Comments on: Why Mark Thoma doesn’t accept advertising A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: Argel Fri, 10 Jul 2009 20:53:46 +0000 She has apparead on TV a few times so you can google for her. “Yves” is pronounced like Eve (i.e. “eev”).

By: John Quiggin Wed, 08 Jul 2009 20:52:50 +0000 “While Yves Smith quotes a lot she also usually adds a lot of commentary”

Is Yves female?

By: ac Wed, 08 Jul 2009 13:05:44 +0000 if it might have something to do with an agreement with his employer, whether or not the employer is the (de factor) sponsor of the blog

thoma is also his own sponsor, as pointed out above, presumably with the intent of building his brand in ways which may enable him to tap more lucrative revenue streams – and at the same time presumably using the blog as a research assistant

has anyone done a productivity assessment of the economist or legal – sectors? industries? – and the resulting externalities if all lawyers and economists maximized their productivity in whatever way that might be achieved and measured.

By: Dollared Tue, 07 Jul 2009 22:23:44 +0000 Steve Hamlin, you’re right and I stand corrected. I was thrown off by Felix’ statement about “proving damages” because of income. But you’re right, damages aside, some profit motive is relevant in determining liability.

By: Leigh Caldwell Tue, 07 Jul 2009 21:52:16 +0000 Incidentally, although Mark often quotes large portions of the articles he cites, he nearly always edits and elides long sections while preserving the meaning. He actually plays a very active editorial role, the success of which is demonstrated by its invisibility.

By: Argel Tue, 07 Jul 2009 21:31:58 +0000 To Dollared: Maybe he is maximizing profits. You are thinking only in terms of money, but e.g. the respect he has in Academia also has value.

To Steve Hamlin: How disingenuous of you to ignore the other two points:

2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;

Mark Thoma is easily violating #3!

To Felix:

While Yves Smith quotes a lot she also usually adds a lot of commentary, which actually gives her a stronger fair use defense. As you mentioned, Mark Thoma often quotes articles verbatim without any commentary, which as I point out above violates the 3rd test for fair use.

And as others pointed out you are also wrong about the commercial intent. It’s still a copyright violation and he can still be sued over it (the RIAA lawsuits are a good example of this). With that said, if you avoid making any financial gain then it usually makes you a smaller target (RIAA lawsuits being an obvious exception to this).

So, people are in effect choosing to look the other way. Why? Well, anyone going after him is going to generate a lot of bad press — precisely because he is so well respected by his peers (and maybe throw in some unwritten rules in Academia for good measure) And why is he so well respected? Because of his personal integrity and the reputation he has garnered amongst his peers. Which is a long way of saying that his answer is sincere.

By: beezer Tue, 07 Jul 2009 18:48:21 +0000 Considering his readership, strong and growing I suspect, Thoma drives a lot of traffic to the sites he highlights. I know I’ve taken two subscriptions to magazines because of my introduction to them via Thoma’s site. If you’re on the “right side” of his page, you’re getting a lot of readership you’d otherwise not see.

For me at least, Economist’s View has been an opening portal to many, many sites I’d have only stumbled upon.

By: Bridgie Tue, 07 Jul 2009 18:33:36 +0000 “And it may be a luxury he has in Oregon, where the economic pressures are less.”

BS – Oregon has the second-highest unemployment in the country right now.

I have a feeling everyone just wants to jump all over Prof. Thoma for not “maximizing his income” (as if it were some kind of syndrome!) so that they don’t feel quite so unprincipled about taking money from advertisers themselves.

By: Claus Vistesen Tue, 07 Jul 2009 17:53:38 +0000 Interesting points Felix …

Now, Thoma is an a-lister in blogland so perhaps there is a case to be made here. However, take my own humble Alpha.Sources (not by a long shot an a-lister like Cowen et al. but a blog with, I imagine, with a close band of readers). Now I have had offers for advertising but seeing that I think it looks crap on my site (really, it would bugger my site) and taking into account the puny amount of USD it would give me, it is not worth it. Add to this your point about potential “tail risk” and I would say that it is absolutely worthless.

I may be underestimating the buck in this business though.

Heck, Squarespace charges me 17USD a month for the site and I am not even sure I could cover that amount through ads :).


By: Steve Hamlin Tue, 07 Jul 2009 17:26:50 +0000 @Dollared: “[Felix’s] supposition is, on the law, wrong. Economic benefit is not a factor in determining a copyright violation.”

Wrong – Felix is correct to view advertising as a relevant factor in copyright infringement actions.

In the U.S., two of the four tests for finding ‘Fair Use’, which is a defense against copyright infringement, include assessments of the commercial/economic nature of the work and/or infringement.

1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work