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[personal profile] yeloson
The internet is aflame with the Cook's Source Magazine drama.

I can relate to it - my Art of Defending Racism piece was lifted wholesale, conveniently "cleaned up", including having my name scraped off of it, and then sent around by email supposedly by "Anonymous". I check every few months for new sites which may have gotten the email and reposted it and request a) putting up the unedited original, b) attribution, and c) link to the original post.

I'm sure many of these sites get paid by advertising, which is annoying on principle, but not worth pursuing further. At the same time, I always wonder what I'll do when I run into the one site/person who will just simply refuse to work with me.

I had another piece I did get 75% lifted by Racialicious... ironically, and sadly, to highlight the Women of Color Beauty Carnival...

And there was the one guy who was completely copying sections of my game blog wholesale ("for his personal use").

Although we can usually track the issues with direct cash situations - like a book for sale being put online for free, or someone getting ad revenue for content they've stolen, I think there's the other issue of both potential revenue and historical attribution that's also at stake.

That is, what I write opens the doors for me to potentially write columns or books or in other professional fields. Stealing words isn't just whatever money you made or didn't make- it's the question of the status and who-did-what, for now, for history, that matters. Like White Feminists who get book deals and paid to write based on the work of women of color, for example. Or, as Delux points out, how cultural appropriation is just large scale copyright theft for profit and social brownie points.

This is part of the reason I wanted each author to have full control over their posts & words in The Remyth Project- if you want to take them down, or edit them, that's totally what you should do, and you shouldn't have to work through anyone else to do it. If you want to republish your words elsewhere, that's totally your right.

I'm glad the internet is opening doors for people to call people on their shit when they steal, but at no point am I under the illusion that internet justice is ever real protection, anymore than the safety for the majority is the safety for the minority, or that the copyright laws don't favor large corporations over small artists.
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November 2012

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