I have personally uploaded my technical interviews DVD and booklet to help women prepare for technical interviews here, at Demonoid. I’d rather have people listen than not, and I realized that when it comes to piracy, there are two possible outcomes: either my video is pirated because someone likes it, or no one pirates it because no one knows about it. In the first case, I’d rather have my letter to torrenters included, as well as a good quality MPEG rip and the full PDF of the 40 page accompanying booklet. In the latter case, I’m not making any money off the DVD sales anyway.
So, I decided to release it myself. This way, I can directly speak to torrenters and ask that if they like the DVD, to tell me why they didn’t buy it. I guaranteed them that I would never ever personally go after them for copyright infringement, and in fact, to please spread it far and wide. I offered
the steepest discount codes I could in the torrent so that if people DO want to buy it but price is a bar, I get that information too. Here’s the letter:
My name is Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack, and if you’re reading this now, it’s because I haven’t created the right kind of value to get you to buy my DVD and booklet online instead of downloading it from Isohunt or Pirate Bay or Demonoid or wherever.
You can find my DVD/booklet product at techinterviewhelp.com. I made this video to help women get jobs in technical fields; women are TERRIBLE at negotiating with and interviewing for men. I want to show the ladies how to communicate well with their future bosses, and I think that as a senior coder and experienced development manager that I have a lot to offer them.
nI had a lot of fun and a lot of pain making this video. It’s been several months since the day I shot this video, since it takes quite a while to write a good booklet and have editing done. I spent over $1600 of my own money just on the video shoot; I paid the folks you see in the credits to help me make a great product. We worked on that day for 16 hours straight to get me made up (high definition powder itches fiercely, people), get the video shot with retakes and scene changes, and lighting changes. I brought in some of my good friends and a few people I hadn’t met before to help me. Then, I spent several months getting the booklet written, the video edited with music, and marketing campaigns developed. I do my own web development; techinterviewhelp.com is all me including backend work and analytics on the site.
Between you and me, there’s a solid reason I know where to post this DVD and booklet packet online. I know where the torrents live, because I’ve
been there a time or two myself 😉
I like to think that I contribute to authors and content creators as directly as possible. I have a moral code that doesn’t let me go jack Wil Wheaton’s books from Demonoid, because he directly publishes them and gets paid directly. I donate directly to Hijinks Ensue; that’s a badass web comic and Joel Watson makes me laugh every day. I get a little fuzzier on whether I think that giant studios who have already paid off the talent who made their movies should continue to get paid years later through residual royalties, even though all the people who worked hard on their product are long since gone. I really get cranky when operas that were written by Mozart and recorded fifty years ago by the London Symphony Orchestra still cost $200 because someone bought the back catalog.
I am personally releasing this DVD and booklet to the torrent sites. I have a whole new perspective on my work being used and
enjoyed without any compensation coming my way, but I also know that it’s better to be heard than ignored. I think that the people who feel the way I do about content creators will pay for this DVD and booklet, knowing that I’ve done the best I can to make a great product to help women get technical jobs. I think that there are people out there who would never pay anyway for my work, and though I disagree with you, I still want you to hear what I have to say.
Finally, as your reward for reading this, I want you to know that I will never, ever personally pursue anyone who torrents this (though I’ll ask you to keep these files intact, including this message). In fact, I am going to occasionally offer coupon codes for you. Right now, you can go use the code “LIVEFREEORDIE” on my site to get a 60% discount on my DVD set. I’ll release 20 or so of these codes at a time; I can’t afford to cut more than that off the price, or it doesn’t pay me to produce and ship the materials.
I want to know why you didn’t buy this DVD and booklet; please go to my site and give me some comments. You can consider that your payment if you cannot help me out any other way. Or, tweet or Facebook me. That helps me…not as much as cash, but you would be giving me a hand.
https://twitter.com/#!/techinthelp Hashtag: #TechIntHelp
I look forward to hearing from you, and I wish you the best of luck in your interviews!
Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack
It’s more important for women to hear what I have to say than it is for me to go after people who can turn into my fans when
I publish future books and study materials.