Steal this post!

Post image for Steal this post!

As usual, at first there was nothing, then I sat down with some coffee for a few hours, and then there was something : a collection of words that might give you a good idea or teach you to do something. It wasn’t always brilliant, but I made it myself and I hoped you like it. As of today I’ve done this 250 times for this website.

When it’s done I click publish and set it free. Within a few seconds it’s in a thousand places. On a bench in Prospect Park, looking up from someone’s Android. Glowing on a white-blue iPad screen in a midwest dorm room. Waiting behind an envelope icon in some accountant’s Outlook, in Brisbane. Any stranger who finds it can beam it someone else a few minutes later, anywhere they want.

I like that this can happen. This is the future. It has never been easier to find the like-minded, to broadcast your personality, to click with a kindred mind in another city or on another continent, to find an audience for your creative thing you do. I love that I live now and not some other time.

As a consumer of creative works, it’s also easier than ever to find what you value, at least of the type that comes in the form of words, images, sounds, or anything else than can fit through a cable or shoot through the airwaves. Information is a boring word for it, but that’s what it is, and a lot of it has real value to us.

Today’s free flow of information also means it’s harder than ever to retain control of what you create. That seems like it would almost defeat the possibility of actually selling your work, given that anyone can find information on the web and have their way with it. People who create digital products today have to deal with an issue that the brick-and-mortar era never did. You can’t tie anything down, and everything you offer can be duplicated, by anyone, anywhere. You can’t lock up when you leave the shop at night. Once they’re on the internet, your wares are up for grabs.

It’s easier than ever to steal. You can lift someone else’s words, songs, pictures and tell people they are yours. Or, at least, you can neglect to tell people they aren’t yours. 

I felt violated the first time this happened to me. Someone had taken an article of mine and pasted it onto a throwaway blog filled with lifted content, plastered with ads. There was no mention of me or Raptitude. I wouldn’t have known, except that there were links in the post that pointed to other posts in my archives. I saw traffic coming through them and found it that way. I don’t remember what I did. I think I left a snarky comment.

Now it happens a lot, and I don’t do anything about it. I don’t feel like I’m losing any ground to throwaway blogs just because they’re riding my content.

People reprint my stuff all the time, and most are courteous enough to ask permission, and give proper attribution. The other day though, I discovered a new low in content-ganking. Someone is ripping me off even more blatantly, in a way I haven’t seen before.

I found a link on Twitter pointing to my 88 Truths post. The tweet contained a few lines I’ve written, and a link to a suspicious URL – http://businessresourceideas.com/88-truths.

If you click that link, you’ll be taken to an exact copy of my site, except it’s under the businessresourceideas.com domain.

Once you click through, you read the article as normal. It looks just like Raptitude. My name and my picture. When you’re done, if you scroll up to the top (something people do when they either want to learn more about the site they’re on, or want to go somewhere else) a popup box appears, saying “Before you go, please take a look at this special offer.”

The only button to click is “OK” and even if you try to close the window by clicking the X in the corner, you are still taken to a sales page for some make-easy-money-online product.

Bloggers and other web people know that the limiting factor in any online business model is traffic. If you’re selling something, a certain percentage of the people who see your offer will buy. This percentage (called a conversion rate) is always very small, but no matter what it is, increasing the amount of traffic per month will increase the number of sales per month.

So once you have an offer on the table, all you need to make money is to get a consistent flow of eyeballs looking at it. Traffic is hard to get though. There are hundreds of millions of people using the internet daily, but there are also hundreds of millions of websites competing for their attention. To build an audience for your website, you need to be consistently offering something of value.

You can also buy traffic, by paying for ads. When you Google something, there are always a few prominent sponsored links that come up. These people are buying traffic — which is fair too, because they are offering something of value in order to get it. If they don’t have good content to offer in exchange for people’s attention, then at least they have money.

Or you can try to beat the system with trickery. There has always been a something-for-nothing crowd, and they never seem to be a happy or healthy bunch. Cheat gamblers, pyramid schemers, alchemists.

Our friend “Nathaniel” at businessresourceideas.com has a Twitter stream full of similar links. He finds an article that has gone viral — and therefore has demonstrated it has value — then puts the whole page up exactly as  he found it, only under his domain. When the popup window appears, the user is supposed to think it’s coming from the person who wrote the article they just enjoyed. So he is piggybacking not only the content created by others, but the trust of their readership.

We all want to receive value. In other words, we all want to get paid — whether it’s in money or accolades or attention. That’s why most of us have jobs. We offer value for a different kind of value. We make an arrangement with a business to sell some of our time and effort, in exchange for something else that is of value. This is a pretty universal expectation among human beings, that we know we have to give to get. No input without output.

There is a sad class of people out there who are determined to participate only on the receiving end. They aren’t prepared to offer anything of value to the outside world, hoping that somehow if they can just focus extra-hard on extracting value from the world around them, they’ll never have to supply any.

If you didn’t really think much about it, it might seem like minimizing giving while maximizing taking is a high-profit strategy. But I don’t think it works. This summer somebody did a thousand dollars’ damage to my car door just to steal the coins in the console. His overhead on the venture was probably zero but I don’t imagine he’s going to retire any time soon. I’d rather be the person getting robbed.

Obviously pretend-businessman Nathaniel doesn’t have my permission to do what he’s doing with my content. The whole thing doesn’t make me mad though. I thought about concealing the link to his version of my site, so that he doesn’t receive any more traffic other people earned for him. But I don’t mind sending him some traffic. He needs help. In fact, I want you to see it. Nathaniel’s pathetic scheme is what it looks like when you have nothing to give.

The odd person might buy the get-rich-quick product being linked to, and Nathaniel might make thirty dollars even though he didn’t create anything of value for others. I guess you could say he beat the system. I wonder how quickly he’s going to get rich.

He and other content thieves are no threat to the online creative community, because that community understands something he doesn’t. They create and they give, and so they will always be richer.

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Image by elhobredenegro

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{ 45 Comments }

JB October 21, 2012 at 11:22 pm

[GASP!!]

I’m an accountant in Brisbane! Can you see me through the screen???

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StephInBerkeley October 22, 2012 at 5:17 am

Ahahahahahaaaa!

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David October 22, 2012 at 7:32 am

Hahaha…

YES

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Max Coleman October 29, 2012 at 10:18 pm

And I’m reading this in a Midwestern dorm room!

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Bob B. October 22, 2012 at 12:36 am

That is, as you say, a pretty sad way to have to make money. As a side note, instead of clicking OK or trying to close the pop-up window one can close the browser window or tab and the whole thing goes away. That’s what I generally do when confronted with that kind of “we won’t take no for an answer” choice.

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David October 22, 2012 at 7:24 am

I appreciate the tip Bob, thank you.

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EcoCatLady October 22, 2012 at 2:04 am

I fear I am all too familiar with this sort of thing. I actually make my living on-line – photography and graphic design. I fought the thieves like your “friend” Nathaniel for years, and finally I just decided that the battle wasn’t worth it. You can try to stop them, but it inevitably just sucks your time and energy – and all you really end up doing is discouraging legitimate users.

So I finally decided that once you publish something on the internet, people are going to treat it like it’s in the public domain whether or not it really is, so why fight it? So now I just release all of my photographs into the public domain and encourage people to use them however they might like. I get emails every day from people who can’t believe that they can just use the stuff for free with no strings attached. And the funny part is that my sites are all doing just fine, and I’m even getting a reasonable number of donations on top of the ad revenue.

Plus… it makes me feel good… like I’m “contributing” somehow. I guess that sounds silly, but I really enjoy knowing that something I did helped someone, even if it is in just a trivial way. And I am SOOOOO much happier now that I can focus my time on creating and “being benevolent” rather than on trying to chase down scum sucking thieves!

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Vilx- October 22, 2012 at 4:51 am

Being a web developer myself I’m wondering if there aren’t some little things that can be done after all. Technological tidbits, which don’t affect you or your users one bit, but which makes copying of your content annoyingly difficult. Not impossible – just difficult enough that most people won’t bother (because they can’t automate it and have to jump through hoops for every piece of content). I can think of several potential approaches already.

On the other hand, if you _want_ your content to be reusable, then it’s no good, and you’re better off the way you described. A simple watermark will be enough for people to know who really made it. :)

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StephInBerkeley October 22, 2012 at 5:20 am

Good for you too ECL. I don’t agree with the thieving but I think your and david’s approaches are beautiful :)

Hey, you know you actually introduced me to raptitude through your blogroll last year. I’d like to thank you for that!

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Jurate October 22, 2012 at 4:49 am

This article is a great way of dealing with the situation, David. I think this is the best what you can do (or fight, in a way) when your content is stolen. I’m from the East of Europe, we steal stuff from the net all the time because of the circumstances: we can’t waste money (that most of us have so little) for things that we can get for free. In my subjective opinion, it’s a part of mentality of the poor nation. Anyway, I never thought about the situation from your perspective, therefore, I’m glad I got the email after I subscribed yesterday. I think reading your articles will be a beautiful journey for me. Thank you ;)

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Vilx- October 22, 2012 at 4:57 am

I’m from Eastern Europe too, and I don’t quite agree. :) True, piracy is widespread among private people, but companies do everything the proper way, and I know many people that actually DO pay for most of the content that they use (where payment is due, of course). New services that offer content for an appropriate price (iTunes, Steam, etc) also help. And don’t mix up two unrelated things – piracy and plagiarizing. Piracy is taking a free copy of something that had to be paid for. Plagiarizing is claiming that a work is your own without the authors permission. Even in Eastern Europe, plagiarizing is despised by everyone except the culprits themselves.

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It Calls Me Onanon October 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm

You’ve avoided addressing the actual problem by disagreeing and instead arguing an issue of semantics. Pretty sure there’s a fallacy in there somewhere. :P
There is a very real population of people that do plagiarize and there is an explanation for it. Jurate was providing, what I think, is a good anthropological observation that answers to cultural influences on behavior and therefore answers to the problem. Saying that “Plagiarizing is despised by everyone except the culprits themselves.” is a very large blanket statement that doesn’t actually address the issue being discussed, which for Jurate it was why these people do what they are doing.

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Vilx- October 25, 2012 at 6:58 am

I think you missed my point. Let me quote Jurate: “I’m from the East of Europe, we steal stuff from the net all the time because of the circumstances: we can’t waste money (that most of us have so little) for things that we can get for free.” This relates to piracy, not plagiarizing. Yes, most people here run pirated software and run pirated music. But none of them does what David was talking about – nobody takes that software or game and CLAIMS that he made it! Nobody tries to resell it for money (well, they used to, but the Internet has pretty much wiped out pirated software CD salesmen). “In my subjective opinion, it’s a part of mentality of the poor nation.” In my opinion, it’s the mentality of freeloaders who chase after easy cash by abusing the work of others. They are found equally among poor and rich nations.

It Calls Me Onanon October 26, 2012 at 1:27 am

Replying to Vilx’s reply to me…

I didn’t miss your point; I simply didn’t observe any truth in it.
“nobody takes that software or game and CLAIMS that he made it! Nobody tries to resell it for money”
I don’t validate arguments or baseless claims that come from uninformed, fallacious and therefore ideological reasoning as opposed to information-based logical reasoning. Even if it is anecdotal, as in Jurate’s case, he at least observes agreeable factors that could contribute to the logic in the formation of motives in people. What’s more, you make a judgment call that institutes prejudice and as a consequence discriminates individual people and their human motivations. It makes “freeloaders” out of people and doesn’t empathize with them at all. The blanket generalization you use is a fallacious device that validates your black-and-white belief and is contingent on a misplaced sense of righteousness and superiority over others who would think or perform adversely to your standards. It comes from a selfish and small disposition that can easily be provoked into insecurity just by the nature of it, as I’m sure my response is doing.
I do recognize that you may be right about the technicality of plagiarism vs. piracy in the eyes of the law (I did some minor research after reading this post but I’m not a lawyer :P), but the issue was that you chose to compartmentalize the issues by arguing semantics instead of answering to the motivations of people. There’s no logic to arguing that people are as one dimensional as you make them out to be if they do one form of thievery over the other. People are people. I believe David made a post that empathized with a man stealing dirt some time ago that I was fond of.

..On a side note, what’s with people arguing that someone has “missed the point” instead of focusing on trying to understand the argument being made and re-evaluating what they believe? It must serve to preemptively dismiss the argument and preserve the self… *ramble ramble*

Vilx- October 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm

I don’t understand you. In my opinion, there is a VERY large difference between “stealing some content to use for yourself” and “stealing some content to resell it to others”. Is that what you disagree with?

Vilx- October 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm

And an even greater difference with “stealing some content to resell it to others whilst claiming it’s your own work”. Which basically is lying.

It Calls Me Onanon October 28, 2012 at 2:08 am

There’s a difference as detailed by the law. I acknowledged that and don’t disagree with that. That wasn’t what Jurate was arguing about at all, though. You came up with that issue on your own and were arguing it to somebody who wasn’t even talking about that. He was talking about why some people do some things.

Logically, I understand that when humans do anything, they act based on human motivations. Humans have different subjective reasons for “why”, but ultimately what is happening is they are doing A to achieve B. Substitute that with whatever you will. “Steal to acquire something for a benefit”—A to achieve B. No need to mince definitions.

Attributing anything you believe (that’s what’s called a subjective opinion) like something being “acceptable” or “unacceptable” and then saying it’s right by using what’s known as a “blanket generalization” (or claiming something that speaks for a lot of different things or people when you’re just one person with no specific data) is just a psychological problem you maintain and apply to issues that aren’t up to your standards. These are topics that have most likely made you feel insecure in your past and you mitigate (make not-as-bad) the bad feeling you get from it by doing things like separating the issues of “stealing for yourself vs. stealing for resale or personal credit.” You make judgments about people based on your personal criteria instead of doing research and understanding the factors that affect psychology and therefore understanding the patterns in human behavior and motivations and consequently providing an opinion that might provide further understanding to a problem.

Ultimately, after further evaluation of your argument, it seems that you missed the “point” of Jurate’s comment. He may know the difference between the different kinds of stealing (he also may not), but his point was that some people “steal to acquire a benefit” (remember, do A to achieve B?) and he thinks it may be because of the effects that living in a poor nation has on human motivation.

I’m going to make a guess here and say that you thought that Jurate was saying that all of Eastern Europe steals and that made you stand up and mention that you lived there yourself in order to be righteous and justified in making an opposing argument and then you went on to speak for the entirety of Eastern Europe. Ironically, Jurate wasn’t speaking for all of Eastern Europe and you were, despite your feeling insecure about him doing such a thing. You were attacking a made-up bogey-man and decided to stick in your opinion that one type of stealing means that people are bad and the other doesn’t really, simply because one makes you feel more insecure than the other.

Vilx- October 28, 2012 at 8:36 am

Well, in truth, I didn’t mean the difference to be “as acknowledged by law”, but instead “as acknowledged intuitively”. Or… I don’t know. What I meant was – “these are two completely different things, no matter which way you look at them”. They’re fundamentally different, from the very basis. Not just on some superficial level.

Though you are right – I haven’t talked to people about this, and cannot back that up with facts. Perhaps that is my own fancy, hard as that might be to accept.

And you are right about another thing. I did equate Jurate’s statement about “we steal stuff from the net all the time” with “we do stuff like Nathaniel all the time”. I do not see how it can be interpreted as anything else, especially taking the context into account (an article that talks about plagiarism).

And that is the statement that I try to disagree here with, based on the above distinction between “the types of stealing”. What I’m trying to argue (and note that I’m including the same amount of facts that Jurate did – zero), is that YES, we do “steal” in the sense of “piracy”; but NO, we do not “steal” in the sense of plagiarism/fraud/whatever. And that “our mentality” also reflects this.

Yes, I have no facts, just a subjective “feeling” about it, based on myself and the people I know. Just as Jurate.

Whether or not this stems from any insecurities on my part, I cannot say. I certainly do not feel so, but then, I’m not a psychologist. I do now that copyright is one of the very few topics that can easily enrage me, so maybe you’re right.

What I fail to see however is how Jurates arguments are superior to mine (or mine to his). They’re just two opinions. Why are you so worked up about this?

Vilx- October 28, 2012 at 8:50 am

OK, scratch all that. I re-read the original three posts in this “thread” a few more times, and I think I see now how you interpreted Jurate’s original post. What you read was (in a nutshell):

“In Eastern Europe people are used to stealing content from the net, because mostly they cannot afford to buy it. It’s similar in other poorer countries, and it’s seen as normal. This is why in such countries more people find it acceptable to go a step further, and actually do fraudulent stuff”.

And I read:

“In Eastern Europe we do stuff like Nathaniel all the time, because we’re poor, and want to make money”

Which, I hope you’ll agree, are two quite different interpretations. That’s why we couldn’t get through to each other. I hope that my arguments make more sense, if you read Jurate’s article in my interpretation. Yours certainly make sense if I read it in yours.

So, what I can say now is… well, maybe that’s true. I never meant to disagree with a statement like that (your interpretation). I don’t have facts for or against it. Subjectively it “feels” like there aren’t many scammers around here, but then I’m not part of such circles, so I wouldn’t know.

It Calls Me Onanon October 28, 2012 at 10:41 pm

http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/gallery/yes/troll_approval.gif

(Go to the link, you won’t be disappointed) :)

StephInBerkeley October 22, 2012 at 5:14 am

Well put and good for you :)

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Naomi Frances October 22, 2012 at 5:20 am

Really good post, as usual. I don’t usually comment, but today I feel I have to. You so totally have the right idea with this ‘Nathanial’ character, as I’m sure you know! The point is that you are a consistently engaging and informative writer, and anyone who copies can only ever take a tiny part of that. Putting any kind of work (I make stained glass and art) in the public domain can be a risk because of copyright, but my view is that I (and you) have so much to give, so many ideas, that I can afford to share….

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David October 22, 2012 at 7:31 am

To clarify, my work is not in the public domain. I offer it for use under a creative commons attribution no-derivatives license, which means I let others use it as long as they attribute me properly and don’t change the work.

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Brandon October 22, 2012 at 7:06 am

Send a DMCA notice to their host. The internet has many guides to sending these, but basically, sending a template email to the hosting provider is sufficient to force removal of your copyrighted material. It’s not worth chasing down everyone doing this, but places profiting off your material should be addressed. If you don’t enforce your copyright, you lose it.

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David October 22, 2012 at 7:27 am

>If you don’t enforce your copyright, you lose it.

Fortunately this is not true:

http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html

I may still send a DMCA notice.

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Luis Arturo Huerta October 22, 2012 at 7:32 am

Excelent way for see it, and excelent way to close it.

This is another world than which was teached us when we where childs.

To create something it have the better incoming. But since it become digital, it has no owner. If you want to claim property you will spend the sweetnes of the life.

In the other hand robers, each time that they steal something make biger the hole they are trying to fill. They need help with it.

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SusieR October 22, 2012 at 7:41 am

“what it looks like when you have nothing to give.” That thought will stay with me all day. Well done. VERY well done.

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Marilyn October 22, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Wow. What a sad commentary on our culture, on so many levels, as you so aptly describe. The quote that stayed with SusieR struck me, too. As did: “if they can just focus extra-hard on extracting value from the world around them, they’ll never have to supply any.” How bleak. How empty–the theft–not your words. I just want to applaud how you handled this situation–calling the charlatan out but taking the high road in doing so. Instead of launching into accusations and seething in (justifiable) anger (he did steal your words and words are powerful, personal, important) you painted for us a vivid picture of what he did. This was almost written so simply and beautifully–almost like a parable. I know how shitty it feels to have your words ideas stolen; but neither this thief nor any other can take your ideas–you’re an insightful observer and engaging writer. What you’re doing and how you’re doing IS making a positive difference in the world. Still: I agree with the person who said to file a notice. You’re still traveling on the high road, just protecting your ideas (which I feel so privileged that you share with us all).

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Janet Maher October 22, 2012 at 7:44 am

I found my images on Pinterest and on Google images, even with my copyright on the picture, though not all had. It was very disconcerting. I appreciate your attitude and your writing about this ethical issue.
Janet

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Nate St. Pierre October 22, 2012 at 7:50 am

I share your perspective on this, David. I get ripped off plenty, too, but it’s never worth the fight. I’m a creator, I’m an original, and I’m going to keep doing what I do – building. The world knows this, and I know this, so I will feel good about what I do and continue to be rewarded in whatever way is appropriate for my work.

In the meantime, the shady folks can do what they do, for whatever meager reward they get out of it. And I guess even if it’s a handsome reward, much better than even my own, it still doesn’t bother me too much. They beat the system, congratulations. I’m living my life and being who I was meant to be.

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Fabian | The Friendly Anarchist October 22, 2012 at 8:58 am

Wow, that’s an impressive rip-off. I can only agree with Bob B. about the right procedure when encountering such a “no-choice button”. And raise my hat to you for how you take it!

(And a side note: As I’m currently reading Murakami, this copycat scenario lends itself to so many weird alternative realities… Probably better if I don’t go down that rabbit hole, though! ;))

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RJ Hill October 22, 2012 at 8:58 am

Your perspective and unabashed honesty are always so refreshing! Simply contributing to the conversation right now, especially with ideas like you personally spread, is so important for all kinds of artists. Letting go once the creative process is over has always been one of the greatest challenges for the creative-but worth it if you’re nudging others in a better direction!

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Gustavo October 22, 2012 at 10:53 am

A short note to let you know I admire your posture, David. Yer da man!

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Jonny Brush October 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Thanks David, and you are so, so right. I really enjoy your blog and your wisdom. I occasionally re-post one of your articles with credit and link. I asked you and you said that was fine. Thank You.

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Terri Lynn October 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Was just having this conversation this morning. Its become a culture of what can I get and less what can I give/offer. A by-product of the lowest price is the law mentality.

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It Calls Me Onanon October 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Hi-ho silver, David,

I do believe you’ve demonstrated a mature response that doesn’t demand retribution or any other childish motivation while dealing with this problem. Mad respect, yo.

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Joy October 22, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Until recently I was offering free samples of the wedding stationery I sell online, when I discovered that the vast majority of requests were coming from people Googling “free samples” without any intention of ever purchasing anything. Each sample pack costs me about $5 to assemble and send, so needless to say I was pretty outraged. Especially given that these stationery samples are essentially worthless pieces of cardboard to anyone who’s not actually in the market for wedding stationery.

Unfortunately now I have to charge my legitimate customers for the privilege of receiving samples. But I’ve slowly come around to a similar perspective as you. These people are sad and lonely and deserve our pity, not our contempt or anger. It makes me grateful to be the one who has something to offer, not the one sitting by the window all day waiting for the mailman to come so I can feel special that somebody sent me something I don’t want or need.

P.S. After this comment you’ll probably get a whole lot of people arriving here from Googling “free samples” :-) Hopefully they’ll read your post and get something positive from it!

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Nathan Buss October 23, 2012 at 12:51 am

A couple things here. My name is Nathaniel and I post your articles quite frequently on facebook. However, I am always sharing them as a link that comes directly to your site. It was weird I guess I just felt like you were pointing at me based on my name and my actions but I promise I am being legit and not plagiarizing your articles or attempting to profit off of them for my gain. Second, its a wonderful discussion on talking about creating and giving and whats contributing to society. That’s like a whole new can of worms. Most of us think that what we do for work is our contribution to society, being a parent is contributing to society but I am not quite sure that’s it exactly. These are certainly means of which to contribute but I do not think that’s what contributing is in the “wholesome” sense. I think maybe whatever your nature is, whatever you just can’t help but do is your contribution to society as a whole. I don’t know but you bringing that up lead me to thinking about what I truly give to society and what I could be doing to give more and I think its a question we should all be asking.

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David October 24, 2012 at 7:03 am

Haha Nathan don’t worry. I love when people share my work. I also allow people to reprint it on their site if they ask permission, attribute and link me, and don’t change anything.

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Steve Mays October 23, 2012 at 10:47 am

“This account has been disabled or put on a temporary hold”
Nathaniel seems to be having some issues with “his” site.

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David October 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Heh

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Nicole October 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm

k, what brought me to your site was…well stumbleupon…I just stumbled on it. But I read the article about you not using coffee or alcohol for a month. Loved it. But then I go to your home page and the first thing I read is an article about how you sat down with a coffee for a couple of hours….what happened????

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David October 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm

That was three years ago now. The idea was to take a break and see what it felt like. My relationship to both caffeine and alcohol were quite unhealthy at the time, and that experiment helped me understand exactly how. I use both today on a regular basis, with respect and better judgment. They have a place in my life and no longer get in the way.

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Rick October 25, 2012 at 8:39 am

I get it, David. Thanks for the affirmation. I’m also a photographer and graphic artist, and remember being completely floored when pictures I’d taken started showing up on other sites, as if that site owner had taken them.

But you’re right, you can’t lock ‘em down.

And since, I’ve started giving permission for my patrons to repost pictures in blogs, etc., and I simply ask them for attribution. And because they’re… well, fans… they don’t mind at all. And I find that the more open and sharing I am, the more traffic comes back to my website. The more I try to clamp and control, the more my photographs show up in placed I’d rather not have them. Weird how that works. – Rick

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bokij November 1, 2012 at 2:45 am

Just to say nice…)

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