Don’t Make Me Opt-Out


  1. I don't know. i have mixed feelings about the archives on scribd. On the one hand Scribd has been marvelous to me as an English language scribbler based in southern spain. It has provided me with a community of writers who share my interest in word-craft and who understand my words. On the other hand even though I am too lazy or busy to publish my work the idea of money being generated by my work and not going to me seems somehow wrong. Luckily this is all moot for me as I doubt anyone would bother to pay to download my poetry or stories.
    I truly do think that scribd didn't do this with malice. For professional writers (ie. those who live off writing) I can see how this might be more worrying than for "gifted amateurs" but I also understand that the costs of producing and maintaining a web page go up with growth in number of users.
    While it is true that ethically it would have been better for them to give us the choice to opt in rather than to opt out it is also true that when they made this change I found it blazoned across my scribd page, so it wasn't exactly sneaky.
    As to authors taking advantage of their social connections. Honestly, I've seen the game up close in the past, writer, actors, painters, and you don't get anywhere unless you know how to take advantage of your connections, the trick is to do it nicely and not to be a complete ass about it.
    In any case. You and anybody who is riled about this should drop the scribd help desk a line, I did and explained the reasons I had for opting out, so that they can remedy their behaviour.
    Your servant
    Jeremy ffrench Birmingham

    1. I hear what you're saying. I'm coming from a human-computer interaction standpoint where as a user I shouldn't be automatically opted in to any sort of service without my explicit permission. I take umbrage to the fact that systems such as Facebook, Scribd, etc, are taking advantage of the fact that their privacy and terms&conditions pages are convoluted and difficult to read. As such, their users tend not to waste their time reading.

      This doesn't excuse the fact that someone can and is making money off of my hard work without me seeing any benefits or royalties. If Scribd is going to automatically opt me into a service where someone must pay to read my writing, then I think it only right that as the creator, I see a percentage of the profits, such as a 70/30 split.

  2. Scribd will ignore this issue until another website steps up to bat and threatens their income.

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