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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

oh, and stealing’s uncool, okay?

Something else that’s really gotten me pissed lately: the off-topic commenter in this thread who’s all like, “Hey, your stuff is awesome, so I stole it, thanks!”

Just in case it’s not perfectly clear, it is not okay for anyone to repost any material from this Web site anywhere. (That’s in the copyright info down in the righthand column of every page, though I would hope that it would be obvious to anyone with half a brain.) Now, I’m not saying it’s not cool to post a brief quote from one of my reviews with a link back to the full review here — that’s more than okay: that’s great. Please, do that if you like my stuff. That’s the right way to share. Not the way this numbskull did it. Not that this numbskull was the first.

I got into a long email “argument” with this person, “Stef,” about why it’s uncool to repost someone’s work in its entirety without attribution or even a link back to the original posting. (Not that attribution or a link would have excused this, but the lack of these just makes it all the worse.) Stef’s “explanation”? “[Y]our LOTR Drinking Game has been floating around the fandom for ages now and nowhere that I had seen it was there any mention of who wrote it.” Now, if you Google “lotr drinking game,” my site is the very first result, so clearly, Stef didn’t do the first damn thing to attempt to determine who might have written this material that s/he loves so much. But that’s besides the point.

I’ve had to explain this to clueless nincompoops too many times, but here it is again. When someone reposts my writing in its entirety, it’s kinda like stealing from me. A quote and link sends readers to my site, makes me a coupla pennies in ad revenue, and might just garner me a new reader who will return again and again and earn me a few more pennies on a regular basis. It might not sound like much, but it adds up eventually. But reposting a review or other material in its entirety — especially without that all-important attribution or link — means readers never make their way here. And it means that you’re building your content on my hardworking back, and if you’re cool with that, then you’re an even bigger jerk than I thought you were.

(Oh, and contrary to what Stef tried to insist, criticism and commentary do not infringe copyright. So it’s legally okay for me to make a few pennies with this site.)

And I’ve had to explain this to too many people, too many times, so here it is again, too: Nobody pays me a salary for the work I do at FlickFilosopher.com. There is no corporate sponsorship. I don’t have a boss, I don’t have a staff. I do this all on my own. I refuse to run pop-up ads, because I think they’re completely obnoxious, but I don’t apologize for running in-line ads — I can’t get by without the couple hundred bucks the site makes every month. (Hell, a lot of that goes right back out to pay the postage on all the cool stuff I give away. I guess I could give up on the giveaways, but the hundreds and hundreds of people who enter those seem to like them.) Unless you want me to have to spend more time working for paying, non-movie-related clients, and less time posting stuff here. And I already feel like I don’t do enough here — I’d hate to do less.

I’m not trying to be a bitch about this. But the fact is that if you want the Web to be the domain of nobody but fanboys who can’t spell and cubicle drones on a corporate teat, the best way to do that is to drive our the small, independent operators like myself whose work you “love” so much. Until we find ourselves living in a paradisical Whuffie-based economy, this is the reality. Deal with it, and stop being such a dork: Quote and link, don’t repost.



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