If you’ve spent any time online in the past few years, you’re likely familiar with the concept of targeted ads. You search for best deals on hot dogs, you suddenly start seeing ads for mustard and ketchup. You search for fishing poles, somebody wants to sell you a boat. And, you spend time on woodworking-related sites, you get ads for woodworking products.
This can, indeed, be helpful if you’re in the market for a specific product. On the other hand, there are certain companies out there who engage in unethical business practices.
One such company, which has gone by many names over the years, is “Ted’s Woodworking Plans.” It’s most recognizable by its continued offers of “16,000 plans!”
To be clear: IF you actually receive a product from this company, those plans include content stolen from legitimate woodworking publications. This includes Woodworker’s Journal, but also our fellow woodworking magazines (I’m sure you know who they are). We have not given them permission to sell these plans.
The most recent iteration of this company’s business practices is running an ad that purports to be a fundraiser for a children’s cancer charity. This is particularly eye-raising in light of a recent lawsuit filed in federal court against four alleged children’s cancer charities that are charged with $187 million in charity fraud. (Check out www.charitynavigator.org for further information and reviews of legitimate charities.)
Please don’t be taken in by this company that is attempting to peddle stolen content — and now is hiding behind an alleged children’s charity to do so. Woodworkers, as a whole, are a group of honest people with high standards. It’s too bad there’s a few worms in the wood — that aren’t creating cool grain patterns.
Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal
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