FreeCodeCamp is a great organization and I presume the best intentions of everyone involved. That said, I am puzzled and concerned by their move off of Medium which was announced yesterday.
FreeCodeCamp announced that they moved off of Medium, for a lot of the right reasons:
We now have our own open source publishing platform where you can write about anything you want the developer community to know about.
Your audience will be bigger than ever.
No more popups or sign-in prompts. Readers can enjoy your articles without any fuss.
The transition has been a long one, and we’re still fixing quite a few bugs.
I have expressed concern over Medium's business model, product and misaligned incentives in the past. That is a big part of dev.to's existence. But that is a different story.
My bigger concerns right now are that FreeCodeCamp seems to have pulled this off in a way that likely violates the terms of their agreement, explicit or implicit, with Medium and all of the authors of their publication.
All articles once posted to FreeCodeCamp's Medium publication now redirect to articles that look like this:
Clicking Visit author's page goes nowhere.
I know for a fact that the author of that post did not consent to having their content moved off of Medium (where they can accrue followers, distribution, and generally partake in their initial agreement with Medium).
In fact, that article was originally posted on dev.to and then cross-posted to Medium and published to the FreeCodeCamp.
This author actually took the time to set the canonical URL on Medium to the original post on dev.to, which was not upheld with the migration by FreeCodeCamp.
Yes, you own the rights to the content you create and post on dev.to and you have the full authority to post, edit, and remove your content as you see fit.
Medium's terms tell a similar tale:
You own the rights to the content you create and post on Medium
I want to be told that I'm missing something. Hackernoon is currently involved in a long and drawn out exodus from Medium which seems to be taking all of these issues into account. In fact, here's what Medium said in regards to the HackerNoon issue:
Publications on Medium are bound by the Medium Terms of Service, and they have no right to your content that you do not explicitly grant them. That includes exporting, copying, or reposting your content to any website that is not Medium.com
FreeCodeCamp seems to have just pulled the plug and taken everyone's Medium content with them, to be displayed in a different context, wiping out the canonical URLS, while depriving the authors their ability to edit, delete, or manage in any way.
Please let me know in the comments if I really am missing something.