Here's the latest in bizarre news: U.S. publisher Books LLC has begun selling printed compilations of articles from Wikia sites for as much as $30 dollars per "book." Even BioShock Wiki has not evaded this flagrant money-making scheme. Try searching on Amazon.com for "bioshock, source:wikia" and you will find a listing of many bizarre "book" titles made up of strings of random article names.
You can see the reactions and objections of other Wikia community members to this news here.As stated by Wikia's VP of Community Support Jen Burton, Wikia is not affiliated with Books LLC in any way and was not involved in the publishing.
|“|| I want to make absolutely clear that we (Wikia) are not the publishers of these "books". As shown on the Amazon detail pages, we are listed as the source, but the publisher is a firm called "Books, LLC" (see more info about them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Books_LLC).
To be clear: Wikia is not involved in these listings. Books, LLC has made a business out of printing, binding and selling Wikipedia content and has now taken to doing the same with the content here on Wikia.
—Jen Burton, (source)
Now, there is some "good" news and some "bad" news regarding this unwelcome development. I'll start with the bad news.
- Books LLC is profiting off of our hard work.
- There is absolutely nothing we can do about this. Everything we create at the BioShock Wiki falls under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license. This license allows anyone to duplicate, reproduce and/or sell the content that we created. Books LLC has complete legal freedom to profit from what we have made, provided that they include attribution to the authors that made the content. In this case, that would mean that Books LLC has to include the original, full url location of every article they copied on BioShock Wiki.
- Books LLC is going to waste a lot of trees printing these useless books.
Firstly, the BioShock Wiki "books" published by Books LLC are absolute crud. Browsing through the book excerpts on Amazon.com, it's obvious that Books LLC just ran a script on a few high-priority wiki databases and compiled the latest version of every mainspace page into a book without double-checking what text was grabbed.
For example, the book dubiously titled "BioShock - BioShock 2 Characters: "Big Kate" O'Malley, Amir, Andrew Ryan, Atlas, Augustus Sinclair, Ava Tate, Billy Parson, Brigid Tenenbaum, Carlson ... Earl Manley, Edward Grimes, Eleanor Lam..." begins with the following excerpt:
|“||The requested page title was invalid, empty, or an incorrectly linked inter-language or inter-wiki title.It may contain one or more characters that can't be used in titles. Return to BioShock Wiki.||”|
So the good news is that no one who has two braincells to rub together would ever consider these "books" worth spending money on.
From an optimistic point of view, we could consider these books to be very expensive and inane advertisements for BioShock Wiki. Clearly, no one will consider these badly compiled, quickly outdated books to be an adequate substitute for the real source: our wiki. It stands to reason that anyone who stumbles upon these books will want better information, and the source urls printed in each chapter will lead them directly to us.