As a Deep Political blogger and crypto-enthusiast, Steemit struck me as a fantastic way to introduce my content to a new audience and potentially make a bit of money on the side - seemingly the best of both worlds.
Image Credit: MovieNomics
But upon posting only my second article on Steemit, I've found a bot account is now flagging my posts for "copyright infringement." And who does Steemit cite as the "copyright holder" I have so egregiously violated? None other than myself! Before Steemit, I was unaware that I could be in violation of my own copyright, but it seems the Algorithmic Lords have decreed otherwise. Good to know.
The original post can be found here: https://steemit.com/politics/@rusticus/cia-breaks-its-silence-on-new-silk-road-says-challenging-the-brics-and-aiib-was-a-mistake
Copying/Pasting articles without permission is copyright infringement. If you want to share a news story, simply link to the source, and include your original commentary, and possibly small quotes from source. Copy paste is discouraged by the community, and may result in action from the cheetah bot.
All jokes aside, I'm by no means a powerhouse in the blogosphere, but I take pride in my research. My blog gets a decent amount of traffic and I'm lucky enough to be resyndicated by alt-media aggregators like Activist Post . But it seems I've been hoisted on the petard of my own success, as my articles are picked up by enough blogs that Steemit's bots believe me to be stealing from myself.
The irony of all this is that my work is not copywritten at all, but instead licensed under a Creative Commons License, a specific type of shareable license that allows anyone to redistribute my work provided I am credited properly. So not only is Steemit incorrect for finding me in violation of their copyright policies, they are in fact violating my own license by threatening any potential users who may wish to repost my content on the platform!
Image Credit: Creative Commons
Without entering into a philosophical diatribe about the fallacious nature of "intellectual property" itself, I merely note this: How popular can Steemit become as a media platform if it disallows content producers whose work is popular enough to be picked up by bots? How many vibrant writers and articles are Steemit's bots in danger of turning away simply for the sake of limiting copy-paste articles? Isn't the nature of voting on the platform designed to sort these conundrums out organically via the community?
How much recourse do original content producers on Steemit have when they're up against nameless, faceless, poorly programmed bots?