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You’re just a tree falling in the forest, lady

You’re just a tree falling in the forest, lady

And no one is going to hear you.

I was going to link to a quite interesting post, with an excerpt, regarding the “Violence Against Women Act.”

The author, someone I had never heard of, writing at a website I never had heard of, made some excellent points.

My hope was to call attention to her post, hopefully send some readers over there (like an Instalanche, only smaller), and maybe get others interested in her excellent points.

But when I headed back there this morning to prepare the post, I saw this:

Copyright Notice VAWA

You’re not that important. Neither am I. Neither is anyone on the internet.

Get used to it.

Now your excellent points will not be heard.



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Someone who gets neither the concept of blog linkage, or fair use.

Good luck with that.

workingclass artist | January 27, 2013 at 9:47 am

Sounds like she’s got a bad case of small pond satisfaction…Blogs like that die and nobody notices.

Bloggers I know are flatteredand elated to get a pingback or a direct link. Why blog if you don’t share your content and ideas? Crazy. | January 27, 2013 at 10:04 am

It’s possible that she’s not concerned with links and referrals from you but rather because so many aggregators just rip off content. I write about cars and the auto industry for my own site, Cars In Depth, and for The Truth About Cars and when I search for a phrase I’ve written, I’ll find my posts published intact and complete on bunches of sites that rip off others’ content for the sake of Adsense revenue. The same is true of my colleagues’ work. You can see for yourself. Pick out a complete sentence from a post on a popular car enthusiast site (actually, it doesn’t have to be particularly popular, it happens with sites that get 500 page views a day and sites that get 500,000). Search for that phrase and you’ll not only find the original post but a bunch of other sites where the entire post has been republished. Sometimes they’re a little bit polite and provide a link back to the original, but since they’ve posted the whole thing, who is going to bother to follow the link?

If someone thinks they can get traffic by stealing your content, they will. Frankly, I think Google is partly to blame since they’re the ones paying the ripoff sites.

I’m sure that if you drop her an email about wanting to link to her post, she’ll be fine with it.

    “It’s possible that she’s not concerned with links and referrals from you but rather because so many aggregators just rip off content. …”

    Bingo! A partner and I once had a blog site that covered Tech issues of a particular type. We were middling successful. But the aggregators were absolutely shameless. Worse we were ripped off by two top tier sites for several articles. None of them would provide pingbacks or cross reference even when confronted. We finally just closed it down. You can’t fight the mob.

    Professor, it is NOT a matter of how big or small one is it is a matter of common decency and respect to acknowledge the works of others. It is also the principle of the right of one to defend one’s work. There is also an extension of this in our work (I also teach) that applies to the concept of plagiarism we have to defend against.

    I am sure you would have provided the appropriate attribution and links back to the author. But it would be worthwhile to understand, that possibly the author has been ripped off one two many time and the above was their reaction. If not that reason, then sheer arrogance, and like they say you can’t fix stupid.

    Given some of the subjects I’ve seen you cover on CarsinDepth, and comments of yours I’ve caught on TheTruthAboutCars, it’s nice to see you over here as well. (I recall a particularly cutting one of the latter, regarding how Obama would not know about or even want to understand some particular fundamental law of engine design – realities like “2+2=4” being toxic to his entire world view.)

    Working for an on-line retailer, I’ve seen tons of our copy crop up on fake blogs that just hoover up and re-post anything written on a particular subject, for the purpose of generating ad revenue.

I’ve heard complaints from authors about small-time bloggers who glom entire articles and content, even the code, without a link back. Seems to be a problem in certain activist-issue communities from cheering sections in the peanut gallery. I would have read the notice in that context.

It does sound like she’s not concerned so much about links to her site as she is about people copying entire posts and pasting them onto their own sites.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | January 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm

She’s the anti-Arron Swartz.

A celestial auditor who evaluated the human race via the blogosphere would form a decidedly mixed view of our species.

Is it possible that it’s not her choice, but that of the website?

I’m a little teeny tiny fish in the great blogging pond; I got about fifteen hits a day at my peak. However, I once found a site that lifted some of posts wholesale, which is illegal, and without even giving me the courtesy of a link or even using my name. That said, I would be glad for a link hit if I wrote something worth it.

Your Norma Desmond will eventually come around: “All right, Mr. Jacobson — I’m ready for my close-up.”

The author is an Attachment Parenting and unschooling coach (whatever that is). But I agree with her on this. She wrote a letter to Nancy Pelosi requesting that VAWA be renamed The Sexual And Domestic Violence Act and rewritten so that it is gender neutral and goes on to explain why while providing links to back up her opinion. Nicely done.

An Insurrectlanche?

its a no win situation, when I quote someones post on my forums ( ) the first thing I do is paste the link to the source.
I don’t do the linking text I post the actual link so people will know its a link.
I then quote and comment on the pertinent item and ask the readers to read the rest at the source.

I don’t have a lot of members (its free to join people…) but I get a lot of guests so I hope it gets peoples messages out.

[…] » You’re just a tree falling in the forest, lady – Le·gal In·sur&mid… […]

I think the first comment by ThomasD got it. The lady is kind of missing one of the key things about blogs and this internet thing.

[…] me, Professor Jacobson, if you (or any other blogger) want to link to me, please feel […]

I concur with those who suspect she’s been burned by having her stuff lifted in the past. I’ve left her a comment suggesting she consider clarifying that she welcomes legitimate “fair use” of her material by others, provided there’s a link crediting her:

Her main substantive point is a really good, basic one that I wished I’d thought of, and she seems to speak based on substantial expertise and experience. I suspect that if she retools her copyright statement & Jacobson does a post putting her work in context, it’s the sort of thing that could easily end up on Instapundit, alerting 10,000+ readers to her blog.

back in 09 or so there were some rules passed about this too that could hurt bloggers.
I had forgotten all about that, I need to brush up on it.

When I went to her page my AVG anti-virus lit up. It lit up each time I landed there.

I concur in the thought that maybe a gentle approach may calm her fears.

People intent on plagiarizing material will do so whether there is a copyright notice or not. All she is doing is running people off who might want to publicize her work.

I have noticed that some people would rather have complete control (and fail), than limited control (and succeed).