If you are reading this post, then I sure hope you gave me a dollar.
See, I’m a creator. An artist. A media producer. I deserve to be paid for my work, so I charge for it. It’s $1 per visit per IP address.
So if you are reading this in a feed reader I just want you to know that you are illegally downloading my content. That’s crazy. It’s basically theft. Also, if you are reading this on my website you are also committing theft. Pretty much however you are reading this you are a thief.
Look, I know that when I allowed Google/Feedburner to distribute my blog content that they were going to be doing it in a way that basically invited you to read it for free. I mean, there were no real locks on the door. The only bar to entry was lack of a computer or a smartphone. The technology used to distribute my content is notoriously susceptible to people just, well, reading my words. Still, the fact that the technology has, so far, invited that kind of abuse is no excuse for your continued violation of my copyrights.
Moreover, the fact that I have failed to date to provide a way for you to license my content for your use is no excuse to just open up a web page and root around through all of my stuff. You’re committing theft every time you read a word. Like this one. Or this one. And yes, this one. You just stole “this”.
I understand that just because you are reading my entries that you aren’t depriving me of them, and so there’s a world of difference between this kind of theft and the kind where you break into my house and steal my piano. However, based on the number of visits this blog has received over the last year my wife and I could be living a very leisurely life off the $1 per visit per IP address policy that I have in place. However, so far the vast majority of the people enjoying this content have simply pirated it. That is unacceptable, and I don’t wish to be deprived of hypothetical money.
In response, I really have no choice except to enlist the help of my attorneys. They will subpoena Comcast, Time Warner, and other Internet Service Providers for the names and addresses of the content pirates, and then I will file lawsuits against each and every one of them. You. Thief.
For the future, to enable me to ensure that no one links, quotes, or reads my content without my express permission in the form of a license, I have installed the WordPress 3.0 DRM Widget that will protect my content from would-be pirates. It’s the only sensible way to protect me, as a creator, and to ensure that I am appropriately compensated for my efforts.
I thank you for your readership. Although, as noted, if you are reading this you are a thief, since I have yet to receive a dollar from you.
Shawn Burns (a.k.a. Backpacking Dad)