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