Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Free? No Thanks.

I received this very pleasant email on Monday:

My name’s XXXXX XXXX, and I’m the editor of the Perspective section at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Arkansas’ statewide daily newspaper. I am interested in reprinting your article ”A Brief History” from March ‘09 in the Perspective section of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. I found it on the Smart Set site today, and I enjoyed it a lot. Which is one of my main criteria for deciding what to publish in the Perspective section.

Perspective is a weekly section that focuses on more in-depth analysis of issues, culture, life, society, history, art, literature...well, you get the idea. We would, of course, give credit where it’s due, plug the blog and Smart Set, etc.

Please feel free to go retro and give me a call. If calling the office is just too old-fashioned, my cell is XXX-XXX-XXXX.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
(xxx) xxx-xxxx

So I, of course, asked the fine people at FeatureWell to deal with this reprint request, since the article was syndicated through them. You'll notice, of course, that nowhere in the email is any mention of payment. This also occurred the last time I received a very pleasant email from a very pleasant newspaper editor wanting to reprint my very pleasant twitter article. However, FeatureWell managed to get a small fee out of that newspaper (less than $100).

This time, however, no dice. The Arkansas D-G refused to cough up payment of any kind. That's more than a little sick and disturbing, in my estimate.