I can hear your eyes rolling right now. Oh, Lord. I think Kris is going to go librarian on us.

Intellectual property is so not a sexy term. But every time you think, hey, I should get paid for what I do, you’re talking about intellectual property. Because if you don’t own it, everybody does, so what would be the point of paying you?

I woke up this morning to learn I’d been tagged in a Tweet. Everybody likes that, right? Free publicity! I thought it might be because I’m being featured this week, more on that in a moment. But it turns out I was tagged because I had contributed a story to something called “The Podcaster’s Daily.” Usually when I contribute to something, I remember doing it, but in this case I had never heard of this paper (it was referred to as a paper.) It turns out they had picked up the blog post I wrote yesterday and stuck it in the arts and leisure section of this “paper.” My title was there, and then my photo (which appears nowhere on this blog, meaning they lifted my link off Twitter,) with a note “Shared by Kris Baker Dersch.”

Now, I want to make one thing abundantly clear: “The Podcaster’s Daily” did NOTHING wrong and I am not angry with them. The “paper,” as it turns out, is a collection of links, organized like a newspaper page. When you read the little excerpt of my piece, if you want to read more you click on it and land right here. It’s no different than what the WordPress reader or a hundred other aggregators do every day.

So what gave me pause? I’m not sure, honestly. I think it’s just the loose definitions of everything. Once upon a time I knew what a paper was, and people who contributed to one and were named as authors expected to be paid. These things just aren’t as clear anymore. Anyone can start a paper like this and curate whatever content they want, and any blogger putting their writing out on the Internet for all to read can find it posted and excerpted pretty much anywhere. This was supposed to be the great thing about the Web, right? All the connections? Dude, I’m starting to sound old.

I guess it keeps coming back to this conversation…who does get paid to write? Are we past the era of the traditional journalist, and can the end of the traditional author be far behind? Somehow I never thought I would be the one asking how authors get paid…it always sounded like such a whiny conversation to me. But the more threads I pull, the bigger this knot is and I’m in it somehow. I don’t know how I got there.

So check out “The Podcaster’s Daily,” and let me know what you think. And do drop by the blog of Libsyn, our marvelous podcast host who are featuring us this week on their “Rockin’ Libsyn Podcast” feature. I appreciate the shout-outs and the opportunities, after all. More listeners, more readers, more impact. Its the author’s dream.

Happy writing,

Kris

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