Earlier this year I created a Facebook page which parodied the popular LAD page The LAD Bible. My page was called The LID Bible and I posted images of pen lids, jam jar lids, bottle caps and once: an LED. Obviously the joke wore thin very quickly but it amassed thousands of likes within a few hours. LAD Bible reported it and the page was deleted because our branding apparently infringed or otherwise violated their their trademark rights.
I’ve never been a fan of LAD Bible because LAD culture doesn’t appeal to me. Don’t get me wrong, I embrace lager drinking, most major sporting events, cheeky Nando’s, promiscuous sex, stories that are described as absolute nightmares, homosocial relationships, banter and all the other bad examples of LAD culture I can think of right now as much the next wanker but I don’t want it all over my news feed. And I really don’t want to know about your gym sessions, your whey powder or how hard you smacked someone.
The LID Bible was a response to the trivial memes The LAD Bible post: the recycled jokes, the out-of-date memes which have finally reached your mums news feed which are being bastardised, tortured and misused unironically. The LID Bible branding was an imitation of LAD BIBLE. White on black, sans-serif font and lines above and below with a small icon separating the top line in the centre.
LAD Bible are a company who benefit financially from exploiting the original content of others. In layman’s terms they make money off other people’s work. This is stated quite clearly on their website, and it’s perfectly legal for the most part: “Where do the photos come from? You, the community. In addition we surf the world wide web and bring you the best content out there. The LAD Bible is the foremost authority and source of all viral photos on the internet.”
The “foremost authority and source of all viral photos on the internet“? That’s right. On their about us page they call themselves the “foremost authority and source of all viral photos on the internet“. I hope you cringed as you read it. I cringed. Even Reddit wouldn’t be bold enough to say that–arguably, Reddit has more claim to that throne.
Reddit is ranked 31 in terms of global traffic. The LAD Bible hangs behind in triple figures at 204. I can’t blame them for it though, rehashing content and reposting it–given the opportunity I would do it too but the difference is, I wouldn’t report other people for parodying my content. If I had the gaulle to run a company which made money from showcasing the works of others without citing them, I would think it a bit rich to complain about anyone infringing my copyright. Especially if it had no negative financial impact on my company, or damage to my brand. Because that’s not BANTER is it?
The LAD Bible are famously pro-banter. LADS. LADS. LADS. They are funny, aren’t they? They posted that thing about that LAD who sued Nando’s for not being ‘cheeky’ enough. That was funny wasn’t it? It got 30k likes so it must have been funny. They didn’t post a link to the article because that would feed traffic to the original website and that wouldn’t benefit them, instead they screenshotted it and posted the headline and first paragraph without bothering to cite the source. That drives shares, increases their reach, encourages page likes and – ultimately – benefits them financially.
Why did I choose that example in particular? Well, I wrote that article. I made it up. I was bored before work one day and put it together in 10 minutes. I didn’t mind that LAD Bible posted it, I was actually quite flattered but I did message them to acknowledge the source by commenting a link, or at the very least credit my name in the comments with a simple “Source: BFNN”. I provided proof which could have been easily verified. Message “seen”, no reply. On multiple occasions I have seen people asking to be credited in the comments, with valid links and sources proving they are the original content creator. They never ask for money, they just ask to be credited–which I think is fair. If you think it’s unfair, tweet them @TheLADbible.
Maybe I’m not being a LAD about it. Maybe I’m doing the monetary equivalent of cockblocking–the cocks being The LAD Bible guys. Maybe it’s a bit too fucking Jeremy Corbyn or something to expect businesses to be courteous to those who put the work in to make them what they are. You can’t say that to those guys though, because the polytechnic Business Studies 2:2s will misquote economists at you and misunderstand basic economic principles.
“So what if they don’t credit people, the content is public domain isn’t it?” That’s true, but it’s not the point. Just because they don’t have to do something, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. By that logic, we should scrap using manners as superfluous relics of redundant traditions . You don’t have to hold a door open for anyone, fuck them. Why would you even bother? You’ve got through the door, that’s all that matters.