It came to my attention Saturday morning that this site is stealing content from Freethought Blogs, literally copying every single post we make in its entirety. I learned later that the site is owned by someone named Peter Grant, who is friends on Facebook with many of the bloggers here. I sent him the following email:
I am assuming that you are the same person who runs both http://atheistfeed.blogspot.com/ and http://atheistfeed.tumblr.com/. The latter is aggregating — that is, stealing — all of the content from Freethought Blogs, a network that I own. You do not have permission to copy the content from freethoughtblogs.com and I want all posts copied from our network removed immediately and any use of our copyrighted material to stop. If this is not done within 72 hours, I will be referring the matter to my attorney. Please see this:
He reprinted that email on his blog, along with this absurd response:
Just received this email. Must say I am disappointed :( Especially now, just following the recent SOPA blackout.
I left the following comment:
This has nothing to do with SOPA. The problem with SOPA is not with copyright, which is good and necessary; the problem is with the draconian measures included in the law to protect copyright, which would cause massive problems for people and sites that have done nothing wrong. This is simply a way for you to distract attention from the issue. This isn’t the government coming down on you to shut you down, it’s an individual — a group of individuals, actually — from whom you are stealing telling you to stop. And your excuses and rationalizations are absurd. I meant what I said. If you do not stop stealing our content, I’ll be taking you to court.
During a private exchange on Facebook, he had equally absurd rationalizations for his theft.
I’m not doing anything. It’s already setup and will continue to funtion without any imput from my side. I setup the Athiest Feed so I could follow all my favourite blogs on twitter, facebook, tumblr etc. I’ve just got it working nicely now.
Brilliant. “I’m not doing anything! It works all on its own! And I just got it working the way I want it to work.” Which means he just got good at stealing from us. And it’s perfectly fine for him to set up an RSS feed of all his favorite blogs so he can read them; what he can’t do is put all that content on his own website so others can read it without ever coming to our site.
He also told me, “I do not respond well to demands.” I don’t really care. This is not the least bit ambiguous. If you want to post an excerpt from what we write here, comment on it, disagree with it, cheer us on, tell us we’re full of shit, no problem. That’s obviously covered under fair use. But you cannot just copy every single post in its entirety on your own website without breaking the law and, quite frankly, pissing me off. And this response on his blog makes me even more so:
It was never my intention to upset anyone. I am only trying to promote atheism, skepticism, freethought etc. I might have considered truncating the feeds from my side if I had been approached in a more respectful manner, but now, after receiving threats, I feel less inclined to.
Oh yes, if we were only more respectful of his violating the law and stealing our content. If only we would show more appreciation of him for doing it. What an asshole. I have already talked to my lawyer about this and he is ready to take action if Grant does not back down and remove the content.