This really gets me angry:
Last week, I send out a few test notices about RR&A to a handful of people in my address book — less than 30. I get a phone call and email from XXXXX, who works for XXXXXXXX, an (obviously) major media company.
This person informs me that "I owe them money for reprints" that are posted In the section labelled "In the Press."
Now, I use, refer to and reference alot of other work by other people on the blog. I am meticulous about giving appropriate credit, and I very much try to stay squarely within the boundaries of "Fair Use." I do not merely reproduce in whole or substantial part, entire articles, but rather, take snippets, a paragraph or three, a chart — and then annotate/comment/add value extensively on them.
On the pro site, there is even less of that.
Anyway, this weasel starts haranguing me for a reprint fee. What reprint? What are you talking about? I couldn’t figure out what the hell they were going on and on about. There are no PDFs (except my own) and very little in was of reproduced content from anyone else.
Until it dawns on me — the links? WTF?!? You want to charge me for pointing to an article of yours? (GET ME LEGAL!).
I go off on her, cite old case law that this was resolved in the 1990s, and then ask her "What’s with the not-so-subtle litigation threats?" I politely tell them to take a flying f%$# at a rolling donut, and suggest she contact legal and Sue me!
That was last week, and by now, I have done the slow burn: Instead of selling a legitimate product — reprints, PDFs, mailer inserts, etc. — there are some weasel salespeople who (with the apparent power of a major media firm behind them) scare/bully/bluff people who do not know better in paying for something that is free.
Here’s my promise: The next time one of you copyright weasels tries this, you become my new hobby.
Consider yourself warned.