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Old 08-26-2011, 05:23 AM   #1
NoxedSalvation
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Yudkowsky drops his mask

While I realize that many people here on DLP don't want to read another word about MoR and its author I think this news is relevant enough to post it anyway.

Here a quote from the authors note of the newest MoR chapter:

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The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, the nonprofit I work at, is currently running a Summer Challenge to tide us over until the Singularity Summit in October (Oct 15-16 in New York, ticket prices go up by $100 after September starts). The Summer Challenge grant will double up to $125,000 in donations, ends at the end of August, and is currently up to only $39,000 which is somewhat worrying. I hadn't meant to do anything like this, but:


I will release completed chapters at a pace of one every 6 days, or one every 5 days after the SIAI's Summer Challenge reaches $50,000, or one every 4 days after the Summer Challenge reaches $75,000, or one every 3 days if the Summer Challenge is completed. Remember, the Summer Challenge has until the end of August, after that the pace will be set. (Just some slight encouragement for donors reading this fic to get around to donating sooner rather than later.) A link to the Challenge and the Summit can be found in the profile page, or Google "summer singularity challenge" and "Singularity Summit" respectively.
brothel

I stopped reading there and posted this "review":

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Well, now you've done it. Making money via MoR and its popularity isn't just a violation of JKRs copyright, it's an absolute DICK move against your own readers. Maybe you should use the rationality you are rightly popularizing with this story in your own RL actions? With the visibility of MoR you can be assured that you will get a massive kick in the butt for this because the concerned parties (JKR, ff.net) will hear about it. You might think you've avoided the problem by promising to publish the chapters anyway -even without any influx of money- but the fact is that you try to get payed for services (posting chapters on a higher rate IS a service) rendered to your readers. It's a pitty that behind your mask of benovelent 21st century proponent of Enlightenment you seem to have planned this moment for a long time. Or how do you explain the fact that all of a sudden you have a bunch of chapters ready to post if "only" your readers give you enough dough? Shame on you Mr. Yudkowsky.
Any comments beyond "Why did you read that trash anyway, dipshit?" or "Told you so!"?

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Old 08-26-2011, 05:28 AM   #2
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Despite my enjoyment of his story, I agree that this is unscrupulous. He isn't profiting directly, but he's enabling his employer to pay his salary. In all seriousness, this seems like an incredibly stupid thing to do.
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:53 AM   #3
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Ahahahahaha here cometh the Cease and Desist letters. Smackdown ahoy!

To help this along, feel free to submit a report to Warner Brothers legal.

http://www.warnerbros.com/main/help/...r_service.html

Just select "Legal" from the drop-down list.

Here is a screenshot of the author's note - including the announcement that he has already raised $60,000 - in case he changes it.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:01 AM   #4
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I'm cringing in ways of which I had not known I was capable.

I do that whenever fanfic gets dragged in front of people who have whole stables full of flesh-eating lawyers.

What is the sound of one face, palming?
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:02 AM   #5
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To be honest, we really shouldn't be surprised that he's done this. I mean, he is arrogant enough to presume that he should be paid for writing MoR, rather than that he should pay us to have to read it.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:05 AM   #6
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What I really don't get is how he doesn't seem to have even thought that doing this could be considered illegal, and that earning $125,000 from copyright infringement might piss WB off.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:12 AM   #7
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Ah well, I'll go against the DLP wave and say that that's quite an achievement for a fanfic author if he really did generate that much in that small a time. Besides, I can think of plenty of less deserving authors with thousands of reviews on FFN.

Regardless, getting donations for a non-profit that he's the co-founder of is hardly cause for outrage.

Legally, I'm not sure. Entirely possible that the non-profit/donation thing safeguards him from any prosecution.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:25 AM   #8
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Regardless, getting donations for a non-profit that he's the co-founder of is hardly cause for outrage.
WTF? Here is a guy who changes the "holding updates hostage" stupidity of shitheaded ff authors into a money making sheme and you are OK with that?
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:25 AM   #9
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It's worth getting outraged about if for no other reason that it potentially ruins fanfiction for the rest of us. Fanfiction is permitted to exist by copyright holders on the caveat that it isn't done for profit. The moment fanfiction authors start profiting from their work is the moment previously generous copyright holders start thinking about forcing FF.Net to shut down their section of the website.

With that in mind, the fanfiction community has a responsibility to police itself so as to make sure the community as a whole does not suffer from the hubris of one author.

Which is why I encourage you to report him. WB needs to see right from the start that this isn't about fanfiction as a whole - it's just about one author.

Plus, Yudkowsky is a dick.

Here's hoping that we'll soon be able to add a new section to his highly censored Wikipedia page: "Warner Bros, JK Rowling, Scholastic Books et. al. vs. Yudkowsky".

At least he'll finally be notable.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:09 AM   #10
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Here's hopping that the legal department of Warner Bros will legally rape the shit out of Yudkowsky.
Or that the ff.net staff will just pull down his story and ban him from the site.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:12 AM   #11
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Yeah, report on ff.net, not to Warner. Those people are hard cunts, and would delight in crushing online fanfic one afternoon. And I'm not joking.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taure View Post
It's worth getting outraged about if for no other reason that it potentially ruins fanfiction for the rest of us. Fanfiction is permitted to exist by copyright holders on the caveat that it isn't done for profit. The moment fanfiction authors start profiting from their work is the moment previously generous copyright holders start thinking about forcing FF.Net to shut down their section of the website.
That's also my main problem I have with his move. If people are stupid enough to donate for his case, then be it. But it draws unnecessary attention on the whole fanfiction community.

Because of that I also agree with Lizzy to report it on ff.net instead to WB.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:31 AM   #13
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But WB would shaft him so much more...

You're probably right. Still, my dislike of Yudkowsky is a strong motivating factor in wanting to see his ass get sued.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:10 AM   #14
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Am I the only one who has never heard of this guy and his story?
I'm a bit surprised I missed a massive story that many at DLP seem to know about.

Anyway, hopefully this won't be any danger to fanfiction and will be seen as a single douche being 'douchelike', not an indicator of the rest of the community.

There shoud be no danger but then again lawyers are likely to be involved soon so who knows how this will end up.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:34 AM   #15
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Rofl. People still read this story?

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).

In truth, as I watch my own ability to conduct scientific research wane next year (the lack of funding dollars to be had in our new austerity means belt-tightening all around, so I'll be spending more than half my time doing defense-related stuff that isn't publishable), I feel for the guy. From the sound of it, his Institute may go under financially and they're getting desperate. If it does, Yudkowsky, with virtually no marketable skills as an academic and a principled disdain for publication, academic credentials, etc., may find it difficult to find employment doing anything scientific or technical, much less continuing the kinds of explorations he's doing now for his day job.

Perhaps his best bet (and, Yudkowsky, we both know that your Google alerts inform you when you or your story is mentioned, so consider this my advice to you, friend) if that were to occur would be to try to find a university willing to accept him as a grad student and wait out the recession sipping lattes and ogling fine specimens of the gender he prefers. At the very least, he'll be able to maintain a semblance of academic freedom and along the way pick up some of the academic credentials he's missing. Even Eric Drexler, nanotech visionary, found he had to go back to get his Ph.D.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:06 AM   #16
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I believe we should distance ourselves from this author as much as possible, and that this thread should never have been created. Yes, we made our point, and he's still a dick. His followers may start bringing dlp's name on this and bring publicity on this stunt.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:16 AM   #17
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Rofl. People still read this story?
(and, Yudkowsky, we both know that your Google alerts inform you when you or your story is mentioned, so consider this my advice to you, friend)
You can do that? That's pretty cool - although, if it works like I presume it does, no one has actually said the name of the story in this thread, simply referred to it as "MoR".

OT: I'm not sure whether he is an idiot or a genius. I'll make up my mind when he either gets in legal trouble or gets away with it. Either way, I hope the acts of one douche doesn't hurt the rest of us.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:17 AM   #18
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I believe we should distance ourselves from this author as much as possible, and that this thread should never have been created. Yes, we made our point, and he's still a dick. His followers may start bringing dlp's name on this and bring publicity on this stunt.
What do you mean exactly? Why would DLP face any form of backlash over this?
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:26 AM   #19
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There are already reviewers on the latest chapter talking about DLP.

What's amusing is that we (me) are being called "curtain-twitchers" and yet clearly they're doing the same to DLP.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:28 AM   #20
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Abuse report to FFN sent. Hopefully they actually listen to it.
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