PS. thanks for indirectly sharing a link to All The Tropes (linked author's fork of TVTropes) too; might have a poke around there.
It's also worse on tvtropes than most wikis because there is a very limited revision history on most pages (might be the weird software they use rather than admin-imposed), and anything that falls of the end of it after long enough is gone forever.
edit: How accurate is the Encyclopedia Dramatica article on TVT? I normally avoid ED, but I gave in this time because it seems to be pretty comprehensive.
edit 2: I found this blog: http://tvtropeshistory.blogspot.com/ Obviously it's hard to verify histories like these, but it seems pretty in-depth.
* The Google Incident  explains first-hand why TV Tropes adopted tighter guidelines against sexual fan fiction, from which several forks were created as reaction.
* The fork All The Tropes explains how they are different, and why they made the fork .
* This recent discussion at MetaFilter have lots of details and reaction from the community .
* These are the most juicy discussions at TV Tropes itself:  
Stick it on a few linode or AWS VPSes and add some backend code to bring in new ones as load goes up, maybe with physical servers for database backend. Switch to nginx if it doesn't use it already (can't remember (edit: yep, using Apache; also seems to only be on a single IP, hosted by ServerBeach)), add memcached, perhaps put the whole thing behind cloudflare, and problem solved.
I'll also note that the forums make up most of the traffic of the site, and that's the one place you can turn off adverts for free. The wiki supports the core product, which is apparently the forums.
Licensing is a pretty big deal for us. Virtually every programmer has some sort of opinion on GPL vs BSD vs public domain vs whatever. Open source projects can live or die because of their license.
Wikis are basically open source projects with natural language instead of code. But I get the impression that few wiki contributors care that much about licenses.
If I had to guess, I'd say that it's because code is more modular and flexible. If you write a useful open source library, the license you put on it can have huge implications for what products end up using it. There's no wiki equivalent to e.g. large quantities of BSD code being used to build a smartphone that sells hundreds of millions of units.
In most professions where the work product is in a natural language, reusing significant portions of others' work is called "plagiarism", and is considered a serious ethical violation. Reusing small portions for the sake of making a point, on the other hand, is covered by fair use rules.
So yeah, licensing concerns might be a mostly irrelevant detail. The big questions about when you can and cannot reuse others' work product are already covered by a rigorously socially-enforced ethical standard, and the law. Both of those are more powerful than mere contracts in their own way.
I kind of hope this situation doesn't arise with TV Tropes, but you never know...
It's plagiarism to copy someone's code without giving attribution. It's not plagiarism to copy someone's code if you give attribution.
It's plagiarism to copy someone's natural language text without giving attribution. It's not plagiarism to copy someone's natural language text if you give attribution.
In either case, copying someone else's code or natural text is potentially copyright infringement, but that's a different matter.
Based on the number of GitHub projects which don't include a LICENSE or COPYING file, I would say you are not alone.
You may also wish to license your own work for others to use. If you have an opinion about when others should be allowed to use your work, licensing can be important for you to achieve that.
You may not need to be aware if you have a legal department who do this for you, for example (or if you are willing to take the risk of legal action later).
So, I wouldn't say you're an idiot, but you're a bit dangerous to work with. Professional programmers should know about licensing.
I merely observe that programmers generally use third party libraries, and that doing so requires at least a basic understanding of the license terms.
Maybe there are a lot of people out there writing code who never touch external code?
Except if you happen to use something under an Affero GPL license, in which case you really should know about it.
But yes, those project are rare.
This has been semi-tested in the past. In a court case regarding sold paintings, the court sided with the painter when the buyer wanted to chop the art into pieces and rearrange them. The court decided that the act of modifying the art created an derivative work which the painter had not given the buyer permission for.
It's fairly uncommon, but those projects licensed with this version have specific function built in that allows any user to get a copy of the source code (and you couldn't remove it without breaching the license); and some known names use it (MediaGoblin, MongoDB, Diaspora, Ghostscript, Launchpad, POV-Ray are some examples).
If you work with Microsoft, though, you may want to hire someone to figure licensing out for you. Figuring out Microsoft licensing seems to be a lot harder than programming.
The motivation behind the original blog was at least partially catharsis -- there really are no good options for copyright enforcement of open content. Sure, if it was a few lousy pages, TV Tropes could stand to lose them, but I'm talking about core pages like "Anime" and several tropes of legend initially written by my colleague.
Sure I could send a DCMA request, but they'd have every reason to fight it, and what then? Hire lawyers? Try to delete content that people thought was legal and amended, but actually turned into infringing content? Get them to delete pages on works of fiction of which I am a fan?
All of the options are awful except one: getting people to leave that illegal and immoral site. True morality isn't about protecting children's delicate eyes from textual metapornography, it's about giving back to the people who give to you -- and not just taking more from them.
I recommend either All The Tropes or the Tropes Mirror Wiki on Wikia.
(1) Users own the copyright to their contributions (authors always do; TVTropes appropriating this is not right)
(2)Users grant wiki a non-exclusive irrevocable license to do use the content in any way Wiki likes, including specifically a right to distribute it under CC.
That's where author of OP felt cheated. He wanted to contribute because he felt the content will be licensed CC-BY-SA but Wiki changed it. But this is fine. Author owns the copyright to his personal contributions so he can always publish it under any license he wants. (like he did in his blog post, where he declared all his contributions to be available under CC-BY-SA). The only wrinkle is for someone to be able to find specifically the author's contributions. If the author built upon someone else's work, the result might still be fine to use under CC-BY-SA because at the time the original work on the wiki was under CC-BY-SA. But any edits after the author's contribution are off limits for CC-BY-SA.
Wiki is legally within its rights to change the licensing of its content.
Their current terms are: if you contribute, we own (the copyright to) all your contributions. That's not only unfair to users, it may even be illegal because in a contract you have to provide some compensation in exchange for the release of copyright.
Edit: Oh, also. Everyone, please don't downvote parent post. While one may well disagree with what it says, that post is certainly relevant to the discussion, so pushing it down the comments page isn't a good idea. Even if what said there is plain wrong.
If the only provision of the ToS that you're accepting is that you are over 13, then the wiki has no rights to even distribute your content under CC-BY-SA. So the conversion to NC isn't even relevant.
And in any case, you own copyright to anything you author, unless you expressly transfer them to someone else in exchange for some sort of compensation. Absent that, the blogger of OP is fully able to release his work under any license he chooses. And he did that on his blog. So what's wrong?
> TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from email@example.com. Donation of text is irrevocable and appreciated.
While not explicit, this implies that the editor should make it sure that the contributed text can be legally merged to the existing CC-BY-NC-SA license (for the obvious reason). This clearly does not include a relicensing grant and you are not permitted to do so.
Actually, I've had a similar cause in another Korean wiki similar to TV Tropes (Rigveda Wiki). In this case the wiki temporarily condemned that its mirroring website does not have a legal right to do the mirroring, and pointed out that the mirroring website has ads attached. A funny thing is that, the wiki itself was licensed as CC-BY-NC-SA and also had ads! While it is debatable if website ads are considered commercial activities or not, the same logic directly applies to the wiki, but the wiki admin replied that it (thinks that it) has a relicensing right when I've asked for that. :(
It's also unclear whether that text existed before the switch to CC-SA-NC. Obviously it was updated, but was just the license changed? This is significant because contributing under CC-SA to someone using it commercially is possible. Contributing under CC-SA-NC to someone using it commercially doesn't make any sense, so they would need to have another license.
I was just responding to this: "...am I expected to cite every contributor? That doesn't seem reasonable."
And saying how it sounds pretty reasonable to me. If you say that a Wikipedia link counts as a cite then that just makes it even more reasonable.
I had interpreted your statement above as "Oh, of course go ahead and include a link to Wikipedia - they deserve credit too - but still redundantly list out every contributor to the Wikipedia page". This is because above, I think with the "...am I expected to cite every contributor? That doesn't seem reasonable." the author had in mind enumeration, not simple reference.
It looks like a link is sufficient, or a list of all authors, optionally omitting those with only trivial edits.
That move is a bit scummy, but then they are in the business and best business is one that delivers profit at least cost.
I think porn examples are banned now.
I'm at work, so I won't follow the inner links. The page itself is OK.