Thursday, July 3, 2008

All is not well in Movie land.

varietyboycottWell at lest, as it comes to the reporting.  As you probably know, online there are many movie news sites, as well as, blogs that report or give commentary on movie news stories that emerge from Hollywood.  One of the main tenants of any type of blogging or journalism is that if you get the story from someone else, you give credit to the person or site that you got the story from. Not every blog, does this, but the reputable ones do.  Well all except Variety, which has a long standing policy that they do not give credit when they get a story from a blog or news site.  This has infuriated many of the online movie news sites, who have asked Variety to stop using this practice and has lead these sites to boycott Variety. This boycott was first started by a small number of the online sites, but as Variety has decided to continue to follow the same practice, other sites have joined in on the boycott, namely The Movie Blog where I first found out about this story.

Now, I'm not sure what all the news sites and blogs have decided to do, but I can tell you what "The Movie Blog" is doing with there site (which you can read here).  John Campea (the founder of the Movie Blog) has simply decided to do what Variety is doing to him and others and just take Variety's stories without linking to them or giving credit, while Rodney Brazeau (a writer for "The Movie Blog") has decided just to not even look at Variety for stories all together (which I very much respect). 

The hope of these blogs and news sites is that with the lose of links from their sites, as well as, an traffic that Variety may receive from these links, will lead to Variety changing their practices.  (It should be note here that without the links generated from these online news sites and blogs, Variety may possibly face a lowering of there site on Google, due to the fact that Google ranks pages partly based on how many other sites link to them. In other words, if Variety stops being linked too, they could become a less relevant search result.)

Whether these actions will help to force Variety to change their practices, I don't know.  I do have some reservations which John Campea tried to address in his follow up post, but I'm not still not convinced that this boycott will change anything. If they can gain enough support, sure something will definitely happen, but Variety is a big site on the Internet, which also has a magazine and is reference on shows like "Entertainment Tonight". So the question is, "Will these blogs be able to hurt Variety enough or gain enough attention to make it matter?  I'm not sure.  So while other sites are boycotting Variety, Variety is free to continue to take there stories without credit. It doesn't seem right, and I feel Variety should be ashamed to be continuing this practice. Give credit where its due, it doesn't cost anything.

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