The Slippery Slope Of “Press This”

While the new Press This Bookmarklet has received mostly good reviews, some people have expressed concerns that it only makes life easier for content thieves.

I confess that when I first learned about this new WordPress feature, I had the same concern, but that was based on faulty information given to me by someone who had used it. I was under the mistaken impression that the feature copied entire posts and/or pages. I now know that it does not do that, although it can certainly be abused in that way.

This seems to be what the majority of complainants are arguing: it’s a bad idea because content thieves can use it to steal other people’s work. But content thieves were stealing other people’s work before and will continue to do so if it is removed.

People who steal content will do so regardless. People who do not steal content are not going to suddenly trash their values and start plagiarizing just because now it can be done with greater efficiency.

To those of you who think WordPress should not have this feature, I submit that you should stop blogging altogether. After all, posting your content on the internet makes it easier for people to steal it. And we should probably stop emailing and using instant messengers because they’re also prone to abuse. Better yet, let’s just shut down our computers and call it quits, because the internet itself is prone to abuse in uncountable ways.

Now that we’re no longer using computers, we can focus on all the other things that are potentially dangerous or harmful. How about cars? We shouldn’t have cars because people can drive them while intoxicated and kill or injure themselves and other people.

We should probably get rid of our phones too, because they’re often used by stalkers to harass people. And while we’re on that slippery slope anyway, let’s go ahead and dump our kitchen knives, since people have been known to use them as weapons. And the kid’s baseball bat needs to go — it could be used to vandalize someone’s property.

Matches can be used to commit arson. Belts can be used to beat children. Pillows can be used to suffocate people. Antifreeze can kill animals. People can drown in swimming pools. Or bathtubs. Ropes can be used to strangle people. Cameras can be used to exploit people. Binocular and telescopes can be used to spy on people. Sleeping pills can be used to commit suicide. Or murder. Gasoline, paint and a variety of other things, when huffed, can result in hypoxia.

The list goes on.

We don’t get rid of any of those potentially dangerous and harmful things because we recognize their usefulness. They make our lives easier and often more enjoyable. Let’s keep Press This for the same reason. There are steps you can take to deal with content thieves, and those steps are exactly the same with or without this new feature.

Now go and press something.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On

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2 responses to “The Slippery Slope Of “Press This”

  • Gary Murning

    I agree completely, Lottie. The simple fact of the matter is, it’s a very handy piece of kit that I occasionally use responsibly (it’s actually more work to use it irresponsibly!) The serious content thieves out there would not be at all interested in this. They have far more efficient ways of doing it.

  • Lottie

    So it doesn’t even make it easier for them! Guess that argument was down the toilet already then. LOL

    I only tried it out once just to see what everyone was on about. Then I saw the result of your using it and realized that it’s not at all what some people seem to imagine it is.

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