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Old 08-26-2011, 10:44 AM   #21
Jormungandr
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Noxed: isn't it obvious? Most of ff.net, which is a huge chunk of the fan fiction community, dislikes DLP, for obvious reasons.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:47 AM   #22
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While it's fashionable to bash Yudkowsky because the guy's online persona oozes smug douchnozzelry, credit him for words that were carefully chosen. So far, I don't think he's doing anything worse than what he's done in the past (essentially using MoR as an advertisement for his employer, using it to bring eyeballs to their website, etc.) or, for that matter, than what a number of us who participated in Jim's last anthology did when we mentioned or linked to the commercial work in our fanfiction.net pages/author's notes.

That could change, however, if he moves from "encouragement" to hostage-taking or uses somewhat different language to describe his fundraising and its connection to his for-free writing hobby. One thing he is sure to do is turn off his readers. Fanfiction readers are a fickle lot; they have shown repeatedly that they have little tolerance for folks peddling this kind of dross and that it's incredibly easy to stop following a story once you start to dislike the writer. (You wouldn't know it by just looking at review counts, but I'd be willing to bet that his story is getting fewer hits/chapter than it did early on and this could be Yudkowsky's last real chance to cash in on the story's popularity).
Hmm... I dunno, he's essentially putting a faster update rate up for sale. That seems to be a step further than advertising. It boils down to "give me money and you'll get more chapters". Think of it this way:

Imagine if I got the Harry Potter books and started emailing you a chapter once a week.

Imagine that after a year I send you an email along with that week's chapter.

The email says "if you give me X money, I'll send you 2 chapters a week instead".

Is this copyright infringement? Yes.

Selling a faster rate of release of another person's copyrighted materials is still copyright infringement.

Of course, if we're honest it doesn't take profiteering to make you earn a Cease and Desist. Harry Potter copyright holders could shut any of us down at any time. We're all in breech of copyright already. So legally, he's already vulnerable. But asking for money does seem to be very much an open invitation to WB, JKR, etc. to send him some strongly worded letters.

And even if they don't it's still far beyond FF.Net rules. I don't know if FF.Net will take the story down. The story's popularity makes it less likely, but it's still possible. Popular stories have been taken down in the past, and for a lot less reason. If the story had a smaller following something like this would be taken down in an instant.

Last edited by Taure; 08-26-2011 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:05 AM   #23
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If any one of the copyright holders pressures FF.net in any sort of way, the people running FF.net will collapse faster than a house of wet playing cards. They won't risk being sued, or having any legal action that could complicate things in the future thrust upon them, and if they have to shaft a popular story and/or ban a popular author to do so, they'll gladly do it.

In the grand scheme of things, even a popular story like MoR isn't even a fingernail clipping compared to the site as a whole. It wouldn't be a great loss.

If they, the copyright holder(s) go after the author himself instead of FF.net, he'll still have to pull the story and stop writing it - otherwise, they'll bring it to court. And it's pretty much a guarantee that he would lose.

Either way, this move of his (despite what certain fanatical/blind readers such as 'admiralskippy' on FF.net say) is just about as safe as a blind man running into a Bouncing Betty minefield would be.

It doesn't take anyone with a fancy degree or diploma to see that this is going to go pear shaped on him, fast.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:08 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Jormungandr View Post
Noxed: isn't it obvious? Most of ff.net, which is a huge chunk of the fan fiction community, dislikes DLP, for obvious reasons.
Because they're jealous of our inherent creativity and ability?
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:13 AM   #25
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This was exceptionally foolish, as other have already pointed out. What baffles me is why he didn't realise what the possible consequences could be and what reactions this would engender. The first thing that struck me when I read his pledge promising to update faster if more contributions were made was that it was stupid and wouldn't go over well. Even if people start giving his foundation a lot of money as a consequence of this -- something that I doubt will happen -- the risk of a lawsuit (or even the threat of one) seems to be far too serious. From what we can see, his foundation isn't particularly rich to begin with, so it probably couldn't weather any legal action from the big players that hold the copyright.

I can't work up any anger over this, however, just wonder at whatever possessed him to do it in the first place (except, of course, to see the $$$ roll in).
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:16 AM   #26
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Noxed: isn't it obvious? Most of ff.net, which is a huge chunk of the fan fiction community, dislikes DLP, for obvious reasons.
And that's new exactly how? Why would anyone here consider it bad if even larger hordes of ff claqueurs hate on us?
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:22 AM   #27
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To be honest, and this is not coming from any sort of 'DLP Bias' that many MoR fanatics think that we, as a whole have, but from someone who is just looking in from 'the outside' - I think it's because he's arrogant enough to believe that he can pull this off, has a type of superiority complex, and he's 'grown too big for his boots'.

Oh, Lord - I can just imagine the masses at FF.net flaming my name right now for posting my opinion. Oh, the humanity!
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:16 PM   #28
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At least one is flaming Taure, lol.

At any rate, why did we dislike this story, again? I've forgotten it. Reported for the copyright issues, but can't remember that original issue that got the thread closed.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:19 PM   #29
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At any rate, why did we dislike this story, again? I've forgotten it. Reported for the copyright issues, but can't remember that original issue that got the thread closed.
I'd never even heard of this story until about two weeks ago. I thought all the science and philosophy junk he crammed in there was extremely pretentious. And that's only the first five-ish chapters. It probably gets worse.

Usually I'm pretty lenient when I judge fics, so I can't imagine the harsher members of DLP were very fond of it, to say the least.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:32 PM   #30
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At any rate, why did we dislike this story, again?
I can't speak for anyone else, but I disliked it because it isn't a story but rather a parable.

See my full review.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:35 PM   #31
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Abuse report sent at ff.net.

I didn't really like this guy before, but if he ruins HP fanfiction for all of us, fuck him with a blunt stick.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:43 PM   #32
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I honestly can't understand why this is such a popular story. It has all of the flaws mentioned in Taure's review, yet it is one of the most reviewed stories on ff.net. Does it make the average person feel smarter than they actually are when reading it?
I've tried getting through the story, but some parts are just so ill-conceived, ridiculous, and plagiarized, it's not even funny.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:44 PM   #33
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I can't speak for anyone else, but I disliked it because it isn't a story but rather a parable.

See my full review.
Ah, I should have clarified. What I meant to ask is why this story in particular was hated, as opposed to just being trashed and ignored like so many other terrible stories.

But thanks, the top of that review of yours mentioned his rage filled authors notes, and then I remembered why. :P
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:07 PM   #34
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For the record, I'm not in the 'try and get the story pulled' crowd. I won't go into the spiel, but ultimately I couldn't give a shit about either the story or the hatred of the story. Can we please not make this into some organised boycott or torrent of abuse (which is why the first thread was shut down) and, if you're reporting abuse, make it an actual report? I give a shit about this because this could potentially harm fanfiction, not because it's an opportunity to get one over on the guy. The moment ff.net sees scores of the DLP horde and puts two and two together is the moment it looks less like a serious-shit-alarm-bells scenario and more like an old, mutual dislike flaring up, and is thus ignored.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:15 PM   #35
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Ah, I should have clarified. What I meant to ask is why this story in particular was hated, as opposed to just being trashed and ignored like so many other terrible stories.

But thanks, the top of that review of yours mentioned his rage filled authors notes, and then I remembered why. :P
Because this story isn't just hated, it's also loved by many other DLPers. It's controversial and polarizing. It has some very funny bits, very thought provoking parts, and rage-inducing segments.
Just look it up (or just following Taure's post to its originating thread), you can see there's 42 pages' worth of discussion.

Personally, I like most parts of the story, but there are cringe-worthy moments and I disagree with his chapter-for-donation move.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:25 PM   #36
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EDIT: GL's right. Be organized about it, and follow the right channels (i.e. no reviews, actual reports).
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:29 PM   #37
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GL, I concur with the idea that we need to protect fanfiction here.

Problem: I have no idea what to do to help. What is the proper course of action?
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:48 PM   #38
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Fuck it, I reported it to both FF.net AND Warner Brothers. I want FF.Net to remove his account, and because I'm a bastard, I want Warner Brothers to sue his organization for what he's done here. And by "what he's done here," I mean "write MoR."
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:52 PM   #39
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Awesome. Way to go, man.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:52 PM   #40
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At any rate, why did we dislike this story, again?
One of the reasons the thread got locked in the first place (and I earned the warnings I deserved for this whole debacle) was because I was a pretentious douche. I read his story, dropped off a review, and suggested that it wouldn't be a bad thing (considering he's a reasonably prolific author with a lot of publicity) for him to come to DLP. I mean, just because his story is polarizing doesn't mean automatically that it's awful.

Well, he replied with a certain degree of condescension that I found intolerable in his reply and subsequent PMs, and thinking that he slandered DLP, in a fit of pique I posted everything to the main thread (which ranks up with mixing Amaretto and bourbon, stealing the girlfriend of the football team captain at a dance at their school, and writing and performing an acapella rap about glaciers for my geography class as some of the most idiotic things I've ever done). And then the situation escalated, we got a lot of traffic, and when I had been restored to my senses, I realized that a.) DLP needs absolutely nobody to defend it, b.) if it did, I certainly wasn't the one to take that role, and c.) it was pretty damn stupid of me to post private PMs to the main boards to start shit.

So yeah, everything spiralling out of control is partially my fault, and I'll rightfully accept the blame for that. Come to think of it, that (and story-whoring) are probably the main reasons some members of DLP dislike me to this day - and frankly, they're in the right there.

However, I still hold that the story isn't very good at all, and that this recent stunt only confirms my opinions of the author. I can only hope that this doesn't ruin fanfic for the rest of us.
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