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Tuesday, July 17, 2007


PodTech Pays Lan Bui for CC Licensed Photograph

CC on Orange by yamabobobo

First I would like I thank the entire community for all of their support. It is great to see that many people realized this was a very important issue and blogged about it and left comments about it. It also was very good that I got to talk to some of the people that disagreed with me. Also, I have no hard feelings towards any individuals at PodTech.

For anyone that does not know what I am talking about you can read my blog post here and others' here and here and here and here and here and here and here to get up to speed on what this is about.

Since that blog was posted PodTech offered me $1000 and left it as their final offer. I was not willing to let them set the terms of the agreement, the fact of the matter is that they would have had a much better position from which to negotiate if they had been willing to talk to me in the beginning.

I didn't want lower my offer because I didn't want to set a precedent that others can steal work and then negotiate after the fact as though nothing was done wrong in the first place. What incentive is there for companies to pay creators up front for their work if they can just steal it then only pay up if they get caught, with no penalty, the same amount they would have paid up front? Negotiations are for normal business transactions, which happen before work is used... this was a different story. Although that was my position, I also didn't want to drag the entire thing on for a long time, so I decided to lower my invoice to $2500. They didn't accept my offer.

From the beginning of this I've told everyone that I was not looking for some quick easy free cash. This was, for the most part, about setting a precedent so companies (and individals) think about what they are doing and the repercussions that can ensue when they use others' work outside of the copyright or Creative Commons license that is provided.

I believe in using Creative Commons, it allows my work to be used without someone going through the hassle of contacting me and waiting for me to grant them permission. I am ok with this as long as they follow the rules of the license, but just like if I had an all rights reserved copyright on a photograph, contact me before you use it outside of what Creative Commons grants. This goes for anyone using Creative Commons, you should expect others and companies to respect your copyright. You still own the copyright on your work if you release it under Creative Commons; you are just granting certain use of your work through a Creative Commons license. See here for more information on Creative Commons.

I have received a check for $1000 from PodTech. This came as quite a surprise since I had not agreed to take $1000. So what do I do now? It seems to me they want me to cash the check and leave it at that, happy that I got anything at all. And shouldn't I be?

I believe the community will benefit from Creative Commons becomming widely used, known and respected. Since I am at the point that I have no desire to pursue this issue any further with PodTech, and in accordance with my original goals when I decided to stand up for my Creative Commons license, I have decided to donate the entire $1000 to the Creative Commons organization.

Way to stick to your guns, Lan. I'm impressed.
Wow -- you're a standup guy, Lan. Glad to see it finally resolved in some fashion.
PodTech is bizarre. It's great they sent you something, but they shouldn't have just sent you a check for an offer you hadn't accepted.

Cashing the check will make it look like you accepted.

I totally respect your not wanting to deal with them any longer. If you had the resources and persistence to sue them, I'd say sue their asses and bedamned with their half-assed attempt to "make it right" after the fact.

I have lost all respect for PodTech. I'm sure they'll never ask to partner with me (ala RyanIsHungry or Bill Streeter), but if they did I'd say NO due to this debacle and the experiences reported by Casey McKinnon.

As Chuck said, Lan, you're a stand-up guy - who is still getting ripped off by PodTech. PodTech is not a stand-up company.
Good for you Lan. Glad to know there are still people in this world who have value and worth.

i would have mailed the check back to them. with a letter from my lawyer. but i am old school. ;)
n1. :)
I think your point was well-made.

"Good on you" for pursuing what you felt was right, and also for your donation to CC. :D
Thatta boy, Lan! Creative Commons is awesome, I'm proud of you for contributing to the cause and being the bigger man.
Great Lan! It doesn't only set a precedent for the blogging community, but also gives more backbone to the CC licenses. Just because its CC, doesn't mean it is a joke.
good form my man.
Congratulations Lan!!

Not for receiving the check, but for taking the high road. For standing up for yourself and your work. And for being the better person and company than Podtech.

Your donation shows your true character. Their actions reflect their character, or lack thereof.

I'm thrilled that you donated the entire amount to Creative Command and am proud to call you my friend.

i expected you to donate the money to either cc or similar recipient.
that was in part why i suggested also accepting a crowdfunded effort to raise the funds you requested from podtech.

good for you. i know this should have ended in a more professional manner, but apparently podtech was not capable of this. they seemingly ignored the WHY you were doing what you rightfully should have.... and setting precedent.... and skipped right to .... "this lan guy wants some cash.... let's give him some and make the problem go away". poorly done, podtech. unimpressed! now, follow verdi's suggestion and donate 2K to cc on behanlf of this incident and learning from the mistakes made thus far.

Lan, Chyrl, and Casey, you are a piece of **** for supporting lan bui in his comments and his lame *** attempt to **** up the entire community. you are part of the problem on why no one supports us and our community... i have left the community because of lan bui and people like you...podtech has like other companies has its problems but they bring credible sponsors and now y0u create this bull**** that makes us all look bad..shame on you lan

(edited by Lan, no profanity please)
Congratulations, Lan. You fought a good fight!
I admire your fortitude with this whole thing. I'm sure you're glad it's over, bit I agree with everyone else who says that for Podtech to just mail you a check and assume you will giggle with glee when you have it in your hands is a really shitty move. It's never been more obvious that they don't care about the people in this community.
This is very troubling to me! This company as well as many others seems to view non-commercial online communities as free labor. I have even heard it said by one person "why should we hire employees when we can get the general public to do it for us for FREE!!!" That's the attitude this company seems to have! Also, let's not talk about these companies turning around and suing you for copyright of your own creation!
You know what I think - I've rambled on on the Yahoo videoblogging group. As for Anonymous... LOL! "i have left the community" okeydokey then! i wonder if i know who you are. whatever... if the majority of the community you've left doesn't agree with you, then maybe you're not as right as you think you are about 'the community' and what it needs. maybe things are a bit more complex than you think. maybe you should relax, and have a nice cold glass of water or two :D
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