Why The Arguments That The Huffington Post Must Pay Bloggers Is Misguided: Payment Isn't Just Money

from the you-made-the-choice dept

We didn't mention the whole AOL buying Huffington Post story earlier this week, because there just didn't seem to be that much to say about it. It was an interesting deal, to be sure, and I'll be curious to watch what AOL does with the property, but, beyond that, it seemed like just another content acquisition deal. However, almost immediately after the deal went through, I started seeing some rumblings on Twitter, picking at the scab that has always annoyed a certain group of people about The Huffington Post: that it doesn't pay most of its writers. Sure enough, it didn't take long for this issue to start to spread, with the inevitable summary line of: "Hey, HuffPo became famous because all these people worked for free, and yet, they don't get a cut of the sale."

That story is now snowballing. Dan Gilmor wrote a blog post arguing that it was the "ethical" thing to do to start paying bloggers. Douglas Ruskoff said that he'd no longer blog on the site for free. And, of course, a bunch of cranky HuffPo contributors have created a whole campaign arguing that Arianna Huffington had no right to sell the site, since it was built off of their free labor.

They're all wrong.

Of course, we've been through this before. Five years ago, Nick Carr tried to argue that all the various big Web 2.0 sites like (at the time) Digg, YouTube and MySpace were really digital sharecroppers exploiting labor. As we argued at the time, this was hogwash. People were using those sites because they provided a valuable service. The reason they provided labor was because they got something of value in return -- whether it was attention or hosting or distribution or reputation.

Three years ago, we saw an almost identical controversy after AOL bought Bebo and musician Billy Bragg demanded some of the $850 million AOL paid (in retrospect, a massively bad decision). Bragg argued that Bebo made this money based on all of the "free labor" of musicians who used the site. But that ignored the fact that those musicians got tremendous value in using the Bebo platform to connect with fans and distribute their music... all for free. The folks who got to keep the money were the ones who took the actual risk. The ones who had to cover the expenses to keep the site and the service running, even when it wasn't making enough revenue. They took the risk, they should get the reward. The people who used the site did so of their own free will knowing quite well that the benefit they got from using the service was worth it to them at the time. Along those lines, if Bebo had struggled and faced bankruptcy instead of a massive buyout, would Bragg have felt obligated to give them money to keep it going? Similarly, if HuffPo had been running out of money, and Arianna had gone back and demanded that those who used the platform pay up retroactively, how would these people have reacted?

There are more ways to "get paid" than with money.

The reason that people chose to blog for free at the Huffington Post was because it's a fantastic platform for exposure. It brings traffic like no one else out there, and if you want to present something in a way that's likely to get more attention than on your own blog that no one visits, posting at HuffPo can be quite a good way to go.

And that's the point: the people who chose -- of their own free will -- to post at the Huffington Post for free did so because they clearly got value out of doing so. Otherwise, why would they have done so in the first place? To then say that the only proper thing is to pay them is completely missing the point. It's an attempt to retroactively go back and change the terms of a deal. If you wanted to get paid directly for what you write, fine, don't write for the Huffington Post. It's that simple. Go out and pitch your stories to publishers who pay freelancers. But don't go back and complain afterwards when the folks who actually did take the risk of putting together the site, financing it, organizing it, hiring the staff, buying the servers, paying for the bandwidth, and building it up so that it was such a successful platform, then get paid for their efforts.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 9:44am

    AMEN

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 9:48am

    There are more ways to get paid than money, but only money pays the bills.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 9:53am

    This goes both ways. Don't expect people to contribute to your organization if you join a corporate entity they don't agree with.

    An example: I used to post (in the tens of thousands) in the Windows technical forums for ars technica, because I enjoyed helping people. I also ad-block, and when they started to bitch at their ad-blockers, well, that was all I needed to know I was no longer welcome. I occasionally revisit the forum I used to post at and it's a virtual graveyard, apparently I wasn't the only one that abandoned the site.

    My point is people may not do it for the money, but don't expect them to stick around it you make money off of them in a way they do not agree with.

     

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  4.  
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    Michael, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:04am

    Pay Us!

    I expect we will all be paid handsomely when some Hollywood studio buys TechDirt.

    Of course, Mike, if you get sued into bankruptcy with some bogus copyright lawsuit or ICE throws you in jail and tortures you - you're on your own.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:10am

    And that's the point: the people who chose -- of their own free will -- to post at the Huffington Post for free did so because they clearly got value out of doing so. Otherwise, why would they have done so in the first place? To then say that the only proper thing is to pay them is completely missing the point.

    So bloggers who make this arrangement with a blog = all good, but musicians who make this arrangement with a label = all bad?

     

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    Drew (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:13am

    For instance

    Its entirely possible that no one would ever have known who the heck Douglas Ruskoff is, if he hadn't been graciously granted a place to blog on Huffpo. And the fact that we care what he says now obviously means he's reaped some form of "fame" (bad word, can't think of a better one right now) from that exposure.

    This is an easy one...

     

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    Spaceboy (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:19am

    Re:

    Musicians also go on tour and can sell T-Shirts and other merchandise. When was the last time you went down to your local venue and watched your favorite blogger blog for a couple hours in front of thousands of screaming fans?

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:35am

    Re:

    So bloggers who make this arrangement with a blog = all good, but musicians who make this arrangement with a label = all bad?

    When have I ever said that?

    You sure do misrepresent what I say a lot.

     

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    Neil, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:36am

    This is concerning to read because, while it may be understandable in the case of HuffPo, Bebo etc., it fits into a disturbing trend of opinion. At worst, it reminds me of the bullshit I would hear from bar & club owners who refuse to pay musicians who play their venue: hey, it's a privilege to play here. I'm giving YOU an opportunity.

    It seems nowadays it's always up to the content creator to run a scam within a scam: hey, we're fucking you over so why don't you get wise and fuck someone else over? I'm offering you the *privilege* of having your song in my million-dollar commercial/film/tv show, so why don't you just use that momentum to go sell some singles out of a cardboard box in your truck in front of the stadium? You ought to be glad for the exposure. Oh, what's this? That's just the money I'm paying the director for his skills. And this? The actor's wages. Why? Well, they're all highly trained, uniquely skilled artisans who contribute to the value of the production. But music? Come on... It's your passion, right? You'd do that anyway. Oh, and hey... can I get another martini for my friend here?

     

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    Mark Murphy (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    Difference between Gilmor and Rushkoff

    Your post is fine, insofar as it pertains to the Gilmor "everybody should paid" line of reasoning.

    Rushkoff isn't saying that, though. As he wrote, "It's because we write for HuffPo for free, and – because it's Arianna – we do it without resentment."

    Do not discount the value of personal relationships here. I have little doubt that a fair number of contributors to HuffPo did so in part "because it's Arianna". This AOL deal changes that dynamic, and some, like Rushkoff, will elect to vote with their feet. I don't get the sense that Rushkoff would stop writing for HuffPo because he's not getting paid -- I get the sense that Rushkoff would stop writing for HuffPo because now it's really AOL.

    Sure, some contributors to HuffPo did it for other reasons, such as you mention, and many of those will continue to do so for the same reasons. However, do not tar everyone with the same brush, please.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:42am

    Re:

    Then don't do it.

    Is someone putting a gun to these people's heads to write for HuffPo?

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    Re:

    At worst, it reminds me of the bullshit I would hear from bar & club owners who refuse to pay musicians who play their venue: hey, it's a privilege to play here. I'm giving YOU an opportunity.

    So then don't play those clubs.

    What are you complaining about?

    It seems nowadays it's always up to the content creator to run a scam within a scam: hey, we're fucking you over so why don't you get wise and fuck someone else over? I'm offering you the *privilege* of having your song in my million-dollar commercial/film/tv show, so why don't you just use that momentum to go sell some singles out of a cardboard box in your truck in front of the stadium? You ought to be glad for the exposure.

    If you're not glad for the exposure, then don't do it.

    What's the problem?

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re:

    ... yesterday?

    Wait, I think that might be a trick question.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re:

    When have I ever said that?

    You sure do misrepresent what I say a lot.


    Are you now going on the record as saying that it's not bad for musicians to sign up with labels even if they get no money in return?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:55am

    AOL is up for a big wake-up call when they find out all those web hits were fake. I'm talking about the autorefreshing javascript on the main page, generating pseudo hits every other second or whatever timing they have. Just look at the Alexa ranking. HuffPost is ahead of photobucket. I don't buy that.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Are you now going on the record as saying that it's not bad for musicians to sign up with labels even if they get no money in return?

    If they get something else in return of value and know the exchange that they're going in for, sure. But that's not what happens, is it? The labels pitch them on how much money they're all going to make as rockstars... and then use accounting tricks to never pay them. That's quite different than being totally upfront about the deal, isn't it?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:58am

    @ average_joe

    Whatever he says doesn't hide the fact you're in the business of misrepresentation. Who do think you're fooling?

     

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    Neil, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re:

    Are you kidding? The problem is, because of a systematic devaluing of creative content, THE WHOLE WORLD is like this these days.

    And while this trend ironically claims to be artist-friendly, it is very carefully and slowly dismantling any possibility of making a living based on creative skills. And a very specific set of creative skills! No one is telling actors that they should be happy for the exposure a commercial gets them so that they can go sell their headshots.

    Look, I understand that current copyright law is obscenely overreaching. I accept that the internet has made it near impossible to sell records. I just think that the combination of these forces have obscured a reasonable valuing of creative work.

    I'm curious at what point you think people should people get paid for this work, and even more curious whether you think something like writing a song should be able to make anyone a living at all, or is that some kinda bygone notion?

     

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    JosepheneN (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    You can't eat publicity. If it weren't for the writers, the Huffpo wouldn't have been worth buying.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If they get something else in return of value and know the exchange that they're going in for, sure. But that's not what happens, is it? The labels pitch them on how much money they're all going to make as rockstars... and then use accounting tricks to never pay them. That's quite different than being totally upfront about the deal, isn't it?

    That would be different, if it were true. Exactly how many musicians are tricked into thinking they will be made into rockstars, and how many are told up front the reality of the deal they are getting into? You make it sound like every one of them is tricked, and I suspect that's not actually the case. I'd like to see the evidence you have, if any.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 11:04am

    Re: @ average_joe

    Prove that I am "in the business of misrepresentation." Prove it about me, specifically, without making generalizations. You cannot. You have no idea what you're talking about, as you don't know me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 11:06am

    Misunderstsnding

    Folks, Mike is saying: if you don't fully agree with/understand a situation you are putting yourself in, then don't do it. If you want to understand the situation better, ask first then decide.

    Is it really that hard to understand? Do some of you need help with the big words?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Use TechDirt search for "Hollywood Accounting". There should be plenty of hits with what you need.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If the entire world doesn't want to pay musicians to perform, then TOUGH LUCK.

    Welcome to the real world, where you AREN'T entitled to get paid for work that no one wants.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And please note by saying, "that's not what happens," you are implying that it's "all bad." Hence, my statement above that you think "musicians who make this arrangement with a label = all bad" seems to be correct, and you're claim that I'm misrepresenting you is incorrect.

    Which is it? Is it "not what happens," therefore making it "all bad," or is it not as bad as you are saying it is, making your statement that it's "not what happens" a misrepresentation? You've trapped yourself in a corner. People who lie a lot often do.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Are you kidding? The problem is, because of a systematic devaluing of creative content, THE WHOLE WORLD is like this these days.

    "Systematic devaluing of creative content?"

    Yeah right. What you mean is that there's now more content on the market than ever before, and the price is moving to market value. That's how it works.

    However, top notch content creators still have plenty of ways of getting paid.

    And while this trend ironically claims to be artist-friendly, it is very carefully and slowly dismantling any possibility of making a living based on creative skills.

    Ok, now I know you're making stuff up. We've been pointing to more and more examples of how content creators who could NEVER make any money before are now able to do so, in part thanks to the wider exposure they can get.

    I just think that the combination of these forces have obscured a reasonable valuing of creative work.

    Well, there's your problem. You think there's some "reasonable value" above market value. There isn't. But that doesn't mean you can't make money.

    I'm curious at what point you think people should people get paid for this work, and even more curious whether you think something like writing a song should be able to make anyone a living at all, or is that some kinda bygone notion?

    Of course I think people should be able to make a living writing music: if they put in place a smart business model. It's why I highlight so many smart business models.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That would be different, if it were true. Exactly how many musicians are tricked into thinking they will be made into rockstars, and how many are told up front the reality of the deal they are getting into? You make it sound like every one of them is tricked, and I suspect that's not actually the case. I'd like to see the evidence you have, if any.

    Um. Have you ever spoken to someone who signed a major label deal? I do all the time -- and they're all sold on the fact that Warner/Universal/Sony/EMI are going to make them rockstars. All of them.

    And the deal has explicit terms under which they're going to make money.

    HuffPo doesn't do that. It explicitly says you're not making money directly from us.

    If a record label set itself up and said "here's the deal, you won't make any money from us, but we'll promote the hell out of you *and* you're free to capitalize on that with different business models" and people sign up for that, that would be fair.

    But that's not what happens. Find me a musician who was given that deal. Otherwise, stop misrepresenting what I say.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And please note by saying, "that's not what happens," you are implying that it's "all bad." Hence, my statement above that you think "musicians who make this arrangement with a label = all bad" seems to be correct, and you're claim that I'm misrepresenting you is incorrect.

    AJ. Learn to read English.

    Which is it? Is it "not what happens," therefore making it "all bad," or is it not as bad as you are saying it is, making your statement that it's "not what happens" a misrepresentation? You've trapped yourself in a corner. People who lie a lot often do.

    Again, learn to read English. Your misrepresentations are getting worse. Anyone is free to read what I wrote above, and those who understand basic English can comprehend it. You, apparently, cannot -- or you choose to purposely misrepresent what I wrote.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 11:24am

    Re:

    You can't eat publicity. If it weren't for the writers, the Huffpo wouldn't have been worth buying.


    And if it weren't for the free publicity, Huffpo wouldn't have been worth writing for. Get it?

    And while you can't eat publicity, if you're smart, then you'd know how to turn publicity into money.

    If you're not smart and can't turn publicity into money, well, then that's really your problem, not Arianna's.

     

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    SUNWARD (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 11:25am

    money

    that is all that has changed.

    Now that AOL (overpaid) 315 million for the site, everyone wants to see if they can get a cut of it.

    And now that money is involved, I am sure that is more than one blogger who is asking why they are posting for free when so much money is involved.

    Yes, bloggers can complain, but they do get the exposure.

    Either way, expect a lot of them to leave the site if they don't get money in the future.

     

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    Eriq, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 11:45am

    The difference between "must" and "should"

    Hey, I get the argument why HuffPo "must" pay writers might not fly. But isnt that a different question of whether they "should"?

    What is HuffPo providing that entitles them to lots of money? Maybe you think the market has made the choice, and that the popularity of the site is in itself, deserved of such compensation, but if the popularity is based on the good will of its contributors, that could prove fickle.

    If HuffPo's writers don't think exposure is enough compensation, or think that exposure is only important insofar as it needs to lead to compensation somewhere else, seems to me they at least have the right to request money for their efforts. If HuffPo doesn't want to give it, fine...but maybe there will be another outlet (i.e. The Daily Beast) that comes along and has the resources to get up there and compete and lure away the writers.

    Isn't there an argument for keeping the writers happy? If that means a measure of compensation, maybe that represents a good business model. Don't think it's necessarily written in stone that HuffPo will remain a top website if it doesn't compensate, so why shouldn't writers ask/demand more in recognition of that?

     

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    cjstg (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    supply and demand

    neil, i agree with the fact that there is systematic devaluation of creative content. it's call the system of supply and demand. for decades the supply of creative content has been expanding and will continue to do so. there are millions of creative people who want to make it big (or at least make it). however, i still only have the same 24 hours a day and limited budget to enjoy that creative content. the supply increases, but the demand does not significantly.

    therefore, it is harder than ever for creative people to distinguish themselves from the herd. each creator needs to find their way. some have connections, others sign up with a label or publisher, and still others give their art away to expose people to it.

    in the end each creator succeeds or fails based on their talent and their ability to draw an audience. using a blogging environment to get yourself out there is just one example. if you reach a point where you don't need to create for free, awesome. otherwise, you're stuck with creating for free and finding derivative ways to earn income from your talent.

     

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    Flysimulator, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 12:12pm

    Great for exposure

    There are 1000's of websites that will host your content for free online.

    This is one of the webs most popular business models. Website owners and others contribute content for exposure and traffic and in return, the website use the content to drive traffic and ad-revenue.

    I am not familiar with huff post, as I am from Norway, but the same principle is valid for a huge number of websites out there (inluding facebook, twitter and google)

     

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    Spaceboy (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Pics or it didn't happen! :)

    I was trying to point out that musicians have many established methods of getting paid, like live performances, tours, merchandise and so on, while bloggers don't generally have the same avenues available. My hope was to point out the flaws in Average_Joes comparison of musicians to bloggers.

     

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    Dan, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    Free my ass

    As a graphic designer, I can confidently say that doing work for free gets me nowhere. Free does not get me 'exposure.' Free does not pay my bills. Free does nothing but devalue the work that I do. Design contests are a joke. That said, I think this is a misguided post from Masnick.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Um. Have you ever spoken to someone who signed a major label deal? I do all the time -- and they're all sold on the fact that Warner/Universal/Sony/EMI are going to make them rockstars. All of them.

    And the deal has explicit terms under which they're going to make money.

    HuffPo doesn't do that. It explicitly says you're not making money directly from us.

    If a record label set itself up and said "here's the deal, you won't make any money from us, but we'll promote the hell out of you *and* you're free to capitalize on that with different business models" and people sign up for that, that would be fair.

    But that's not what happens. Find me a musician who was given that deal. Otherwise, stop misrepresenting what I say.


    So the only evidence that you can give that the labels are all evil is unsupported, conclusory hearsay. Sounds about right.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're so desperate that you have to resort to claims that I can't comprehend English. Amusing, yet kind of pathetic.

     

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    Jose_X, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike and Neil, the reason I accept some degree of IP law is for this reason. It's a crutch, if made a small crutch, that could help some whose talents lie in music to have leverage against those whose talents lie with the US favored business skill. It's why I accept proprietary software despite really not liking to use it or contribute to it as a software developer or otherwise.

    [I accept both trade secret (with government not being justified imo in supporting closed formats or standards, generally) and copyright protected if weak copyright.. but not patent protected as that already goes beyond where I draw the line with copyright.. however I would accept some sort of tax support system for patent invention, generally.]

    Whenever I think of whether I would write or spend time here or there online, I try to remember what is at stake, and I accept the terms all being what it is. I definitely get value out of participating on this website for example, but it's naive to think that unpaid contributors don't reasonably have varying expectations.

    As someone else started describing (and imo), the weakness of our system is not that those that contribute don't get paid in cash, but that our system so rewards financial wealth with the same money/terms required by people to feed and shelter themselves. If we gave proper imo priority to citizen's rights for life and basics higher than for extra property (something a government of the people could certainly do within our Constitutional framework), then we would not have this problem. Performers, for example, would have alternative venues for performing that currently are closed off either by restrictions of public land here and there and also with too much land being "private" with almost no rights to the public and none of this private land reserved for ordinary human beings as inalienable rights.

    The summary: if monopolies are the wrong solution to a peaceful society with everyone having a fair shot, a correct solution would still be evading us were we to remove monopolies. As concerns this site, I expect to cut back in time, as I do with every other site. I'd like "wealth" to be better distributed, in general, but I value what websites like this one offer today while I am here and participating.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Re: The difference between "must" and "should"

    Blogger is some coding, a database, and a lot of storage. Wikipedia is some coding, a database, and a lot of storage. Facebook is some coding, a database, and a lot of storage.

    All three of those websites depend on people offering their content without being paid for it, but their value isn't in the content but in the implementation of their small part. Having hundreds of thousands of people using it only reinforces the fact that the implementation was good.

    That’s what makes the website worth $315mill, not the content but the proven successful implementation.

    These people knew that they would not be payed for their posts, so no, they should not be payed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Free my ass

    Hint: You're doing it wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Free my ass

    So, apparently you've never posted an Ad in your life, is what you're saying?

    Oh, I'm sorry. I must be behind the times, because Craiglist is apparently paying the bills for anyone that posts on their site, and newspaper Personals will put food on your table for just having a phone number on the sheets.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    He has a great point, though. I think you read meaning into words differently than others do--you might want to introspectively explore that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So the only evidence that you can give that the labels are all evil is unsupported, conclusory hearsay. Sounds about right.

    I never said they were all evil. Why do you lie?

    Seriously, AJ, knock off this childish game you play where you blatantly misrepresent everything I say. It doesn't make you look smart.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Jeff Rife, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Re:

    If you're not smart and can't turn publicity into money, well, then that's really your problem, not Arianna's.

    I think you're understating the issue.

    Based on the people who make a living by "being famous for being famous" (the Salahi's, Jersey Shore cast, D-list actors like Pamela Anderson, etc.), it doesn't appear to require much intelligence at all to be able to turn publicity into money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I never said they were all evil. Why do you lie?

    No, you just said that "Warner/Universal/Sony/EMI" are evil. You know, "all of them." I'm sure you can name a hole-in-the-wall label that's not evil, but the fact is, you think all of the big labels are evil. I don't even care that you think that. I just think it's hilarious that you waffling on the issue.

    Regardless, I can't help but notice you didn't deny that your statements are nothing but unsupported, conclusory hearsay.

     

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  46.  
    icon
    ChrisB (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It may be time for us (the readers) to ban this gibbering idiot. I "report" anything average_joe says now, because he is such a d-bag. If he argued calmly and rationally, I might not; I love a good debate. But this guy has got to go. He is a seething moron.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ROFLMAO! And Mike calls me "childish." Why don't you try and beat me with words and logic instead? If I'm so dumb, it should be simple.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, you just said that "Warner/Universal/Sony/EMI" are evil.

    I said no such thing.

    Why lie?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 4:36pm

    Streisand effect

    By hiding Average Joe's comments, aren't you making him stand out more?

    I've been making a point of clicking on each of his comments to see what offends you guys.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    AW, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 6:18pm

    Re: Free my ass

    As a graphic designer/web designer I can say that the easy work has gone away because it is far easier to give away work now. Don't hate every market because your market isn't exclusive anymore. Make a better product or a better business model. Life isn't fair, nor should it be. The only reason we get paid for art is scarcity. Art isn't scarce anymore nor does it take much expertise to get what people want. Move on or wither on the vine.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I said no such thing.

    Why lie?


    Oh, really? No such thing? Nothing like it at all? LOL! Yeah, right.

    Why don't you explain what you actually think? It would be more productive than this stupid exchange we're having.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 7:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I said you said it, and I'm a lawyer student, so I'm right and you're wrong, and neener neener neener.

    Just 'cause you say it don't make it true. Never has. Never will. In your own words: Amusing, yet kind of pathetic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 7:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Logic only works with someone logical, and willing to follow the rules of logic. That... sometimes does not seem to be you. Granted, you are nowhere NEAR the jibbering idiot that some AC's are, and for that we are all grateful.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 8:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I've got an idea for you. Let the monetary gains be split out equally among everyone based upon the money they put into the business, itself. The writers paid nothing. They offered no money to keep it afloat. When times were tough, the owners of the site are the ones that ponied up to keep things going. They took all the real risks, here.

    What risk did the writers take to deserve reward? This isn't about not valuing their contributions, this is about real risk to real reward.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 8:53pm

    Re: The difference between "must" and "should"

    I've got a thought for you. Volunteer your time with the Red Cross during a blood drive. Then go and find out how much money they make from the sale of all that blood. Now... go and ask them for monetary compensation for the work you provided KNOWING you weren't being paid for it. See how well that works for you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 8:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    When times were tough, the owners of the site are the ones that ponied up to keep things going. They took all the real risks, here.

    I don't think this particular argument is going to work well in this forum. The record labels have been saying for years that they deserve most of the money that comes from selling music because they take the financial risks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 2:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Right, so STFU already.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 2:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If only they hadn't gotten too greedy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 2:11am

    It's an attempt to retroactively go back and change the terms of a deal.

    Why not? Worked for Disney, see the copyright term extensions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 3:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, really? No such thing? Nothing like it at all? LOL! Yeah, right.


    Um. I'm not sure what you're laughing at. When did I say that all the major record labels were evil?

    Say it or admit you're lying again.

    Why don't you explain what you actually think? It would be more productive than this stupid exchange we're having.

    Dude. The only reason this conversation is not productive is because someone decided to go on a little rampage pretending I said something I didn't say.

    If you want to know what I said and what I think, try reading what I write.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    ranon (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 6:34am

    Re: Streisand effect

    I agree with this.

    It may be a better idea to keep the posts visible rather than hiding it. Especially as it is not spam.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 6:41am

    HuffPo and payments

    RIGHT ON, Mike!
    For one thing, if you want payment, negotiate it in advance, not in retrospect!
    Many times in the past, I have had people offer to do something for me, then afterwards demand payment. At one time I would buckle; now, I try to be reasonable, but basically my response (unstated, if possible) is "so, sue me!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 7:33am

    Re:

    Money won't buy your next job and your bank balance is irrelevant on your C.V.

    So, was there some point you were trying to make? Or did I just kill it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    When have you ever beaten anyone here with "words and logic"?

    All you're capable of is nitpicking and ranting over semantics, putting words into peoples mouths and making stupid assumptions that stem from your faulty extrapolations. Your rhetoric stinks and your logic doesn't work because you seem to be incapable of the true impartiality needed to accurately apply logic.

    Your problem is that you think that enrolling for law automatically makes you great at logic and rhetoric and that those things are somehow the possessions of the legal world alone. In other words, you believe your own "elitist" bullshit.

    Someone with your ego will always be flawed at logic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 8:33am

    Re:

    Um, that's why "hits" aren't used as the metric for site traffic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Let's see... on Monday I proved that there is no right to jury nullification by quoting a variety of sources including the Supreme Court. While everybody else was disagreeing based on their own belief of how things should be, I explained in detail how things actually are. I also explained the free speech and jury tampering issues that were raised in that article. Some people appreciated my research and explanation.

    If you don't value my posts, don't read them. From the looks of it to me, you're the one with the ego. You're the elitist.

    I'm here to understand the law as it applies to things that I'm interested in, like IP, privacy, free speech, etc. I do my best to add meaningful input to the conversation. I do research on issues and share that research with others. What do you do?

    I also enjoy calling Mike out for being a two-faced liar. He states that piracy is not OK, but then he defends piracy every single possible chance he gets. His hypocrisy amuses me, and I point it out from time to time. If you don't think he's a hypocrite, then fine. We're all entitled to our opinions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 8:41am

    Re: Free my ass

    I find this a little wierd tbh. As a graphic designer I'm sure you have a portfolio? Isn't the whole point of a portfolio is that it is a showcase for your work? Therefore, isn't exposure crucial to your job?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 8:45am

    Re: Streisand effect

    Yeah, it doesn't work if you still have to read a bunch of replies and spin-offs from the comment either.

    But I'd even argue that it simply does not work purely because of human nature. For instance, I have to expand and see what it was that was hidden. Wait, wait..... just had a though, again..... but isn't it kind of a localised streisand effect?

    Anyway, I expand and read every hidden comment. Am I alone or is it simple human nature?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2011 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    All you do is beg questions and grotesquely distort what other people say.

    You are NOT worth arguing with; people have tried to reason with you and gotten nothing but broken-record gibberish in reply.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Mika, Sep 30th, 2012 @ 6:47pm

    Exposure to your blog or website means MORE TRAFFIC and LEADS to your sites. The more traffic and leads you have = MORE MONEY. I would write for Huffington Post for free as long as I had free exposure to my website. Think of all the traffic you can get from one blog post! If you're a decent writer that can capture your reader's attention to make them go to your website and potentially become a lead... then hell ya sign me up!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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