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Jan 30 / Laurie Northrup

Ignoring the point of Internet content

I don’t have kids, but I have some friends who do, because I’m a human being. One of them introduced me to The Skeptical OB, because I like snark and dislike anti-science thinking. I’ve followed it for fun since, and now it’s blown up into a blog war. Well, that’s not quite true: Dr. Tuteur posted a very valid critique of something that The Feminist Breeder wrote. I can’t link to it because she has locked down her site, somehow believing that people will pay for a subscription to read it, at a price that keeps falling as the night goes on, because apparently no one is subscribing.

What happens when a substantial portion of your reader base is only there to hate-read you? A pageview is a pageview, after all, but someone who loathes you probably isn’t going to subscribe. They might turn their Adblock off to be nice, but that’s about it.

I’m enthralled because good Internet drama is always interesting, but mostly because be this involves two of my favorite topics: copyright and paid online content. Will people pay for access to TFB? Will she get enough in subscription fees to pay for this ridiculous legal battle? Should you use DMCA takedown notices as a tool to get someone who says things about you that are mean but factually correct to stop saying them?

I have nothing new to add to this whole thing that TechDirt hasn’t already said, though. That’s all I got. Go point and laugh.

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