German publishing company Bertelsmann has made plans to publish a hard copy of Wikipedia, leaving many wondering if the content’s writers are being scammed out of royalties to which they are due.
“The One-Volume Wikipedia Encyclopedia,” goes on sale this September for 19.95 euros (around $32 U.S.).
Is this legal? Yes. Apparently, the material on the Wikipedia site is free for use given that you cite Wikipedia as the source. In addition, Bertelsmann will pay the foundation one euro for every copy sold.
Mark O’Neill of Now Sourcing believes he knows exactly where this leaves those writers: ripped off. He writes:
Wikipedia is ripping them off big-time. No, in fact, letâ€™s not beat around the bush here. Letâ€™s say it for what it really is. Wikipedia is SHAFTING THEM….Had they known that Wikipedia would then use their work in a commercial printed venture, Iâ€™m sure they would have had second thoughts about writing those articles. At the very least they would have demanded a contract and perhaps a guarantee of financial compensation later.