Happy long weekend, Techdirters! We've got two big offers on the go — one that, like the summertime, is coming to an end, and one that just got started. As long-time readers know, we have a philosophy here called CwF+RtB: we connect with fans and then try to give them a reason to buy, and we owe a big thanks to all the fans who keep proving that it's a damn good philosophy indeed. We've actually been experimenting with some expansions to our traditional on-site advertising recently, but we've never much liked that world (thus our failure to follow most of the media's lead in getting angry about ad blockers, instead offering the ability to turn off ads on Techdirt if you so choose) and, unsurprisingly, we ran into plenty of problems right away: deceptive and clickbait-ish ads, technical problems that interfered with the site for some people, and the fact that both we and our readers have the well-trained ad-blindness of any internet native. So we quickly shut down those new programs, because we'd much rather focus on direct offers like these that give our readers a chance to support Techdirt and get something good in return.
First, I'm sure you've seen our latest line of t-shirts, hoodies and other gear: Copying Is Not Theft. It's the one that's been riling people up way more than we expected on Twitter and our Facebook page. Their ire over the message is matched only by the desire to buy the gear that said ire seems to inspire in others — which is a fancy way of saying that a lot of you snatched up a t-shirt after realizing just how controversial it was.
But, if you haven't gotten yours yet, time is running out! The Copying Is Not Theft campaign closes on Monday at 8:00pm PDT, and we won't be taking reservations after it ends (the shirt will come back some day, but we aren't setting a date and it might be a while). So hurry up and place your order before it's too late!
Next, we've got a brand new deal for Techdirt readers. I probably don't need to tell anyone reading this how important a VPN is if you're concerned about your privacy and security online, and that's why we've teamed up with Private Internet Access (one of the most popular and highest rated VPN providers out there) to offer a one-year subscription to the Techdirt Crystal Ball for free when you sign up for a VPN account.
The Techdirt Crystal Ball is a special members-only feature that lets you read, share and comment on upcoming Techdirt posts before they go public on the front page of the blog, giving you a glimpse into our internal editorial queue and letting you get the jump on the conversation:
Normally Crystal Ball access costs $15/year via our Insider Shop, but you can get a full year for free: just use our special affiliate link to sign up with Private Internet Access. We won't auto-renew the Crystal Ball subscription or force you to cancel to avoid being charged — after the year is up, it will expire automatically.
Once again, happy long weekend everyone! Thanks for checking out these offers and helping us grow our CwF+RtB philosophy instead of tangling with crappy ad networks. All the profit from these and everything we sell goes to supporting (and expanding!) our ongoing reporting — we couldn't do it without you.