NeoGAF Allegedly Sold Kotaku User Content Without Permission
Earlier this evening, I tweeted a screencap of NeoGaf user Nanashrew, who had high hopes that Breitbart.com journalist Milo Yiannopoulos would be jailed for his efforts in uncovering corruption among the video game press. On one hand, it was funny, like Milo himself told me on Twitter. But, on the other, it sends chills down the spine. It confirms what I, and many others on our side of this battle have said. These people want to censor dissenting voices at all costs, and the evidence proves it. It’s not just Leigh Alexander. This is how they all think.
After I tweeted it out, I was sent some very sensitive information by a source with intimate knowledge of NeoGaf operations. If true, this goes directly to the character of Tyler Malka and Kotaku. We can say one thing for certain: they stole user content and let Kotaku use it without paying the author of it anything. Whether or not Tyler Malka was paid, he and Kotaku still screwed this user.
In October 2011, NeoGaf took a post from user ScOULaris and, without his permission, had it published verbatim on the website Kotaku. He wasn’t asked previously. He also did not receive payment for his efforts. Kotaku ran ads on this story, and presumably profited off of his unlicensed work. Classic Gawker Media: they tout progressive ideals when it suits them, but want to gain access to someone else’s work without paying for it.
Since it wasn’t expressly articulated in their terms of service that they had the right to appropriate user content, NeoGaf changed it after the fact. Many users complained about this arrangement, so much so that Malka opened another thread for them to bitch about it. On page 5 of this thread, he claims that he did not receive payment from Gawker Media, and dismisses the idea as utter fantasy. Why he didn’t just say that from the beginning isn’t addressed. The source has told me the reason is because Tyler Malka is lying, and he did in fact receive payment from Gawker Media. That might explain why he’s so protective of them and their interests lately, as they would pretty much have him by the balls from then on out. It looks at lot worse for him than it would for Kotaku. Even though the source has told me that the payment wasn’t substantial, this is a very serious transgression, if true.
I have tried to convince this person to speak out on the record, but they rightfully fear retaliation by the NeoGaf and the industry insiders who frequent the site. They’ve given me enough information and detail to where I can say that I believe their allegation to be truthful. But the rest of you will simply have to look at this story, use your best judgement, and decide for yourselves.
I have been told by an attorney friend of mine, within the last hour that I have to throw the word allegedly into all this. Malka claims that he didn’t take the money, and due to the fact that my source will not come forward publically, I can’t say it here in the story that Malka for certain received payment from Gawker Media. So, I’ve had to change the title from the one I sent out on Twitter earlier. To be clear, this is the official story that should be credited to my name, not the Twitter headline. The attorney said I needed to say that as well. I’ve also included links to Malka’s denials in the text above.
So, to recap: A source with deep knowledge of NeoGaf affairs has alleged to TheRalphRetort.com that Tyler Malka and NeoGaf stole user ScOULaris’s work, and sold it to Kotaku for profit. Malka has denied receiving payment from Gawker Media. He did take the work without permission, and then change the terms of service after the fact. That is beyond denial. I’m not sure why he would do that, other than for legal protection. And why would he need legal protection if he didn’t sell the content? I guess only Mr. Malka can say.
— Ethan Ralph (@TheRalphRetort) September 20, 2014