This Monday r/NoSleep (one of Reddits top 15 subreddits) shuttered its doors – albeit temporarily – due to content theft.
Try it for yourself: https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/ (closed at time of posting)
This blackout is taking a cue from writer T-Jay Lea who’s internet story went viral in 2012. His story The Expressionless, has been taken, adapted hundreds of times without his permission. His reaction was to start The Writers Blackout, a movement to prevent theft of internet writing by YouTubers.
Reddit’s R/NoSleep explains: “The Writer’s Blackout is a movement designed to help authors receive fair compensation from YouTube narrators via direct mediation and/or advice from experienced writers. In addition, this movement strives to provide writers with personal advice on individual negotiations, working out fee options such as revenue percentages, view to dollar ratios or royalty rights. In short, we must stress that the core imperative of the movement is to strictly enforce that writers receive fair pay for their work.”
“Within 24 hours it had exploded,” Lea told Mashable. “I mean *exploded* to the point that Twitter was freaking out over it, Snopes had to run a debunking article on it and YouTube influencers left, right and centre were jumping on it to react.”
“Ultimately, we want to achieve a standard baseline of pay for all writers when negotiating with any content creator that makes substantial profit on various platforms, build bridges with smaller or non-profit channels that can foster good relations as they grow, educate writers on what constitutes fair rates for their work (online adaptations pay differently to a publication, for example), educate narrators on copyright laws, and ensure everyone benefits,” Lea told Mashable.
“Craig Thompson, a YouTuber known as Mini Ladd, issued a public apology after his channel was threatened with deletion due to the copyright strikes it received from NoSleep writers.”
“After a particularly rough week involving our authors having their content stolen, I had the idea of shutting down the subreddit so that the content thieves couldn’t see it to take it,” Druga told Mashable. “Just kind of an angry, irrational thought that grew into an actual idea.”
“So many people think that, because the stories are free to read, they’re also free to use,” lead r/NoSleep moderator, Christine Druga, said. “This is not the case at all. The stories are protected by copyright law the moment they are posted. We’re hoping that closing the subreddit will not only make those who take the content without permission, credit, and/or compensation see that they’ve been doing it wrong and change their ways, but that fans of both r/NoSleep (and anywhere that r/NoSleep content has been shared) will learn about the issue as well so that they can properly support the authors.”
Why It’s Hot?
So much of our jobs is based off of intellectual property. After the years of Barstool Sports, F*ck Jerry and The Fat Jewish stealing intellectual property, we thought these days are behind us. But on the internet, we can’t have nice things. Some of the internet’s most interesting stories come from Reddit, but without recognition, and compensation, we might lose out on some of the great things Reddit (and the internet community at large) has to offer.
This is a great way to bring attention to the content theft, people might not even be Readers have to understand that “just because it’s free to read, it’s not free to use.”