Okay Locus, Enough Is Enough!

Locus Online thieved this story straight off my site, like I am their damned intern. Did they spend the last two years contacting people at the Gunn Center trying to find out what was going to happen to the Campbell Award? I did. That’s how I was able to learn the Center has a new Director, who sent me that quote.

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34 thoughts on “Okay Locus, Enough Is Enough!

  1. You may or may not have to worry about them much longer. Their finances are at their worse levels in decades according to sources that I cannot reveal. They’ve lost almost all of the print ad revenue and it doesn’t look likely that they’ll be getting it back anytime soon.

  2. Cat: I have no wish for them not to stay in business. What I would like is for people to come here and read my work.

  3. Cat’s comment does line up with the article theft. From what I have seen as an watcher, journalistic standards start disintegrating at dying periodicals and people start pushing ethical boundaries because the management is busy looking for life rafts (of one sort or another)

  4. Locus has been pinching award posts from File 770 for at least a couple years now. Whoever has been running their news feed has been cribbing relentlessly from File 770. 😀

  5. Mike Glyer says I have no wish for them not to stay in business. What I would like is for people to come here and read my work.

    Nor I, but they’ve not on the best of financial footings right now. And that is worth noting.

  6. Perhaps, in case they’re not carefully reading what they pilfer, you should insert something like “…according to File770, where, if you aren’t reading this on said site, this article was stolen — used without permission — from.”

    Tsk!

  7. Anne Marble says Sigh. I remember when I used to go to their site first for news. (Heck, I remember when I had to get my SFF news from paper!)

    Mike beats them to the news almost every time. Often by days. The only thing they do that worth reading is the reviews and their listing of forthcoming books. It’s certainly not for the news, particularly of fandom and the Hugos, which is done far better here.

  8. Cat Eldridge. I like their reviews. Adrienne Martini, Ian Mond, Rich Horton, and several more, all do a good job.

  9. Mike says I like their reviews. Adrienne Martini, Ian Mond, Rich Horton, and several more, all do a good job.

    The reviews are why i buy the epub edition each month. It certainly isn’t for the news as I get what I need for that more than sufficiently here.

    I do miss the adverts and I know how much it hurts them financially as I’ve done publications dependent on advertising. They may be breaking even now on the print edition, or even losing money.

  10. Cat Eldridge wrote:

    Mike beats them to the news almost every time. Often by days. The only thing they do that worth reading is the reviews and their listing of forthcoming books. It’s certainly not for the news, particularly of fandom and the Hugos, which is done far better here.

    For some reason, I only learned about File 770 around the time of the Pups. So I was deprived for many years. Before the Internet, I used to snag bits of SFF news from letters columns in digest magazines and from the occasional copy of Locus or … help, what was the name of that science fiction news magazine printed on glossy paper?

    I do like the Locus reviews, especially now that they have added some new blood. Their interviews have been great, too.

    But timely they are not.

  11. They did credit you, at least. If they asked first, would that make it okay?

  12. We did receive a press release about this at Locus and spoke to Kij Johnson. Quoting other news sources with attribution isn’t usually considered thieving, but we’ll remove the quote if it upsets you that much.

    I think the name is Giselle Anatol, not Anatola, by the way, based on our email from Chris.

  13. Locus: If you received a press release from Chris McKitterick and spoke to Kij Johnson, then there was nothing stopping you from writing an article based on information that you developed independently. But you didn’t.

  14. You do a great job, Mike. You got a good quote. You write longer, more in-depth news stories than we do in general. But we have a lot of magazine making to do that isn’t news.

    Yes, we quoted you, also attributed it to you, and linked back to your story here. This is a standard thing that news orgs do. A lot of venues, ourselves included, would be happy to be quoted as source and to have the link to drive traffic back to their site.

    You clearly don’t feel that way. We’ll try to not to quote you in the future. Your anger at Locus is always a surprise. We have nothing but respect for you and your work.

  15. Locus brought me into Fandom. I was in the 9th grade and searching everywhere at our local library (I was a library assistant at the Pleasant Hills (PA) library, shelving books and such, all through high school.) I found a magazine article describing the newly formed Tolkien Society, wrote a letter to an address in the article, stumbled into contact with Charlie, and then received a copy of the mimeographed one-sheet trial edition of Locus.

    Some years later, at Noreascon One, I asked Charlie if he was interested in the photos I’d been taking at cons. He suggested I write con reports to go with the photos, so I did, and for the next decade or so he bought my convention reviews and many, many sharp b&w con photos, always with attribution. I also got, at the very least, a monthly check for $5 for the photo of Norman Spinrad on his review column header.

    I jokingly started a running con poll based on total numbers of unicorns vs dragons in the paintings in the art shows, at first just kinda padding my word count, then, finding that I’d hit a nerve, I took more and better notes around the cons and wrote longer pieces. Then… sometime in the ’80s, I became the drummer for a Black Sabbath cover band in NYC, had so much fun, drunk so much beer and whisky and stayed out ’til dawn night after night until the day came when I just… couldn’t… write… another con review. I wonder if anyone ever continued my unicorn vs dragons project…

  16. I suspect the credited news stories might go without objection if they hadn’t been preceded by so many uncredited news items just mysteriously appearing a day or so after they were covered here. Over years.

    Straw, camel’s back, etc.

    (Obviously, dragons should win.)

  17. Meredith says I suspect the credited news stories might go without objection if they hadn’t been preceded by so many uncredited news items just mysteriously appearing a day or so after they were covered here. Over years.

    Straw, camel’s back, etc.

    To quote Jethro Gibbs, “You think?” Locus Is by no means the only site I can think of that has over the years poached stories from here and not credited Mike at all for it. Though they’re the worst offender by far with the pattern of running stories as you note always just days after they appeared here. Sometimes hours after.

    On a much lighter note, I’m collecting gnomkins right now. The large green one is proving particularly elusive. If anyone knows where I can find one, do tell me.

  18. Locus has done this for decades. Back when Charles Brown was editor, he regularly lifted items without credit from Critical Wave, the semi-prozine I co-edited with Martin Tudor between 1987 and 1996, even though we scrupulously credited Locus for any news we took from his magazine. We even challenged him on it during a convention panel, but Charlie refused to hear the question. Looks like nothing has changed under the new regime.

  19. Part of what I find interesting about Locus is that they’ve pretty much turn their back on fandom other than running con reports with lots of small photos.

    File 700 on the other paw does an obsessively exhaustive job of making sure we know everything about what’s going on in fandom everywhere. And I really appreciate that Mike does that.

  20. I’ve had a lifetime subscription to Locus for many years now. As far as I can tell, Locus is meant to be a publication that covers SF authors, books, magazines, and publishing, not fandom. At least that’s why I subscribed.

  21. Are the hyenas starting to circle? Is there a wounded animal on the plains just waiting to be taken down?

    I’ve had “problems” with Locus since WSFS had to create a separate Hugo Awards category to get them out of the Fanzine category (which they did not fit, and which they dominated to their benefit and fandom’s detriment for years).

    Their “habits” – and that of IO9 (mostly prior to their loss of independence) – are one of the main reasons that Amazing’s weekly news round up so clearly identifies itself as being from File 770, and also does not run entire articles, but merely squibs as teasers (with links directly to each article).

    This is typical behavior by those who know they are bending/breaking rules but don’t care because it gives them dominance, or market share, or some other ego-based thing.

  22. Well, that’s interesting. “Anatola told File 770” has been changed to “McKitterick told Locus.” (Anatola?) And there is new text plus a new quote.

    There is also no “Leave a Reply” option for that post. That’s odd as most of their articles allow replies — although I haven’t seen anyone leave comments on a Locus article in a long time. (Maybe I’ve been looking at the wrong posts?)

  23. Hyman Rosen says I’ve had a lifetime subscription to Locus for many years now. As far as I can tell, Locus is meant to be a publication that covers SF authors, books, magazines, and publishing, not fandom. At least that’s why I subscribed.

    And yet they cover Cons by having detailed reports with lots of pictures. And they started out as a fanzine if memory serves me right, didn’t they? Before becoming that oddest of beasts, a semi-prozine.

  24. Steve Davidson says Their “habits” – and that of IO9 (mostly prior to their loss of independence) – are one of the main reasons that Amazing’s weekly news round up so clearly identifies itself as being from File 770, and also does not run entire articles, but merely squibs as teasers (with links directly to each article).

    This is the Gold Standard for doing this sort of weekly news round. You do a brief citation and then link to to the original article, not quote multiple paragraphs as Locus does often without any attribution. For such a large staff, it’s amazing how sloppy they are at following the basic rules of new sourcing.

    Yes I’m being bitchy but I’ve run websites for years that got quoted without attribution. And getting those who did it to correct those attributions is almost impossible short of filing a Digital Millennium Copyright Act take down notice and that is rarely worth doing.

  25. Steve Davidson: It’s also important to note that we discussed how you were going to do Amazing’s roundups of File 770 news and you secured my agreement.

  26. Locus sold off Charlie’s books, then his house, presumably for lots of money. If you look at property records for the house sale, it went for about a quarter million. Presumably they’ve frittered the money away on salaries for themselves.

    I was never ever mentioned in Locus after I started doing Science Fiction Chronicle, but they finally had to acknowledge my existence after I beat them for the 1993 Semi-Prozine Hugo.

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