Apparently Scribd are evil…

There has been a bit of a ruckus in recent weeks over Scribd, a website for sharing and embedding PDF documents. Rather than just uploading and downloading the files you can read them online and embed them in a website or blog with incredible ease.

The furore is over their new policy of requiring users to be premium members to download archived documents (that is, documents that have been up there for a good while – although I’m not sure how long is too long). I can understand that this might be frustrating for those who have uploaded their documents to Scribd with the aim of sharing them (as I have) and a lot of the complaints centre on the lack of clear communication about this issue.

You can tick a checkbox to exclude your documents from the archive (although I’m not sure whether this means my documents will always be available for free or not…) and while it’s not ideal, a lot of documents have a limited shelf-life anyway and all of the resources I really like I post up at Mukoku anyway (eventually, at any rate). Embedding / reading the documents online is still free regardless of the age of the file.

I assume Scribd have bills to pay and can’t really begrudge them trying to make enough money to survive. They’re still offering a valuable service for free and a tweet looking for good alternatives came up with exactly no responses whatsoever. So I’m still using them and have just uploaded a Scratch tutorial for a sharks and fish game I ran with my Y10 Computing class this week.

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