Recently, a fellow blogger posted a link on his site which led to a popular electronic payment site. The purpose of this link was to allow those who enjoy reading said blogger's site to contribute if they so chose to do so. Evidently, the author received so much hate mail regarding the link (and subsequent requests for donations), that the author removed the link and all references to the donations.
My dear reader, public-at-large, fellow card-collector, and whomever else happens to be reading this: If you are one of the people that led to the removal of the donation mechanism, please feel free to turn off your computer, put it in a box, and send it back to the manufacturer. You are not ready quite yet to simply IGNORE things you see and read online that you do not wish to participate in. Seriously. Click "Start" then "Shut Down." Please.
Intellectual property is no different if it is a computer program or a blog entry. As some of you may be aware, the concept of SHAREWARE was born many, many moons ago. In that guise, the author of a computer program would ask for donations if the user liked the program being used. An author of a blog site is no different, and should have the freedom (especially if that author lives in a small country known as the United States of America) to seek donation-based compensation for his/her intellectual property.
If you disagree with the request for donations, you have two general recourses (short of turning off the computer and sending it back):
- You can simply NOT DONATE. No one told you that you MUST donate anything. It was a request.
- You can take your eyes and direct them to other pages on the web. I know, there are only about a billion others that you have to choose from, but believe me, you can find other pages where the word 'donation' is not even mentioned. Ever. Try it.
I understand that composing this letter may generate a whole new batch of hate mail regarding the subject, but I felt compelled to write this to those who gave the other author a hard enough time that he sacrificed his own creativity because of it. Frankly, I hope he has a change of heart and places the donation link prominently on his site.
As for me, if I feel like donating, I will. And if not, I won't. That's the beauty of being an American with a free will. Maybe some of the folks reading this should try exercising that free will sometime. It's quite amazing, really.