Fighting the Good Fight

More on the Maisel/Baio situation has come out recently and what is being done to Mr. Maisel is a shame. It is, in fact, criminal in some cases, but whatever, it’s terrible that someone who did nothing more than defend his intellectual property rights has been attacked as he has.

Although it is incredibly tempting to want to, oh, smack freetards upside the head (or worse), we have to keep our fight above such tactics. Leave the bullshit attacks to them and rise above it.

What can we do? Calmly and articulately post comments and blog posts everywhere we can, defending Maisel and intellectual property rights in general. Fight against CC and the Lessigites (including groups like Public Knowledge and EFF) and call on your professional organizations to come out 100% against these IP-weakening “tools” and the groups which support them!

Don’t call names (okay… “freetard” is acceptable I think, but not much worse) but instead focus on the importance of IP in the global economy and on your personal economy. Make the case–you only can make your art if you are paid and IP rights are how that happens, etc.

Trust me, I know how hard this is. It’s so tempting to want to fight back on their terms, but don’t go there. I have been personally attacked via anonymous emails and tweets for writing against CC and Lessig in particular. I swear like a sailor in real life but some of the names I’ve been called even I wouldn’t say. Ugly is an understatement. But I know that if I start posting anonymous attacks on their sites, I will do no good at all and will, in fact, be lowering myself. No, fight the good fight instead.

These people, the freetards, the anti-strong-copyright people are tough enemies. They hide often behind anonymity. They are adept at spinning the rhetoric to make it sound like any strong copyright laws are an attack against free speech. We have a hell of a battle ahead, but the tide is, in my opinion, starting to turn for the better.

The government is understanding how much our economy has been hurt by piracy and it is trying to plug the holes in enforcement with PROTECT-IP and the like. More regular people are beginning to understand that artists of all kinds need to be paid for their work. We can win this war, if we keep fighting the good fight.

That means calling out bad terms like I did on the Assignment Wired “contest” and lauding those companies who do right by artists. It means weathering the name calling and tweetbombings and staying on message: strong copyright laws are necessary and good for everyone, even when it is occasionally inconvenient for some.

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UPDATE/NOTE

I will not approve any anonymous and/or freetard comments. I give you no space on my blog to “share.” Don’t even bother trying, okay? Thanks.

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UPDATE 7/13/2011

If you want to know why I don’t approve negative comments, read this.

4 Responses to “Fighting the Good Fight”

  1. Mark Kalan Says:

    The mere fact that they prefer to remain anonymous weakens their case. If you truly believe in something you should stand and be counted otherwise shut up.

  2. Gordon C Harrison Says:

    Well written advocacy and I share your frustration with those who are unable to comprehend the benefits or purpose of copyright. Many of the anti-copyright brigade do not, or are unable to, create anything new. Maybe that’s why they think it their ‘right’ to have access to other people’s creativity at no cost to them. However, it is not just those who don’t create that support ‘free culture’

    Recently I had a brief discussion (via Twitter) with a well known artist re copyright. She could see nothing wrong in taking other peoples work, e.g. photographs, and using it as the basis of a painting. This point of view was founded on the argument that photography is part of ‘mass culture’ and painting is some how ‘transformative and singular’. For example, the Cariou v Prince case (http://bit.ly/juIQ6v) where a painter infringed a photographers work. The artist I had a discussion with felt the painter had been wronged because the court found him guilty of infringing the photographers work. The court was right and she can’t, or doesn’t want to accept this..

    As well as being rude the supporters of ‘free culture’ often use an opaque language similar to the fluff seen published for Avant-garde installation art, sounds good but is just nonsense! You are absolutely write to advocate that in response we should calmly present clear arguments demonstrating that ‘free culture’ is misguided nonsense. Thanks for posting your article, it came shortly after we too had been the subject of ‘tweetbombings’!

  3. John Fowler Says:

    Keep up the good work Leslie. It’ll always be a tough fight.

  4. Martha Retallick Says:

    The notion of taking a photo and using it as the basis of a painting strikes me as…

    …cheating.

    It also makes me start thinking about beefing up my drawing skills so that I wouldn’t have to resort to being a paint-tographer. After all, I come from a family of artists, so there are probably a few drawing and painting genes floating around inside.