikipedia content included on this page is licensed under the GFDL
posted by Ljubljana at 11:43 PM on October 22, 2004


Which is most likely to be the more current version? All the wannabes are second-hand news. ;-P
posted by mischief at 6:07 AM on October 23, 2004


I think people like to just copy the wikipedia, game google a bit, and try and coast on the ad revenue.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:42 AM on October 23, 2004


If a page loads faster and is actually a better presentation of the content than wikipedia, then there's nothing wrong with using it, but if it's just an inferior version then yeah, use the original.

But there should be no pressure to point to the original if there is a better alternative, that would be like telling someone they should use GNU Emacs instead of XEmacs because it's the original.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:39 AM on October 23, 2004


Sometimes brainy Encyclopedia has copied a wiki article, but also added information. I only use it when there is additional content.
posted by jb at 1:12 PM on October 23, 2004


that would be like telling someone they should use GNU Emacs instead of XEmacs because it's the original

and you think this doesn't happen? ;o)
posted by andrew cooke at 4:27 PM on October 23, 2004


I wish wikipedia had an affiliate program.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:06 AM on October 24, 2004


But there should be no pressure to point to the original if there is a better alternative, that would be like telling someone they should use GNU Emacs instead of XEmacs because it's the original.

The difference is that nobody's trying to sell copies of XEmacs. Just because Wikipedia's terms of use allow some parasite to come along and make money off the project without contributing anything doesn't mean we have to support such behavior.
posted by jjg at 10:37 AM on October 24, 2004


Of course not, but if someone comes along and puts the content on a better server, or presents the information in a more helpful fashion, then happily linking I will go.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:29 PM on October 24, 2004


Sometimes brainy Encyclopedia has copied a wiki article, but also added information.

I'm not about to check, but I suspect the information was in an older version of the wikipedia article, then edited out for inaccuracy, bias, etc.

Also: Search wikipedia from the Firefox toolbar.
posted by Tlogmer at 10:32 AM on October 25, 2004


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