Stuff White People Like is the best Weblog of the year – certainly better than that newspaper photo blog. It is a delightfully simple concept (so simple it invited jealous ridicule), a concept articulated in a consistent tone by a Canadian ginger with a mellifluous name, Christian Lander. He is now approximately $300,000 richer after signing a book contract. (If he quits his day job, does he lose his TN visa?) Perhaps unexpectedly, I had a highly indirect role in that contract.

Lander has, however, sullied his own reputation by holding a contest. You were invited to write your own 350-word Stuff White People Like entry. Join in the fun! It’s crowdsourcing – isn’t it? Perhaps not: “By submitting an entry, you are granting all rights to your submitted material to the operators of Stuff White People Like.” Here “all rights” includes the right to attribution.

In other words, you were invited to enter a contest in which an author may use your work for free with no limitations whatsoever. What do you get out of it? A copy of a book that would otherwise cost you no more than $11.20 at Amazon. Your writer’s fees, then, bottom out at 3.2¢ a word.

Stuff 675 white people liked: Copyright extortion.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2008.06.23 12:35. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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