Bwburke94 wrote: If Arcbeatle Press were illegitimate, these pages would have been deleted under T:NO FANFIC, per Amorkuz' earlier claim.
This argument is not based on any policies and directly contradicts what happened in this case. To avoid those who did not participate in the preceding two debates (one of which is not available anymore) being mislead, I will recall the facts the way they happened.
Firstly, the presence of stories on the wiki before the validity debate about them is concluded is not a sign of legitimacy. Consider, for comparison, a small company called Tiny Rebel Games. I do not remember any doubts that it is a legitimate company. The validity debate over the stories in their latest game Infinity can be found at Thread:237184 (full disclosure: I started it). It is common knowledge that the stories are sold under a Doctor Who license from the BBC. They feature various Doctors, employ original actors for voiceover, are written and directed by well-established Doctor Who creators such as, among others, Gary Russell and Scott Handcock. The former announced that his work for the game was his final Doctor Who story. The inclusion debate has been open more than twice longer than all three Arcbeatle debates combined. In short, Infinity stories are more relevant to this wiki than Arcbeatle stories in every objective way. And yet, no one has thought of creating pages for those stories before the debate is concluded. Nobody claims the fact that the last Doctor Who story of Gary Russell does not have a page to be "a great disservice to the readers".
If one follows Bwburke94's reasoning, then Arcbeatle Press is much more legitimate than Tiny Rebel Games because Arcbeatle story pages were created without an inclusion debate and recreated despite one.
Let me remind the history of how these pages came to be on the wiki. First TheChampionOfTime created pages for these stories without starting an inclusion debate. All three pages had been created by him (sometimes months) before James Wylder started collecting money for a future publication at the Kickstarter in March 2019. Thus, CoT could not predict the possibility of future commercial releases. When he created the pages, they could not have been classified as anything but fan fiction. If there is any consensus around these debates, it is that CoT was wrong to create these pages without an inclusion debate.
When the pages came to the attention of several Tardis admin, they were deleted as fan fiction because at that point, in August 2019, they only existed at a personal website of James Wylder, available for free, with no copyright notice nor any claim, let alone proof of the existence of a commercial license.
These pages were then recreated by another admin, Revanvolatrelundar. He first started the inclusion debate, then recreated the pages without waiting for the results of the debate. Moreover, he recreated the pages as valid and added information from the stories to in-universe parts of other pages, as if the whole inclusion debate were a mere pretence. To avoid provoking an edit war between admin, the pages were not deleted after this. Meanwhile, Revanvolatrelundar, in ways quite uncharacteristic of his prior behaviour (especially if compared to his behaviour in the Infinity debate), kept pushing the inclusion debate to be closed, starting a couple of days after opening it. He was so impatient to validate these stories that he even asked a non-admin, OncomingStorm12th, to close the debate (see a later deleted post Special:Diff/2768841).
So intemperate and unusual (for any admin) was his conduct that I, knowing from his posts that he was an author himself, had to make sure he was not acting out of hidden ulterior motives, that he had no business/professional relationship with James Wylder/Arcbeatle Press. His response was that he had nothing to do with the (then still) three stories in question and that his own stories were to be published in a Cwej-themed anthology (as opposed to a 10k crossover). Following Help:Assume good faith, I took him at his word.
Imagine my surprise when I learned from recent edits by Borisashton that James Wylder is also an author of the said Cwej-themed anthology and, moreover, that the anthology is going to be published by Arcbeatle Press. After an independent verification of this information, I am sad to report that
- Revanvolatrelundar chose to conceal his professional and business relationship with James Wylder/Arcbeatle Press from the Tardis wiki community,
while engaging in forceful efforts to validate Wylder stories.
Thus, the reason these stories exist on the wiki, in contrast, say, to the stories from Infinity, is not because Arcbeatle Press is legitimate but because Arcbeatle Press has coopted one of Tardis wiki admin to act in their interests while concealing the conflict of interests from the community.
I strongly encourage Revanvolatrelundar to explain to the community the exact nature of his relationship to James Wylder and Arcbeatle Press, as well as the reasons why he chose to deceive the Tardis wiki community by obfuscating his business ties to Arcbeatle Press and James Wylder.
To prevent him from hiding behind the request from FANDOM that "anyone professionally involved with Arcbeatle Press [...] refrain from joining this thread", as repeated in the OP, I would like to point out that Revanvolatrelundar has already joined this thread, albeit, once again, in a way that masked his involvement. He has given kudos to pro-validity messages, which is not visible by default but can be verified by clicking on yellow "n kudos" links.
What we need to decide as a community is whether such deceptive practices by publishers and/or individual editors, especially admin, should be tolerated, let alone rewarded. Should admin be allowed to offer their wiki services, including protection, to publishers and hide these arrangements from the community? Should such corruption be allowed to stand?