Bite my green felt ass

Like Maigh and Greg, I’ve sent the assholes “operators” of AtlantasNews a delightful nastygram. I’m betting I’m not off their site in the next 72 hours and people have to get litigious.

My brother-in-law is on spead dial, bitches. Let’s see who blinks first.

To whom it may concern,

I’m the blogger/owner/operator/bastard who runs Mostly Muppet Dot Com (http://www.mostlymuppet.com/).

I recently became aware of the fact that AtlantasNews was syndicating content from my blog without my permission. As my Creative Commons License (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 – http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/) makes clear, I require attribution, non-commercial use and no derivative uses. Plus, it looks to me like you’re claiming copyright over your entire site, which currently includes my site’s content, which is far from kosher.

I’m not convinced I’m getting proper attribution via links or otherwise that I am the author of the blog posts here (http://atlantasnews.net/mostly_muppet/%5Btitle%5D); I’m uncertain about your business model so I can’t tell whether or not you’re making money off of my work, and I’d argue that your re-publishing of my feed without my consent and presenting it on your site with a new stylesheet is a derivative use.

Most of all, I’m just pissed off because you didn’t ask me first. Had you done that, I’d likely have let you use my feed.

It’s the whole opt-in versus opt-out argument. I didn’t opt-in to this site, so I’m opting out effective immediately.

Email me if you’d like to discuss this issue further.

I’m quite serious – about both my willingness to get fucking hostile and nettiquette/manners. Had they only asked, I’d likely have said it was fine to use my content.

Hell, I fought tooth and nail to be a part of APWBWGTTD, an opt-in site that works in much the same way technically. The difference is the community and the level of respect.

BTW, most (if not all) of the site on APWBWGTTD are being syndicated in this manner. To the best of my knowledge, none of us was contacted first.

AtlantasNews has disrepected me and I am likewise disrespectful of them. Superdicks!

UPDATE: That was quick! At least they’re intelligent enough to be risk-averse and responsive to commentary.

UPDATE II: The admin responds via email!

Sorry about the problem.

I’ll answer some of your questions and the others I’ll investigate or it probably doesn’t matter.

We’ve removed the posts and the feed so there should be no way there is any trace of the content at this point. Let me know if that isn’t the case for some reason.

As to the attribution you are sort of right in that the feed appears as if it was contributed by the person who inputted the feed. However the items that the feed aggregates each said “contributed by Seth” and the Seth was a link to the feed page which had your description and a link to the full blog.

Each feed had a link to ‘original article’ and ‘source’. However the source was not explicit until you clicked the link.

The problem with the feed being shown as contributed by the inputer probably won’t be fixed for some time so we have removed your content. No one actually would have seen this as the only thing that scrolls across the page is the items which is the sites model Each item , again, was clearly noted as contributed by ‘seth’.

As to asking first. You are correct. Sorry we should have. Only .. we can’t. We don’t have the manpower because there is not yet a real business model other than aggregation of local blogs and sort of seeing if there is an audience out there. If we stopped and made a list of all the blogs we wanted to aggregate and then wrote each one and got permission we wouldn’t be able to do this in the first place. We do say that if you find your content on the site and want it removed to just send us a note and it will be done. Its is and thank you.

Finally the copyright is a mistake. It is the node words module that injects meta tags in the page. IT was mistakenly set to add copyright to the meta. We’ve fixed only some of the older pages may have that problem for a few days.

Sorry for any problems you might have experienced as a result. Thank you for your input.

UPDATE III: Tony joins the fray! I’m crafting a response to the response above as well. Stay tuned for episode IV.

UPDATE IV: Our hero delivers a final, crushing blow:

The only real problem here is that failure to secure consent prior to publication is a heinous thing to do to another person. And that’s what I am.

I’m not some trained monkey cranking out text for everyone’s general amusement (well, I am a little). I have a definite stake in my blog and my writings. To have a system that just grabs stuff willy-nilly off the internets and then claim that you have a manpower or technical problem is a cop-out at best and extremely intellectually dishonest at worst.

What you really have is a half-baked idea a boatload of moxie.

Thanks for the quick removal, though. I can at least appreciate prompt service.

Pity though. An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.

UPDATE V: This is a funny out-of-office response to my latest email:

We’ll try to catch up with your emails at that time but the best bet is to send us a reminder after the 27th

Email subject line says he’s on Spring Break.

Have fun!

UPDATE VI: The back and forth continues:

Him/her:

Seth its really not the way you are postioning it. There would be little way someone could make a mistake and think we are trying to take credit for your content if that’s what you are saying. Again. the problems are in the one area of the feed attribution part but not the items.

The site is based on similar sites done in Nashville and a handful of other cities. Almost universally there has been a generally positive reception on the part of the bloggers and particularly so among those who are doing it for profit rather than love as we try to make clear we want to promote the content and make it totally profitable for the bloggers.. That’s why we developed Tipit which allows users or readers to tipit bloggers for posts they find inspirational or whatever.. You can read about it on the site. I know you are wondering why anyone would pay someone for something they get for free. I wondered that too. But they do. Its usually for tech info however but still they do tip the bloggers. Its only a few weeks old and we’re still figuring it out.

Again we’re sorry and really didn’t mean any harm or offense.

Me:

I don’t wonder why folks would pay for free content – I’ve gotten
donations via PayPal and ppl click on my blogads and google ads all
the time. I understand how to make a little money off of my writing
and I want to be the final arbiter of how that’s done.

And I’m not unfamilar with aggregator sites that depend on RSS or
pings to generate content. I’m actually a member of four of these
kinds of sites:

http://atlbloggers.net/
http://fortyfaces.com/
http://blogsoftheday.com/
http://blogburst.com/Public/Overview/Welcome.aspx

I think the things that seperate these sites from yours is that they
are all opt-in/submission-based. None of these site aggregated my
content without my prior consent or affirmative action.

I think your site(s) could be very successful and they could bring me
more readers and more money, but the fact remains that if it wasn’t
ready for primetime, don’t launch it. Simple as that.

You say on the site that you’ll have an official launch in October or
later. If that’s the case, why not rely on human editors to pick your
initial list of individual bloggers?

Better yet, why not just syndicate mainstream content such as the AJC,
Google News and text links to IceRocket blog results. You could add
individuals later, when you could spend the time and energy necessary
to ensure that situations such as mine (and many of my Atlanta blogger
friends).

I don’t doubt that folks love the site in other cities. I can see the
potential. I just happen to think that, if it were me, I’d have made
sure the biggest constituent/reader/content provider base, the
bloggers, were treated right from the beginning.

Seth
Mostly Muppet Dot Com

6 thoughts on “Bite my green felt ass

  1. I got removed pretty quickly, I’m guessing they dont like the bad publicity on their site… I wasn’t too bothered about the content so much, but the image they used on every post got my “internet jihad” all up in arms.

    The sad thing is, there could be a dozen or more sites doing the same without us ever knowing

  2. I was pretty stoked when the OrlandoSentinel decided to start listing The Disney Blog’s feed. Of course, they only post the first few lines and visitors wanting to read more have to visit my blog. Maybe that’s an acceptable accomidation.

  3. Pingback: Mr. P'body's Place

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