One of my favorite places to go look at food porn is Tastespotting.com. Every day, it showcased some beautiful examples of what food bloggers around the world were cooking and photographing. Today when I went to get my fix, I see this message on the front page:
What the heck? Please, say it ain't so! Tastespotting gone? Kaput? Offline forever? Why?!
The message is terse and doesn't give a clue as to what "legal complications" caused TS to shut down. Tastespotting did so much to open up the world of food blogging and food photography. It made the "floggerverse" a more beautiful place. I can't imagine any single food blogger suing to shut a site that gave them a chance to showcase their work and bring new visitors to their own blog. But I can guess as to what these "legal complications" might be.
We're all aware of the problem of content scrapers - blogs that repost without permission content from other sites in order to attract traffic. Of course, they display ads and thus earn revenue. But they don't create any of their own content, preferring to steal the hard work of others, often without attribution and certainly without compensation.
I can imagine that some scrapers would steal a nice picture off of some website, upload it to Tastespotting with a link back to their own site instead of the original, and wait for some unsuspecting food porn addicts to click in. Now, it's bad enough if they steal from a food blogger who is just doing it out of love. I've personally had issues with two websites who were reposting my content without my permission (since resolved). But if the criminals actually steal from somebody with deep pockets and a cadre of lawyers (say F**d Network, for example) then that could be a real problem.
I'm not saying it's Tastespotting's fault that some unscrupulous people are misusing it. Neither am I saying that a corporation doesn't have a right to defend its copyrights. All I am saying is, if what I described above really is the case, then content scrapers have really gone too far and hurt a much larger portion of the foodie community by causing TS to disappear.
What are your thoughts about Tastespotting's demise?
I don't know about you. I'm going to grieve a little while, then get working on my Does My Blog Look Good In This compilation post. It's an idea that I have had on the back burner but now with TS gone, I'm motivated to bring it to life. Stay tuned. I should have it up by Monday. (Ooops! shades of my phantom Scott's Seafood post!)
(EDIT: The DMBLGIT compilation post is done! I finished it two days early, HA! Click here for links to some quality food porn. )
Aloha, Tastespotting. You will be truly missed. Now where do I go for my fresh food porn fix??