starlady: Elizabeth from PotC cross-dressing (nice hat)
[personal profile] starlady
There is almost nothing I could think to say that has not been said by the people whose posts are collected in this linkspam by [personal profile] troisroyaumes.

If you only read one post, though, make it [personal profile] colorblue 's this is not a post about yoga!:
The current system of intellectual property rights, embedded in the racist classist hegemonic individualist capitalist Western ownership system that by now has been imposed, in one way or another, on everyone, with or without their consent - this system is not just completely fucked up, it is a weapon wielded by those who have power, a weapon aimed directly and deliberately at the hearts of the people and communities and cultures that are considered lesser.

In this way, it is a system that does exactly what it has been designed to.
To try to reconstruct what I said in the first version of this post, which somehow got eaten by either Chrome or DW: I have very little patience with the concept of "intellectual property rights"; their rise is part and parcel of the neoliberalization first of so-called advanced industrial societies, and then the rest of the world; the shredding of social safety nets globally; the commercialization of scholarship and the reduction of the value of all knowledge to the price it is projected to fetch in the so-called "free market"; the patent-ization of scientific research part and parcel with increased corporate profiteering therefrom. IPR are used systematically to disenfranchise and disempower vulnerable groups at all levels of societies globally, and then, the disenfranchisement complete, to sell that content back to those groups at immense profit--but only at fair market price, of course. 

[personal profile] snarp's post On Digital Piracy, By Way of My Confession That I Am a Deranged Criminal approaches what I consider the real meat of the matter only obliquely--I don't actually think this is actually about the woes of the publishing industry in the United States, at least not primarily--but she does in this paragraph get at some of the facets in common:
If you find this scenario depressing, there is always the dystopian-future alternative, if you're into those. Each nation, according to its own inclination, shall have a War on Piracy, similar to my own proud homeland's excellent War on Drugs, in which we will prosecute only working-class people and ethnic minorities, most of whom will have no legal access to books because they're all digital now and we have shut down most of the libraries due to budget shortfalls, and as Tucker Carlson says, "why do they need libraries? People should go to Barnes and Noble anyway." I offer this scenario freely to Cory Doctorow for use in a work of lifeless, repellent didactic fiction.
To digress slightly into my own direct experience: this is an argument that's been going around anime and manga circles for years now--first it was the debate about downloading fansubs, and since the bottom dropped out of the anime market in the States, now it's about scanlations. I put my translations of manga--my own intellectual property, and a significant investment of my time and energy--up for free on this journal under a Creative Commons license, I work with scanlation groups directly and indirectly, and the images from which I make my translation are at best semi-legal. All of which is to say, it should surprise no one that my first sympathies in this debate aren't with the huge, global corporate conglomerates; they are with the readers and the consumers of content, first and foremost. 

It always amazes me, at cons when this debate flares up, the extent to which completely unrelated people will emotionally identify with creators they've usually never even met ([personal profile] coffeeandink's point about people identifying "up" in a hierarchical system is certainly relevant here), to the point of attacking people who disagree with them quite virulently. I support the right of creators to profit from their creative works, but creators and their royalties are secondary to the corporate interests that make the real money off intellectual property, and to think that this debate is primarily about creators and consumers and the moral obligations between them is to ignore the real question entirely. 

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-19 09:00 (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
Thanks for the link to the linkspam! I'd read a few of these but not as many as are linked. I'm so thrilled to see people posting about downloading in such complex and thoughtful ways.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-19 10:03 (UTC)
deepad: black silhouette of woman wearing blue turban against blue background (Default)
From: [personal profile] deepad
I edited my post to quote you. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-19 10:48 (UTC)
langwidere: the everything is terrible logo (everything really is terrible)
From: [personal profile] langwidere
and as Tucker Carlson says, "why do they need libraries? People should go to Barnes and Noble anyway."
HAHAHAA! Tucker Carlson is sexxxxxy. Barnes & Noble was going bankrupt, last time I looked. Coincidence?

Yeah. The entire reason I learned Japanese in the first place was to throw what little power I have into the fight against corporate license-holders, especially and specifically because, in the "official" weeaboo industry, 'authorized merchandise' = trash. For some strange reason? Infuriating! I have never been able to understand this subculture-wide deference for "licensing." It was already licensed, whatever it was, or you wouldn’t have been able to see it to begin with!!!!!! It would still be sitting on the mangaka’s hard drive!!!!! Not that I’m bitter.

Anyway, I will read some or all of these articles, and become increasingly enraged about the issue. Thank you!

What I meant to say was:
+1

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-19 13:38 (UTC)
rodo: chuck on a roof in winter (Default)
From: [personal profile] rodo
I'm always a bit baffled by the piracy discussion when the participants are in a country where many things are freely available. All of my fandom friends in my own country pirate, as far as I know. It's a necessity. We even get told to pirate stuff if we don't like being spoiled a week after the episode aired in the USA. To be part of an international online community, you have to pirate, to be blunt. It's not so much the case with books if you have the money to import, but TV series and movies, definitely.

I have my own problems with IP rights (mostly because they've become a hindrance to their purpose), but most of my annoyance is due to the fact that the companies haven't yet established a way to deal with a global consumership. I ordered one book from Amazon Japan once. It cost me 16€. By the time shipping etc. were added to that, it was 46€. When my mother got the package, she had to pay an extra 10€ to customs. It's much easier to get English language books, mostly because they're produced cheaper than German books (lower quality paper, for example), so that reading English books is something that I do to save money. It also depends on the exchange rate between Euro and Dollar. In fact, I once wanted to read a German book but the English translations all were cheaper. I ended up buying a used copy that was as cheap as the unused English ones.

When creators are upset, I think this is mainly due to a misunderstanding of internet piracy. I spend more money on media than I would without pirating copies, for example. This is because pirating took the place of the radio (which only plays music I dislike), TV (which airs dubbed versions, if it airs the series/movies at all) and flipping through the book at the store or in a library (none of these carry the books I want). Pirating never took the place of the actual, legal non-digital copy, that I generally do buy after a while if I do like the book/series/film/CD. But corporations still present pirating as theft akin to stealing someone's possessions in advertisements and articles, and people do buy what the industry says.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-19 15:15 (UTC)
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
From: [personal profile] lnhammer
When creators are upset, I think this is mainly due to a misunderstanding of internet piracy. I spend more money on media than I would without pirating copies, for example.

Numbers on this are naturally hard to get to, but my sense is that for every consumer of pirated works like you and me there is another that just wants something for free.

Also, the internet pirates that creators see and deal with and sic their publishers on are those who are doing the distribution with obvious flagrant disregard for the creators getting paid, with new sites popping up in their Google Alerts daily. Which half the time are repeat offenders with a new site. Not so much misunderstanding as seen from a different perspective, of a different data set.

---L.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-19 14:57 (UTC)
gloss: (Nanoha - power of my heart and hand)
From: [personal profile] gloss
Such a beautiful, passionate, *fair* post. I love it.

their rise is part and parcel of the neoliberalization first of so-called advanced industrial societies, and then the rest of the world; the shredding of social safety nets globally; the commercialization of scholarship and the reduction of the value of all knowledge to the price it is projected to fetch in the so-called "free market"; the patent-ization of scientific research part and parcel with increased corporate profiteering therefrom. IPR are used systematically to disenfranchise and disempower vulnerable groups at all levels of societies globally, and then, the disenfranchisement complete, to sell that content back to those groups at immense profit--but only at fair market price, of course.
I have to quote this at length, because you've covered it so very well. Thank you.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-19 15:10 (UTC)
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
From: [personal profile] lnhammer
Well, I identify with creators because I am one, and married to another. It's easier to talk about this from her perspective, actually, as what I write for a paycheck is not my own, nor should be -- software manuals are a necessary part of the software itself and so work-for-hire for a reason. What I write for myself, I get what I would call beer money if I liked beer. But my wife, she writes novels and has gotten to the point of a thin living at that.

The trade publishing system in the United States is more than a little broken, and had been even before the disruptive technology of e-books came along. One reason many creators cling to it (even aside from identifying up) is that it largely, if increasingly less so, shields them from having to deal with the marketing and distributing of books. They can focus on the creation and let others deal with the business aspects, which are considerable, and which are why the publishers get such a large share of the revenue. If every writer has to be their own managing editor, and book producer, and marketer, and distributor, and accounting department, when do they have time to write -- to tell the stories that is why they started writing in the first place? And if every one-writer business is trying to find let readers know, hey you might want to read this, how among those tens (hundreds) of thousands of "LOOK HERE!"s does a reader find what they're looking for?

Until a viable system for handling the business side develops, it will be hard to get creators who want to profit from their creative works to stop supporting the current one.

Access to works from outside the zone of their current license is a whole 'nother bucket of crabs, one that I dip into gingerly.

---L.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-19 22:43 (UTC)
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
From: [personal profile] lnhammer
I'm a little bit baffled by that last one, I confess. In part because I haven't heard someone do that since, well, ever -- that debate was settled in the 1800s. Settled, buried, and staked. Used book market ditto, though I'm not sure when that one was settled -- possibly as late as the mid-20th century.

Janni goes through occasional rounds of "okay, I guess it was time for my publisher to be the one to wear the ass-hat" gloom. Since the Big Six seem to pass it around in order.

---L.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-19 18:16 (UTC)
glass_icarus: (fireworks heart)
From: [personal profile] glass_icarus
This is an awesome post, but I'm drawing sparkly hearts especially around this part right here:

I have very little patience with the concept of "intellectual property rights"; their rise is part and parcel of the neoliberalization first of so-called advanced industrial societies, and then the rest of the world; the shredding of social safety nets globally; the commercialization of scholarship and the reduction of the value of all knowledge to the price it is projected to fetch in the so-called "free market"; the patent-ization of scientific research part and parcel with increased corporate profiteering therefrom. IPR are used systematically to disenfranchise and disempower vulnerable groups at all levels of societies globally, and then, the disenfranchisement complete, to sell that content back to those groups at immense profit--but only at fair market price, of course.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-19 22:55 (UTC)
colorblue: (Default)
From: [personal profile] colorblue
oh, I am so glad that I saw this post via Deepa! I completely agree with what you're saying here, especially especially this: I have very little patience with the concept of "intellectual property rights"; their rise is part and parcel of the neoliberalization first of so-called advanced industrial societies, and then the rest of the world; the shredding of social safety nets globally; the commercialization of scholarship and the reduction of the value of all knowledge to the price it is projected to fetch in the so-called "free market"; the patent-ization of scientific research part and parcel with increased corporate profiteering therefrom. IPR are used systematically to disenfranchise and disempower vulnerable groups at all levels of societies globally, and then, the disenfranchisement complete, to sell that content back to those groups at immense profit--but only at fair market price, of course.

Do you mind if I ETA my post to add a link here, too?

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