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No Sharing

By Shamus
on Tuesday Apr 22, 2008
Filed under:


While reading a news story on this news site, I noticed this at the bottom of the article:


Now, I realize this isn’t a complete contradiction, but it is amusing to see this notice telling you not to spread the article around over a panel of icons encouraging you to do exactly that. Even the text which warns that the article is not to “broadcast” or “distributed” is at odds with the fact that this is exactly what is going on here: Their webserver is sending their articles all over the planet, where each reader reproduces a local copy for themselves.

I don’t think this is insidious or anything. It’s obvious they just want to make sure you don’t swipe their stuff and pass it off as your own content. It’s just amusing to see old-school print and media outfits trying to adapt their copyright-driven media to the world where you live and die by sharing. A copyright forbidding reprints next to an icon which will send the article to a friend. You are not allowed to share this article and please do so.

Maybe it’s just me, but I got a laugh out of it.

Comments (15)

  1. Kahlil says:

    That IS pretty funny, all things considered.

  2. Dave says:

    I’m curious, did you actually laugh out loud? I found it mildly amusing, but was able to contain myself. Of course, I read mostly at work, so I have motivation to keep myself contained.

  3. Dave says:

    Yeah, so, I get an error almost every time I post a comment, but it still posts… I’m confused. Something about Bad Behaviour?

    Check that, every time:

    Error 403
    We’re sorry, but we could not fulfill your request for /twentysidedtale/?p=1619#comment-92298 on this server.

    You do not have permission to access this server.

    Your technical support key is: c649-8384-dfd9-b1ad

    You can use this key to fix this problem yourself.

    If you are unable to fix the problem yourself, please contact twentysidedtale at shamusyoung.com and be sure to provide the technical support key shown above.

    Edit again:
    I knew that I’d read about that somewhere before… Just searched for your past post on it.

  4. JFargo says:

    It got a chuckle from me. In this age, it’s hard to define what “distribution” really means in terms of things like Digg, and social networking.

  5. Stu says:

    My initial thought was actually along the lines of “I wonder why they want you pick which sites this articles gets shared to.” It would surely make more sense to simply have a buttong that says “I like it” which will submit to digg/del.ici.ous/reddit in one go?

    It wasn’t until after that I noticed the legal small print :)

  6. Mari says:

    I love small ironies like that.

  7. Shamus says:

    Dave: The nature of the laugh was more of a silent, head-shaking grin.

  8. Shalkis says:

    Linking is not the same thing as copying. Digg and del.icio.us do not host any articles, they just link to them.

  9. Never thought of it this was, Shamus. VERY funny. This is one of those amazing realities we miss so often on a daily basis.

  10. Dwaggi says:

    That is amusing. Maybe they’re trying for reverse psychology.

  11. Graham says:

    Yeah, Shalkis has the right idea. While it may seem odd, it’s actually not contradictory at all, since none of those sites publish, broadcast, rewrite, or redistribute the article. They merely redistribute a reference to the article.

    Still, it does look odd at the first glance.

  12. Johan says:

    I always thought those sort of just linked back to the article. As in “you can share, but only from our site,” which makes sense.

  13. ArchU says:

    Maybe “share”, by their definition, is different to “broadcast” and “redistribute”…

  14. Zaghadka says:

    Yup. I’m with Shalkis. Linking to an article still allows the viewer to click the authorized distributor’s ads.

    It’s mashup pages that get a little odd in that sense, literally lifting content for reproduction on one’s own webpage, and I’m not sure it’s for the good.

  15. Brian says:

    Last time I checked, both Google and Yahoo cache a copy on their servers. So I’d say that’s definitely redistribution.

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