I have been writing Out in Print since the middle of 2009. Six long years and over 500 posts celebrating wonderful (and sometimes not so wonderful) authors who tell the stories of my community. It has been a pleasure and privilege, and I’ve been proud to champion new writers as well as publicize established ones.
Blogs such as this are a tremendous amount of work–both in terms of time taken to read the material as well as the energy involved in processing it and writing about it. My job as freelance editor and my own writing career sometimes must be put on the back burner to get a blog post out. That’s fine. I long ago accepted that as part and parcel of the job. Neither I nor William Holden (Out in Print’s co-founder, who left to pursue other activities) have ever entertained the notion of accepting advertising to monetize this blog. We both felt it would undercut our credibility.
Enter Gary Carnivele, a thief who has taken numerous posts from Out in Print and re-posted them on his own blog, We the People (I’m not even going to link to it). He has also stolen from other publications, including the Bay Area Reporter (shout out here to my good friend Jim Provenzano for alerting me to the situation). And he is, most likely, making money from our efforts. He accepts advertising–more on that in a moment–and I’m sure he doesn’t give it away for nothing.
What does Mr. Carnivele think that copyright symbol is for at the end of each post? This is my intellectual property. This comes from my heart and my soul. They may just be words on a screen to Mr. Carnivele–no-sweat-off-his-brow content to post to turn a quick buck, but this is my life. It’s what I do and what I share with my community. To see it stolen is an incredible violation of my trust as an artist and a writer. There is a special place in hell for this guy and all who do what he does.
After a rather sternly worded Facebook message (full disclosure: I called him a “bitch.” It was kind under the circumstances), he has now taken down my posts. I suspect those stolen from the B.A.R. have also been deleted. However, that action doesn’t alter the offense. Discarding what you steal doesn’t excuse you from the act of stealing it. It also doesn’t address a couple fundamental questions I’d like to put to Mr. Carnivele: How can you justify taking someone else’s work and turning a buck (or even a cent) off it? Why didn’t you at least email me and ask to use it? How do you sleep at night knowing you’ve stolen from others?
Also in the interests of full disclosure, I’ve messaged our mutual friends on Facebook a link to this post as well as emailed it to his advertisers. Shouldn’t they know what sort of man they’re dealing with? After all, if he’ll steal from me, he’ll steal from you. And if Mr. Carnivele wishes to respond to any of this, I beg him to do so. Let’s have an open, frank discussion of why you believe stealing content from my blog to post to yours to make money (or even for free) is a socially acceptable thing to do. I’ll post any response you wish to give, unedited, in the comment section.
But I doubt he’ll respond.
Thieves operate best in the dark.