Comparing slideshare, scribd, and docstoc
Open Letter to Slideshare:
Dear Slideshare Dudes,
I am forced to attempt to communicate with you in this manner because all other attempts have ended in frustrating failure. Here's why I originally tried to communicate with you. A week ago, I registered for an account to use your service. The day after I uploaded a few PDFs, I noticed--to my horror--that slideshare automatically cracks open all PDFs and spills their contents into a section called "Presentation Transcript" at the bottom of each page. From there anyone can scoop them up and claim them as their own. Since my content gets ripped off a lot (most recently by a faculty member at the prestigious Singapore Management University), this is a deal-killer for me.
To put it bluntly, I was shocked by this as there is no warning of this policy anywhere on your site. In contrast, Scribd and Docstoc respect your copyrights.
Let me explain that the whole point of using PDFs is to protect one's content (including formatting).
Imagine if you will that you have bought an expensive after-market anti-theft device for your car and then discovered the next morning that the installation shop had sent someone over to your house in the wee hours to disable it. If you do that you will know how I felt.
After the discovery, I did try to communicate with you. At first I tried to ask if the Presentation Transcript feature could be switched off. Then I tried to simply submit my user feedback about dissatisfaction with this counterproductive feature. The problem is that communicating with you is an onerous task. You can spend 15 minutes finding the feedback page and another 15 filling out the form only to discover that you are mysteriously not logged in. When you then try to log in with your slideshare info, you discover that registration is required with a third party which handles customer service issues. My final attempt was an email sent to email@example.com. A week has passed without response.
What lesson can we draw from this this?
Well, for content producers who wish to protect their copyrights the way to go is with scribd which offers the best protection. Docstoc comes in at slot #2 because it offers less protection. Then slidshare straggles over the finish line dead last
Thanks guys, for letting me finally get this off my chest.
PS May I suggest a new corporate motto for you?: "At Slideshare we &^%$# your copyrights!"