Scribd Puts User Docs Behind A Paywall Without Them Realizing It
from the totally-not-cool dept
The key problem? Without clear notification, it took "older" (and older is left undefined) documents and put them behind a paywall. As Goldman notes, the whole reason he used Scribd was to make the documents available, and it was quite a shock to suddenly find them behind a paywall:
Scribd's paywall stunt instantly put Scribd on my shitlist because it vitiates the reason I chose to use Scribd in the first place. I don't know that they ever promised me perpetual free access to the documents I post, but their value proposition always has been open access to the documents--freely shared with everyone and indexed in the search engines. The paywall destroys that value proposition. They've taken the documents that I wanted to freely share with the public (many of them public documents like court rulings and filings) and made them inaccessible. If my readers can't freely get the documents I wanted to share with them, then what's the point of using Scribd in the first place???Goldman is looking at other options, including Docstoc and Rapidshare. Another one worth checking out could be Slideshare, or even potentially Google Docs. However, all this has me thinking again about the wisdom of relying on third parties for such things (even though I do it myself). I do like the ability to display PDF documents, such as legal filings, embedded within a post, but I'm wondering if there are any simple solutions for setting up that sort of thing on your own server. Anyone know of any?
I also feel like Scribd used me. With their implicit promise of open access, they got me to share a lot of high-interest documents and generate lots of link love, then they flipped the default (from free to paywall) as part of a cash grab. I could check out of Scribd, but then I would break a lot of links and it would take a lot of time. So now I feel trapped. It's a terrible feeling.