A German publisher is planning on selling a dead-tree edition of Wikipedia.

Next fall, you’ll be able to buy a collection of articles from the German edition of the online encyclopedia called The One-Volume Wikipedia Encyclopedia. It will cost about 20 euros.

Since all the material in Wikipedia was produced by volunteers under a Creative Commons license, the company is not required to pay for the content (they will, however, donate 1 euro per copy to the Wikimedia foundation).

So, are the writers who contributed to the wiki being ripped off?

Possibly. They certainly aren’t being paid for the material they added to articles being sold.

But beyond that, the idea of a printed version of Wikipedia seems somewhat bizarre. The whole concept of the project is to maintain a living document that constantly changes based on the best available information.

Locking it down into print form seems so much like…, like…, like the Encyclopedia Britannica.

On the other hand, maybe the librarians and other educators who view Wikipedia as the great evil of knowledge will be more accepting of it in this pre-web 2.0 format.