So Doc, what do you think about another division on the Multiverse Page, below 'Other Referenced Earths' called something like "5EP Authors' Fanfic" which leads to a Who's Wno page with entries that link to the non-5EP stories on the 5EP Forum?
John and Dave, I would think this would catch your interest, given your encyclopedic knowledge of characters. Let me know if you want an invite.
I definitely want an invite. I can't wait to start adding to the wiki. However, just know that my contributions will be sporadic, since my job works me 10 hours a day, and my wife has just had a baby.
Oh, no worries! I've been there. Congratulations, BTW! I've added you now. You've already compiled quite a bit of valuable info on the forum that could go into the Wiki, which is a great contribution in itself!
I wonder if most or all of our Infinite Earths stuff is about Public Domain characters? I know the Justice Machine is not Public Domain, but I won't be writing Who's Who for them either, because they are not PD. I don't want the owner to come looking for me!
Maybe we could give this suggested section of the Who's Who a name that indicates that all the characters in that section are Public Domain - and set up a rule that only PD bios can be posted there? And then put in a blurb that says that some of our authors occasionally dabble in Public Domain characters and here's where to find out more about those particular PD characters...
I'm pretty sure that writing about characters by describing their histories is completely fair use, or Wikipedia and tons of other fan-based wikis out there would be taken down, and that's just not happening. It's the fanfic that has always been a sticking point, since fiction can be seen as competitive. Luckily, most comic-book companies tend to ignore fanfic, since we're only offering text-based stories, not fully-drawn stories as you'd see in their comic-books.
Trademark holders like Conde Naste, which owns the rights to the Shadow, for example, DO tend to go after fanfic, since most of the Shadow stories are also text-based, so fanfic could be seen as a direct competitor. That's why, if we ever want to tell any Shadow stories, we'll have to use an original character or a DC Comics-based name like the Grey Ghost to avoid legal action from the pulp magazine trademark holders.
OK, so that doesn't work. What else might we name this section to indicate that these characters are not part of 5EP continuity? I mostly suggested putting Public Domain in the name so site visitors won't be fooled into thinking these are 5EP characters.
Come to think of it, the reason I don't want anything not 5 Earths on the Wiki is that there's no way to search specifically for 5 Earths characters only. All the search results come up, including non-5 Earths. And we already have a problem with multiple versions of characters with the same name. Trying to add in other characters completely outside of the 5 Earths continuity DC Multiverse would be a real headache. Just take a look at the differentiation pages for any character that has multiple versions from Elseworlds and in movies, cartoons, etc, like Batman. It gets really complicated. I want the search results to be related to 5 Earths only, including the Multiverse section (which was created to include parallel universes that have had some interactions with the regular DC universes, not standalone Elseworlds, etc).
So why not just create a Who's Who thread in the forums in Elseworlds or Multiverse where the stories are? Nobody but the creators of those characters would be updating them anyway. That way anyone who wants to read them can read them, and anyone who wants to ignore them can ignore them.