Just a (not so very) quick update on how things are going with the next edition of the CUSWE. I'm about half-way through Outbound Flight
, and need to complete The Swarm War
, and then I'll pump out Version 8.0 of the encyclopedia. There are only a handful of new sources this time. However, thanks to the Prima Games Guide to "Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed" and the Mando'a
glossary on the Hyperspace section of the official site, the encyclopedia now has well over 53,000 entries! A pretty good milestone, wouldn't you agree?
I also wanted to update you on the downloads situation. I've been lax in getting the downloads published over the last few editions, primarily because I just don't have the time to produce them all anymore. My "real life", especially my "real job", have been taking up larger and larger portions of my waking hours, to the point that I don't get much time to spend on putting in new entries, let alone producing all the download files.
On top of this, I've been working with the folks over at the Wookieepedia on trying to reduce (I wish I could say eliminate) the plagiarism of entries from the encyclopedia into the Wookieepedia, without prior consent or any form of credit as to the original source. Remember in high school when one dork in the class would cause trouble, and the teacher would punish the entire class? That's the situation I'm in now... the teacher having to dish out punishment because of the antics of a few people.
I found out about it completely by accident, while doing some retcon on an entry by cross-checking my information at the Wookieepedia. (I do this a lot, and have thanked the Wookieepedia in my Acknowledgements page.) When I found that the entry text I was trying to rework was exactly the same
over on the Wookieepedia, I got a bit P.O.'ed. I then tried clicking on the "Random Entry" button on the Wookieepedia navbar, and within about 15 minutes I had found 10 more entries that were direct cut-and-paste jobs. The unfortunate part is that this represented about 40% of the entries I looked at. Not a nice thing to discover, nor is it a good reflection on the folks who do good work on the Wookieepedia...
Between myself and the staff at the Wookieepedia, we have been developing and maintaining a good working relationship. We've defined the parameters of plagiarism as best we can fit it to this information (which isn't ours to begin with... see below), as well as a good solution to the problem, so that entries can be used without getting permission each time. However, wikis are still self-policing honor systems, and people don't necessarily have to abide by the rules. This is especially true with wikis as big as the Wookieepedia, where it's hard to police all the new entries. There continues to be plagiarism over there, even though it has been requested that people cease and desist. The nice part is that the Wookieepedia staff is trying to police it as much (if not more) than I am, in an effort to put a stop to it.
Also note that this isn't a rant about my own site. There are several "Wookieepedians" who think it's OK to cut-and-paste from the official Star Wars Databank and Hyperspace websites, among others.
Thus, I've decided that, for the near future, I'm not going to have the full gamut of downloads available on the website. I'll focus on making the Access database and the PDFs available, but I'm going to curtail the availability of Word, text, and HTML versions, in an effort to curb the enthusiasm of the bad eggs out there. If you want one of these version, please don't hesitate to ask.
I just think that making it all generally available is encouraging the bad eggs to continue their poor practices.
I realize that this is not an earth-shattering situation, but it does highlight the need for some netiquette among us Star Wars
fans. A quick read-through of the encyclopedia site makes it perfectly clear that I don't mind sharing what I've written for the encyclopedia, as long as you ask permission first before taking anything
. There are plenty of fan sites out there that have asked for, and received, permission to copy stuff out of the encyclopedia. I've said all along that the stuff in the encyclopedia is ultimately copyrighted by George Lucas and LucasFilm Limited, and we're only being allowed to play in the universe because we're playing nicely. (This puts a whole new wrench in the Wookieepedia idea, because they claim that all their information is part of the GNU general usage license, after it's been "sufficiently altered from its original form." I'm not going to go there...) However, I've put fifteen-plus years into researching, documenting, and producing The Completely Unofficial Star Wars Encyclopedia, and I can't abide people who simply copy the text verbatim into the Wookieepedia and then claim it as their own. That's just lazy.
Comments? Questions? Concerns? E-mail me
and let me know what you're thinking. I've always maintained that reader input is as valuable as the source material itself. Without the continued support and enthusiasm of my readers, I'm lost.