Announcing: Freetard 2: Free Harder

from the we're-lining-up-samuel-l-jackson-for-the-third-one dept

When Mike wrote up his second of two posts concerning the question of who deserves copyright, I was excited.  And even though other duties prevented me from my usual prolific pontificating on the matter, I was stoked when I saw the comment volume for the posts.  Hundreds of comments!  What a discussion!

And it was.  But ultimately I was left with anger.  Why?  Because I received hard evidence that some jackwagon had apparently leaked a screen copy of this year's upcoming summer blockbuster, Freetard 2: Free Harder.  One of our esteemed Anonymous Cowards had apparently viewed this illegally pirated film and commented on its upcoming release.

My first reaction was anger.  So I called up Joe Biden and asked him for advice on how to respond.  He was kind enough to write up the following for me (and he made it clear that he wrote this all up on his own, streaming straight from his own superhuman ingenuity):

"Hey Freetard 2: Free Harder fans! We know that you're all looking forward to the release of the movie next month. We're excited too! By now you may have heard that an early totally unfinished version has been leaked online. It's missing a whole bunch of stuff -- including basic enjoyabilty -- and honestly, this version isn't a finished product at all. We think you'll get a much better overall experience by waiting for the full finished product, but we certainly understand that some of you just can't wait (trust us, we feel the same way!). If that's the case, please, feel free to check it out, but please remember that this isn't even close to the final version and includes an interruption by some guy named Copyright Man dressed in a body condom and a cod piece. If anything, think of this as a "behind-the-scenes" peek of just what a movie looks like before all the real "movie magic" gets put in there. If you do check it out, we hope you'll join us to check out the finalized version as well on the big screen the way we intended for you to see this awesome movie. It's just a month away!"

Huh.  That actually sounds kind of familiar.  In any case, I thought Dark Helmet Studios needed to get out ahead of this thing, so we've decided to just let you take a look at the leaked version here, where we see the lead actor getting interrupted mid-scene by our old friend, Copyright Man, upset at the use of copyright protected movie lines from other films.  Enjoy (you damn pirates)....



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  1.  
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    Richard Cohen, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 2:58pm

    Think about what you're saying...

    Listen, I work with the mentally challenged on a regular basis. They have it hard enough without people such as yourself spreading the acceptability of slurs that we've spent the better part of the 90s fighting to antiquate. Calling someone a retard, is the same as calling them "the n word".

    Think about it, many of the children stricken with brain trauma were once as normal as any child you may see on a regular basis. How would you feel if they were referred to as a "retard" because of the accepted use of the word "freetard".

     

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  2.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Think about what you're saying...

    Well, I mean, fair enough, accept we're reappropriating the word by someone who used it negatively, similar to how the African American community reappropriated the n-word. We can argue about whether such reappropriation was harmful or beneficial, but please understand that the word has been used to describe US, we're not using it to describe others....

     

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  3.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Think about what you're saying...

    Think about it, many of the children stricken with brain trauma were once as normal as any child you may see on a regular basis. How would you feel if they were referred to as a "retard" because of the accepted use of the word "freetard".

    Er... I think you're missing the point. The whole point of this is to mock the people who are using this made up word of "freetard."

     

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  4.  
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    MrWilson, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Think about what you're saying...

    You've missed the entire point. We, being critics of the copyright maximalists, have been called freetards by their shills here in the forum, specifically by at least one very vocal shill.

    Our use of the term is in jest of those who would use such a term in seriousness. This is akin to African Americans using "the n word" as a term of endearment amongst themselves or copyright infringers calling themselves pirates.

    The term didn't originate with us and isn't being used to demean people with brain trauma or any other condition.

     

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  5.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Think about what you're saying...

    Retard also isn't just an arbitrary term - it's a verb meaning to hinder or hold back, that is informally used as a noun to refer to a stupid person. Once that word was applied to people with a variety of developmental disorders, and yeah, that was totally insulting - just as insulting as it would be to call the physically or mentally challenged "idiots"

    But, just like the word "idiot" (which was ALSO originally a slur for the mentally challenged) it is now used as a general derogatory term. So I don't see why it is so offensive. "Idiot" used to mean mentally challenged, and so was/is "slow", and "dumb" is STILL used to mean "mute" even though it derives from words for "stupid".

    So basically every word for disparaging someone's intelligence has a crappy history. I suppose the best solution would be to never say anything mean again, but since this is the internet we're talking about here and that aint gonna happen, focusing on 'retard' seems kind of pointless.

     

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  6.  
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    Josef Anvil (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:28pm

    PC gone WILD

    Sorry Rich, but I'm pretty sure this passes the Moron in a Hurry test. At no point in reading this article did I think for one moment of associating the word Freetard with mental retardation. In fact, the only way I made that association was after reading your comment. I think Mike coined the phrase "Streisand Effect", which could actually occur if you were to raise a big enough stink about being PC in this matter.

    Are the normal trolls recruiting from other places outside of the content industry now?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Think about what you're saying...

    Google George Carlin shell shock

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:35pm

    Re: PC gone WILD

    Moron was also a word associated with mental retardation. I'M OFFENDED.

     

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  9.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Re: PC gone WILD

    Offended? Now you're just being loony.

     

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  10.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:40pm

    Focus people

    While I appreciate a good example of out of control political correctness, we should be talking about how to get Samuel l. Jackson to sign on for the third installment....

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    I guess you should laugh at Capitalist Lion Tamer as well. And Karl. I was sure you used it too, but since I can't find it, I'll let it slide.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:42pm

    I guess I missed Freetard 1.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    Once that word was applied to people with a variety of developmental disorders, and yeah, that was totally insulting...

    It is still used and is not insulting in the proper context.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: PC gone WILD

    Maybe it's best if I just play dumb.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:48pm

    Dear Sir, I am writing you in response to your infringement of my patent on marking movie titles in a matter to denote the sequential, or non-sequential, release of movies with the same title, continued story line, or "reboot."

    The use of "2" in Freetard 2 clearly infringes on my patent and I deserve fair compensation for the pure creative prowess required to come up with this system which the general movie going population has found quite beneficial and culture enhancing.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    Re:

    Click on "old friend" in the post to see it.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    But if it were the other way around, if we started using an insulting or demeaning term like that against them (and paytard is in response to their freetard to show how dumb their freetard term is, it's not being used in seriousness), they would call us immature. But when they do it against us, we embrace it. Shows who's the more mature ones.

     

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  18.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: PC gone WILD

    That's stupid!

     

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  19.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: PC gone WILD

    What are you, mad?

     

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  20.  
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    Jay (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    No, the other side is called "copytards" in response to "freetards"

    Both are rather irrelevant to the debate.

    It's rather telling that people want to criticize over these words, than put in efforts to stay focused on the debate.

     

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  21.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    I guess you're right. Like "mentally retarded" is by no means a completely disused term... and really saying someone is mentally retarded is no more insulting than saying their leg is broken

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 4:46pm

    Copyright hero: There's no need to fear. Copyright man is here!

    Infringement victim: You're infringing on the Under Dog

    Copyright hero: Not if it's fair use

    Infringement victim: and how do you tell?

    Copyright hero: You must ask a lawyer

    Infringement victim: and how does the lawyer tell?

    Copyright hero: (shakes a magic 8 ball and looks at it) "BETTER NOT TO TELL YOU NOW"

    Infringement victim: *Points at magic ball and starts to talk

    Copyright hero: *Hides magic 8 Ball behind his back

    Vitim: What's that?

    Copyright hero: (looks up) What's what? (quietly whistles)

    Victim: That thing behind your back

    Hero: What thing?

    Victim: You were looking at something behind your back

    Hero: I was just looking at the time.

    Victim: That didn't look like a pocket watch.

    Hero: (looking at wrist) Well, look at the time. It's time for me to go. Bye. *leaves in a hurry

    Victim: *Left scratching his head.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 5:13pm

    Re: Think about what you're saying...

    That is not a good analogy at all. The "N" word is a racial slur, the term retard is actually scientifically based. To retard something to is reduce or slow, which was applied to the cognitive condition of the individuals labeled as such.

    Just because you view something as politically incorrect doesn't make it something you can force someone to stop if the intent isn't such to make it hate speech. Besides, no matter what the language you replace it with, it still applies to the deficient mental capabilities of a person. Changing the word doesn't change the intent/use.

    If my child suffered a brain injury that retarded their mental capabilities, then their capabilities have been retarded. It's not the terms fault, it's the trauma to their brain. Calling them mentally deficient, mentally challenged, or handicapped, makes no difference.

     

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  24.  
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    Stuart, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 5:14pm

    Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    Can we agree at some point that running around making sure that we could not possibly be offending any of the 900 special interest groups out there is as stupid as trying to make a movie that does not copy more than 2 words in a row from another movie.
    We can not move forward in serious discussions if we can not first agree that truth is more important than political correctness.

     

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  25.  
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    Nina Paley (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 5:39pm

    It's great!

    I like it! w00t Dark Helmet!

     

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  26.  
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    xenomancer (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 5:56pm

    Think about what you're thinking...

    Well aren't you just the poignantly pedantic patronizer! Perhaps if you didn't passively instill in those you regularly work with a grandiose ire toward an arbitrarily contrived sophism, they wouldn't be offended by common hyperbolic humor.

    And here's a link to help cure you of that infectious intellectual dishonesty, political correctness:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF1NUposXVQ

     

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  27.  
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    Paul`, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Think about what you're saying...

    Actually, retard is a medical term used to distinguish people with a certain mental capacity.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 6:38pm

    Four minutes of my life I will never get back. Thanks a lot dick.

     

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  29.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 7:01pm

    Re:

    You're welcome, sunshine...

     

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  30.  
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    John Doe, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 7:26pm

    The problem with using retard as an insult was explained to Freetards

    on this post

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110414/17253913899/pirate-party-not-pirate-y-enough-you-maybe -you-need-kopimism-official-pirate-religion.shtml

    a few days ago, but I don't think they got it.

    Even Rahm Emanuel knows to apologize for "retard" comments,
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/7158169/Rahm-Emanuel-apologises-for -retards-comment.html
    but I would not expect self-righteous teenagers to apologize.

    I suppose Mike will only make them stop using retard as an insult on his site when Mike realizes clients want NOTHING TO DO WITH PEOPLE WHO INSULT THE DISABLED.

    You might as well allow people to post the N work in blog posts on your site to marginalize yourself even more.





    Even

     

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  31.  
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    RadialSkid (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 7:34pm

    This looks mainstream exciting! I can't wait to spend $50 to license a copy for limited home use!

     

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  32.  
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    Jesse (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 7:35pm

    Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    Mike, no, you're missing the point (and so is Dark Helmet). The word isn't yours to re-appropriate. If you are a black and you want to reclaim the word nigger, that's your choice. If you are a homosexual and you want to reclaim "queer," by all means. I am assuming you don't identify as mentally handicapped, so embracing freetard is plain not acceptable. You reclaiming freetard makes as much sense as a white supporter of black civil liberties, having been labelled a nigger-lover, using the word nigger where ever they please. It's absurd. (At least in my example they were fighting alongside the disadvantaged group.)

    Of course it's ridiculous to call anyone a freetard and it's silly to call people pirates. If you want to reclaim the word pirate, then do it, because that's hardly hurting a disadvantaged group (of course, Mike, you say all the time that embracing the word pirate doesn't even make sense...not sure why freetard does?). But using a derivative of the word retard is plain unacceptable, and frankly it makes me want to leave this blog despite all of it's amazing content and community.

    The thing I don't get is why the writers here are so resistant to hearing this point. If it were me, if a group of people approached me and said, "Hey when you use this word so carelessly it really hurts," not only would I have no problem changing my language, but I would feel really bad that I had offended a group of my fans (I am certainly not alone in this). For someone who advocates so strongly about CwF, I just don't see it here. And frankly, defending your right to speak like a jerk, while it is your right, makes you both seem like people who can't focus on the issues and so instead you fall back on tired slurs.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 7:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    Here in this county we have a Department of Mental Health and Retardation. Official name. They deal with issues relating to the homeless, the mentally ill, the mentally challenged, but that's what it's called. *shrug*

    Growing up in the 70s, 'retard' was an epithet used in an absolutely negative way, as a replacement for 'stupid'. My parents would shut that crap down right quick, you didn't use that term like that or else.

    Today, knowing several folks who are mentally challenged to various degrees for various reasons, I still don't care for any terms ending in -tard (makes me wince), but I have to say Marcus' distinction does make sense when applied to copyright issues, where hindrance and holding back are too common tools of the trade.

    Still makes me wince though, I guess it's ingrained by now.

    "what about the pop CORN! farmers." That cracked me up!

     

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  34.  
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    Freetardo Motalban, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 7:52pm

    You find my name insulting??

     

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    FormerAC (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 7:56pm

    LOL .... thank you, made my day. I was laughing so hard I fell out of my chair and hit my head. Who do I send the bills to?

     

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  36.  
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    Jesse (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 8:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    That sounds awfully lazy. "It's impossible to be considerate of every person out there so I just won't even make a good faith attempt."

    Well then go say nigger to some black people, or fag/queer to some homosexuals. You can tell them it's impossible to account for 900 "special interest groups" so instead you are just going out of your way to offend people.

    Let's take a look at what I imagine you would consider "special interest groups" (I'm assuming anyone who isn't a Christian white male...that's the general definition)

    In America:
    5 million Muslims
    37.6 million blacks
    600,000 married homosexual couples (obviously many more when accounting for unmarried and closeted...approx 2-6% of US population)
    36 million with any type of disability
    13 million with a cognitive disability (that is, "retard"...not to mention however many loved ones 13 million "retards" have)

    I know it's easy to dismiss people who are different from you as "special interest groups" (it's also lazy). And yes, it's impossible to please everyone all the time. But it's another thing altogether to refuse to even make a good faith attempt. If you hurt someone, and it's not that big of a deal to take their concerns into consideration, then why not? If someone tells you a word is hurtful, and you reply with a "too bad, so sad" then now you have moved from the "good faith effort" to "actively alienating" realm. If that's your position, fine, but then recognize that it's pretty hypocritical to promote all this CwF stuff while simultaneously alienating so many (see above).

    Frankly, I stopped reading The Register for their casual use of "freetard." Techdirt is a daily pleasure to read...Mike and friends: please don't ruin it for me.

     

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  37.  
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    Jesse (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 8:26pm

    Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    And nigger originated from a mispronunciation of negro, which is Spanish for black. Tell that the the next black person you refer to as a nigger.

    Faggot originated from a "bundle of kindling used to start a fire." Tell that to the next homosexual you call a faggot.

    The next time you tell someone with a cognitive disability that they are a retard, be sure to inform them that they aren't allowed to have hurt feelings, because retard is just French for "slow."

    If you wouldn't do that, then implicitly you understand that it is still offensive. So why is it so hard to understand in this discussion? The history doesn't matter. Current usage matters. Our society has yet to progress beyond using the words nigger/faggot/retarded in a predominantly non-hurtful way. What's so hard about that?

     

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  38.  
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    Jesse (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 8:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    The problem is less the term and more the reducing a person to a single superficial characteristic. As if the most important thing about the person is that they are black/homosexual/have a cognitive disability.

     

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  39.  
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    Matt, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 9:02pm

    Stop rushing to be offended

    Jesse you are the one who is missing the point I think. Two of my nephews have mental disabilities, but that doesn't mean I have a hissy fit every time someone uses the word retard. If someone says "They are a couple of retards", that may cause me offense, but just because some people appropriate a perfectly reasonable word to use as an insult that doesn't mean every use of the word is insulting.
    And your assertion that every non-Christian white male is a special interest group is just...well retarded. The christian church is one of the most powerful (and some would say insidious) interest groups in America today.

     

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  40.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    'Frankly, I stopped reading The Register for their casual use of "freetard." Techdirt is a daily pleasure to read...Mike and friends: please don't ruin it for me.'

    While I doubt I'd give anyone here the joy of respite from my complaining about these matters, I too am tired of people saying offensive crap and pretending it doesn't matter.

     

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  41.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 10:30pm

    Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    "Well, I mean, fair enough, accept we're reappropriating the word by someone who used it negatively, similar to how the African American community reappropriated the n-word."

    The key thing in your example is that nigger was only directly insulting those who re-appropriated it. Unless retard is directly insulting you on its own then the situations aren't really that similar.

    I wonder if you would use the word if it was, for example, copynigger instead of freetard.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 10:47pm

    Re:

    Copy'right' hero: Infringement costs the economy billions of dollars.

    Infringement Victim: and I suppose every time someone infringes, a cat dies.

    Hero: Yes, exactly!!!

    Victim: Will someone please think of the kittens!!!

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 11:08pm

    Infringement victim: HELP, HELP!!! SOMEONE Is Infringing on my copyrights! Help Help!!!

    Copyright hero: There is no need to fear, copyright hero is here!!!

    Victim: (in a relieved voice) Copyright hero!!!

    *Hero runs in front of infringement villain

    Hero: HALT!!!! Where do you think you're going?

    Infringement Villain: I have a sinister plan to destroy the world!!! I will download thousands of songs from bittorrent onto my hard drive and the resultant piracy will bankrupt the world!!! and there is nothing you can do to stop me!!!!

    *Infringement villain runs and copyright hero finds himself surrounded by infringers that have become violent criminals due to piracy. POW, WOW, BAM, ZAP!!!

    *Hero overcomes infringers and chases villain to his apartment where he stops him and saves the day!!!

    Victim: My hero!!!

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 11:22pm

    Re:

    Anyways, while nothing I said was really that funny, at least this is an improvement over what you guys had. What you have seems to goes against the natural order of superhero scripts which contributes to why it's not funny. These sorts of scripts tend to have a villain, a hero, and a victim. Play that into your script of how infringement is destroying the world to make it funnier.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 11:31pm

    Re: Re:

    (and don't include arguments for and/or against copyright in the script, just assume that copyright is bad and play along with that).

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 11:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    assume that infringement is bad *

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 11:53pm

    *Copyright hero listens to his surroundings through his super hearing

    Copyright hero: "What's that I hear? A public performance?"

    *Copyright hero superspeeds in front of a car blasting its radio too loud and pounds the hood with his fist, causing the front of the car to crumble. He then quickly takes the cars CD player and tells the villain "A small price to pay for infringement. Consider yourself lucky"

    but before he can finish, he hears something else. Look, down the street, a restaurant playing the radio for its customers!!! Copyright hero is back at it again, saving the economy and the world from infringers everywhere.

     

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  48.  
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    Jesse (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 11:56pm

    Re: Stop rushing to be offended

    1) I don't care if trolls make those comments, because they are sad and pathetic, and easily dismissed. I am mainly addressing the writers of this reputable blog. There's a big difference, a different expectation. I just hope that if they see enough people resist this language, or at least if they notice that their choice of language completely distracts from the main points, they will consider some alternatives. I could give two shits what those in favour of derogatory slurs think.

    2) I feel sorry for your nephews, who have an uncle that doesn't feel the need to advocate on their behalf. I get the point about choosing your battles, but clearly that's not your point. Not only are you claiming that you would never stand up for them even if it caused you offense (nevermind their feelings), but you are going out of your way to insult me for bothering to stand up for individuals such as your nephews. That's just sad.

    I have two cousins who are black, and if Mike or other writers carelessly threw around the word nigger (or some derivative such as "copynigger") I would advocate just as fervently against that.

    3) I didn't argue that every non-Christian white male group is a special interest group, and in fact I was demonstrating just how ridiculous such an assumption is. Sorry you missed that one.

     

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  49.  
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    Jesse (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 11:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    I'm glad to hear there are at least a few of us out there. I guess you're right: quitting the blog would kind of be self-defeating.

    Perhaps these ongoing discussion will convince the writers that such careless language only serves to distract readers from the main point of the post.

     

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  50.  
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    The eejit (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 12:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: PC gone WILD

    Nah, he's clearly a Yorkshireman.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 1:37am

    Re: It's great!

    w00t to you paying your NYC rent with money you didn't make so you don't have to have a real job.

     

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  52.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:26am

    Re: Focus people

    Perhaps if you loaded that subway car with some motherfuckin'* snakes...

    *The use of this term is NOT meant to slight anyone suffering from an Oedipal Complex.

    But in all seriousness, this is very funny stuff. I, for one, am yearning for the day when I too can hold a conversation with a costumed copyright maximalist, especially one that swears in a British monotone. There are so many lines that could be "remixed" into general conversation, just to keep him (and his codpiece) on edge. I would probably draw from David Lynch's deep well of weird-ass conversational gambits to further the confusion.

    "Heineken? Fuck that shit! PABST! BLUE! RIBBON!"
    "I hear that gum you like is coming back in style."
    "I feel like I know her but sometimes my arms bend back."
    "OR-E-GON!"
    "Yep, that's an ear alright."
    um... something about burning a hole in some panties with a cigarette to go back in time... or something... with human-sized rabbits performing with a laugh track...

    Also noted: in all of this discussion about the pros and cons of co-opting "freetard," at no point did I see anyone express any concern for the friends and families of the victims of the Jonestown Massacre, whose memories are mocked daily with careless remarks about "kool-aid drinking." And that's a damn shame.

    BTW, if you do get Sam Jackson (yeah, I'm on first-name basis with him, I assume), make sure he's wearing a Kangol. He's the only person I know who doesn't look ridiculous in one. And that includes LL Cool J.

     

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  53.  
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    Yeebok (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 2:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    OMG a miniature teacup with a tinier storm in it! I'm probably going to be equally offended by your choice of font.

    Seriously, get over it. It's like saying men should be offended because they may not like someone being called a d*ckhead.

    The original meaning doesn't even refer to people. Ever heard of "fire retardant material" ? You guys having a go at them too ?

    From dictionary.com :
    to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.

     

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  54.  
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    Yeebok (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    "...more the reducing a person to a single superficial characteristic."

    You're doing that to yourself quite well on your own, in my opinion. I understand what you are saying but heartily disagree. The word means what it means, regardless of what you think. It will either flourish or die as part of the language - but with you using it so much yourself, there isn't much chance of it dying in our language any time soon.

     

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  55.  
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    Yeebok (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:09am

    Re: The problem with using retard as an insult was explained to Freetards

    The only people using "the r word" are the people complaining about it being used, or explaining its actual meaning to the initial users multiple times.

    Ah, irony..

     

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  56.  
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    Yeebok (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:12am

    Re: Re: Stop rushing to be offended

    "I don't care if trolls make those comments, because they are sad and pathetic, and easily dismissed."

    Why are you so down on yourself?

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 4:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    "If you are a black and you want to reclaim the word nigger"

    If you are A black? You've got to be kidding me.

    Jesse...your real name is Donald Trump, isn't it?

     

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  58.  
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    Michael, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 4:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    First, 'freetard' is what DH (and sometimes Mike, but that is pretty inaccurate) ARE being called. THEY did not re-appropriate 'retard', copyright supporters did. They are simply using the term they have been called.

    And really? DH creates another movie with a guy in an orange body condom and we are stuck on using the term 'freetard'? What about the insult to the catholic religion - I mean they think condoms are satanic or something, don't they?


    An DH - stop ripping off Southpark by putting a goatee on the 'evil' guy in the film.

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 4:48am

    Apparently there are way too many wannabe screenwriters in this moronic thread.

    But just to toe the Techdirt party line here, mmm yeah... Steal from artists! Yay that's cool!

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 4:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    too am tired of people saying offensive crap and pretending it doesn't matter

    If I want to call myself a freetard or a fag or a nigger I bloody well will. And if I want to call you one, I bloody well will too - you don't have to like me for it, and it may well make me a wanker.

    What I do when someone tries to offend me is ignore it and not give a fuck.

     

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  61.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 5:01am

    Re: Re: Stop rushing to be offended

    I feel sorry for your nephews, who have an uncle that doesn't feel the need to advocate on their behalf. I get the point about choosing your battles, but clearly that's not your point. Not only are you claiming that you would never stand up for them even if it caused you offense (nevermind their feelings), but you are going out of your way to insult me for bothering to stand up for individuals such as your nephews. That's just sad.

    He actually claimed otherwise, but you're too busy beating your nearly-dead horse to realize that.

    If someone says "They are a couple of retards", that may cause me offense...

    This would lead me to believe he would stick up for them if they were directly insulted. As would I. I have a sister who has Down's Syndrome but I don't feel the need to straighten out everyone who throws around the word "retard." It doesn't mean I wouldn't stick up for her if she was directly insulted, but it also doesn't mean that everyone that uses the word is insulting the mentally disabled.

    There are much better ways to advocate on their behalf other than just walking around with some sort of thin skin that keeps getting bruised by that chip you carry on your shoulder.

    You've made your point. The use of the word "freetard" offends YOU. Unfortunately, it doesn't offend everybody and I'm beginning to think that the real issue here is that you're offended that the rest of humanity isn't immediately lockstepping to your overwrought tune.

    Move on.

     

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  62.  
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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 5:29am

    Re:

    "Steal from artists", you're kidding, right?

    Supposing some use was not deemed fair use (take it to court for a real decision) it would be "infringement" and not "theft".

    For theft to happen, the artist would have to have use of something taken away involuntarily. The artist never lost use of the art. That's an important enough distinction that even the "Intellectual Property" maximalists should want to make it.

    Bad shill, no payoff!

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 5:55am

    Re:

    and in next weeks episode of freetard, Copyright hero squares off with Infringement granny where she comes up with yet another scheme to take over the world through piracy.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 5:58am

    In place of the "R-Word" would it be acceptable to use "A Sarah Palin Momment" ?

     

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  65.  
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    Niall (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 6:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    I'm sorry, the word here is 'freetard'. Not 'retard'. So when someone criticises or mocks women about something, men should 'be insulted'? When someone says "go figger" instead of "go figure", blacks should be upset because it contains 5/6 of the word "nigger"?

    All it is doing is adding an ending to another word, implying that you are being foolish about the topic. There is no reflection on, or comparison to, someone who may or may not be labelled as a 'retard', depending on which country you are in, or which way the winds of political correctness are blowing currently.

    Lighten up. While you have some good points about being considerate to others, it's all too easy to over-react, especially when the topic at hand is *nothing to do with* mentally handicapped people.

    Or are you claiming copyright on the word 'retard' and anything that may be constructed from its elements? You may wish to 're-'consider your position and be a bit more 'tard'y with your complaints. Oh, wait...

     

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  66.  
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    Niall (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 6:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    The difference is that 'faggot' still has valid uses, even if not so everyday as when we all used fires. In fact, "lazy faggot" is a perfectly acceptable insult to a lazy person in the UK.

    "Nigger" is actually a valid pronunciation of the Latin word "negro" based on a Yorkshire dialect that found its way over to that side of the pond, hence its widespread use in the US. Still doesn't make it any nicer, but it's now got a long history to back it up as 'not so nice', as well as widespread use.

    None of this is to say that it is ok to use these words in an offensive sense to or about the relevant groups, but I am not going to avoid using the word 'faggot' just because it also has an insulting meaning in some circles. Similarly, there are times when 'retard', at least as part of another word, is also perfectly ok or even necessary. It's PC madness to start talking about "flame stopping" material lest someone get upset at the word "retardent".

     

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  67.  
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    Niall (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think you were right first time...

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Rich, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 6:54am

    Re: Think about what you're saying...

    Just to add my two cents: as someone who has also worked with both the mentally and physically challenged for years, I say you need to get over it or move to the Land of The Offended. I'm sure you are more bothered by the word than they are.

     

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  69.  
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    Jesse (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 6:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    How incredibly intellectually dishonest. Obviously the usage of freetard is a combination of the word free with the slur retard (not 'slow' as in flame retardant). It is not simply a combination of letters that is the problem.

    Nice strawman though. I suppose your inability to address my actual argument indicates its strength. Thanks.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 7:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    I'm tired of overzealous people like yourself jumping all over people for using words you don't like.

    Jumping on the term freetard is retarded and if you can't handle it I suggest you stop using the internet.

     

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  71.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 7:19am

    I think Jesse is inspiring an Xtranormal spinoff...Offendtard or something like that.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    "Jumping on the term freetard is retarded and if you can't handle it I suggest you stop using the internet."

    If you can't handle people "jumping" on you, for either making intelligent comments or acting like an ignorant fool who just can't get why Pollock jokes or retard insults are no longer funny, I would suggest you stop using the Internet.

    Also, if you are trying to win support, using a term that many people will jump on is? a) smart, b) retarded or c) counterproductive?

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re: The problem with using retard as an insult was explained to Freetards

    It turns out the retard debate is actually the latest tactic by the paytard camp to divert attention from the content of these articles.

    I must say it's worked incredibly well and we should all question whether or not we are slightly retarded having fallen for it.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Paytard.

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 7:50am

    Re: Think about what you're saying...

    Stop it....it's clear you don't work enough with MR people. I have been raising one for 21 years, and only people that are still offended by the word 'retard' are ones that are 'on the fringe' of the MR world.

    We have way bigger fish to fry than to get in a huff about a dang word.....

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 7:54am

    Re:

    Calm down, cupcake.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re: Stop rushing to be offended

    Jesse, hun, being offended and fighting over a word is such a waste of time and effort, but I suppose, for people not really wanting to get their hands in the muck of what it's really like raising and helping MR people...that's the 'easy' fight.

    Whatever makes you sleep at night cupcake.

     

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  78.  
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    Niall (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    Ok, being brutally honest, I think you're whining over nothing (or very little). Since the conversation has absolutely nothing to do with mentally handicapped people (just ethically handicapped, the copyright maximalists would say), then to a lot of us it seems, for all your genuine support for those who need it (and I work in the health field and fully support anything like that), like you are being over-sensitive about something that in the end is simply your opinion.

    It would be different if someone here was going on about the mentally handicapped, or comparing 'freeloaders' with them in some way, but no-one is. All this is about is throwing back a term of insult back in the face of those who actually coined it and are using it - as no-one who is being labelled a 'freetard' is actually going round calling themselves one.

    Your strawman is that the element '-tard' is purely 'owned' by and only refers to the mentally handicapped. It isn't. Quoting one dictionary definition: "a person who is stupid, obtuse, or ineffective in some way: a hopeless social retard." Sounds like what the maximalists think that "freeloaders" are with regards to following the law and respecting their over-powered monopolies.

    Languages grow and develop, and elements of one word (especially if those elements have existing meanings) are often co-opted into making new words - it is one of the powers and beauties of English that we can do it so easily and effectively.

    Honestly, I am sorry that the word bothers you, and that us lampooning its use here bothers you as well. Please, feel free to take it up with the IP maximalists and Joe Bidens of this world who are the ones bandying it about and using it as a slur. Don't waste so much time girning at us for it though, when it is such an oblique link.

    Love the attempted ad hominem as well. Is that the best you can do? Straight into the 'strawman' accusations instead of any attempt at a reasoned argument. I wasn't even particularly going for strawmen, just lampooning your oversensitivity on the issue.

     

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  79.  
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    RadialSkid (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 9:54am

    Re:

    Copywhiners aren't artists.

     

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  80.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re: Stop rushing to be offended

    I feel sorry for your nephews, who have an uncle that doesn't feel the need to advocate on their behalf.

    Wow. I feel sorry for everyone who knows you, for having to deal with such a dick in their lives...

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Apr 21st, 2011 @ 11:39am

    I am sorry that being called "boy" bothers grown black men - just suck it up boys (satire)

    Honestly, I am sorry that the word "boy" bothers you, and that us lampooning its use here bothers you as well. Please, feel free to take it up with integrationists who are the ones bandying it about and using it as a slur. Don't waste so much time girning at us for it though, when it is such an oblique link.

    (copyright prior to my parody goes to what's her name above; I just changed retard to boy and a few other edits)

     

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  82.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 3:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    "I'm tired of overzealous people like yourself jumping all over people for using words you don't like."

    I'm not jumping over anyone, I'm telling people why I don't like what they're doing. They're free to ignore me as people keep telling me I'm free to ignore them. It's called communication, you can stop any time you like.

     

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  83.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    "really saying someone is mentally retarded is no more insulting than saying their leg is broken"

    It may be. A broken leg is hardly comparable to any mental health issue. A broken leg does not hold the stigma that mental retardation does.

     

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  84.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    "It would be different if someone here was going on about the mentally handicapped, or comparing 'freeloaders' with them in some way, but no-one is."

    By the same argument, gay is never offensive unless used in context of talking about anyone who is homosexual. Except that's not true. Using gay pejoratively is inherently offensive because that's where the derogative meaning came from; people using it to disparage homosexuals. Ditto with retard, which unlike idiot, moron or a host of other words that have similar connotations, only became a pejorative after it was used to label a diagnosis. The term was introduced because of the negative connotations of poorly chosen words like idiot and moron in medical texts.

    'Your strawman is that the element '-tard' is purely 'owned' by and only refers to the mentally handicapped. It isn't. Quoting one dictionary definition: "a person who is stupid, obtuse, or ineffective in some way: a hopeless social retard." Sounds like what the maximalists think that "freeloaders" are with regards to following the law and respecting their over-powered monopolies.'

    The whole point of such words is that they're comparing the object of ridicule to something viewed unfavourably. If you say something is shit then you are literally comparing it to faeces, through figurative language. If you say something is gay then you are literally comparing it to being homosexual, through figurative language. If you say something is retarded then you are literally comparing it to mental retardation, through figurative language.

    Adding definitions to dictionaries may change accepted usage in theory, but suggesting that the added definitions did not directly develop from the pejorative comparison of mental retardation seems incredibly naive.

    "Please, feel free to take it up with the IP maximalists and Joe Bidens of this world who are the ones bandying it about and using it as a slur. Don't waste so much time girning at us for it though, when it is such an oblique link."

    So, we should ask those who coined the term and use it without any irony (even misplaced) to stop using it before those who we might otherwise agree with? I don't see the logic there.

    I'm all for using offensive language to highlight and ridicule those who genuinely seek to offend. One of my favourite comedians is Sarah Silverman who famously jokes about "the blacks" killing Jesus to highlight the absurdity of racist rhetoric, through parody. I enjoy watching South Park, which does more good through being offensive in one episode than Frankie Boyle could hope to do in his life time. I don't enjoy hearing 'freetard' used in the copyright tug-o-war, it's a word coined out of spite and is hardly less offensive when used as a parody of the least offensive aspect of the word.

    Having said that, as one other commenter has said, it's just something that makes me wince. No one's calling for the word to be censored, just explaining why they object to its use. I find the anti-political correctness rhetoric ironic from a free speech perspective.

     

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  85.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    'In fact, "lazy faggot" is a perfectly acceptable insult to a lazy person in the UK.'

    I bet that goes down well when used on someone who happens to be gay: "do you mean to insult me because I'm gay or are you just using the word in the context that likely forms the basis for it insulting gay people?"

    "but I am not going to avoid using the word 'faggot' just because it also has an insulting meaning in some circles."

    I don't think anyone is complaining about the words being used in a context of not insulting people.

    'It's PC madness to start talking about "flame stopping" material lest someone get upset at the word "retardent".'

    Must resist urge to point out spelling error... Oh drat. Yes that would be PC madness. However, it's nothing like what anyone here is suggesting.

     

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  86.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Think about what you're saying...

    "If I want to call myself a freetard or a fag or a nigger I bloody well will. And if I want to call you one, I bloody well will too - you don't have to like me for it, and it may well make me a wanker. "

    Sorry, did I suggest that I was going to impede your ability to call yourself, or me, names in any way? I'm unsure why you're so angry.

    "What I do when someone tries to offend me is ignore it and not give a fuck."

    A good thing too, if this post is an example of what you do to someone who doesn't offend you.

     

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