Fair use vs Piracy

I mentioned a week ago that a certain site seems to be stealing programming-related content from several blogs including my own. I took it upon myself to notify the two other people who’s blogs I found and telling them too, and so I was delighted to hear from sriram chewsthefat – one of the two – who wanted to know how to lodge a complaint against the site in question. Sriram: Due to the fact that the site doesn’t have any email or contact information, I ended up lodging a complaint with their HOST company, called HostGator.com. You can find exact directions on how to lodge a complaint at http://www.hostgator.com/copyright.shtml Good luck.

During the course of the week I discovered yet another site which was stealing my posts: http://iphones.analyzetime.com/just-because-its-mobile-doesnt-mean-you-should-move-it/ (You might notice that the headline sounds awfully familar..) Yet, I don’t mind this one nearly as much, for a very simple reason: Whoever copied my post put a link to this blog at the bottom of the page. They didn’t pretend that they wrote my blindingly witty comments about the IPhone, they attributed them to the source.

That’s the small but oh-so-curcial detail. Above all else, a writer want to be read and recognized. When I write a piece about facade classes, of java Strings, or even why IPhones suck, I want who ever reads is to benifit from it, and I want that person to be able to respond to me. I don’t really care how a person found my words. I care that he finds them, reads them, knows who wrote them, and occationally write something back. Nothing is more exciting to a blogger then comments (hint hint) , so when a site uses my words but strippes out my name, that’s piracy, and it makes me mad. Where as a site that links back to me will never hear me complaining. And why should I? They’re just helping advertise my blog, it’s fair use. And if they make money in the process, well… I’ll chuck that up to advertising fees. 🙂

Good weekend,


P.S., On the same topic, check this out: http://gawker.com/5301674/wired-editor-steals-content-for-book-about-how-content-should-be-free