Wikia Owned Wikileaks.com Domain; Assange Ignored Attempts To Hand It Over

from the domain-oddities dept

I had seen the BBC article from a week or so ago about Jimmy Wales talking about the complexity of Wikipedia and how it needs to improve, but hadn't read all the way to the end where there was a rather interesting tidbit. Copycense however alerted us to this little bit of trivia at the end about how Wikipedia's sorta sister company Wikia owns some Wikileaks domain names... including Wikileaks.com:
Technically, the Wikia company has until this week legally owned domain names including wikileaks.net, wikileaks.com and wikileaks.us.

"We transferred the domains to them but they never completed the technical part," said Mr Wales. "All they needed to do was sign in and complete the transfer but they have never done it."

He said the domains had been registered "defensively" when Wikileaks launched in 2006.

"When they first launched they put out a press release that said the 'Wikipedia of secrets', which would have been a trademark violation.

"So someone in the office registered two or three domains."

He said that he regularly tries to prompt Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange to complete the transaction, to no avail.

"I saw someone else say that he's prone to saying 'I'm busy fighting superpowers' and that's exactly what he said to me."

Mr Wales said the domains would expire "this week".

"I'm not renewing them," said Mr Wales.

"We may ping them and say they are loose."
Of course, I just checked the whois on the .com and the .net, and both say they're registered until 2012... so someone renewed the domains, but it's not clear who.

Filed Under: domains
Companies: wikia, wikileaks, wikipedia


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  1. icon
    FarSide (profile), 21 Jan 2011 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    That's just silly. That's like saying we never needed more than 1 newspaper, because you can't keep track of all the news coming out of more than 1.

    Clones will come out, sure, but as has been repeated on TD over and over, COPYing doesn't matter, it's the execution. That counts for whistleblowers, too.

    Wikileaks actually attempts to do the journalistic thing and verify the leaks before just dumping them out to the world. If their leaks were repeatedly discredited, people would stop listening to them.

    Further, a clone only works if people are trusting enough to leak to it. If a few leakers were given up by the site, no one would give them anything new.

    So the idea that thousands of clones would just "pop up" is wrong, in my opinion. And when the inevitable few DO appear, I think they'll be verified as trustworthy or not in fairly short order.

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