Why You Won’t See Advertising On The Smallest Minority.

I got an interesting invitation from Henry Copeland, the guy who runs the Blogads business. I was suggested to him by a much bigger blogger (and I appreciate the thought, I really do) but I had to decline. This is what I told Henry:

Thanks for the offer, but I must decline. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to make some cash, but the nature of my blog. I republish copyrighted content; newspaper and magazine articles (often in their entirety), cartoons, photos, etc. and do commentary on them. I consider this “fair use” under Title 17, U.S. Code Section 107, but only so long as I am not using this material to make a profit. I even have a legal statement to that effect at the bottom of the page. Therefore I don’t have advertising, nor even a tipjar (and it’s one more reason I’m on Blogger – it’s free.) If someone wants to come after me for copyright violation, not having any income generated by the site makes their job more difficult.

A couple of posts below is a good example. I’ve excerpted entire news stories from a couple of British web sites. To me, this is “fair use,” but if I was running a money-making enterprise here, I would be using someone else’s intellectual property to make a profit.

I’m not making a dime. In fact, I spend a little on an upgraded Haloscan comment account and an upgraded Photobucket account for what graphics I run. This thing costs me, but I do it because I want to, not because I want to make a business out of it.

Some people argue that you can run ads to support your bandwidth charges and donate any overages to charity to maintain a “non-profit” status, but by not having any income at all, I think I run a reduced risk of having any corporate lawyers thinking they could successfully sue me for copyright infringement.

I could be deluding myself, but it doesn’t matter. No ads will be run by me here. Ever.

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