User talk:Mike O'Brien/Archive/2009a

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Proposal for accepting suggestions and feedback

Hey everyone,

I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to post sooner. The suggestions and feedback about our games that you take the time to post on the wiki is an important topic and I’d like to address it with you. We have been thinking a lot about this issue.

We want to be able to interact with the community about your suggestions and enable the community to do things like community localization, but there are legal issues we have to work out first. Right now, your suggestions are posted under the GFDL, which essentially prevents us from harvesting them and considering them for our games. The GFDL’s concept of allowing for the commercial use of content is actually very limited. For example, if content posted on the wiki is modified by the user (which it generally would be by a game developer who uses it), the user must license the modified content back to the community under the GFDL. As you can imagine, that simply doesn’t work for game developers. It boils down to this: we need to clearly own our games and the ideas that go into them.

The way to solve this problem would be to modify the wiki licensing terms to carve out suggestions, ideas and feedback that the community would like to provide about our games from the application of the GFDL, so that ArenaNet has clear ownership of them. We would, in turn, license them back to the community for non-commercial or informational use.

I know time is of the essence since the community is making decisions that impact an April 15 deadline, so I’m including with this post a specific proposal to change the wiki licensing terms for the community to consider. This includes (i) proposed new submission language that any contributor to the wiki would accept when making a post, which would replace the existing submission language, and (ii) proposed new Terms of Use for the wiki, which would replace the present sections of the wiki titled Guild Wars Wiki:General disclaimer and Guild Wars Wiki:Copyrights. If you are interested, you can click here to see the changes that the new Terms of Use would make to the existing general disclaimer and copyrights language.

We would appreciate it if the community could come together to approve or disapprove this proposal (in its present form, with no modifications) by the end of this month (April ’09). We have spent a lot of time working on this proposal in an effort to make it as user friendly as possible. If you approve the proposal, excellent – we’ll implement these changes right away. If you choose not to approve our proposal, that’s fine, but please understand that it means that we won’t be able to review or interact with you about your suggestions or feedback.

At the end of the day, we would like to be able to review and consider your suggestions and we think that you would like us to be able to do so. The proposed changes could be a win-win for everyone. Our goal is to make the Guild Wars franchise as great as it can be and you, our community, are a vital part of that. We hope that you consider our proposal in this spirit.

--Mike O'Brien 08:26, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Hey Mike, I really like the idea of changing the licensing in that way that you have more freedom in using the ideas you get; and as nothing changes with the other areas of the wiki (which stays GFDL), so this only applies to the suggestions and feedback, I personally wouldn't have a problem with it. So if this works for you, it's okay for me.
However this wouldn't solve our current problem we have at the moment. At first, all suggestions that were added up to the date of the licensing change would be still GFDL so they would be of no use for you. And second it is not that much related to our proposal of no longer accepting suggestions in the ArenaNet namespace.
So even with the licensing change we would have to archive/delete the old suggestions, as they are not valuable for you, and we would still need to decide what we do with future suggestions. Because our problem with them is the maintainability of those pages (which is very hard in ArenaNet namespace). However if you wouldn't have a problem with reading suggestions inside the user namespace (which is the way we now would support, unless we have a much better idea for the ArenaNet namespace), then we can still go along with the changes, suggested on Guild Wars Wiki:Suggestion pages restructuring. poke | talk 17:59, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
I echo poke's opinion of the proposal, as I think opening it up so that the ArenaNet team can actually discuss and give feedback on user suggestions would be a win/win as you said.
I also agree with poke in that it has no relevance to suggestions already posted as they would still fall under the old licensing terms. I would like to also point out that in the many months of discussion we have had regarding suggestions on the wiki, it has been said repeatedly that the wiki is a poor format for suggestions and suggestion discussion. I am curious whether or not ArenaNet has looked further into this site as I believe they have worked hard to make it a more ideal place for suggestions and suggestion development. While I don't see this proposal changing our plans to move suggestions from the ArenaNet namespace to the User namespace here on the wiki, what I do see happening with this change is the impact it will have on ArenaNet staff wiki pages, as all those wiki users who want to post suggestions, but for whatever reason do not want to register will then place their suggestions directly on staff pages creating a great deal more 'wiki work' for those staff. This is something that you really need to consider (and discuss with the potentially affected members of your staff), since as it is most of the staff that are currently active on the wiki are hard pressed as it is to keep up with the demands of the community for information. --Wyn's Talk page Wyn 18:16, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
The language is interesting... I can see where it covers Anet and where Anet would want to be covered, for example some competitor swooping in and taking all of the ideas Anet responds positively to before Anet can even implement them. The particular language "includes suggestions, ideas, feedback, bug fixes and/or translations (collectively “Feedback”)" (emphasis mine) seems pretty vague, though in a way that's in Anet's favor. It's probably livable, but I would've preferred to see a specific delineation, even if something as simple as being in the ArenaNet namespace or marked with a suggestion/feedback tag template of some sort.
As Poke and Wyn mentioned, this would not apply to any suggestions made before the language is changed, so we would still need to perform an archiving of current suggestions and have the original authors either resubmit suggestions or add a template tag of some sort indicating their agreement to release their contribution that way.
If this change takes place would we be able to reliably get responses from devs when suggestions are reviewed, perhaps even working with the community to expand on ideas, or would that only be possible on an individual basis due to time constraints? If we're getting official responses to suggestions, we might be able to work out a more tenable ArenaNet namespace where suggestions that have no hope of ever happening can be tidied away, and implemented (in whole or in significant part) suggestions can be archived in some manner. If not, and I understand the devs don't necessarily have the time to devote to such an undertaking, I don't see much benefit to the change at all in terms of suggestions, and would want to go ahead with both the currently proposed restructuring and the language change. - Tanetris 18:37, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
I think that will take some time to digest, however, it seems to me that it will not impact this change, as the proposal would affect every part of the wiki, and this is (only) about intrawiki location. Backsword 18:34, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Based on Tanetris' comment, maybe we could limit that new licensing scheme only to some namespaces (such as ArenaNet and User talk - for the dev's user talk pages) and additionally add some template or something that marks content as a suggestion that is owned by ArenaNet (that way we could place that tag on suggestion pages and directly set their licensing similar to {{ArenaNet image}}). poke | talk 19:03, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
That is funny that everyone was saying to me before that there was no legal mambo-jambo with the new ideas in a first place. From legal prospective those excellent or not so good ideas on this Wiki are now dead. It is even funnier that this discussion now goes in reverse. I thought that I have already mentioned a solution for ArenaNet to open new site/discusion board where they will solicit users's input under new legal agreement that allows company to use them. Suggestions were edited/merged/scratched or deleted mercilesly on this Wiki before. So, what is stopping the comminity from deleting all unclaimed suggestions, so ArenaNet can actually use them (can I be more direct than that)?
1) Move all the suggestions in a batch mode to users' spaces with proper notification and restructure date change
2) Place a banner on GW2 suggestion page asking to re-submit suggestions under new licence for those who wishes doing so (maybe (just maybe) taking in consideration new format I was proposing)
OR (alternative solution removed)...
HH LEADER User HH LEADER Peace symbol svg.png talk 02:16, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

protip to mike - make an official forum. Wikis suck for this kind of thing. -Auron >8< 03:45, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Arenanet wont be able to use any of those fansites because they have to be able to own that site... or did I miss something?(Terra Xin 05:08, 12 April 2009 (UTC))
Yes, you missed the word "official." -Auron >8< 05:20, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
Or possibly "forum." But mostly both of them together. As far as I'm aware, there is no official forum. -Auron >8< 05:21, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree that the wiki isn't well suited to suggestions or feedback. I'm sure the Anet folks who would look over the suggestions are more used to forums anyway, so it'd be easier for them to view and respond.
One question: do you intend that all kinds of suggestions, ideas, or bug reports etc (even those unrelated to Guild Wars) fall under ArenaNet copyright? Because a lot of "Feedback" is posted about the wiki content and the wiki itself (and even for things unrelated to either), and there isn't anything in that language to separate non-ArenaNet Feedback and ArenaNet Feedback. The GFDL is still important with the former. As Tanetris and Poke 'suggest', a clarification that only Feedback in the ArenaNet namespace falls under ArenaNet copyright would be nice. Otherwise, I'm even more hesitant to agree to these changes. --User Pling sig.png Brains12 \ talk 12:32, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the proposal. But let me see if I understand:
  • Suggestions currently on the wiki cannot be used or commented upon by Arena Net thanks to the current license.
  • Even if the new license were accepted, those ideas would still be unuseable as they have been submited under the current license.
  • If the ideas currently here were moved or copied after the new license were accepted, they would still be based on the current license, so they would still be useless.
  • If the current suggestions were deleted, and submited again after the new license were implemented, then Arena Net would be able to use them.
If that's right, it's a great reason to delete all current suggestions, as we have been already discussing. If this change is accepted, I would strongly suggest implementing it on the Guild Wars 2 wiki as well. Erasculio 14:49, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
The use of fansites would be possible if a similar licensing agreement were made with the owner of the fansite, releasing suggestions to ArenaNet. --Wyn's Talk page Wyn 15:02, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
Erasculio, I think you kinda covered it all. Basically the license wouldnt be reroactive and further to this readding the same suggestion as before would be a derivative work, one would also have to prove it was the same person putting forward the idea again. Thus it is just easier to delete the suggestions and start from scratch under a new licence. -- Salome User salome sig2.png 04:34, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
I support deleting old ideas and starting over under this new wording. However, I feel that if ANet is going to "legitimize" GW2 suggestions in this way, we need to take another look at what we are doing with suggestions, if only because our current scheme was based on the idea that suggestions didn't really matter anyway. If these agreements take effect, Wiki will become the only place, at least for now, in which players can make suggestions and actually have a real chance of having those suggestions be put in the game, or even commented upon by someone within ANet. Once word gets out on that fact, everyone with a suggestion will bring it here, and they will not bother with the fan forums. As such, we will have to provide a better means by which people can make and share suggestions. Maybe they still happen on user space, I like that idea, but listing, on a public page, simply who has made ideas won't cut it, we'll have to do a more beafed up version of Leader's idea, or something else altogether, but it needs to be more user friendly and more accessible than our current idea for Wednesday.
Having said that, I think it is worth it, ANet is providing us with a completely unique opportunity. Frankly, I've never heard of a company actually attempting to provide their fans with an official means by which suggestions on an upcomming project can be made, heard, commented on by developers, and potentially even put into the game. With such an opportunity, how can we, the fans, say no?
As for whether or not Wiki is the proper or most capable medium for this, I see that as neither here nor there, really. If ANet wants to do this with the fan forums, they will have to negotiate and enter into an agreement with each fansite (which I'm not sure they really want to do) and which would, in any case, take quite a long time. I don't see the benefits for them in investing into an official forum, the costs of creating it would most likely outweigh any benefit of simply being more conducive to ideas. The fact is, Wiki is already here, already taking ideas (albeit not yet very effectively), already owned by ANet, and already monitored by ANet staff. The only investment they have to make into doing it on wiki is the legal costs of making a new user agreement, and that's already been done. Whether we like it or not, it seems that suggestions, with feedback, are going to happen on one of these wikis or, most likely, nowhere. (Satanael 05:46, 13 April 2009 (UTC))
Satanael as usual gives a very good summary, with which I tend to agree. The ball is still in ArenaNet net. Regina told me that they were figuring out the way to do it, so they have to make this decision and take an action. She was mentioning that the decision was going to be 'sensitive' for Wiki community. But judging by this forum, I belive that it is an empty worry. The community will embrace the decision whatever it would be ... HH LEADER User HH LEADER Peace symbol svg.png talk 14:19, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
If current licensing terms prevent the use of ideas and suggestion as they are, I don't see why shouldn't that change. All that would be left then it would be a way to update old ideas to the new termns for those users that want to do so. MithUser MithranArkanere Star.pngTalk 17:23, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Because the community does not want to maintain them as they are. So far it was a monologue that isn't working. The form must change. It should become a dialog between community and ArenaNet. If the comunity takes a lead in a dialog it can present ideas as 'user requirements' where ArenaNet may post a note such as 'under consideration' or 'not feasible', for instance, or a dialog can be driven by ArnaNet saying: "What do you think of the inclusion of A, B, C and changing D?" Ideally ArenaNet should come up with the form that will be useful for them because they are the intended audience. They should take a lead in a form creation, not only in the licence change. This alone will generate great response from players regardless of any particular idea fate ... HH LEADER User HH LEADER Peace symbol svg.png talk 18:34, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Hey all,

As you have pointed out, the existing suggestions on this wiki were posted under a license which prevents our developers from considering them. The obvious fix for this is for us to put the new license in place and then ask the original contributors to repost their ideas.

Because contributors need to repost their suggestions anyway, there's no particular reason for us to stick with an existing organizational layout that has been difficult to maintain. The proposal for users to post within their own userspace makes a lot of sense. (Although I think you want to make it as easy as possible for developers to browse new suggestions, so it's unfortunate that suggestions currently get ordered alphabetically by author's name on ArenaNet:Suggestions.) I know that a wiki is not the ideal platform for submitting suggestions over the long term, and we can look at providing alternatives in the future, but for now let's work with what we have. I appreciate the userspace proposal as an attempt to do just that.

So far most of the responses to the license proposal I made have focused on its impact on suggestions, but we shouldn't forget that there are a lot of other types of feedback provided by the community to ArenaNet through this wiki. For example, localization feedback has been very valuable, and that's an area where we can clearly engage the community more strongly once we straighten out license issues.

-- Mike O'Brien 02:34, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Mike, I am unclear as to how new licence agreement is applicable to the ideas posted in users' space. When you say : 'let's work with what we have' doesn't add too much clarity for me personally, because you seem to agree that ideas must be reposted after being moved to user spaces. This implies a new form of posting, possibly... Do you think that ArenaNet may come up with this new form before GW2 release or following it?
OR you meant to say that new licence agreement will be applied to user spaces thus resolving the idea usage problem and ArenaNet will work 'with what they have' by looking at the user spaces' content regardless of the form in which idea was posted (this effectivelly will not require immediate reposting)?
Thanks. HH LEADER User HH LEADER Peace symbol svg.png talk 12:24, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Mike, of course if the number of suggestions inside the user space increases (which is very likely) we will obviously have to think of a more detailed/structured list. One proposal I came up with was that we make some small template in which the suggestion editors can put some short information bits in, so that we can split the suggestions or give a short information about its content already in the list.
However, as raised up above, the formulation of the new license text is a bit ambiguous; wouldn't it be possible to restrict the new non-GFDL licensing scheme only to certain namespaces (such as only the ArenaNet namespace) and then invent some noticing tag that marks pages, especially user suggestions in user space, as content owned by ArenaNet? Such a tag could also be applied on the talk pages of ArenaNet members so you could be sure that you may freely use all suggestions on those pages; but on the other side so that people won't think that they are not able to suggest anything, without conveying their copyright to ArenaNet. poke | talk 14:37, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
@Leader, Mike can please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe when he said that we should "work with what we have" I think he was referrring to the use of the wikis in general, not necessarily any particular organizational structure therein. I believe this was in response to some of the suggestions above for using other websites or developing an "official forum" for suggestions or something more out of the box like that.
@Mike, thanks for bringing up the localization point, I admit it was something I had not thought too much about. You say that, with this new wording, you would be able to engage the community more stongly in this regard, did you have any specific ideas in mind? I admit I am not overly familiar with current practice in the localization area of the wiki, but is there a specific aspect of localization comments that you feel could be dealt with in a better or different way, either on our end or yours? I ask this because it sounded a little bit like you would like us to discuss this aspect of the new wording as well, and I guess I am not familiar enough with localization to fully understand the extent of effect this might have on localization (aside from allowing for increased interaction between anet staff and community members) or where you might go with your new found freedom to engage the community in localization. (Satanael 17:11, 14 April 2009 (UTC))
Localisation was just an example; this Feedback would probably include the kinds of feedback available via ArenaNet:Portal. --User Pling sig.png Brains12 \ talk 17:31, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
OK, I rephrase my questions to Mike:
(1) Can user space licencing wording to be changed, so there is no need in re-post?
if (1==No)(2) Will they provide new framework for posting or not?
if (2==Yes) (3) When (before or after GW2 release)?
if (2==No) (4) Do they expect the community to provide one and when?
if (1==Yes) Does re-post still sounds as a better idea?
The purpose of all this questions is to understand are we moving to the specific action plan or not and if we are what it is, for there were too many discusions already.
HH LEADER User HH LEADER Peace symbol svg.png talk 19:03, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

(Reset indent) Hi guys! I've been keeping an eye on the discussions here, and have been in meetings with Mike and others to chat about the licensing questions, so I'll jump in and answer a couple of things for you:

  • HH - The changes to the license are site-wide, so they will apply to ANY namespace on the wiki. This includes the user namespace, so we wouldn't need to apply a separate license to those. Of course, this only applies to suggestions that were posted after the license change, so if you guys stick with the userspace solution, people will still need to repost their suggestions to their user pages for us to be able to use them.
  • Poke - We were talking about the organizational stuff for quite some time yesterday, so we definitely realize that a huge flood of suggestions can get messy (especially for admins). I think that building templates to help organize them would be a good idea (if you guys can come up with a way to make them the bug reporting ones). Also, we thought the table you have in place that lists the users that have suggestions and the dates the suggestions were last added/updated were cool. I guess the thing is trying to streamline how they're displayed. For instance, if a user has 3 different types of suggestions on their page, and the page is flagged as just having suggestions, it would be cool if we could figure out a way to tag those suggestions so a dev could see "Oh hey, this user has a suggestion about pets, heroes, and skills", rather than "Oh hey, this user has suggestions". You're brainier than I am at coming up with templates, but I'll be more than happy to work with you guys when you're building stuff to let you know what format/information would be the most useful for the dev team.
  • Satanael - Yeah, when Mike was talking about "working with what we have", he was talking about the wiki in general. We're aware that many admins and other folks have pointed out that the wiki isn't the best place for suggestions, and that we should be looking into other ways to collect feedback and field suggestions. We're looking into other solutions for the future, but for the time being we'd rather use the wiki for this stuff than not use anything at all :)
  • HH - 1.) Yep! As I mentioned before, this license covers submissions to any space on the site, so userspaces are covered. Since the site is governed by you guys, we're not going to dictate a framework/structure for how you decide to post and organize suggestions. We'll be happy to help out if you need extra brains to figure things out or discuss possibilities, but we're not going to tell you how to do things. As far as other non-wiki suggestion solutions go, we're looking into them, but I don't have any details on time frames right now.

Something else to clarify for you guys, since it may be on your minds - this new license change applies ONLY to ideas, feedback, bug fixes, and translations. Everything else on the site is going to remain GFDL. These changes are just being proposed because we WANT to be able to read suggestions and see if we can get your ideas into the game. Right now (as is explained by Mike), we're just not able to for legal reasons. So even though this change applies to all namespaces (including user), don't worry. We're not going to be able to take non-suggestion stuff from your userpage and use it for nefarious purposes :)

If you guys would be more comfortable doing something like setting up templates that tag user suggestion sub-pages with "This is a suggestion", that's fine. Just do it for organizational reasons and not cause you're worried we're going to do something shifty because we're not. I hope that we've proven that to you by now, eesh! =p

I hope this helps explain some stuff! ♥ --UserEmilyDiehlStar.gif Emily Diehl (talk) 20:27, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Hey Emily :) For the template thing, I meant some enhancement to the current list, so that suggestion writers are able to add information to their list entry. Exactly as you said, I could imagine some pseudo-categories where the users could tick what their suggestions are about and that info will be displayed next to their entry in the list; and if there are many suggestions we could even split that list apart. poke | talk 20:35, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm there with you. If this proposal passes, we should start up a discussion page to figure out details for the template. If it's after this anniversary update, I can weigh in with Lins and help you guys brainstorm ways to make the functionality both easy for users that may not be super wiki savvy but complex enough to make it useful for devs who just want to browse suggestions.
As a side note, how are you guys going to let us know when you've accepted the proposal? Are you going to put it up for vote and let us know after that? I just want to make sure we don't accidentally come to a stand still because one of us know when we're good to go :) --UserEmilyDiehlStar.gif Emily Diehl (talk) 21:02, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
As this isn't really related to our decision of restructuring the suggestion pages and moving the suggestions into the userspace while deleting/archiving the old ones, we don't need to wait for any result of this discussion to end the discussion over there. As we are also in a bcrat election at the moment, I would like to wait at least until the 15th April so we can resolve that topic and remove one of the site notices, before we ask the rest of the community for comments or even start a vote about this. Also if we try to tweak the proposed texts a bit more so that they sound less ambiguous, I don't think there are any real reasons to not support the idea (after all people are suggesting ideas for GW(2) because they want you, ArenaNet, to read them). I'm basically referring to Tanetris' post somewhere above.
As for any tweaking of the user space suggetion design, including the list, I think that has time until we are actually that far, that we can say we have a lot suggestions in user space now. And I think it will be easy to improve it later too. poke | talk 21:39, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree, I don't see any reason for people to really disagree with this, but there is no need to snap a vote in prior to tomorrow. (Satanael 21:43, 14 April 2009 (UTC))
We wouldn't do a vote - we'd keep discussing (yay) to clear up all the issues and make sure we're clear on the consensus (someone will probably summarise and others would say "yeah, that's fine" and - tada! - consensus.) We're probably close to that point. But don't worry, we'll make sure it's clear when that time comes :P --User Pling sig.png Brains12 \ talk 21:52, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Sounds great to me! I know that there are a few outstanding issues/questions you guys would like to clear up before that time, so I've opened those up for discussion here in the studio. If anything else comes to mind, please let us know. --UserEmilyDiehlStar.gif Emily Diehl (talk) 22:20, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Alternate Method

Have you guys analized the posibility of generating an alternate method of gathering the feedback, one which DOESN'T involve the wiki? Cross-linking between the wiki and a "sugestions-oriented section on the webpage" could be done easily, avoiding the legal issues here, and would give you guys a lot more control over what and how is presented (ie. requesting more feedback for a certain idea you found interesting, asking for no more feedback on another idea, etc). --Fighterdoken 21:21, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

"We're aware that many admins and other folks have pointed out that the wiki isn't the best place for suggestions, and that we should be looking into other ways to collect feedback and field suggestions. We're looking into other solutions for the future, but for the time being we'd rather use the wiki for this stuff than not use anything at all :)" -Emily (Satanael 21:32, 14 April 2009 (UTC))

Licensing issues

To summarise the issues with the proposed submission language;

  • the current definition of "Feedback" doesn't specify the kind or target of Feedback (i.e. in this case, you just want Guild Wars/Guild Wars 2/ArenaNet Feedback).
  • It categorises every kind of Feedback, including that which is unrelated to Guild Wars, as belonging to ArenaNet (e.g. suggestions about articles, ideas about improving parts of the wiki, and the like).

To clarify what Feedback would be licensed to ArenaNet, you could

  • limit it to contributions made in a specific namespace (e.g. the ArenaNet and ArenaNet talk namespaces as that's currently where all the Feedback is).
  • A template, similar to {{ArenaNet image}}, could go on those ArenaNet licensed pages to clearly show the license.
    • This might also be used to assign a page under that license. For example, pages outside of the designated namespace could also be put under that license by placing the template there. This could be useful for ArenaNet staff user talk pages, or userpages for people who would rather have their Feedback there.

This means it wouldn't affect the other parts of the wiki - Feedback, of all kinds, could be put on other talk pages, but it would stay as GFDL. Only the contributions made in that specified area would be affected; and since those areas are only being edited for the sole purpose of providing or improving Feedback, you still get your feedback appropriately licensed. --User Pling sig.png Brains12 \ talk 23:18, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't see why feedback can't be released under the GFDL in addition to becoming the property of ArenaNet. The current proposed licensing terms wouldn't prevent someone from releasing a suggestion under the GFDL, under some other license or into the public domain prior to posting it as a suggestion on the wiki. In other words, any problems which could arise if all suggestions were both released under the GFDL and owned by ArenaNet could also arise if suggestions were owned by ArenaNet but not automatically released under the GFDL. If feedback isn't released under the GFDL, I'd prefer it to be restricted to suggestions made on the ArenaNet and ArenaNet talk pages, and on the talk pages of ArenaNet employess. If non-GFDL suggestions could be located anywhere on the wiki, it's likely that some pages containing suggestions could slip through the cracks, leading to accidental copyright violations by people believing the pages to be purely GFDL because whoever added a suggestion to the page forgot to add the license tag. -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 02:19, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
The problem with that is that it then puts the userspace suggestions into muddy water, where adding the licensing template to them would clearly designate them as ArenaNet copyright. There are also other forms of feedback on this wiki relating directly to the wiki and wiki software itself that would be problematic if it automatically became ArenaNet copyrighted just by falling under the "Feedback" umbrella as currently described in the proposed licensing change. --Wyn's Talk page Wyn 02:32, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
RE: feedback relating directly to the wiki and wiki software: "(This enables ArenaNet to use your contributions in its games.)... ArenaNet hereby grants you a non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, distribute, display and perform Feedback for non-commercial or informational purposes." In other words, Feedback relating to the wiki won't be used by ANet because they can only use Feedback in their games, and even if ANet is considered to own the copyright on Feedback relating directly to the wiki or wiki software, "you" (i.e., admins and editors) are still allowed to use it for this wiki because that would be considered "non-commercial or informational purposes". In that light, I don't think this wording would be a problem for such Feedback even if it were applied wiki-wide. (Satanael 03:27, 15 April 2009 (UTC))
I believe the part that is of concern is You agree to license your contribution pursuant to the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) 1.2 or any later version (the “GFDL”), except to the extent that your contribution includes suggestions, ideas, feedback, bug fixes and/or translations (collectively “Feedback”). There is no mention of the game, etc. in that it just makes a blanket statement that all those things will be considered Feedback and would fall under ArenaNet copyright. That is the submission terms that would appear on every single edit page below the edit window and above the Save page buttons.... --Wyn's Talk page Wyn 03:33, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I understand that, but what I am saying is even if a suggestion about wiki falls within ANet's copyright under this wording, this same wording also further licenses us to use such Feedback for the purposes of the wiki, that's the "non-commercial or informational purposes" clause that is in there. I agree, the wordng slants toward including things within ANet's copyright, but it does not expressly prevent us from using their copyrighted Feedback on the wiki, thus, the practical result is no change for us on such feedback. (Satanael 04:03, 15 April 2009 (UTC))
No, it wouldn't prevent anyone from using it on THIS wiki, but it might become problematic when applying it to any other wiki if it's seen as ArenaNet copyrighted. --Wyn's Talk page Wyn 04:15, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Potentially true, depending on how they used it and for what purposes, but, and forgive me if this sounds cold, why does the effect on other wikis have a bearing on this discussion? (Satanael 04:38, 15 April 2009 (UTC))
Because licensing affects every post on this wiki, and many people here use many wiki's. So if wiki related suggestions suddenly fall under ArenaNet copyright people couldn't use the information on a differently licensed wiki (just like we can't use stuff from GWiki). --Wyn's Talk page Wyn 04:47, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
So then how about making the licensing part of the feedback non-mandatory? Something like "If your contribution includes Feedback, you may assign that contribution to ArenaNet, Inc...". For once, this allow us to separate what suggestions we intend as feedback and those we intend as something else (ie. rants), and used together with a tag+autocat system simmilar to those used on images it would make things easily manageable (on theory). Also, this could solve in part the problem of slipping content under unintended licenses, by forcing a explicit statement about what content is intended as "feedback".
We may need a "Unless noted otherwise..." statement on the GFDL licensing part, though.--Fighterdoken 06:05, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
That might work on some pages, but if contributions to dedicated feedback pages in the ArenaNet namespace weren't automatically licensed to ArenaNet then those pages could be "contaminated" by non-ArenaNet contributions, causing the same harvesting problems as the current system. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 07:12, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I thought about this last night and would like a change such as the following to prevent unwanted effects, as summarized by Brains:
You agree to license your contribution pursuant to the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) 1.2 or any later version. In case that your contribution includes suggestions, ideas, feedback, bug fixes and/or translations regarding ArenaNet, NCSoft, Guild Wars or Guild Wars 2 and that you are contributing to the ArenaNet or ArenaNet talk namespace or any other page that is marked as such, you hereby assign that contribution additionally to ArenaNet, Inc. and its successors and assigns and it shall be deemed the property of ArenaNet.
It is probably not formulated in the best way (please change it if you can do better), but it changes the following things:
  • Feedback is multi-licensed to GFDL and as ArenaNet content; this allows us for example to quote those texts on other pages (that are not marked as suggestion-containing) and allows the author to do something with that contribution as well (before he could post and then the text was no longer assigned to him)
  • The new licensing scheme is restricted to the ArenaNet and ArenaNet talk namespaces and to pages tagged with {{ArenaNet feedback}} (or something like that), which will add a small/short note on the affected page, trigger the additional text on the edit page and categorize it into a (hidden) category (hidden, so that talk pages don't show the category box just for that) like Category:Pages that contain ArenaNet suggestions.
  • People can decide if they actually want to allow ArenaNet to use that information/suggestions they write
  • By restricting the places where suggestion is used, we can also control where suggestions about the game are actually written. For example we would have a very valid argument then to make people stop posting on article's talk page when discussing about game content (like Talk:Ursan Blessing...) and make them put their suggestions on other pages, which are created for especially that, instead.
Then we could tag all talk pages of ArenaNet staff members with that tag, to make sure that suggestions on those pages are assigned to ArenaNet and make all users, that are creating user space suggestions, add that tag on their suggestion pages as well. poke | talk 07:16, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Poke; this seems the best way to go. If possible. --User Pling sig.png Brains12 \ talk 13:45, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
So, since the Anet would own the suggestion, it could release the suggestion under GFDL, but still do whatever it wanted/not have to re-release the suggestion & derivatives under GFDL? --JonTheMon 14:18, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Oh, apparently I'm wrong. It's released under GFDL by the author, and also released separately to ANet under ANet ownership. --JonTheMon 14:35, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
If we are introducing a new license that is to integrate with the GNU license, wouldn't any modifications to all existing pages prior to this license must still remain under the GNU, as outlined in clause 4 of the GNU? Would that mean that the new license can only apply on any 'new' documents created? Just say moo if I'm way off the mark. :)(Terra Xin 15:05, 15 April 2009 (UTC))
I'm still new as rain and probably shouldn't be talking here, but I have a question concerning Poke's proposed change to the licensing agreement. How does that change protect ANet from their competition? Yes, it grants the suggestions to them so they can use them and alter them without releasing the alterations under the GFDL. But it doesn't protect the original suggestion made, meaning from a practical standpoint they couldn't comment on the suggestions still, since doing so would be raising green and red flags to the competition as to what they are doing. I guess what I'm asking is what sort of protection does the GFDL provide against ANet's competition and should it be tide to the suggestions at all?--Ryan Galen 16:23, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
No, you are misunderstanding it. GFDL requires people who use the content to publish their work under GFDL as well when they make derivates. That is the only reason why ArenaNet cannot read/use the current suggestions/ideas on the wiki. We can solve this by explicitely publishing all suggestions assigned as content by ArenaNet; so they are not GFDL but owned by ArenaNet. As such they can do whatever they want with it.
My idea is now to multi-license the suggestions. So that they are owned by ArenaNet, so that they can use them, and additionally released as GFDL content by the author so that the wiki can do something with it (because otherwise we would only use the suggestions - owned by ArenaNet - as fair use content), edit them, copy them etc.
Competitors however wouldn't be able to use the content, because either they are using content that is owned by ArenaNet, in which case it would be a clear copyright violation, or they try to use GFDL content in which case they would have the same problem as ArenaNet before: They would need to release their work as GFDL, too. poke | talk 17:00, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Aren't GW screenshots under a different license? Something like that should do. We can make the screenshots, use them anyway we want to inside GWWiki, but they are actually property of ANet, aren't they? MithUser MithranArkanere Star.pngTalk 17:43, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's why there is a "It is not released under the GFDL" line on {{ArenaNet image}}. poke | talk 18:47, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Then a similar template and its voluntary addition of the creator of the suggestion to said suggestion page should be enough, shouldn't it? MithUser MithranArkanere Star.pngTalk 19:25, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
It needs to be included in our copyright information. poke | talk 19:47, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
In response to Terra Xin and Poke's posts, the GFDL only restricts the actions of people who use GFDL content under the terms of the GFDL. For example, if I am the sole copyright holder for a document which I have released under the GFDL, I am publicly licensing that document to the general public under the terms of the GFDL. Other people can legally use that document under the terms of the GFDL, or they can legally use the document outside the terms of the GFDL in accordance with their jurisdiction's fair use laws. I could not retract that license because the terms of the GFDL prohibit retraction, however, as the author and sole copyright holder, I would still be entitled to release the documents under other licenses, sell, trade, rent or give away the copyright, release the document into public domain or create derivative works which I am under no obligation to license. If I later released the document under the terms of the CC-by-nc-sa license, then transferred the copyright to ArenaNet, third parties creating derivative works under the terms of the GFDL would be obligated to release those derivative works under the terms of the GFDL, third parties creating derivative works under the terms of the CC-by-nc-sa license would be obligated to release those works under the terms of the CC-by-nc-sa license and ArenaNet, as the new copyright holders, could pretty much do whatever they wanted with derivative works. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 00:08, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I appreciate the thought that you're all putting into this issue.

My goal is simple. Right now our designers know that they're not allowed to accept suggestions from the wiki. If possible, I'd like to fix the license issue that forces us to adopt that policy, and to tell designers that it's now safe for them to accept suggestions from the wiki. But since I don't expect designers to be wiki experts or licensing experts, I'm not going to put them in a position where it's sometimes safe to read suggestions. Safe if the suggestion is posted in one namespace, but not safe in a different namespace. Safe if it's tagged a certain way, but not safe if it's untagged or tagged a different way. Safe if the suggestion is phrased as "here's something I'd like to see in Guild Wars 2," but not safe if it's phrased as "here's something I've always wanted to see in an online role-playing game." Safe if all contributors to the page's edit history followed the rules correctly, but unsafe if any one contributor didn't follow the rules.

So that's why I think that, if we want ArenaNet designers reading the wiki, we need a blanket policy assigning all feedback on the wiki to ArenaNet. But some of you have expressed concerns with that. Help me understand your concerns. Do people want to post certain ideas here which they don't want ArenaNet to own or use in its games? Or is it along the lines of what Wyn posted, that people want to preserve the ability to copy feedback from here to other GFDL wikis?

-- Mike O'Brien 00:51, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm concerned with preserving the ability to copy feedback to other GFDL wikis (or, more accurately, preserving the ability to copy pages which may contain feedback to other GFDL wikis). Making the entire wiki safe for suggestion harvesting would only be possible if we restarted the entire wiki from scratch. The latest proposed submission agreement doesn't apply to prior contributions, and even if it did grant permission for suggestions in prior edits, it would not apply to contributions made by editors who have quit the wiki. There's also the problem of anonymous editors. If making the dedicated suggestion pages completely safe doesn't provide a sufficent margin of safety, I'd recommend creating a separate wiki for suggestions and feedback. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 02:43, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks poke and Gordon for the clarification. =] I think it would be good to have a separate wiki, then there would be a proper focal point for all feedback to go to, instead of being hosted as a subsidiary like a namespace. Besides....creating another site dedicated to feedback would prove-without-doubt that Anet actually care! (Terra Xin 04:02, 16 April 2009 (UTC))
Let me say first, I have no doubt whatsoever that ArenaNet cares. As has been pointed out, the suggestions that are currently hosted on the wiki will not be affected or usable by ArenaNet if this change is made, and that issue could be resolved by simply deleting all suggestions currently here. Where my concern comes in is for Non Game related suggestions, suggestions for improvement of the wiki, or feedback on various wiki code or formats used. If those fall under the blanket of "Feedback" as the wording in the proposed submission agreement, then they would become "ArenaNet copyright" and would be unusable on other wikis. I feel that if the wording were adjusted to specify that suggestions directly pertaining to Guild Wars (the game) became ArenaNet copyright, I would be fine with it being a blanket licensing wiki wide.
I understand we are treading new water here, and I know how badly the developers wish to be able to comment on, and potentially utilize some of the ideas that this very passionate and creative community has come up with. While my top preference would be for ArenaNet to create a separate vehicle for suggestions in a format more suited to discussion and development of suggestions, I am willing to work with them in finding a way to make it work on the wiki if that is their only option. I do not think there is anyone in the community that believes the current bug reporting and skill feedback here has any copyright problems since they all pertain to things already created and owned by ArenaNet (namely Guild Wars), so for all practical purposes the only area that becomes gray are the suggestions for new things. As I already stated, I would be happy with the licensing change if the blanket designation of what is considered "Feedback" simply specified that it pertained to those things directly related to the game. As for the actual mechanics of how suggestions should be handled, or where they should be housed on the wiki is a discussion that is going on on the restructuring page, and I think this discussion should be focused on simply do we want the licensing changes made or do we not.
@Mike, I understand your concerns about keeping it simple for your team, we have the same concerns for our wiki community. I would like to encourage you and the rest of the ArenaNet team to participate in the discussion regarding the mechanics of accepting suggestions here so we can cooperatively design a system that works for everyone. I realize your team is extraordinarily busy with the update for the 28th, and continued development of GW2, but for all of this to work it truly needs to be a cooperative effort between us. --Wyn's Talk page Wyn 05:04, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Honestly, I think a wiki is the ideal vehicle for suggestions because it allows fast, worldwide collaborative editing. I believe the problems with this wiki's suggestion pages arose primarily because the quantity vs quality question was never resolved. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 05:32, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
So, to resume the above, the only issue is to change the proposed new submission language to something like "... except to the extent that your contribution includes suggestions, ideas, feedback, bug fixes and/or translations concer ning the Guild Wars game and its main website..."?--Fighterdoken 05:31, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
There are two issues. One issue ArenaNet is worried about potential legal problems which may arise if they don't clearly own suggestions, they want to be able to safely harvest suggestions. The other issue is that some wiki editors are worried that, if everything on the wiki other than images and quotes cannot safely be assumed to be GFDL content, and, thus, cannot be safely used for GFDL wikis and other GFDL projects. Being able to carve out the dedicated suggestion pages and say "everything on this new project is GFDL except for the quotes and images" is far simpler than having to say "everything on this new project is GFDL except for the quotes, images, feedback and derivative works based on feedback made after a certain date", and using quotes and screenshots like GuildWiki is far more likely to fall under fair use than using thousands of articles "contaminated" with non-GFDL "landmines". I'm don't think we're worried about ArenaNet suing fansites, however there are there are other potential problems, for example the editors or web host of some other GFDL wiki might reject Guild Wars Wiki content due to the "blurry" licensing status. Basically, both sides want to be able to safely use content from the wiki. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 07:01, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Mike, "I'm not going to put them in a position where it's sometimes safe to read suggestions." - This will be the case in any way. Whatever we decide here and what changes the licensing, it only affects future contributions. Everything before will remain as GFDL content. And if we just make the changes you proposed, the designers will have it a lot harder, because they have to check the history first and look if the contributions they are interested in is actually safe to read.
However if we go a way like I proposed, and we have a tag that clearly marks pages as "safe" for the developers - for example a little box in the upper right of the screen - it will be easier, not easy, but easier. And it wouldn't be a problem to show that template on all pages in the ArenaNet namespace for example, if we decide to apply it to whole namespaces; and by using a template we can even pre-check the pages for the developers to make it visible that the pages are safe for them, but without it will just be hard for the developers and for other wiki users if they can never be sure if the content is GFDL or not (especially when there is a line in it that says "In the event that there is a disagreement over whether a contribution includes Feedback, that contribution shall be deemed to include Feedback.") poke | talk 09:35, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
That line is a good preemptive against edit wars (Terra Xin 14:52, 16 April 2009 (UTC))
@Poke et al., I think the proposal is to delete/archive all current Feedback so that there would not be an issue with when certain feedback was posted. If we did that, there would be no need for a "safe to harvest" template. I think it is important to remember that the only entry into this wiki that would not fall under GFDL is Feedback. So to say that other wikis would only be able to use "quotes and images" from this wiki is incorrect, any game info provided by our community would still be GFDL because it would not be considered Feedback. Wyn's carefully considered and worded concern is really the only one so far that we still need to discuss, i.e., Feedback about the Wiki itself. For example, if we take the dicussion right now about how to organize suggestions, if that dicussion were held under this newly proposed licensing, then other wikis and fansites would no be able to organize their suggestions in the same way, because that entire developmental discussion would be owned by ANet.
Nonetheless, I fully appreciate Mike's concern about carving out certain feedback and the confusion it might bring to his employees and staff, and the danger posed by the same. But if we can carve out only the feedback that relates to this wiki from this new licensing, then there should not be a big problem for ANet staff because this type of feedback would only really be useful for, and should only be given to, the admins anyway.
The issue is simple, so long as we are willing to start over with all Feedback (remember, we only start over with Feedback, everything else is still GFDL), then the only issue remaining (that has been voiced so far) is the licensing of wiki-related Feedback. I know Mike is reluctant to change the wording of the proposed license, but if he communicates our concern about wiki-realted Feedback to his legal staff, I am certain they can amend the wording in a manner that is satisfactory to both parties. That simple change in wording would keep things simple for his staff and provide other wikis with a means to use our wiki-related feedback. (Satanael 16:40, 16 April 2009 (UTC))
Poke, such a tag wouldn't really mean a page is safe, it would merely indicate that whoever added the tag thought it was safe (unless someone added the tag in bad faith).
Satanael, I was not saying that other wikis would only be able to use quotes and images under the proposed policy change. I was not trying to say that, right now, under the current licensing terms, the vast majority of content on this wiki generally falls into one of two categories: GFDL content, which can be used by anyone under the terms of the GFDL, and non-GFDL content owned by ArenaNet and/or NCsoft (primarily quotes and images), which people can only use under the terms of their jurisdictions' fair use laws or under ArenaNet's licensing terms. Fair use laws seem to be fairly lenient with the moderate use of quotes and screenshots. Fair use law may not be as clear on feedback, and may be stricter due to corporate espianoge, the latest licensing draft would make feedback posted anywhere on the wiki non-GFDL content (unless it is licensed under the GFDL before it is posted and becomes the property of ArenaNet). Main namespace articles generally don't contain feedback, but many talk pages do, and because the talk pages are used to discuss changes to articles, and are sometimes used to work on drafts for article changes, and are often used for attribution when pages are merged, I don't think the GFDL's attribution requirements would allow some other project to use Guild Wars Wiki's articles but carve out the feedback-contaminated talk pages (more accurately, they could be carved out, but they would still need to provide attribution for everyone who edited the talk pages, which could be tedious with the wiki's thousands of articles and talk pages). -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 00:31, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

(Reset indent) I think a simple solution for both concerns (i.e. our concern about blanket feedback and non-GFDL 'landmines' scattered around the wiki; Mike's concerns about making it as easy as possible for Anet staff to use suggestions) is to modify Mike's proposed language to dual-license the blanket Feedback term under GFDL and ArenaNet - that would allow us or anyone else using GFDL to copy any feedback (Guild Wars-related or otherwise) under the terms of the GFDL, and would also allow ArenaNet to use that feedback as they want without having to worry about its safeness. Would that work? Did I get any of that wrong? :P --User Pling sig.png Brains12 \ talk 16:56, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Just want to add briefly that people have talked about getting around past content by deleting all previous feedback and suggestions. While that's perfectly viable for the feedback and suggestions in the arenanet name space (theoretically, although there are likely suggestions on skill update talk pages, so those would have to be wiped too), it's pretty much completely impractical as suggestions and feedback licensed under GDFL are already scattered all over the wiki on skill talk pages, arenanet staff talk pages and in user spaces. If you want it to be completely safe to use any suggestion on the wiki the only option is complete deletion, which I'm sure everyone can agree is no option at all. Viable options include tagging of multiply licensed pages, a brand new empty multiply licensed namespace or a completely new site (wiki, forum, whatever) where people can contribute feedback. Anything else is going to be a legal and logistical nightmare and horrific for developers to actually use. Short version, it's too late. Feedback with an incompatible license is already deeply sewn throughout the fabric of the system so things cannot be done the way Mike and the folk at Arenanet would like in the ideal situation. Misery 17:30, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

The issue on these pages would only be on the talk pages, right? Why can't we just have a bot go through and archive all the talk pages? All post-archive discussions would fall under new license, end of issue. This may interrupt ongoing conversations, but that's a small price to pay and this would be a lot easier then going through everything and tagging them. (Satanael 17:50, 16 April 2009 (UTC))
Archiving everything isn't really a "small price to pay" - it would be quite disruptive - and it carries more disadvantages than advantages to the wiki as a whole. Also, more archives would be made in the future, so one would still have to think "what archive can I use, what archive can't I use" etc.
I agree with Mis that it isn't the best idea, and that an alternative site would be much easier for this. How about another wiki? We've had a completely useless and unused wiki since December 07 and the ArenaNet tech/maintenance guys seem to have managed fine with it. It's 'administrated' by the same player base too. A separate wiki (I dunno, with its own license (i.e. everything under ArenaNet copyright) wouldn't be too far-fetched would it? As with GWW and GW2W, it could be administrated and maintained by the userbase. It would be easier for Anet too, as they'd have a centralised place for all feedback and they wouldn't have to worry about licenses - they could use anything from any time, because the license would be in effect from the start. --User Pling sig.png Brains12 \ talk 19:14, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
The problem with The other wiki is that GW2 feedback is not the only feedback we are covering with this, as Mike pointed out, the localization, bug reports, skill discussions, and GW1 suggestions are all valuable to them, and we already have the infrastructure in place here on GWW for the vast majority of the Feedback that is generate by the community. I think that is precisely what Mike was saying when he said we should "work with what we got". As I have previously stated, it does not appear, at least for right now, that we are going to be able to push this new framework onto any other site. So we are either going to figure out how to make this work on this wiki, or we aren't going to have ANet's interaction on feedback beyond the limited interaction we have.
As for archiving, when I said it was a small price to pay, I was speaking relatively. You are right, in the event htere would be further archives, ANet staff would have to bear in mind that certain archives would be licensed under GFDL, one simple answer would be to program the bot to leave a tag on those archives indicating to ANet staff that the contents were still licensed under GFDL.
It seems to me that much of the concerns raised thus far (apart from Wyn's concerns about use of wiki-related Feedback) do not consist of true unfixable barriers, rather they are obstacles that the community would have to deal with, but could, in fact, be dealt with in some way. Therefore, the issue, it seems, is not so much whether we are able to adopt this new licensing, but if we are willing to. Given the potential benefits of having ANet harvest our desires for games that we are all excited and passionate about, I, for one, am willing. (Satanael 19:46, 16 April 2009 (UTC))
Please read what Brains actually said. He wasn't talking about putting the suggestions on GW2W; he is talking about a completely new wiki as a site dedicated to suggestions. He is taking GW2W as an example because as of now GW2W exists without having any real content, and it is still updated with the required extensions and MediaWiki upgrades (which is easy anyway as we can simply mirror GWW). And I actually agree with him, that a dedicated place for suggestions would be A LOT easier to work with. We could have a new wiki, with the same userbase, under a new licensing scheme (= "everything here is owned by ArenaNet"). That would solve the problem that all suggestions on GWW as of now are not valuable for ArenaNet as we would start there from zero.
The only thing that we would be missing is feedback on staff talk pages - which we simply can't restrict to that new wiki only - so I'll just refer to my initial idea some text walls above.. poke | talk 19:59, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) I was only using GW2W as an example of an additional wiki that ArenaNet has (and that its uselessness hasn't changed their willingness to keep with it) - I wasn't suggesting we move anything over there, but that we 'move' the feedback to a new wiki. I know there are some structures already in place here for the different kinds of feedback, but the content within them is effectively useless and irrelevant as they're only GFDL. If we started with this new license here, we'd have to start from scratch anyway. We're even overhauling the suggestion structure, so it's not like we have everything set here. While a new site/wiki is the preferred, easier, and simpler option, I realise it probably isn't realistic for ArenaNet at the moment. Although if they exchanged the GW2W for a feedback wiki (and restarted GW2W closer to beta), I wouldn't complain and I doubt anyone else would. --User Pling sig.png Brains12 \ talk 20:08, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Poke, I guess we could 'move' the Anet staff over there for their community relations (i.e. their talk pages) too :P. A true 'official' wiki. --User Pling sig.png Brains12 \ talk 20:13, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
There are a few problems with the Yet Another Wiki idea. As you said, it's not going to stop feedback on Anet staff's user talk pages. It would also require all the rules and oversight that have been so problematic for the Arenanet namespace, with the added issue that it would have to be monitored on a separate Recentchanges. It's basically taking the Arenanet namespace and shoving it away in its own corner, doesn't actually solve anything. For another thing, if you're going to ask IT to setup and maintain another site just for feedback, why on earth would we ask for it to be a wiki? It's not like a forum is particularly harder to setup or to maintain, and it's just as easy to grandfather over GWW admins as mods for a forum as admins for Yet Another Wiki. The only potential problem I can foresee is that it may be more difficult to transfer wiki accounts to forum software, but surely that'd be overcomeable. It just doesn't make good sense to go to the effort of another wiki when it adds to more problems than it solves. - Tanetris 20:26, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Please read what Mike and Emily have said, there will be no new websites, whether it's a wiki or an official forum or anything else, they are only willing to work with GWW and GW2W. I have pointed outed out why I don't think GW2W is an appropriate place for all feedback, to which there has, thus far, been no argument. That leaves GWW, or nothing. (Satanael 20:26, 16 April 2009 (UTC))

(Reset indent) I know, I know. Bringing myself back to reality (or some version of it, anyway) - did my 'simple solution' above (at 16:56, 16 April 2009 (UTC), above Misery's comment) look like it would work? --User Pling sig.png Brains12 \ talk 20:39, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

So how do we separate out the old GFDL-only stuff from the new dual-licensed stuff? --JonTheMon 20:41, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Given what Mike intention with the suggestion and licensing appear to be (as in "making life easier for devs"), i think the best course of action is to delete all the old GFDL-only content. Moving it to userspaces or anywhere is not really an option given what he intends to do.--Fighterdoken 20:52, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

(Reset indent) I don't want to drag the conversation off-topic but thought the current Wikimedia vote might be relevant to the discussion. See [1] and [2]. --Indecision 22:34, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I've fixed your links. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 23:56, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't think migration to CC-by-sa would be a solution to the GFDL-related feedback licensing issues. As I understand it, the license would require derivative works (which would include Guild Wars if it incorporated CC-by-sa material) to be distributed under a compatible license, which would allow NCsoft's competitors to release their own competing versions of Guild Wars (although I believe that giving ArenaNet ownership of new suggestions would be just as effective at avoiding CC-by-sa problems as it would be at avoiding the GFDL-related problems). I believe the CC-by-sa license also has stricter attribution requirements. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 00:19, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

On the feasibility of the proposed license change

Hello. I've done some research on this. I understand the legal concerns of altering the text of the proposal. Unfortunately, that entails that the community have no choice but to say no. It seems that while the text is legally sound in it self, the author have no understanding of what a Wiki is. A majority of contributions to the Wiki is not original content, nor transcription of external material. Instead the normal Wiki process consists of redacting material contributed by other authors. And a redactor have no right to reticence the original authors contribution. Thus we would have to maintain a constant vigil where each and every edit is reviewed. In addition, due to the technologies used on the Wiki to effectively propagate content, every page transcluding content from the edited page would also need review. As the Wiki can easily reach more than 1500 edits/day, I hope you can see how this would create a workload far beyond what is feasible for the community.


On 'suggestion safety'

It concerns me that ArenaNet seems to believe that it is possible to retroactively license feedback made before a license change. This is not possible. (bar for CCbysa) Any feedback provided before a change will remain GFDL. Thus the notion that suggestion would be 'safe' to read for 'non wiki savvy' designers after the change is a mistake.

Nor is Wyn's idea to effective solve this by deleting all existing feedback proactively possible. There is as of writing 141215 pages on the wiki, with an average of 10.14 each. A sysop would have to manually review each and every one.

I do not believe it is possible for any relicensing to solve this issue alone. The best the wiki could offer in the area is a large angry banner across the top of a page, which would effectively proclaim the suggestion on the page as 'safe'. And that we could even do without changing license.


(RI) Wyn stated that "I do not think there is anyone in the community that believes the current bug reporting and skill feedback here has any copyright problems since they all pertain to things already created and owned by ArenaNet (namely Guild Wars), so for all practical purposes the only area that becomes gray are the suggestions for new things". We know that's true - for years Arena Net has been talking about Guild Wars 1 suggestions, be it to accept them or to state why they won't work.

So the GW2 suggestions are the problem. Instead of making an entire new site for GW2 feedback, we could very well use the GW2 wiki for that. It's true that it's empty for now, but that's the point - if the GW2 wiki becomes a place to host only GW2 suggestions (at least until we learn more about the game itself), then Arena Net would not have to worry about if a page is "safe" to be commented or not; everything on the GW1 wiki would not be safe, everything on the GW2 wiki would. This would both help with the suggestions issue and help with the incongruency of keeping the GW2 wiki empty because everyone posts the GW2 suggestions here because the GW2 wiki is empty. Erasculio 22:06, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Maybe you can clear this up, Mike, but why is a license even needed in the first place? All this legal mess does is impede the free exchange of ideas and does nothing to encourage creativity and innovation. Lawyers only get paid if people argue, after all. Or if they make the laws so convoluted that nobody but them understands them, which lets them use them as a bludgeon on whoever they like. One other thing I'd like to point out is that you can't own an idea - the particular expression of an idea, yes, but not the idea itself. Guild Wars was, in part, about experimentation, innovation, being different. So show it once again. Buck the system. Definitely reorganize user suggestions into a less cluttered, more organized manner, as is the current goal. However, forget about the fear-based legalities that bind you guys from even looking at what we have to say. It isn't right for it to be that way. Have you never questioned whether the legalities you guys follow make any sense? Information cannot be contained, no matter how hard you try. Just look at the record labels and their futile efforts to control and restrict music. It doesn't work in the end. Why do you need a license to share ideas? That's just utterly wrong. Ideas have been shared and exchanged since long before copyright ever existed, and will be for long after copyright is dead and buried. --Axwind 21:23, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that's realistic Axwind, ArenaNet has to make sure that if they use a suggestion submitted by a user in one of their games, they aren't going to be suddenly served with a lawsuit claiming they violated that user's copyright of the idea and now owe the user royalties for it's use. Having these things spelled out with legally correct licensing is important and should be taken care of, it's just a shame it couldn't have been done correctly in the first place when the wiki was created. --Wyn's Talk page Wyn 21:30, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
And won't a template added by that user himself stating that he volunterily gives the idea to Anet work for that? Make the template, make sure the main page that links all suggestions explains that suggestions must add that so Anet can consider and done. You can't claim copyright for something you voluntarily give, and an edition by the user would be required to do so. MithUser MithranArkanere Star.pngTalk 22:05, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
The problem with that is how Arena Net is unwilling to make part of the wiki safe for suggestions and another part not safe. A developer who's looking through the wiki and finds a suggestion on Union's talk page could maybe forget that he's not allowed to read that idea or comment on it, for example. Erasculio 22:10, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Moving Forward on Suggestions

moved to Guild Wars Wiki talk:Suggestion pages restructuring


I've made a table summarizing the pros and cons of the various options as I see them.

Option Pros Cons
The currently licensing draft is implemented. Dedicated feedback pages are archived. All new feedback posted is owned by ArenaNet and not released under the GFDL, however it is licensed for non-commercial or informational use.
  • Any original feedback posted anywhere on the wiki after the license is implemented will be completely safe for ArenaNet to harvest.
  • Not retroactive, original feedback posted before the license is implemented won't be any safer for ArenaNet to harvest than it is right now.
  • Plagarized feedback won't be any safer for ArenaNet to harvest than it is right now with the current license agreement's "you represent that your contribution is original and does not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of any third party" clause, and it's impossible to prevent people from posting plagarized feedback (such as some kid copying and pasting someone else's suggestion from a forum due to ignorance of copyright law), all we can do is try to catch it after the fact and warn or block those responsible.
  • The licensing terms would allow non-feedback pages to become contaminated by non-GFDL feedback, which could be less safe for other GFDL projects (particularly commercial or semi-commercial projects, such as an ad-supported wiki) to use under fair use than non-GFDL quotes or screenshots.
Licensing terms give ArenaNet ownership of feedback, which is released under the GFDL like other submissions. Dedicated feedback pages are archived.
  • Any original feedback posted anywhere on the wiki after the license is implemented will be completely safe for ArenaNet to harvest.
  • Content on the wiki will be as safe for other projects to use as it is right now.
  • Not retroactive, original feedback posted before the license is implemented won't be any safer for ArenaNet to harvest than it is right now.
  • The GFDL might impose some restriction on the copyright holder which I didn't notice.
  • As long as people are able to post feedback, they will be able to post plagarized feedback, and we can't catch all of it.
The proposed feedback licensing terms are only applied to the ArenaNet namespace and ArenaNet employee talk pages. Old pages are archived and clearly tagged as not falling under the new licensing terms.
  • Original feedback on the dedicated feedback pages and ArenaNet employee talk pages will be safe for ArenaNet to harvest.
  • Feedback which is safe to harvest is kept separate.
  • Pages outside the ArenaNet namespace (other than ArenaNet employee talk pages) will be as safe for other projects to use as it is right now.
  • Not retroactive, original feedback posted before the license is implemented won't be any safer for ArenaNet to harvest than it is right now.
  • Original feedback posted anywhere other than the dedicated feedback pages won't be any safer for ArenaNet to harvest than it is right now.
  • As long as people are able to post feedback, they will be able to post plagarized feedback, and we can't catch all of it.
ArenaNet creates a separate wiki dedicated to feedback, using whichever licensing terms ArenaNet thinks are best. The current wiki retains its' licensing terms.
  • Original feedback posted anywhere on the feedback wiki will be completely safe for ArenaNet to harvest.
  • Content on the current wiki will be as safe for other projects to use as it is right now.
  • The feedback wiki will be able to use policies, guidelines and extensions better suited for feedback, and have a separate team of admins who all want to deal with feedback.
  • As long as people are able to post feedback, they will be able to post plagarized feedback, and we can't catch all of it.
  • The current wiki won't be any safer for ArenaNet to use for suggestion harvesting than it is right now.
  • Would require a third wiki to be set up and maintained.

Anyway, I think we all want to find a way to make feedback pages work. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 23:49, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Can we archive ALL talk page discussions from every skill, quest, NPC, mission etc. Or delete it. Every talk page becomes a blank slate which will be under the new license? 04:51, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
The attribution requirements of the GFDL make large-scale talk page deletions difficult. Archiving can be done. Both have been discussed in the preceding topics. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 05:10, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Anyway, did I miss anything? -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 05:23, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Your guess is as good as mine, this discussion has gotten so complicated I can barely follow it at all anymore... (Satanael 05:39, 17 April 2009 (UTC))
Also, your last option isn't an option, because both Mike and Emily said they weren't going to set up a new website for feedback. (Satanael 05:42, 17 April 2009 (UTC))
Mike/Emily's original statements show a reasonable lack of understanding of the situation and may have to be revised. The goals they want to achieve are impossible as far as I see. Just archiving previous suggestions would have to be done very carefully to preserve timestamps and devs will have to keep away from archives or be very careful checking dates before using them. As for some previous comments that GW1 suggestions are "safe", I wouldn't assume that at all. It may just be in the past they weren't aware of these issues and their legal department has only just advised them of the problems now. I don't agree with all of Gordon's pros/cons, but he has pretty much summarised the options. I personally think the creation of official feedback forums (as done by like a million other companies) is the most viable, preferably with with accounts linked to wiki accounts and prominent linking between the two. I would also like to touch again on something Backsword mentioned in that we would have to strictly enforce that no one can edit anyone elses contributions that are considered to be suggestions or add suggestions by editing someone elses work as this could potentially turn contributions that are not feedback into feedback creating a situation with conflicting licenses that could only be sorted out by rigorous checking of history. An example would be something like "There is currently a patent held by me on the concept of universal inventories, to implement that would require permission and royalties to be sought" being edited to say "I like the concept of universal inventories, these should be implemented". While this is ridiculous and extreme, it shows non-feedback -> feedback. While this would be the "fault" of the editor who changed the statement, I'm not convinced that would give Arenanet any protection at all. Wikis are really just a very terrible place for this kind of thing and I don't think anyone has addressed the fact yet that the community would have to go back to managing suggestions, Arenanet isn't going to magically start hiring staff to do it, and I don't think this is something that has worked well in the past or that we even want to do. Misery 06:49, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I completely agree with Misery, and there is one thing I want to add: It is really nice that so many people are dicussing here but in the end the licensing is something only ArenaNet can change, so we should give them time to answer instead of writing so many walls of texts that they don't even have the chance to respond to single statements. poke | talk 06:59, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
There's nothing else that needs to be said until we get a response. (Terra Xin 07:04, 17 April 2009 (UTC))
I've added the logistical problims of a third wiki to the list of cons. Like Poke and Misery, I think it's still too early to rule anything out. This is going to be a serious decision with long-lasting repercussions, and it is likely to involve input from many of ArenaNet's teams and departments, as well as NC West's legal department. If using this wiki for feedback is unable to meet ArenaNet's current safety standards, their only options would be to use some other feedback system which does meet their safety standards (such as creating a separate wiki, creating a feedback forum or asking that all feedback go through support), accepting lower standards which can be met on this wiki or giving up on suggestion harvesting. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 07:58, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Btw. another possible system for suggestions would be using a bugtracker, like Bugzilla, as it allows both bugs and feature requests or other kinds of suggestion and gives the possibility to comment on things, etc.. Maybe that would be an option for ArenaNet as well. poke | talk 11:30, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

We are going in circles. If some of you may remember, in my initial long discussed post on this entire issue, I used an analogy where some TV stations would create specific Websites for kids to create their animations and harvest the ideas. Initially I thought that it was a purpose of the suggestions for GW2 as most of the people here who told me exactly that. When I pointed out that it is not all that good from licencing point of view, no one agreed. Now it is an established fact. ArenaNet finally caught up on the idea of 'idea harvesting', but does not want to go too far and give children their 'candy': a dedicated website for doing that. That's lazy. It is also crazy that people who want to give their ideas for free also using their time to discuss the options of how to give them a better way, a more protected way for ArenaNet and not themselves. I have repeatedly and directly called for an action on behalf of ArenaNet to think for a better way of doing that and they still are not doing anything. Again, a company has people whose paid job is to come up with ideas. The community takes bread and butter from their tables by giving free ideas. It is a conflict of interest. Unless the job description for these people will include community ideas consideration, nothing will change. Think for a moment how many suggestions need to be re-submitted, because ArenaNet missed the golden opportunity in a first place.

My current thinking is this: let's drop it for a while, let ArenaNet to release GW2 and a 'feedback' form for it that may include the ideas and establish the process how they want to process them. Indeed, we simply presume that they will be active under new licence, what if they are not? Sorry for repeating myself, by it has to be a constant dialog. They cannot come half way and they honestly need to show that they want an input and will support a dialog going forward by their actions e.g. describing the process on their end to consider ideas. Yes, they get free ideas, but each of them has to be acknowledged by ArenaNet, not the community, otherwise it will again go to what it was before, which no one wants repeating. I know that some of you did not like the idea of catalogue/summary of the ideas I have proposed and understandably: it's like for us doing ArenaNet job. This, indeed, was done from the viewpoint of the company. If I was working for it, it's how I would probably doing it (in the analyst/architect/creative designer position) Catalogued items are easy to dicuss on the meetings: "Hey, what is going on with this ENV1 suggestion? Oh, we not doing it because the engine folks said it would be too much work for this release and the server programmers group says we need to add 10 more servers to the farm. We doing ENV2 for now..." But the problem with big corporations is that they have too many politics in place and we, 'the community' intervene in their processes now. The only way to resolve this is to let them think it over and be completely honest to themselves whether or not they want something or can live without it (as they did before by ignoring entire issue for so long). I am pretty certain that it has to be new web site to have a fresh start and to be done right with GW images and other bells and whistles. They have to come in an open and say: "We are soliciting your ideas for a game you like to play. We pioneer the approach where gamers have direct influence and participate in requirements definitions, etc" That's how I would do it if I was owning or managing this company and wanted it to prosper... HH LEADER User HH LEADER Peace symbol svg.png talk 15:40, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

...but they've already said that it is something that they want. That's why they ran it by the community. To get feedback about it. You know. Because they are showing interest? If this was something they didn't want, then Mr. O'Brien wouldn't have even bothered asking us about their proposal. And if they asked us about it, then we're not intervening, we're being included in the process - we're in politics right now. Any other company would rather hire market researchers to do it for them. You liek spam yes? You bai? Fai dalla!! Yes, a website would be like pole position - but they still have to respond to that, yet. (Terra Xin 16:21, 17 April 2009 (UTC))
Yes, they have asked community opinion on their proposal because it became apparent to them now that the community had done all this work in vain and it is not a community fault. It is an apology of sort and recognition of the fact that opportunity was lost as well.
At present time it is hard to predict if people are going to re-post the suggestions. They may not be visiting this Wiki anymore. The only way to re-engage these people and engage new contributors is to have a good advertising campaign on main Guild Wars site that will actively solicit new ideas. What I am also saying, that I am (and always was) against the community managing ideas. I am very, very against any merging, editing or otherwise altering any of them, because it is an interpretation of unqualified people who have no clue about how game is designed and what the engine and hardware supporting it is capable of. And the community does not want it anyway,- 'it was too much work', remember? It may be interesting for some people in the community who have the whole day and night with nothing better to do by going through other people ideas and have some fun with merging them, thus becoming a middle man between idea author and ArenaNet staff, but the risk of misinterpretation is too high. The spam issue is easily resolved by the method of posting if it is not Wiki, but remember that it is the community that was tired of looking at 'stupid and repetitive ideas', thus catalogue is needed as a point of reference one can rely on, which community does not want to maintain. How else someone is going to compare the suggestions if they are not on top of their head? One need to be completely immersed and dedicated to this job and be on the position to decide the difference. That is why this has to be a work for ArenaNet staff and not the community at large
I am saying that ArenaNet cannot go half way and should take a burden of managing the ideas if they are serious about it. This alone will give the assurance to people who want contribute to do this. The timing is not important. They can do it when they are ready, but it is important to do it right this time. I am on their side. I want to help them making this happen.
HH LEADER User HH LEADER Peace symbol svg.png talk 17:37, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
HHLeader, stop dreaming. You cannot demand anything from Arena Net, and demanding them to reply to each and every suggestion is ridiculous; given the quality of most suggestions and how often they are repeated, this would be an amazing waste of time. You should be happy Arena Net is actually offering to read the suggestions, expecting them to waste their time deciding how the suggestions will be organized is way beyond what's reasonable. Erasculio 20:04, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Make me happy? The market has only law : "The customer is always right". If company ignores this law it goes bankrupt. Specifically in current market conditions and fierce competition. Bigger companies went down in flames. Never mind what makes me happy. I am just one customer, ignore many customers or do not manage their expectations at large and face the failure of the product on the market. Do you want any specific examples? Here is what another customer says: "I couldn't care less about GW2 to be honest. What I read about it and the things they intend to do make my stomach churn. They are trying too hard to become "similar to" and I like GW because it's "different from". I don't care about the delay - actually, the further it slips into vaporware territory the better - preferably to the point of abandonment." It is not often people would go and make a statement like this. I am sure that in most cases they just quit playing. HH LEADER User HH LEADER Peace symbol svg.png talk 22:33, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

(RI) I'm not sure the community has offered Arena Net enough to work with; I see above many statements about creating a new site specifically for suggestions (something they have already claimed they will not do) and few workable options being given to Arena Net. Gordon's table is both oversimplistic and repetitive by stating the same problems over and over, making me believe it doesn't really work as the only way to list what our options are. What do you people expect Arena Net to say, exactly, based on the current discussion above? Erasculio 20:04, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

To quote myself... "It is really nice that so many people are dicussing here but in the end the licensing is something only ArenaNet can change, so we should give them time to answer instead of writing so many walls of texts that they don't even have the chance to respond to single statements." So give them some time please. poke | talk 20:10, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
...So they will answer to what, exactly? What do you expect them to say? I see statements about how this idea will not work, and about how Arena Net should make a new site for suggestions; both don't really add much for Arena Net to say other than what they have already stated (that they want to find a way to make this work, and that they will not create a site for suggestions). The community isn't really asking Arena Net anything. Erasculio 20:15, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
As I said, we gave far enough comments on that for now; the decision how it will work for ArenaNet and what they actually do in the end lies alone by them. So given on the input we have given (which includes pros, cons and a lot of ideas and problems) they have enough to answer on. If you don't think so, read the talk page again and you'll see. poke | talk 20:21, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't see any viable option the community agrees with. As much as we need Arena Net's aproval to change something, they also need ours, and that's something I don't see here. So no, I don't think there's enough for them to answer on. Erasculio 20:41, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
The short version is, what they want is impossible the way that have asked for it. So, they have to give something up, the question is, what do they want to give up? Either the ability to harvest from anywhere on the wiki safely, or their statement that they won't make a new site? Misery 21:05, 17 April 2009 (UTC)


dose this ban on no suggestions apply to changes to skills and things that are already in the game? 22:48, 17 April 2009 (UTC)