When I wrote this post advocating for a non-partisan approach to defending thuggishly threatened speech, I was happy when people started to link to it, because I believe its message sincerely and forcefully.
I was happy, that is, until I noticed that a large number of the links were coming from scrapers — sites that simply copy an entire post verbatim, with or without attribution.
Take conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' site InfoWars, which scraped my post wholesale, though it at least preserved original links and attributed it with a link. That's clearly not fair use. I tried writing InfoWars Editor Kurt Nimmo, politely requesting that they transform the post into a reasonably limited quotation and a link, so as to respect both my intellectual property rights and good blogging etiquette. I never got a response. Perhaps that's understandable. Folks at InfoWars are busy. Day by day, they are the tip of the spear, seeking the irrefutable proof that Lizard People faked the "Moon Landing" to create the illusion of a genuine space program, whilst actually preventing humanity from encountering That Which We Are Not Meant To Know. This month they are very busy fact-checking this so-called private space mission, which is actually being filmed on a sound stage in Burbank. If you look carefully you'll see a number of the participants were washouts from second-string reality shows. And InfoWars is this close to a blockbuster story about how local craft services people have been delivering a suspicious amount of live bugs to the soundstage. So they're busy — too busy to create original content, too busy to refrain from thievery, too busy to respond to emails.
I considered sending them a DMCA notice, but I may hold off just a bit. My wife has informed me that I have reached my quarterly quota of unbalanced people I may antagonize. She's concerned that I might get snatched off the street and stuffed into some sort of Patriot's Terrarium or something.
I also got scraped by a blogger named Chris Roubis, whose blog falls into the general classificaion of "sites with advertisements about how fluoridation threatens babies" or "sites with post categories involving the terms 'UFO' and 'Chemtrails.'" As much as I like attention, this seemed like something of a disappointing comedown, venue-wise. InfoWars is heavily trafficked, and has higher-class advertisements advocating use of colloidal silver, not posts about babies, who after all are not independently productive members of society. [Interesting Fact: Lizard People, who are naturally green, are genetically incapable of turning blue, whatever disguise or glamour they are wearing. Therefore widespread use of colloidal silver is an excellent method of identifying Lizard People. This is also why it is imperative that someone fund a live-action Smurfs movie.] Anyway, I left a comment at Chris Roubis' site, but a week later it's still in moderation. He's busy too, I'm sure. So is Radio Justin, who also scraped me shamelessly. I tried listening to Radio Justin to see if he's hold a symposium explaining his principled reasons for ripping off my content and not answering my complaint about it, but after a while a got sort of depressed by the weepy Donna Summer tributes and tuned out.
Anyway, I guess I should be happy. Silence and stonewalling, ultimately, are preferable to enraged, vaguely threatening, and semi-literate justifications, which is what I got the last time I complained about a scraper. Counting blessings!
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Free Speech Triumphant Or Free Speech In Retreat? - June 21st, 2017
- The Power To Generate Crimes Rather Than Merely Investigate Them - June 19th, 2017
- Free Speech, The Goose, And The Gander - June 17th, 2017
- Free Speech Tropes In The LA Times - June 8th, 2017
- I write letters - June 1st, 2017