Opinion: The Rise and Fall of Sharing Content

This week Abduzeedo will celebrate its 7th anniversary. Our first blog post was published on the 19th of December 2006. It was a difficult time back then. I had recently lost all my gear and backup disks, the same with my friend and business partner Fabiano Meneghetti. With that unfortunate life event, Abduzeedo was born as a simple blog where we would share our learnings and inspiration. The goal was to join the burgeoning blogosphere.

After 7 years, the landscape has changed immensely, Abduzeedo has grown and matured. We have learned by trial and error. Mistakes were made and we always tried to be transparent about our decisions and the direction of the blog. We shared tutorials and source files, never charging for any of our content. We also have been using ads since day one and to be honest with you, our main goal was just to be able to use the web services that were available. We wanted to be like the other blogs we love and admire. Like a kid playing dress up.

Abduzeedo also gave us the opportunity to meet a lot of designers, artists and photographers that inspired us, which for me, has been the most invaluable outcome of all. Amazing people like James White, Trey Ratcliff, Vitor Lourenco, Radim Malinic to name only a few. We post about them frequently and we will keep posting about them and anyone that has done something that really moved us.

New Inspiring HDR by Trey Ratcliff
Photo taken by Trey Ratcliff

Nowadays, though, things have evolved. The internet is changing, more services are available and sharing inspiration has become much easier than when we started the blog in 2006. I love all of that, however some things are truly disheartening and make me rethink what we do here at Abduzeedo. Things like what happened last Friday when we received a copyright infringement notice from a photographer.

We featured a beautiful photo in a post, giving full credit and linking back to the photographer and his work. We also saved the the image on our server for caching and speed issues only. We loved his work, it was on 500px and featured all options of sharing including on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and even an Embed Code. Maybe too used to the idea of sharing and fair usage, we included his image.

Unfortunately, we received a series of requests, like removing the content, which we did right away, a demand for public apology, which we more than happily did on the same blog post and a penalty fee. We apologize for featuring his work on our blog. Our one and only goal was to share what inspired us with others. We are truly sorry.

After 7 years, as I said, we have been learning by trial and error, just like any other blogger, artist, designer or photographer. If we were able to have success I believe it was because of our hard work, dedication and care to our audience and creative industry. We shared what we learned and what inspired us. But maybe it’s the time to stop.

The new year will tell. Meanwhile thank you for visiting the site and apologies once again to those we featured and talked about. You inspired us, but maybe we should have kept that to ourselves.

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