Brief thoughts on the Critical Grumble Blog Fiasco

Critical Grumble is not much of a blog, but from what I always gathered, was just one guy sharing articles he liked and wanted to save for himself and share with his players. I’d found out that some of my content had been copied over there (other older stuff has been deleted within the last few hours) and never said anything about it, because I figured it was something like what Alex Schroeder did with (I think it was called) RPGWorld, where he aggregated and reshared content from OSR blogs. Well, Alex got called on it too, and it was a headache for him, so he pulled it down. I never got the traffic from Critical Grumble that I did from RPGWorld, but so far as I remember, the posts of mine that Critical Grumble shared included links to the original page. After looking at his blog, I kind of understood what he was doing and never thought anything about it. Apparently starting back in July of this year, whatever he was doing to share content recently was either not properly attributing stuff or he was just text dumping, which got him in trouble. He seems to have been in touch with a lot of the bloggers whose content he shared, so things may be getting straightened out.

Personally, I’m more hurt that I don’t have a rabid enough fan base to have let me known about it.

Between this recent issue with Critical Grumble and what Alex Schroeder went through with RPGWorld (or was it RPGPlanet?), one of the main lessons to be learned is that if you’re going to try to be a content aggregator, you’re going to need to do it carefully and responsibly, or you’re going to be in for a world of hurt when people find that you’ve been sharing their content.