Bend it like Greenfield

Scott H. Greenfield, Esq., a prominent New York criminal defense lawyer (or for my Canadian and English readership, criminal defence lawyer) and  author of  Simple Justice, the award-winning, authoritative criminal law blawg (or for the early adopters and anti-elitists, law weblog or law blog), has written a timely post entitled, “Stuff You Should Know, Volume 29“.

By timely, I mean he wrote it in about the same time it takes most of us to drink a

coffee and scarf down a doughnut (or for my American readership, donut

Greenfield’s post covers a pastiche of legal topics reminiscent of an orphaned Blawg Review. One of the intriguing stories involves a story relayed by Mike Masnick at Techdirt, addressing a complaint from Canadian IP lawyer, James Gannon suggesting it is “rude to link to another person’s post without first obtaining permission. ” Greenfield, quoting (and hyper-linking) Masnick, writes,

Earlier this week, I wrote an analysis of some silly claims from Canadian IP lawyer James Gannon’s sarcastic suggestion that copying money is just like copying content. Gannon stopped by in our comments… and oddly did not respond to a single point that I raised about his faulty analysis. Instead, he only commented to claim that it was somehow rude or discourteous of me to link to his piece and to discuss it without first asking for permission. I found this somewhat shocking. I’ve never heard that it’s common courtesy to ask before you link to someone. Yet Gannon insisted that most people who link to him first ask his permission and he suggests, snidely, that his readership has higher “standards” in regards to how they view content.

Greenfield adds,

Gannon, who may well be a closet curling fan like fellow Canadian, The Trial Warrior, Antonin Pribetic (who I expect to vehemently deny it, as usual), may be on to something.  From now on, I expect that my readership will hold itself to higher standards as well and obtain my permission before linking to my posts.  This is especially true if you disagree with me.

Greenfield’s libellous allegation that I love curling aside, he dutifully exposes the absurdity of Gannon’s position that linking requires pre-approval. As I commented on Scott’s sweeping post,

Blawg posts, like sausages, are best shared as links.

To suggest that one needs to obtain an author’s permission to link to that author’s post smacks of ‘reputation management’ run amok. If you write a blog post and then post it publicly, you cannot cherry-pick who gets to link to the post and how they choose to interpret, analyze, and, heaven forfend, disagree with the content. You can also not impose your own sense of narcissistic entitlement and invoke some form of internet etiquette simply because you fear the prospect that your thoughts and ideas will be scrutinized, analyzed, criticized by others.

That said, I take great umbrage with Greenfield’s wanton and contumelious insinuation that I enjoy the pastime of curling. I have never had recreational relations with that “sport”, curling.

However, I am sure that even a self-described curmudgeon like Scott Greenfield will be no less than inspired after reading the following words about the American Olympic Curling Team via Daren C. Brabham / University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in his post, “Bend it Like Shuster: Broadcasting Curling’s Accessibility“:

Most of us will never be Olympians, not even Olympic curlers. But what the television coverage of curling showed us this past winter is that it is a sport we should try. If you were not on the slopes at a very young age, training every day of the week and consulting the best nutritionists and trainers in the world, you have no chance now to be a world class alpine skier. But many of the Olympic curlers picked up the sport only a decade ago, and they manage to have full-time jobs and families while still training on the side. Curling also requires no snowy mountains or specialized sledding courses, but just a sheet of ice. Thus, anywhere there is an indoor ice rink, there can be a curling club, which makes this sport even more accessible to people in warmer climates. It is truly an accessible sport for all ages, body types, incomes, and occupations, and the most important thing about this past winter’s Olympic coverage is that this message was conveyed to viewers. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to the 2014 Games in Sochi, perhaps as an Olympian.

U.S. Olympic Men’s Curling team. Captain John Shuster Front and Center.

Photo Credit: 12.02, Volume 12 -> Bend it Like Shuster: Broadcasting Curling’s Accessibility  Daren C. Brabham / University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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