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On yesterday's blackout

Dear friends,

This is in response to my good friend John Ryland. Enough people are fooled by the argument that copyright is essential for most artists to make their living. A tiny tiny number of people making a living through copyright; the people who make money are the institutions and corporations who manipulate it.  Most artists if they are lucky get a fee for their work; they live by day jobs.

I wish I had time to review the years of the Renaissance and early 18th century leading up to the first effective copyright laws: until then the controllers were the people who controlled gov'ts, again large institutions. In the 19th century famously a few novelists made a lot of money through Mudie's which itself made the use of copyright by its control of the market and distribution. That broke down in the 1890s. Copyright at the same time skewed ideas of originality so that only those who wrote down a story first were seen as creative; it created a fetish which (like tenure, which is basically a closed union shop) people then used to their advantage and hinder scholarship and many many other artistic activities (turning translation into a travesty, making films misunderstood but the movies again have plenty of money to overcome this). 

Wikipediea has declared yesterday's blackout a success. But I want to reply here on this attempt to close down the Internet by various powerful groups: we should probably remember if we are successful this time, these people are not going to give up. They are going to come back continually with more lawyers and more clever arguments, ceaselessly at their dirty work of trying to control public media so as to suit their interests and make as much money as they can as their guiding principle.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 19th, 2012 01:19 pm (UTC)
Important to keep fighting
But we have to 'keep on keeping on', Ellen. As you know I am engaged in a legal struggle with a large global corporation and the fact they have money on their side and we have right on ours means we just have to work very, very hard to get our voices heard. Protestors throughout history have done just this, I will invoke the Suffragettes just as one example. its hard but we have to keep the faith. Gwyn
Jan. 19th, 2012 01:19 pm (UTC)
Important to keep fighting
Oh I agree. What I meant was one round doesn't count. The powerful can and endlessly do come back to turn the clock back. They have been successful while many slept for the last 30 years, but as the shit has at last begun to hit so many, people are aroused. Alas, so much power has been taken from them by nullifying the vote and setting up fearful police states. It's the time and money to pay lawyers and the ability to use the falsifying norms of a skewed unqualified private property system that perpetually gives them the advantage. In this case it's important to keep shouting copyright does not help individuals but the institutions which can manipulate it.

Jan. 19th, 2012 01:24 pm (UTC)
Important to keep fighting
Oh yes. What annoys me is the individual who says 'but what can I on my own do?' Plenty! Join with others if possible. If not/As well as write/email/blog/facebook/twitter/telephone to everyone who can complain/need complaining to! Gwyn
Jan. 19th, 2012 01:25 pm (UTC)
Important to keep fighting
That there is this real push to shut us down -- and much organization of say the Occupiers was done here -- shows that we do help making blogs, signing petitions, writing postings. I'll keep this one up you may be sure. I loathe the way translators are those who are read and paid miniscule sums, the way scholarship is the province of the connected and savvvy, the whole false idea of originality is one aspect of my motivation. The other: well my life, here the Net. Sylvia
Jan. 19th, 2012 02:08 pm (UTC)
Those who belittle or trivialize the Net ..
"I love your last comment because this is something so many do not take into account. When I had to give up lecturing due to ill health it was devastating but - thankfully a lot better but still unable to do a lot of things I could do before - thanks to the internet I can take part in a varied and full life. And this doesn't just mean corresponding with friends like you and family. The activism which I love has actually widened by access to a greater comradeship and being able to habe more time to research and the literary interests are still possible of course - although I haven't got such a ready audience as my previous pupils! - I can still do the research and blogging and discussions with like minds!

Attempts to belittle this sort of thing are the efforts of the frightened ruling minority who can see the oppressed majority obtaining more power!"
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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