The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Note to Self: Never Link

Posted on | March 2, 2011 | 7 Comments

Megan McArdle at the (soon-to-be-Sully-free) Atlantic linked and excerpted an interview that did with a venture capitalist, Ken Kinsella.

The World’s Tallest Female Blogger admits that her excerpting — more than a third of a 2,100-word article — was way over the “fair use” line and, while she included a link to the article, she named neither the source site nor the writer who conducted the interview.

Bad Megan! Bad, bad Megan!

However, it subsequently became apparent that Xconomy is a site run by obnoxious douchebags:

I won’t disclose the contents of our correspondence, since the editor who emailed me has requested that they remain confidential. I think I may disclose that they are very upset about what they see as an egregious fair use violation. I attempted to rectify the situation by trimming down the excerpts, and naming the site from which they were drawn, but this seems to have somehow only made them madder — perhaps because this is so rare in my ten years of experience blogging that I was mystified rather than sufficiently apologetic.  But of course I support their right to control lengthy dissemination of their work, so I have taken down the offending post.

Look: Nothing wrong with a publisher enforcing his intellectual property rights, but it isn’t good business for a publisher to act like a complete douchebag toward bloggers.

In point of fact, my excerpt of Megan’s post amounts to more than a third of its content, so if her editors at the Atlantic wanted to be total douchebags, they could start filling my inbox with huffy e-mails threatening me with legal action. But they don’t do that because, even though their traffic is way bigger than mine, getting linked by bloggers is good for their business.

Megan McArdle is a nice person who has good-naturedly put up with a lot of joshing from me over the years and seldom complained, not even when — after her engagement to Peter Suderman — I dubbed her “my favorite acromegalic bride-to-be.” Megan knew that I was just trying to needle her enough to get a link and, imperious giantess that she is, she refused to lash out in anger.

That would be beneath her — as, of course, most things are beneath someone who’s nine feet tall.

Perhaps I exaggerate. Still, it is a mark of her graciousness that Megan hasn’t crushed me beneath one of her enormous feet, and anyone who is mean to her is therefore my enemy. now has a spot on my (very short) no-link list.


7 Responses to “Note to Self: Never Link”

  1. Jon
    March 2nd, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

    Well, there’s always the Susanna Breslin option. Same towering height as Megan, and as of now she’s looking for work.