• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Wikimedia sues Internet Brands

Gabby

Well-known member
#2
H and F is a private equity firm, I strongly doubt they have unlimited resources. I hope this eats away at any returns they may have rec'd from investing in IB.
 

Adam Howard

Well-known member
#6
Wiki has a much larger public opinion and social networking base than all of Internet Brands Inc products and services combined.... They're going to crush Internet Brands in this regard.

Looks like the school bully (Internet Brands) finally picked on the wrong kid in class and took on more than they can chew.
 

Slavik

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#7
H and F is a private equity firm, I strongly doubt they have unlimited resources. I hope this eats away at any returns they may have rec'd from investing in IB.
H+F is worth billions.

Internet brands is a minor spec on their portfolio, and IB alone generates enough profit to wage their own lawsuits without the holding company having to fork out.
 

FredC

Well-known member
#11
We do not feel it is appropriate for Internet Brands, a large corporation with hundreds of millions of dollars in assets, to seek to intimidate two individuals.
Yup sounds like a normal day at IB. They were overdue to sue somebody that they cant beat fair and square.

No mater how much money IB has - this is a PR disaster.
And they deserve it.
A disaster im sure they are all to familiar with.. They dont seem to care about PR only the bottom line. I do hope that this will jog a few memories when they release vB5..
 

SchmitzIT

Well-known member
#13
The language sure sounds familiar, too:

Further investigation continues to reveal additional co-conspirators and additional tortious and improper conduct.
You can almost hear Bob Brisco slamming his fist on the table while yelling out: "How DARE people start any sites that compete with IB?"
 
#16
Former Wikitravel admin here, been thinking about you lot lately :)

Short backstory, the relatively small core community of regular contributers and administrators have been thinking about forking for a while, since we received nearly no tech support, many of them denied or taking years, no mediawiki upgrades from 2007 to 2011 leaving us vulnerable to sort of abuse, see this example or this one for a good show of IB arrogance, even though they eventually budged. This is despite a promise they made when they purchased the site from the founders, that they wouldn't interfere with the community.

They also promised a major advantage of being owned by IB would be substantial resources for development and better servers, yet despite this, we have lived with a misconfigured database for years, often at months at a time making the site nearly unusable, especially for us patrolling the site and doing mass edits to keep the site clean. We lost a lot of valuable contributors this way, and those who remained were increasingly unable to keep up with spammers since the site was running so slow that simple tasks as reversions took 30-40 seconds per click, rather than the 1-2 seconds it takes on Wikipedia. Saving an edit in some of the largest articles would take minutes. When you have to vet 100-200 edits per day, this builds up a lot of frustration. We cried foul, IB promised improvements, nothing happened - and this repeated itself again and again and ...

At some point we started to discuss the possibility of a fork seriously, and left a bot crawling on the site, so we would have a backup plan in case we actually went through with it. But forking of course has a price, and rebuilding all the linkjuice (that we justifiably have/had, since its all original content, a full 26.000 pages of it) that drives in casual contributors would take years. So we kept putting it off, until a user involved with both Wikitravel and high level Wikimedia staff opened a door to Wikipedia, and a opportunity to get away from IB incompetence while remaining relevant opened up.

At one point the IB learned about this and went to Wikimania to talk us out of it, having been feed lie upon lie upon lie, we didn't bite, and they were rather shocked to learn we had a full, up to date, copy of the site with the full contribution history preserved (a requirement to forking while adhering to the CC-by-SA license). Their reaction was to shut down all discussion taking place on site, blanking and protecting user pages with users explaining why they retired and where they could be found, making frivolous legal threats for users stating an opinion, banning the most revered admins and contributors without them breaking a single term of service or site policy, etc. etc. etc. etc.

We then learned recently that they had actually sued an administrator and a contributor, as individuals, this was before Wikimedia stepped up and went into the legal fray, so we were all pretty shellshocked. The Wikimedia foundation rising up to this, is for me, pretty much a Deus ex machina moment, and boy do I hope they suffer, at the very least, irreparable damage to their reputation so they can no longer buy up any more online communities.
 

craigiri

Well-known member
#18
It does bring up some interesting points about the "ownership" of content, links and other such stuff.....probably fodder for another thread!
 

EQnoble

Well-known member
#19
Former Wikitravel admin here, been thinking about you lot lately :)

Short backstory, the relatively small core community of regular contributers and administrators have been thinking about forking for a while, since we received nearly no tech support, many of them denied or taking years, no mediawiki upgrades from 2007 to 2011 leaving us vulnerable to sort of abuse, see this example or this one for a good show of IB arrogance, even though they eventually budged. This is despite a promise they made when they purchased the site from the founders, that they wouldn't interfere with the community.

They also promised a major advantage of being owned by IB would be substantial resources for development and better servers, yet despite this, we have lived with a misconfigured database for years, often at months at a time making the site nearly unusable, especially for us patrolling the site and doing mass edits to keep the site clean. We lost a lot of valuable contributors this way, and those who remained were increasingly unable to keep up with spammers since the site was running so slow that simple tasks as reversions took 30-40 seconds per click, rather than the 1-2 seconds it takes on Wikipedia. Saving an edit in some of the largest articles would take minutes. When you have to vet 100-200 edits per day, this builds up a lot of frustration. We cried foul, IB promised improvements, nothing happened - and this repeated itself again and again and ...

At some point we started to discuss the possibility of a fork seriously, and left a bot crawling on the site, so we would have a backup plan in case we actually went through with it. But forking of course has a price, and rebuilding all the linkjuice (that we justifiably have/had, since its all original content, a full 26.000 pages of it) that drives in casual contributors would take years. So we kept putting it off, until a user involved with both Wikitravel and high level Wikimedia staff opened a door to Wikipedia, and a opportunity to get away from IB incompetence while remaining relevant opened up.

At one point the IB learned about this and went to Wikimania to talk us out of it, having been feed lie upon lie upon lie, we didn't bite, and they were rather shocked to learn we had a full, up to date, copy of the site with the full contribution history preserved (a requirement to forking while adhering to the CC-by-SA license). Their reaction was to shut down all discussion taking place on site, blanking and protecting user pages with users explaining why they retired and where they could be found, making frivolous legal threats for users stating an opinion, banning the most revered admins and contributors without them breaking a single term of service or site policy, etc. etc. etc. etc.

We then learned recently that they had actually sued an administrator and a contributor, as individuals, this was before Wikimedia stepped up and went into the legal fray, so we were all pretty shellshocked. The Wikimedia foundation rising up to this, is for me, pretty much a Deus ex machina moment, and boy do I hope they suffer, at the very least, irreparable damage to their reputation so they can no longer buy up any more online communities.
Thank you for sharing your story....this thread confirms a lot of my original notions of IB as a company....and I have seen and continue to see patterns emerging. It is quite disturbing to know that a big company like this simply because they have money can terrorize any living human...where if I were to do what they did I would be arrested for defacing someones name