Fans, Flames, and Falderall
Hello, my intended...
Well, here we are again...
Lots of interesting things to ponder. Some people have even wondered where
exactly we're coming from with our little 'heads-up' to the fans out there
in the Blistering Binary... Sigh. Let's take the points one group at a
As I've said, we're all for the little
guys. If it were up to me, you could write your little stories and draw
your little pictures and do as thou wilt for ever and ever. Sadly, it is
NOT up to me. It is up to the people that own the copyrights, and ONCE
again they just got a BIG gun to do some serious damage to all us little
fanboys and fangirls... And while they SAY that all it's intended to do
is stop filetrading of their content, it's not much of a stretch now or
before to widen the search criteria to include whatever you like to do
as your 'little' infringement.
There ARE NO little infringements.
It's like saying you're a little PREGNANT. Either you proceed as
the law states, or not. I really could care less what way you choose to
challenge the higher authorities, but you're not exactly coming off like
Dr. King with it... Sorry.
The reason I even mentioned slash
was that the use of copyrighted characters in sexually explicit material
is generally frowned upon by the owners of said copyrights. Another example
is the use of popular cartoon characters (Tiny Toons, Pokemon, and others)
in sexually risque - even downright pornographic - pictures. That this
is now TRACKABLE is the actual issue, people. Whether I like or dislike
it is beside the point. The POINT was that the owners of various copyrighted
materials can now ferret out who is rubbing their rhubarb without permission,
and shut them the hell down.
Don't give me any of that fair-use nonsense,
either, because that goes out the window once you DISTRIBUTE it in ANY
form. Can you tape a show? Sure. Can you piece together bits from a show
and add music and call it something you 'created'? Yes. Can you lend that
tape to any0ne else? NO. Can you take that tape to a convention and SELL
it? NO. Can you capture screens with your TV card? Yes. Can you
post that on the web without permission from the owners of said TV show?
attention to the part where you promise not to use the place to
host material that is NOT YOUR OWN - specifically material that is COPYRIGHTED
to SOMEONE ELSE. Now look at the part where it says violating these terms
of use is grounds for cancellation... STILL think 'they can't do anything'
Further, fair-use in what can be considered
'parody' - which is using copyrighted characters or similar mileu in a
way not intended or approved by the owners of said copyright; such as MAD
magazine's send-ups of movies or TV shows - covers you for ONE use. ONE.
When you do it a second time - be it a second part to a story, a
second E-Bay auction, or a second 'zine issue - you're no longer covered.
I think it's interesting that there is a lawyer who'd like to face down
the powers that be over such an obviously open-and-shut win for the prosecution,
and VERY glad that said lawyer is not EVER going to represent ME.
I'm also all for freedom of expression.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, do whatever floats your boat.
Now here's my side: I have only given my permission to use my original
COPYRIGHTED characters to ONE fanfic writer. In return for the use of same,
I have input into the direction said fanfic takes. While I'm flattered
that the response to my supposed hatred for slash seems to be that I -
or my characters - should be put into same, I'll have to say 'No, thanks.'
That should be all that is necessary to stop said efforts, but if it isn't
rest assured that I -WILL- pursue all avenues of litigation should said
characters be 'hijacked' or that myself would be so slandered or used in
effigy. That I state so now constitutes 'fair warning' against said efforts,
which is all I need to show 'malicious intent of wrongdoing' should I be
thus forced to drop the hammer at your ISP and site host. As Rod Toombs
once said, 'Never throw rocks at a man with a MACHINE-GUN.' Care to test
As I see it, many people write for whatever
reason they do. That's fine. Have a ball. But you get into murky water
when you - let's be honest - PLAGARIZE someone else's 'universe', toss
in some vicarious avatars and call it a completely original work. Bullshit.
Self-delusion. It takes a LOT of work to create an engrossing, believable
pantheon within which to tell a tale, and if you think otherwise, well,
sorry to disabuse you. Y'know, I hear some people think the lady that caught
the subway to place high in the Boston Marathon was a hell of an athlete...
Heh. The parallel? Taking a shortcut - and a low road to boot.
Don't get me wrong. I don't hate fan
efforts (not even slash), despite being accused of it... I've gone on record
that some of the best, most engaging stories I've ever read were fanfic
(TWICE, counting now). However, don't try to come off like you're the next
fuckin' Tolstoy because you're not - contrary to the high horse riding,
holier-than-all crap I've been seeing from these supposed fanfic bigwigs.
You are an IMITATOR, not an INNOVATOR. Accept it. Any other spin is just
self-delusion and red-handed rationalization. Almost just like the real
thing, but not quite. Kinda like an art forger... It can be said that it
takes more skill to COPY something EXACTLY than it took to create it in
the first place, sure. It'd be a LIE, but it could be SAID. Heh.
Do I think fan efforts are on a lower
level than 'pro' ones? Sort of... What I think is that original
work page for page is of greater merit than derivative work. I see
'good' fanfic writers much the same as I see Michael Bolton... Sure, he
does a nice imitation of Percy Sledge. Sure, he makes a good approximation
of the BeeGees. But his best work hands down is the stuff that is HIS,
and he should stick to it. I can do without another version of some old
song from the 60s/70s if it frees up a track on the CD for the likes of
'Back on my Feet Again' or 'How Can We Be Lovers (When We Can't Be Friends)?'.
That he continues to 'play it safe' by releasing covers of existing songs
moreso than his own shows pretty scant confidence in the merit of his own
work. Gee, I wonder where I could see THAT paradigm in action? Hmm....
And keeping in the musical simile: no
matter how good you are on karaoke night, you're still just some pud in
a bar. I give MUCH more props to the people busting their ass to present
something that is TRULY their OWN, and that's not just my take,
it's accepted as standard procedure. Why do you think cover bands never
win Grammys? Sheesh. If that irritates you, then I suggest some therapy
to get that ego in check. Heh.
Regarding my personal opinion of slash...
or any other sexually explicit story. Most of it seems just willy-nilly
jump in the sack for no reason. I have read them, and I wasn't impressed.
But I'm not impressed with the writing in those 3 for a buck porno pulp
novels in the Adult Store, either - and the majority of those are 'straight'
stories. In my mind, sex should ENHANCE the plot, not BE the plot. Don't
get me wrong, some of that stuff is surprisingly well written, but it's
just not my cup of tea... As I've said, I accept that there are some things
I'm just not going to ever be into, despite the fact that
thousands of people are. That is all. My opinion is no more or less valid
than anyone else's, and my not PERSONALLY enjoying something doesn't make
anyone wrong/bad if they do. It's a shame that this courtesy isn't returned,
Write what you like, people. Don't figure
me for some monster that's out to ban what you enjoy. Not true. That so
many of you have leapt to that conclusion is testament to nothing more
than reflexive posturing and mob rule. Way to go... Who's playing Torquemada
in this little carnival? Heh.
Regarding my 'namecalling'... I note
that I used the word 'Dopes' when people refused to accept that there was
a program being sold that could foreseeably cause much tumult in the fan
community based on the logical progression of power said program granted
to the content owners being ripped off. I also used the word 'Dopes' in
regard to 'zine contributors who didn't get a piece of the pie made with
THEIR ingredients. I further used the term 'buncha marks' regarding fandom.
For the 'dopes' thing, I apologize. 'Mark' on the other hand, is an accepted
synonym for 'fan' - uses include 'marking out', 'big (insert favorite thing)
mark', and 'wild-eyed mark' - the term joins several others used in denoting
fandom, including 'otaku', 'enthusiast' and others. It is not a derrogation,
and therefore we do not apologize for using it. No other derrogation was
used. If it was perceived as such, then all I can say is that my observations
and assessments of various issues are most scathing to the most guilty.
This pleases me. For that, also, I do NOT apologize. Conversely, I was
treated to several stimulating retorts - including 'asshole', 'troll',
and 'bastard'. Well said. The best writers tend to be sharp in debate as
well, and you can take that as you will... Heh.
Regarding me being 'desperate for attention',
I can only say that I'm no moreso desperate than, say, someone who writes
a story based on favorite TV shows to receive praise from kindred spirits.
What was that old saying about 'glass houses', again?
As ever, I love a good debate...
But I'll settle for what I've been getting. Heh. Regarding the leaking
of your supposed 'state secrets' to me, all I can say (after the
obligatory hearty laugh) is I have a right to the responses I receive to
my efforts - same as you have. For the record, my email addy is on the
website, but I've never seen a direct response to me from these
supposed stalwarts. Odd, eh? Guess they don't want me to make fun of them...
Apparently you'd PREFER to
flame me 'behind my back' simply because I personally don't like something
you DO like. Nevermind the facts, they seem to get in the way... Spiffy.
But that kinda ruins the whole 'high-ground' approach many of you've been
presenting, doesn't it? I'd briefly considered joining the list,
but I really have no interest in Adult Stories of any kind, so joining
would only be interpretable as me 'picking a fight'; ergo, I'll pass. Of
course, that plan was assuming someone as 'despicable' as me would even
be welcome; which I doubted based on my thorough study of human nature.
So, I have to make do when
any of my friends reads me these responses over the phone (provided they
don't name any names). No one 'forwards' anything to me, so I can't make
fun of anyone's punctuation, spelling, or whatever. Not that I would, since
I've got so much BETTER to work with in your CONTENT. To be blunt, if I
was counting on support for any cause of mine, I'd certainly pick better
'champions' than Slash is presenting... But I digress... Slash is not the
issue, now or ever. The fact that the powers that be can aim a little program
at the internet and harvest the exact URLs and DNSs of people that are
simply - even PROUDLY - violating THEIR copyrights and subsequently have
them tossed out of cyberspace IS.
My whole issue with
it is based on concern for the 'little guys', but the fact is that - whether
anyone likes it or not - the Media Giants ALSO have rights, and to say
that YOUR rights supercede THEIRS is unmitigated elitism. Since
I'm no fan of elitism in ANY form, I responded to it as I tend to... HARSHLY.
As before, the level of offense to this is generally in direct proportion
to the level of GUILT, and no matter HOW you want to dress it up to make
a mockery of righteousness, that's the irrefutable truth. PERIOD.
Nobody likes to be proven
to be 'in the wrong', I know. Especially not as often and as handily as
I've been doing it. But not liking it doesn't make you right, does
it? No, clearly not.
You're welcome... See you