About feeds.scripting.com

This is a response to a post by Rogers Cadenhead on his blog today.

1. I wanted to get feeds.scripting.com running again, and had had a good experience with Rogers on work he did for me on weblogs.com. I outlined a plan and sent Rogers a draft of a written agreement. I told him that I wouldn’t do the deal without a signed agreement, and he agreed to that. I sent him $5000 as an advance, but he never signed the agreement. I asked him many times to please sign it and send it back, but he never did. Finally I gave up.

2. I still want to do this project, so I asked him to return the money so I can pay someone else to work on it. He refused. I also want Rogers to stop running the site because it is not his to run. He is using content that I created in his site. I wrote the software that he converted, and gave him my source code.

3. It’s not true that the site is all based on public data. He is using data that users trusted me with, that was not made public, that they did not give permission to be made public.

4. Rogers wanted to discuss this privately, and we kept it private, until today when he posted his story on his weblog.

5. It is surprising to me that he acts like I have escalated things by having my attorney write to him about this matter. He suggested that we stop communicating directly with each other, and that we instead go through our attorneys, which I agreed to do. Now he’s apparently changed his mind and wants to try to have his way by starting some kind of flamewar in the blogosphere. This is disappointing, and it won’t work, because I insist on being treated fairly.

6. This matter could be resolved very quickly. He can take down the site, return my software and content, and pay me back the money. If he has spent the money and can’t return it, he should say so, and we can try to work something out. But this is not a good way for a contract programmer to do business with a customer, and that’s all that’s going on here.

19 responses to this post.

  1. It’s good to hear both sides of the story.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Chris Judson on March 15, 2006 at 5:46 pm

    I’ve been using OPML editor and been taking a look at the internet and RRS through Dave Winer’s eyes (blog entries, podcasts) for about 3 months now. I also have read a lot of criticism of Winer from people in the blogsphere. Today I read the post and comments on Rogers blog.

    My conclusion: people like to write what they think and feel. I love the recklessness of blogging and commenting and the subtext that is created from all the words.

    Who to believe? I don’t think that is the issue. Something that was between two people has now surfaced because someone decided to publish it. And I feel that suddenly folks watching in are somehow compelled to take sides, because in our thinking there is a winner and a loser; a right and wrong.

    For Dave: I’ve always been taught that if you are doing something right, then you will be criticized. For Rogers: I haven’t read enough of your stuff to get a feeling for what you are about.

    I feel bad that some of the discussion points end (or begin) with name-calling or stereotyping (mostly by the Rogers camp…at least of what I’ve seen). That’s unfortunate, because if anything, the technology should allow us to carry on better conversations.

    Reply

  3. […] Dave Winer: About feeds.scripting.com […]

    Reply

  4. this is just a question, but since you also publish a blog on scripting.com and the website in question is feeds.scripting.com don’t you have the legal right to shut down feeds.scripting.com if you so choose since it is a subdomain of your domain? Couldn’t you just say to hell with rogers and shut the site down while you get someone else to either break his code and fix it or to recreate the code?

    Reply

  5. According to Rogers, when he was working on weblogs.com, you both agreed to a verbal contract first then after he completed it you wrote up a contract and exchanged money. I don’t see why he couldn’t expect the same thing for this project. Though you do insist that you asked him several times to sign a written contract, I’m inclined to think that if I were writing a piece of software for someone and he insisted I sign something before I completed it, I certainly would. There would be nothing for me to lose from signing said contract, in fact, I would be more likely to insist on a written agreement so that some jerk couldn’t steal my work without paying. Therefore, I would be willing to bet you two agreed verbally as you did with scripting.com and he had every right to expect you to treat him fairly (after all, he has certainly been your defender until lately).

    It all comes down to your reputation versus his, Mr. Winer, your word versus his. Ultimately, I think you know that your legal strong-arming won’t hold up in court simply because there was no written contract. If you can prove that your intellectual property is what is truly behind opml.cadenhead.org, then you can likely have that site shut down, but I don’t think you’ll get your money back, and you certainly don’t deserve to.

    However, I do hope this matter is resolved in as civil of manner as possible.

    Reply

  6. Dave, there’s some interesting questions raised by your post. Not least is derived from this:

    “I asked him many times to please sign it and send it back, but he never did.”

    Did Rogers, at any point, either verbally or in writing, tell you *why* he was not signing the contract?

    This is actually the key to the whole case. If Rogers told you he objected to any part of the contract, the deal was/is still in negotiation. You can cancel the deal, but you have no reason to ask for the return of your money.

    If, on the other hand, he simply failed to sign an agreement he had verbally accepted, then you’re in the right, and can ask for your money back. However, you will have no rights to any code Rogers wrote – not a single line.

    Secondly, were the terms of the written agreement at variance with those of the verbal one? If, for example, you promised something to Rogers verbally that then didn’t show up in the written contract, Rogers is perfectly within his rights to refuse to sign it – and the verbal contract still stands until superceded.

    Reply

  7. […] It’s posts like this and this that make me think that RSS is a technology on the wane, and that it’s time to take more of an interest in ATOM. […]

    Reply

  8. Posted by Horseonovich II on March 16, 2006 at 4:25 am

    OK, there are two sides to this story, and I suspected as much, since I too have had my run-in with Cadenhead when he gave out private identifying information about me without permission. How do you respond to the comments on Cadenhead’s blog that indicate that you are generally perceived as an a**hole – do you think Cadenhead is writing these comments himself, or are there others who are jealous of your success? I know this experience as well – Cadenhead often enlists his minions from Cruel.com to post endless comments in support of his position whenever he runs afoul of someone in cyberspace. They are like rats, but more unsanitary.

    Reply

  9. […] Just recently my interest in Dave Winer was jacked up again. He’s no longer going to be blogging. That’s kind of big news since he’s been doing it even longer than I have. In any case, because of my interest, I found out that he’s engaged in another war, this time with Rogers Cadenhead. […]

    Reply

  10. TO: The Both of Yaz
    RE: In the End…

    …ONLY the attornies get to laugh…

    …all the way to the bank.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    P.S. This is the voice of experience speaking.

    Reply

  11. Posted by Uncle Fuddy on March 16, 2006 at 8:05 am

    Horseonovich II,

    I think Dave is an asshole, but this post will never see the light of day because Dave will not allow anything negative to be said about him or anything he does on his own site. Dave, nobody *really* likes you. Stop kidding yourself. Just go away, walk the beach and enjoy the sun. You are in the twilight of your life. Enjoy the few years you have left.

    Reply

  12. > do you think Cadenhead is writing these comments
    > himself, or are there others who are jealous of your
    > success

    You seem to have missed that there is another option there. That people genuinely have those opinions of Dave. I don’t think you would be hard pressed to find a great many people who have formed very poor opinions of Dave Winer.

    I don’t know him personally and I’m unlikely ever to do so so I’m not about to form any opinion. But in this case your logic is clearly faulty.

    Reply

  13. […] Letter from Dave Winer’s Attorney In fairness, there’s another side to it. Since I linked to one, I’ll link to the other. […]

    Reply

  14. I hope this can be sorted out.

    It sounds like Rogers did do *some* work, so perhaps a deal whereby he keeps the deposit and a reduced share of ownership of the site, but you fully own the code – so you can give it to someone else to finish up – can be worked out?

    If he asked you to leave it to the attorneys, he shouldn’t be surprised to get a letter from yours :-)

    Reply

  15. […] The recent dispute is a bummer. Not because these two guys feel wronged on this particular issue, but more because they probably won’t be collaborating again soon. […]

    Reply

  16. […] I normally try to avoid getting into public battles, but today I need to make an exception. Yesterday Rogers Cadenhead blogged about a letter sent to him by Dave Winer’s attorney, which caused a bit of an uproar in RSS circles. I honestly have no idea who is right or wrong in this case, and I’ve never had a reason to distrust Rogers, so I’m not going to take sides in this issue. But I was truly bothered by the number of comments made before Dave had given his side of the story. How can anyone possibly take sides when only one side has made their case? The mob mentality shown here, in a word, sucks, and shows why the blog world is no better than mainstream media when it comes to fact-checking. […]

    Reply

  17. Hmm, Dave. As far as I can remember, last year you thought you had a verbal agreement with Adam Curry about doing some kind of joint business around podcasting, and when Curry went against that, you were justifiably upset.

    This time it looks like Rogers thought he had a verbal agreement with you and found that what you offered in the paper contract wasn’t what he expected. Obviously the situations aren’t identical, but I’d have expected a little empathy from you for the guy, given you’ve been in the situation yourself and know how it feels. And that he’s done a lot for you over the years.

    Reply

  18. […] Cadenhead got a letter from Winer’s attorney last week, threatening legal action over a variety of claims. And here’s Dave Winer’s side of the story. […]

    Reply

  19. Posted by Jason Hawryluk on March 19, 2006 at 11:43 am

    Dave, forget it. It’s only 5000 $. Really… You should have let it go and gone out with a bang. Anyway keep your chin up :) Have you been working on your golf game yet??

    Reply

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