Hacker Newsnew | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

It doesn't come from scribd. scribd automatically scrape every PDF they find and put it on their site. They do this without considering that many of the PDFs have copyright notices, and require the copyright holder to pay a lawyer to issue a formal C&D before they do anything about it.

I think what they do is reprehensible and I think they're scum. I don't know why the powers that be at HN automatically add the link to scribd.

Google does the same thing, but no one ever speaks up about that. Realistically speaking, if you don't want your content to be scraped by such services, put it behind a login page. We as content owners need to stop fighting against technology; it's not a battle that can (or should, really) be won.


Google provides search so people can find your site, and then sends people to your site.

Scribd do neither - they appear to take your content, put it on their own site, and provide nothing in return.

I, as a content owner, expect that a copyright notice should be respected, and I don't expect to have to track down every copy and sue the plagarists and thieves. I've certainly stopped providing PDF references to HN because they aid and abet such theft.

I'm not averse to technology, and I freely provide much of my written material for free, on my sites. I just expect to have people come to my sites to read them, and not have parasites like scribd steal the material without remorse or recompense.


Google also gives you a link to view it on their site. The only difference between Google's PDF viewer and Scribd's is that most people don't link to a Google PDF page.


No, this goes beyond indexing, referral, and reformatting. This is copyright infringement, plain and simple; Scribd monetizes your content by showing ads on the same page!


Don't want your content co-opted? Here's an idea: keep it off the Internet.


So, let me see if I understand what you're saying.

What you're saying is that when I write something, and want people to read it, it's not enough to use the law and put a copyright notice on it.

What you're saying is that if I publish it, even if I've done what the law requires and marked it as mine, anyone can copy it and publish it without my permission.

And will.

Further, there's a company that will do this wholesale. They'll take loads and loads of other people's stuff, put ads next to it, give no additional indication that they didn't produce it, and make money from other people's work.

Yup. Thus we have progress.


For better or worse, yes, that's an accurate assessment.

You don't want to live in a world where what you describe is impossible, and neither do I.

And if it's not impossible, it will happen.


Scribd was seed funded by Y Combinator.



Which explains why HN puts the link on every PDF. Thank you.

It won't make any difference, and probably no one cares, but I still think what scribd does is ethically and morally wrong.

I'll shut up about it now.


Applications are open for YC Winter 2016

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact