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Shopping Enabled Wikipedia Pages New On Amazon

     
10:33 pm on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Shopping Enabled Wikipedia Pages New On Amazon [news.cnet.com]
Last month, e-commerce marketplace Amazon launched a relatively unnoticed new feature that brings content from Wikipedia pages to its own servers, in a shadowy new project that appears to be called "Shopping Enabled Wikipedia Pages." Hosted on the Amazon.com domain, they replicate Wikipedia's content but have added links to where a book can be purchased on Amazon.

"Shopping enabled Wikipedia pages are a new introduction on Amazon.com," Amazon representative Anya Waring told CNET when asked via e-mail. "As of November, we have rolled out in the books category, however [it] will be expanding to new categories in 2011."

It's not an official partnership, Waring explained. Amazon's use of the content is licensed under Creative Commons, the alternative to traditional copyright that Wikipedia uses for all of its user-sourced encyclopedia content.
10:54 pm on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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At the bottom of a "Shopping Enabled Wikipedia Page," a message explains: "The article appearing above is from Wikipedia...The Wikipedia content may be available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, version 3.0 or any later version."

That's pretty wishy-washy language. Does the "may be available" mean "might be available" or "is available"?

Or am I just in that type of mood today?
7:28 am on Dec 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hopefully Google won't index those duplicate pages.
10:47 am on Dec 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hopefully Google won't index those duplicate pages.

Actually, they do : [google.com...]
10:53 am on Dec 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I wonder what would've happened to my domain if I were to scrape Wiki and add my affiliate links to it.

Now is the time to see how biased Google really is.
11:34 am on Dec 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I think I'll build myself a Wikipedia enabled Amazon.

You don't think Amazon will mind my swiping their entire site do ya?

If this makes Google send more traffic to Amazon and Less to Wikipedia it will surely be "GET YOUR MASHUP ON" season for everyone.
12:27 pm on Dec 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Amazon's use of the content is licensed under Creative Commons, the alternative to traditional copyright that Wikipedia uses for all of its user-sourced encyclopedia content.


Wiki have made their content usable by others, why all the surprise people make use of it!
12:40 pm on Dec 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Some of Wiki's images come under different licensing I believe.

I don't see the point of Amazon doing this, a link to the Wiki article would be fine. Facebook are in the same boat...
4:27 pm on Dec 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Great, another 50 million pages of pulp joins the internet. Woot!
6:43 pm on Dec 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Wiki have made their content usable by others, why all the surprise people make use of it!


I think that a big corporation using the work of volunteers to make an extra buck without giving anything back in return is just greedy. When Apple used the Konqueror code for Safari, they gave back to the open source project. Google used the Open directory, but provided some added value with Pagerank and doesn't display ads in their version. If Amazon helped finance Wikipedia with part of the profits, or something, it would be another story.
8:09 pm on Dec 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like Amazon is following the BlackHat SEO path of scrapping content.
9:06 pm on Dec 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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scrapping content.

Its published under CC SA BY for a reason. Its not scraping to take that content, its using it how it was intended to be (re)used.
10:39 pm on Dec 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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There is an appeal from Wikipedia founder. I think Amazon was answering it by ripping all it pages to outrank competitors during the holiday season.
9:02 am on Dec 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I think it's very charitable of Amazon to try and lessen Wikipedia's server load and bandwidth costs. If only all large companies were so altruistic.
12:12 am on Dec 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It's taking content that is just fine where it is and copying it just to monetize it, plain and ugly.

Did Amazon hire a small army to update these pages over time? People sure aren't going to update Amazon copies for them.

Or do they plan to constantly hit up Wikipedia (a free site) with Amazon crawlers and slow it down for all of us...

This move was pure greed in my opinion.
5:16 pm on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I think wikipedia offers tarball downloads of their whole site on a regular basis. Well, they used to. So amazon should be able to re-update on a daily/weekly basis.
4:52 pm on Dec 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Nice. Sounds almost like Google's "ENHANCED DOCUMENT BROWSING WITH AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED LINKS TO RELEVANT INFORMATION" patent application.
4:56 pm on Dec 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Ooops, should have added, that was in principal at least, the idea of monetising from someone else's content. Not exactly an new thing but shady nonetheless.
8:53 am on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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There are other sites that monetise Wikipedia content, some of which rank quite well.

Bing used to have a copy of Wikipedia as well.
11:33 am on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Amazon's use of the content is licensed under Creative Commons, the alternative to traditional copyright that Wikipedia uses for all of its user-sourced encyclopedia content.


A Creative Commons license is not an "alternative" to traditional copyright, it's a straightforward application thereof. Amazon should have asked a lawyer who actually knows what he's talking about before writing this.

Other than that, Amazon uses those data exactly for their intended purpose, as do probably thousands of other sites out there. They also don't need to "scrape" Wikipedia, they certainly use the official RDF data dump (both for the initial download and hopefully regular updates). This may indeed lessen Wikipedia's server load as Fribble notes.

Also, Wikipedia has no interest at all in "ranking" on Google. Their own site is primarily intended to be used by editors, with other sites using the resulting content for display to the general public. Indeed, the fact that Wikipedia pages *do* rank well for many keywords costs them a lot of money for bandwidth, which they'd really prefer to spend for more productive purposes.

In summary: What Amazon does here is good for Wikipedia in pretty much every aspect. People getting annoyed about it apparently haven't quite grasped yet why the project exists in the first place.
8:35 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I think any site using Wiki content or anyone's copied content should be penalized. This is clearly not only unethical but should be illegal.
10:20 am on Dec 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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@tictoc, so you want to ban people from using content under license? That would mean every author would have to print their books themselves (as they cannot license rights to a publisher).

Get this clear: Amazon have Wilipedia and their contributors permission to do this.
1:02 pm on Dec 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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@tictoc, wikipedia is a different league, has its own cartel in publishing. They publish and censor whatever they want.

Amazon figured out another way to utilize their "published" info.
7:24 am on Dec 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This is clearly not only unethical but should be illegal.


Yes indeed. It should absolutely be illegal to accept and follow the terms of a written contract [en.wikipedia.org ].