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Monday, 30th August 2010

Wikipedia and Wikileaks: Jimmy Wales on Some People Not Understanding the Difference

Confusion between one source and another is rather sad but not that infrequent. Also, in the web age the people say the source of an article they've read is Google News or Yahoo News not understanding that they aggregate but (in a majority of cases) don't supply that much original content. Yes, both news engines clearly list the source but apparently some users do not pay attention. Go back ten years and it was the same thing with web browsers and search engines. In other words, "What Search Engine Did You Use?" The answer would be something like, "Netscape."

From an article in The Independent:

...a "wiki" [Hawaiian for "fast"] is defined, at least in computing terms, as a website that allows the easy creation and editing of web pages, and the term has entered the vernacular as a result of two web behemoths Wikipedia and Wikileaks.

Now the two men most responsible for boosting your Hawaiian vocabulary, Wikipedia's co-founder, Jimmy Wales, and the Wikileaks editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, seem to be having a gentle falling out.

In an interview with The Independent, Mr Wales said he was getting a bit fed up of being blamed or praised for the other "Wiki" website. "I get a lot of emails from people who think I run Wikileaks," he said. "There are people who say: 'you are responsible for putting the lives of thousands of US troops at risk', others seem to think I am some sort of freedom fighter, holding governments to account.

"I just roll my eyes, chuckle to myself and tell them they've got the wrong man. Practically speaking, there isn't anything I can do about the confusion between the two companies, I wish they had chosen a different name but I can't go about trying to copyright the word 'wiki'," he said.


"There is always a chance that someone, somewhere will start something up which sounds similar. I suppose the only thing you can do is talk to the lawyers," he [Wales] said.

But he denied that he was considering his own action against Wikileaks.

"I doubt if we will come to blows with Wikileaks in court over their use of the word 'wiki', that's just not our style," he said. "But the issue of having to protect our name is something I can anticipate coming up again in the future."

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Source: The Independent

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