Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

It's nice to have creative friends. (By which I doubly exclude both Dan Zimmerman and Robert Farago.)

I have some amazingly talented friends who can write*. Some even get paid for it. Some don't.
I have some amazingly talented friends who can photograph. Some even get paid for it. Some don't.
I have some amazingly talented friends who can sing. (You see where this is going.)
Then there are those who have talents for putting things together creatively into a multimedia fashion that defies labeling. One such friend is my friend the Ambulance Driver. Given that he's published a couple of books and is on a regular speaking tour, and teaches a class of his own invention on Shooter Self-Care, and put together a great fundraiser in Kilted To Kick Cancer-- I think that it's probably okay to let the cat out of the bag to say that Ambulance Driver is Kelly Grayson. Kelly, a fellow admirer of my friend Tamara Keel, took a regular piece of hers and made it a multimedia slide show.

Back around 2006, Tamara, in her love of all things Gun Show/ Fun Show, wrote her own words to "These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things", and posted them on her blog as "The Gun Show Song." She posts it most of the time that she goes to a gun show. I can't even find the first time that she did so, but it's almost a decade ago, and she has posted the words to it maybe a score of times:
Flintlocks and Flop-tops
And Number Three Russians
Black-powder Mausers
From jackbooted Prussians,
Shiny Smith PC's from limited runs
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Socketed bay'nets
On Zulu War rifles,
Engraved, iv'ried Lugers
That make quite an eyefull
Mosin tomato stakes sold by the ton
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Rusty top-breaks!
Smallbore Schuetzens!
And all of Browning's spawn
I just keep on browsing my favorite guns
Until all my money's gone.
Kelly cast around to find someone who could sing the song in as Julie Andrews would, and Squeaky stepped up with her trained voice, and recorded it (and very nicely, too) for him.  Then Kelly put the song to slides on a YouTube video of his own creation, and voila! He had made his Christmas gift to Tamara. She liked it.

See? Creative.

But then Dan Zimmerman and Robert Farago over at that The Truth About Guns website did what they do: they stole the content. No attribution was given. They took credit for Kelly's work and Tamara's writing, and Squeaky's singing, without acknowledging whose innovation had created it.

This is not just rude and classless-- it's thievery. Tamara gets paid to talk about, write about, and shoot guns-- which is what The Gun Show Song is a product of that. Kelly gets paid to produce online content. This is their business, however lovingly they may practice it.

Well, stealing things is what Dan Zimmerman and Robert Farago do. They take content of value, host it on their site (without attribution), and then use it as click bait for their links along the sidebar. It's about profit without creating, for them. Notice that I will NOT link to their site. They can die in the cold, and I'm asking you, gentle reader, NOT to go there. Going to their site runs up their hit count meter, which they make money from with their advertisers' links. When they do it to me (and they have), it's just forgetting to attribute a hobbyist. But when they do it to Tamara and Kelly--- they're taking profit from professionals without giving them their due.

Roberta X put it neatly:
   Dan Zimmerman, widely held to be a longtime intellectual property thief and, I am given to understand, founder of Dead Hooker Magazine, has stolen Tam's "Fun Show Song" and posted the lovely video made as a Christmas present for Tam by Ambulance Driver and Squeaky and posted it over at TTAG, the other sink of iniquity and inequity with which he is associated, utterly without attribution to anyone but himself.

     Other than polite reminders (already issued) and the distant possibility of lawyering up -- Tam's a writer and her stock in trade is the unique groupings of words she creates -- there's not a whole lot that can be done.

     But there is one thing.  Cato famously ended every speech he made in the Roman Senate with "Carthage must be destroyed," even if all he was talking about was proclaiming Junior Vestal Day.  The phrase I'd like you to remember and to post all over the Internet is "Dan Zimmerman. Intellectual property thief. Dead Hooker Magazine."  And good morning, search engines! 

Oh, I see that Jennifer has already written a very similar article. Great minds, and all that.
*Okay, when I started hot-linking friends of mine who can write, it didn't really cross my mind that I have a HUGE number of friends who can write, so I gave up pretty early. Don't feel slighted that I didn't link you, friends of mine; I didn't link a LOT of writers.

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At Wednesday, December 23, 2015 12:23:00 PM, Blogger Joe Allen said...

This whole thing is tremendously upsetting. I've never been much into "The Truth About Guns" website, but I've been a long time subscriber to "Dead Hooker Magazine" and I can't, in all good conscience, continue my subscription. I'm cancelling right now, and tomorrow, I'm going to drop off all my back issues at Goodwill.

I suppose there's always "The Real Dumpster Divas of New York", but frankly, ever since Caudill took over as Editor, the writing quality is even worse than Dan Zimmerman's.

At Thursday, December 24, 2015 7:27:00 PM, Blogger Old NFO said...

The sleazebags continue... sigh Maybe a chat at NRA-AM (out in the alley) is in line for this year...


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