Editor's Note: AdTI Fires Cheap Shot at... Us
Jun 16, 2004, 17:30 (34 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
By Brian Proffitt
We must be doing something right. Because now, of all things,
Linux Today has earned the direct and, once again, inaccurate scorn
(drum roll, please)
...The Alexis de Tocqueville Institution!
This is not the first time Linux Today has been publicly
criticized, nor will it be the last. But the comments made on the
home page of AdTI.net are so outrageously misleading, I felt it
necessary to address them now.
On the AdTI.net home page, there is a short blurb sardonically
entitled "Open Source Tip of the Day," which goes on state this:
"Open-sourcers hate to pay for copyrighted material--even when it's
the much-admired prose of Lee Gomes at The Wall Street
Journal. How to read Gomes for free, given the strict
copyright policies at Dow-Jones? Answer: click here, to be whisked
to Linux Today..."
The link connects to the author search results page for Lee
Gomes here on LT, which lists 24 Gomes stories that we have linked
to since 1999. Many of these stories were written by Gomes for the
Wall Street Journal, and the links reflect that. The links are tied
to the either the Dow Jones Web sites or to alternative host sites,
such as ZDNet, the Associated Press, or--irony of
The AdTI blurb implies that either the sites which host Gomes'
articles are pirating Gomes' copy, or we are. It is unclear to me
which is the case, thanks to the pithy, vague writing.
If AdTI is attacking ZDNet and CNET, two of the three sites
mentioned in the blurb, then they are grossly in error. If any
reputable site hosts an entire article, then it is always because
of a cross-licensing arrangement. I have seen many instances where
an author's material was clearly stolen from the original source
(including my own). I will state this categorically: it is our
policy to never knowingly link to unauthorized content. Ever. If we
find it after the fact, it gets pulled down instantly.
As for their mentioning of Lucifer.com, I have used the search
engine at my disposal on the Linux Today back-end, and according to
it, we have never linked to any content on any LuciferMedia Web
site. I just opened every Gomes story we have on record, and none
of them link to a Lucifer.com site. This is a factual error, that,
given the tone of the blurb, seems rife with malice and
If AdTI is criticizing Linux Today directly, they failed to
mentioned that none of those links they so carefully mentioned link
to the full content of the articles. As always, only excerpts of
the articles, as is allowed by fair use of copyright, are posted on
Linux Today. That has been our policy from Day One, no matter who
owned the site.
The only thing that AdTI got right is that yes, indeed, some of
the links are not working. Notice, though, that these are the older
links straight to the Dow Jones servers. These were cut off after
the WSJ and Dow Jones blocked access to all deep links years ago,
as is their right. There was no organized hunt by Dow Jones'
lawyers; this was a universal policy they enacted for all their
hosted content, and we have abided by it. The links have not been
removed because, frankly, it is very difficult to clean out all
obsolete links on Linux Today.
It is disappointing to see such a cavalier attitude by an
organization that purports to be an intellectually based firm based
in the US Capitol. (Cyncial? Me?)
Perhaps this is a form of payback for our recent links to Andrew
Tanenbaum's articles lambasting AdTI's Ken Brown. If it is, it
seems to have been handled in a clumsy manner.
I personally do not think this is the start of a major organized
attack against Linux Today by AdTI. Personally, I think they are
just getting their kicks knocking on yet another positive aspect of
the Linux and Open Source community. But, once again, they only
tell the half of the story they want their site visitors to
Update: There is an article on
this very same topic out at LinuxInsider that just went up on that
site. One smidge of a clarification: the article mentions that they
tried to contact the Linux Today editor for comment. It should be
noted that they tried to contact my boss, Jupitermedia
Editor-in-Chief Gus Venditto, who is traveling and could not reach
Ms. Stapleton in time. He did manage to alert me, and Ms. Stapleton
and I have spoken this afternoon.