Wikipedia and copyrights

If you haven't heard about Wikipedia, you should check it out. It's a grass roots encyclopedia. It has a huge number of articles, contributed in general by anyone who feels like writing an article, presumably because they know something about it. Here's the Wikipedia definition of Wikipedia.

It's quite an amazing thing, amazing because of how it has grown, how it was built, who built it and what it was built on.

One often mentioned question is how accurate is Wikipedia anyway?. It's an important question in that Wikipedia is developing quite a reputation, not only among Technorati, but also among civilians. I am waiting for the first time that a Wikipedia definition is cited in the New York Times. It may have already happened.

I was looking for a random snippet of information today (you'll see how random in a second!) Anyway, I Googled it, which produced quite a list of hits, including a Wikipedia definition and a "Freedictionary.com" definition (which I had not heard of before.)

Guess what: they are copies of each other! Just check the two links!

The question is, what direction was the copying done? Impossible to tell, but I was actually surprised to randomly stumble onto something like that. I don't want to make this into a big conspiracy theory - there may be a perfectly innocent explanation...
Posted on November 11, 2004 and filed under Technology.