I used to love Behance. They made putting together an online portfolio easy and they had an effective network for spreading creative information. They looked like (mostly) good guys.
Until today. Today they announced that they are “partnering” with chillingeffects.org to provide “transparency” in the copyright enforcement process.
This makes absolutely no sense to me. A company that is entirely beholden to those who create is partnering with a group that is expressly anti-copyright in its mission? Chillingeffects.org outs those who submit DMCA takedown notices or who send cease and desist letters. It does this under the guise of “providing transparency” but the result of these posts (the outings) is just as their title proposes: a chilling effect on artists protecting and defending their rights.
I’ve received threats that would make your blood run cold because I have been outed as a “copyright troll” by sites like chillingeffects.org. They are more than happy to post your full contact information (often they will even look up stuff you might not have included in your C&D–like my home address has been published by these people) and those who think everything should be free also think that they are free to call for whatever evil acts they dream up against anyone who dares stand up for the rights of artists and other creators. It’s terrifying.
[UPDATE: ChillingEffects itself does not post the personal info, however they post enough data that the Freehadists can dig up the rest and post it on other sites, and they do.]
Anyone remember the Red Scare? The House Unamerican Activities Committee? Sites like chillingeffects.org are the modern day version of the same career-ending spiteful crap. They don’t care if you are defending your rights–they only care that you dared think that you should stop someone from exploiting your work without paying you for it. For that you are labeled and outed, like a criminal. Worse than a criminal. At least a criminal gets a trial.
And yet for some unfathomable reason, Behance thinks that working with these people is a good idea. Well, maybe it is for them, but it surely is not for the artists who use Behance’s services while also wanting to make a living from their creative works.
So, if you’ve been using Behance, quit now, and let them know exactly why. You are not a criminal for trying to make a living from your work. Your private data should not be exposed just because you are trying to stop someone from doing something illegal with your work! You deserve to be respected for respecting your rights, not “exposed” for it.
Shame on you, Behance. Have you no decency?
[UPDATE: The Freehadists are getting riled and trying to post anonymous comments. As I have stated before, I will NOT approve anonymous comments and I do check people I don’t know.]