Monthly Archives: February 2010

On Being UnsubScribd

Last week Scribd sent me a pair of take-down notices for posting PDFs of my own work (Heroes’ Day and Stories from the Steel Garden) to their site:

We have removed your [document titles and ID numbers here] because our text matching system determined that it was very similar to a work that has been marked as copyrighted and not permitted on Scribd.

The problem has since been taken care of, though it’s obvious online communities are stumbling over their own feet trying to find a middle ground between proper copyright and the DMCA. Clearly the HD / SFTSG removal was the result of an over-zealous copyright robot looking for genuine infringement. Still, I would have liked to have been contacted first, before my files were deleted and a misconduct notice posted to my Scribd page(s). Unfortunately, the current IP climate makes even a moment’s hesitation risky business. File-sharing Web sites—even legit ones, like Scribd—have to assume guilt until innocence is proven, lest they risk an expensive lawsuit by the likes of certain major corporations out to make a few extra bucks while protecting their IP. Kind of makes me wonder what the final solution will be. Copyright records requested up front, before material is uploaded, or a super-AI copyright bot named Infringinator that reviews your work at gunpoint?