Sunday, December 02, 2007

Scribd or Cribd?

Scribd is a new document-sharing Web site.

Does that immediately remind you of something? Where did the content for the music-sharing networks come from?

Sure enough, the reason I found Scribd is because I was searching on a phrase, found a hit on Scribd, and realized it was in an uploaded copy of my book. Needless to say I didn't upload it, nor did I authorize it.

You would think the site would take real precautions to validate uploaded content. But they don't seem to (I pretty quickly found other copyrighted content). This has got to be a lawsuit waiting to happen.

What really curdles my cream is Scribd's copyright handling:

Please note that Scribd may, at our discretion, send a copy of such notices to a third-party for publication. As such, your letter (with personal information removed) may be forwarded to Chilling Effects ( for publication.

How's that again? Chilling Effects was created to protect fair use, fan fiction, parodies, and the like. Of course, you might say, some of the people writing Scribd really are nasty or stupid lawyers (I've received such email once—a story for another day). But these are hardly the people who care about Chilling Effects, either.

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