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Jack Yan: the Persuader blog
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How not to be a publisher 

When I started Autocade a year ago, I wrote to a of car magazines to ask if he might have staff who would wish to contribute. If they were car nuts like myself, they might wish to help out—or so the theory went.
   What I got back was pretty insulting. Even though I had told this chap I had been a customer of his for a quarter-century, he spent a good part of his message writing a threat to me.
   First up, his staff were far too busy to work on anything like this. (Guess there’s no down time there—maybe I’m wrong to encourage my team to have interests and maintain personal blogs.) Secondly, if I took any part of his or books, he’d sue.
   I’m not saying he shouldn’t defend his company’s interests but considering this was his first-ever contact with a customer of 25 years, you’d think the decent thing to do would be, if he was not thrilled with helping, to wish me well and leave it at that. If there were considerations then his not inconsiderable resources could monitor Autocade.
   I run a small company and we monitor copyright infringements online.
   A guilty-till-proved-innocent approach did him no favours and if I weren’t a professional, now would be a good time to name him and expose his cowardice and inappropriate behaviour.
   Dude, look at my signature file. I have a law degree. I am a magazine publisher, too. Don’t you think I would understand the situation with copyright better than you ever could? Wouldn’t it have been wiser to run my name through Google to find out that I have been advocating copyright protection before making an ass of yourself?
   I responded in a gentlemanly fashion and assured him there’d be no infringements, and to that I received no further correspondence.
   Which goes to show his only motive was to shoot others down—for what? To risk damaging his as I potentially talk about what kind of moron runs that publishing group?
   Pity, really. Whatever goodwill he built as a publisher over a quarter-century he lost in an email that greatly wanted for collegial respect.
   I would have thought the end of this first decade of the 21st century was not a good time to burn bridges for the print profession.
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Seems to me, the thing to do would've been to reply saying something like: "sure, if they want they can contribute, but any contributions must be attributed back to the magazine", along with a discussion about ad revenue and so on. Seems a bit of an over-reaction to come back as he did.  
Hi Jason—good to have a Kiwi commenter. I thought it was an ideal opportunity, too, plus they could get heaps of links back, especially to one of their sites where the traffic wasn’t too hot. I should mention that the publisher is not American, which goes to show that there are other nationalities doing the ‘I’ll sue you’ as their first reaction. Pity.  
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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