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We Need To Let Go Of The Idea That Our Creations Are Utterly Ours

from the they're-not-and-have-never-been dept

We've written about Kirby Ferguson's excellent Everything Is A Remix project, and the folks over at On The Media have a nice interview with Ferguson. The whole thing is worth a read (it's pretty short, actually), but there were two great quotes that I thought were worth highlighting. He's asked if he's "sympathetic" to copyright holders, and responds:
I'm sympathetic to most of them. It's natural in our culture to want to protect what you feel you worked hard for or invested in. Unfortunately, I don't think it's as natural to be aware of the innumerable ways we take from our culture in order to create these things. We need to let go of the idea that our creations are utterly ours. Creating something new entitles us to some rights, but not to perpetual monopoly, which is the direction we're headed in.
That bolded part is the key. People have a natural inclination to give themselves more credit for their own work, and diminish the contributions of everyone who came before them whose work was instrumental to their own. I definitely recognize the natural instincts there as well, but I agree with Ferguson that it's important, culturally, to get past that.

He's also asked where he'd like to see things go "culturally in terms of copyright and patent laws" and he answers:
I think we have to stop conceiving of remixing as a kind of theft. It's not theft, it's not piracy, it's a legitimate effort to make something new. That effort deserves some respect, if not for the results, then for the intent. So I think step one is to stop treating remixing as theft and bring the penalties for unauthorized remixing back down to earth.
This can't be said enough, even though it's rarely said at all. I've explained in the past how insulting it is for people to make criticisms like "create your own!" when they see amazing creative new works built by remixing the works of those who came before. If you can't respect amazing creations built off of others' work as being something amazing and new, then you lead a culturally deficient life.


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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 9:31am

    That effort deserves some respect, if not for the results, then for the intent.

    I think you ended the emphasis one sentence early - because this is a really important part of it! A lot of people attack derivative works and remixes on the ground that they are "not new enough" or "lazy" or just generally "bad". But those people are missing the point.

    Law doesn't mandate that art has to be good, and plenty of people create traditionally "original" work (be it music, art or literature) that is itself seen as unoriginal - not because it specifically copies anything, but simply because it's not that great. But that's okay. The world needs bad art as much as it needs good art, and bad art shouldn't be illegal just because it borrows from other work and then fails to do anything spectacular with it.

    A good example is the Mr. Brainwash stuff. I defend his right to do what he does pretty vehemently, even though personally I'm not that impressed with his work, and certainly not enamoured with it. It's really, really important to keep your personal feelings about art out of the equation when talking about copyright law.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    People are extremely possesive of ideas.

    I was involved in a debate thread on polycount (URL to follow) where a professional of the industry (a game artist) was deriding Gameloft for creating derivative works of popular console and PC games for mobile devices like Android and iOS. He and a good many others called it a rip-off because it looked similar to those games they emulate. They proceeded to call the people at Gameloft all sorts of derogatory names (e.g. the bollywood of gaming) and it was even called "getting as legally close to illegal as possible", which is just complete nonsense. Quite a few of the individuals there have a strong sense of "ownership" over their art. They completely gloss over the fact that the ideas they feel they "own" were actually built on the whole of human artistic history and experience. They view it as wholesale theft of another person's ideas, even though they borrow so heavily from human culture and other games. It's stinks quite a bit of hypocrisy.

    My reply was thus:

    "You're setting a pretty low bar for "rip-off". I have no doubt in my mind that all the games you listed as being the source of those clones were derived from games that came before them. All art is built on the art that came before. Modern Warfare, for example, is highly derivative of other games that are centered around modern military combat and CoD:MW didn't invent military shooter simulations. Getting annoyed because Gameloft used obvious concepts and ideas doesn't make sense since ideas are not really exclusive to anyone in particular. They have a severe lack of creativity and imagination, for certain, but they didn't rip anyone off. They are derivative, without a doubt, but the game industry at large is pretty derivative."

    http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=86415

    Another thread, which I started, also shows what kind of incongruent thinking prevails in their community.

    http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=81315

     

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    Ninja (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:21am

    MAFIAA disagrees. Remixes and somewhat interesting works are killing the industry.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:25am

    About derivatives anybody remembers:

    TimeTrax (TV Series from 1993) - Same plot as TimeCop
    The Time Tunnel(pilot from 2002)
    The Robinsons - Lost In Space (pilot from 2004)

    There are no fan made anything for those franchise thingies.

    But even under threat of litigation fans of Star Trek keep putting out a lot of fan made movies on Youtube is just impressive, some are terrible, some are so-so and some are very good.

    Do children remember those old series today?

    Would they remember the Ghostbusters from 1954?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAboGO9MDsQ

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:26am

    Re:

    "A bad cook, a bad doctor, a bad judge; these people can kill you. But a bad artist?" - Man Ray

     

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    Tonsotunez, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:31am

    I don't believe that anyone who creates for a living has ever said that their work was NOT influenced by what had come before it ... Copyright law recognizes that fact and only protects the EXPRESSION of an idea ... not the idea itself.

    That is why, if you wish to remix EXPRESSIONS of ideas, you must contact the owners of the rights to those expressions to do so.

    Many love to have their expressions remixed and gladly give their approvals gratis. But many don't want their expressions used without their approval ... and that is their right... People's rights need to be respected if we are to have any sort of order in the world.

    I don't have the right to steal your paycheck every week and you don't have the right to use what produces income for me without my permission.

    Some remixes are terrific ... great additions to our culture - but if you are remixing expressions without paying (or getting gratis approvals) from the artists, musicians, songwriters who created those expressions you are irreparably damaging those who might provide you with the raw materials you will need to continue making remixes.

    And, if you are using others expressions to enrich yourself without contacting their creators or their representatives, you are truly a non-caring, non-thinking lowlife bastard.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:35am

    Re:

    No those people's wishes don't need to be respected because they go beyond what is reasonable, if people use pieces and bits of something to create something new others shouldn't be able ever to stop anybody from doing it.

    More the capacity to stop others should be limited to 10 years and then freed to be used by anyone.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:42am

    Everything is a remix seems to be the current 'tard battle cry, and it works on a certain level providing you are willing to ignore the obvious.

    Remixing ideas is different from remixing expressions. Coming up with a new rock song that is somehow a tribute to the old, but in new is remixing an idea. A new blues song is still the blues, but is new. That really isn't a "remix", that is just allowing yourself to be influenced by various sources and generating a new expression of it.

    On the other side, we have the true "remix" artists, those who take the completed expressions of others, and use them as the source material for their "works". They are remixing, but they are lacking a critical step in the process, which is making a new expression. Whatever comes out of a remix isn't a new expression, but rather at best a combination of existing expressions.

    A good example would be to take the "hot" lines from all the great political speeches, and to combine them together to make a single speech. It would be a remix, but it would only be a combined existing expression, rather than a new one.

    Don't get me wrong: some remixes are entertaining, interesting, amusing, and often the technical abilities of these artists are beyond reproach. It can be equally fun to spot where the various samples and loops come from.

    But deep down, these are not really new expressions, just remixes of existing expressions. As Tonsotunez has said, you really should get permission. It's their expression, not yours. Respect other artist and they will respect you. Don't respect them, and well, you are a "non-caring, non-thinking lowlife bastard" (nice phrase, thanks Tonsotunez!).

     

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    John Doe, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    I posted this on Nina's earlier post

    What would happen if I start buying paintings from other artists, adding my own touches to them, mark them up and resell them? I am sure I would have every right to do that as I am not reproducing the work, but what would the original artists reactions be? Not good I bet.

    Why is it legal* for me to buy paintings from other artists, cut them up and stitch pieces together to form a new picture to sell and it isn't legal to cut up songs and piece them together to sell?

    *At least I assume it is legal under the right of first sale.

     

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    Gracey (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:44am

    Re:

    Lost in Space...originated in 1965. The original series was terrific.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re:

    Even copying bits and pieces of actual art is creating something new and should not be considered illegal or bad.

    Copying bits and pieces to create something new shouldn't need permission from anyone, because no one asks the creators of words for permission to write or speak them do they?

    Only the copytards scum won't to force others to view the world through their lenses and it is not happening, it never happened and will not happen ever.

     

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    timlash (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:52am

    And in related news...

    ...VPN subscriptions skyrocket.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re:

    I think you are still getting confused. Nobody controls the notes, or the individual words. What they do control is their expression of them. Nobody controls the middle C. But someone controls Sgt Pepper's.

    What the typical 'tard does is try to claim that a sample of Pepper is somehow on par with the middle C, which is a laughable idea. The performance of Pepper isn't raw material, sorry.

    Nobody forces anyone to view the world through their lenses. However, they will force the tards to actually get off their ass and create some original expression. You aren't blocked unless you are depending on someone else for your source material.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Re:

    Thank you for your cynical under-valuing of new expressions.

     

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    Hulser (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:04am

    Re:

    you don't have the right to use what produces income for me without my permission.

    I assume that you mean the moral right and not the legal right. Because I most certainly do have the legal right to use what produces income for you as long as it falls under the category of fair use. I understand your point about the protection of the expression of an idea, but I think that you're exhibiting the very attitude of overentitlement expressed in the post's quotes.

    And, if you are using others expressions to enrich yourself without contacting their creators or their representatives, you are truly a non-caring, non-thinking lowlife bastard.

    You can call me a lowlife bastard, but I think that you're wrong. And not just from a legal standpoint, but a moral one as well. It is not illegal or wrong to use the expression of another's idea even if you do so in a commercial manner. The "fair" in fair use really does mean fair. If I use a snippet of your copyrighted article (the expression) in my article, then that's OK. If I use a snippet of your song on a web site that includes ads, that's OK. That's fair.

     

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    Colin, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Serious, if tangential, question: do you find it constructive, inviting, or clever to call people derogatory terms like "freetards" (or simply "'tard" in this case)?

     

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    Overcast (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:13am

    Can I copyright 'Middle C' - then almost everyone would have to pay up!?!

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:21am

    Re:

    Don't get me wrong: some remixes are entertaining, interesting, amusing, and often the technical abilities of these artists are beyond reproach. It can be equally fun to spot where the various samples and loops come from.


    Entertaining! Interesting! Amusing! Technically impressive! Fun! Illegal!

    (and you wonder why copyright seems crazy to a lot of people)

     

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    Nicedoggy, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No I'm not confusing anything, sound loops have been around forever and people keep claiming they own them, that is claiming ownership on words in the musical sense it is not?

    Also if a rip a sound from one song and used it to build another that is illegal but it should not be, that is the law becoming absurd, that is what no one should be able to do but they can and that what you are protecting.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:29am

    Re:

    many don't want their expressions used without their approval ... and that is their right...


    No, that is their privilege

    People's rights need to be respected if we are to have any sort of order in the world.


    But their privileges, not so much.

    I don't have the right to steal your paycheck


    Except we're not talking about stealing anything. If you take my paycheque, I don't have it anymore. If I create something that includes something you created, you still have what you created.

    you don't have the right to use what produces income for me without my permission.


    Why not?

    Let's extrapolate this:

    I run a business from my house. Does the company that built the house have the "right" to tell me that I must give them a share of my profit, because I'm using "what produces income" for them?

    I know people who drive taxis. Should Chrysler and GM be allowed to prevent them from earning a living as taxi drivers, because they made the cars?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Colin, in my mind there is a narrow band of people who refer to anyone who supports copyright or artists rights as "copyscum", "copytard", or suggests that anyone doing so is an industry shill, an idiot, or any number of other terms that get used. I think of that narrow band of people as the "freetards". They want everything free, all the time, in all ways, without any consideration for anyone or anything except their own needs and wants.

    They use sloganism and such to try to make their points, such as the relatively new "everything is a remix" pitch. It's "tard" mentality at it's finest.

    It's an opinion, nothing more.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re:

    Well I was trying to show that they tried to make derivative series but never got nowhere, maybe is because they don't let fans create anything and those old series and movies get lost in time, the market for them disappears and when someone tries to bring it back it fails, like in those cases above.

    Time Tunnel I believe was also from the 60's (1966 to 1967)

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:36am

    What about the down side culturally?

    I hold "remixing" in lower esteem now that you've elaborated it, Mike. I understand well the /urge/ to do "in the style of" and "cover" tunes, because they resonate in one's soul, but at some point, one must admit that you can't match the "originals", and honor them by NOT diluting their value -- to others in the culture.

    What about the BAD effects of "natural inclination to give themselves more credit for their own work"? Are we doomed to suffer no-talent hacks TOO? -- Then suddenly I'm for extreme copyright.

    But I don't object to remixing on mere copyright basis. It's just plain not creative and not only adds nothing, but takes away. Part of the fun for at least some "remix artists" is to RUIN the culture: they're anarchists and nihilists.

    Nothing annoys me more than some feeble new singer doing a cover of an older song, can even completely change favorable opinion of the newer as shows a deep blind spot to absolutes. It's even worse with remixes: the original keeps breaking through to remind (and the older the more nostalgia associated), then the overlaid crap is back, SPOILING the nostalgia. I don't think that's specific to geezers, can happen with any tune any time.

    In specific: don't nobody /ever/ cover Frank Sinatra; I don't even like Sinatra, but would rather hear his originals than almost /any/ cover of them ever done. -- Anyone /still/ wanting to "cover" songs should seek out William Shatner doing "Mr Tambourine Man", and then grasp that's what /you/ sound like when covering some prior great. (I know those are old examples not familiar to most: they're just the most stark and came to mind. Besides, Shatner is always good for a laugh.)

     

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    ChronoFish (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: To what limit?

    "...if people use pieces and bits of something to create something new others shouldn't be able ever to stop anybody from doing it...."

    Is changing the title enough to claim it a "derivative art?" How about just the character names in a story other-wise copied word-for-word?

    Is "incorporating" a 3 minute "bit" of a 4 minute video legal? How about 3:59? Or is okay claim all 4 minutes as yours? What if I run it backwards and call it "Your video - backwards". Is that a now a distinct piece of art that I can charge for and not give you a dime for your hard work?

    I don't know where the limits are. Maybe there are none. Maybe all art should be free and artist should produce Art for nothing more than a free loft, a loaf of bread, and a blanket to make a bed out of.

    I know as a software developer I would be ticked off if someone were to sell/give away my code without my permission. That is my livelihood, and unless you're paying me to write the code - then you don't have a right to change the colors and call it your own.

    -CF

     

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    Nicedoggy, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Re: What about the down side culturally?

    Cameron did a cover of Pocahontas he called his AVATAR.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    A sound loop (sample from a song) is a performance. It isn't the note in theory (ie, the unplayed middle C on your piano) but rather it is "artist X playing middle C", or more likely "artist X playing a bass line in the key of C".

    The difference is between performance of the sound, and the sound itself. If you want the sound, pick up the instrument and play it yourself. After all, almost anyone can learn to produce a single note on almost any instrument in a short period of time. But what you really want isn't the sound of the instrument, you want the sound of the performance, and that is copyright.

    You shouldn't think that your desires should kill everyone else's rights.

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    Re: What about the down side culturally?

    Part of the fun for at least some "remix artists" is to RUIN the culture: they're anarchists and nihilists.

    Yeah, I mean, who ever heard of an anarchist artist?

    In specific: don't nobody /ever/ cover Frank Sinatra; I don't even like Sinatra, but would rather hear his originals than almost /any/ cover of them ever done.

    And yet people go wild for Michael Buble's covers of Sinatra. Personally I think they are bland and boring (like him), but this isn't about your tastes or mine - it's about artistic freedom.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re:

    Let's extrapolate this:

    Well, extrapolation is poor method for doing anything. Unless of course, you're a Singularitarian. But nevertheless...
    I run a business from my house. Does the company that built the house have the "right" to tell me that I must give them a share of my profit, because I'm using "what produces income" for them?

    No, you're not using what produces income for them. They use tools, machines (big ones), and their knowledge to produce income. But when you take an artist's expression, you are using the "tools" they require to produce income. I guarantee that if you attempted to borrow a construction company's equipment at night, when they're not using it to produce income, they would have you arrested.

    Here's something closer to what you're getting at: how about I come and use your house to run my small business? Would you feel that you have a "right" to demand some form of compensation from me? Or at least the right to bar me from doing so?
    I know people who drive taxis. Should Chrysler and GM be allowed to prevent them from earning a living as taxi drivers, because they made the cars?

    You mean besides the fact that those car companies have deals in place with cities that mandate their cars be the only ones used for taxis? Same deal with police departments. For god's sake, it's the same way with giant military contracts to construct jet engines. So, yes, those companies do make money residually from their vehicles' use as taxis.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: To what limit?

    So what if someone gets your software and starts to sell without your permission or giving you any money?

    I don't see the open source people complaining about that, they do complain about credits and there you could have a valid point.

    More why can't you come to terms that other can use and benefit from your work even when you don't?

    Further does it stops you from making a living?
    Answer: no.

    It may limit your market share because other will compete with you using your own labor, but it can also open other doors since most intelligent people soon will realize they need to to keep working on things and will probably find a way to compensate you so they can continue to profit from your work.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Right back at you, you shouldn't think that your desires should kill everyone else's rights.

    Just because you have a need for control doesn't mean you need it.

     

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    Huph, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe those series didn't get picked up because they were terrible? Maybe the production budgets were too high. Maybe they had no stars on board? Could it possibly have been poor writing? Maybe the people pitching the shows were incompetent coke heads who couldn't complete a coherent thought. Maybe the studio heads just couldn't spot a winning series.
    maybe is because they don't let fans create anything and those old series and movies get lost in time

    What? Listen, it's up to the fans if they want to keep the culture alive. I don't know the particulars, but I imagine the whole question of whether fans should have been allowed to tinker with those stories is moot, because there probably weren't any fans interested in doing any such thing.

    And besides, the openness of a fan culture to manipulate something doesn't guarantee anything. Take Dungeons & Dragons, for example. Ultimately, the game/series is completely created by the fans. Still didn't help that god awful D&D movie that came out several years ago.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Did anyone take away the instruments from a musician by sharing?
    Did anyone take away the capability of others to sell merchandise?
    Did anyone take away the capability of people to endorse anything?

    Nope those tools are still there.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes! We must fight against this narrow band of people for they have too much power! It's too much! The freetards are too powerful!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't get it. Copyright doesn't deny you any of the rights you have always had. You get the same raw materials as everyone else, and you can do what you want with them.

    There is no "need for control", rather just what is mine is mine, what is yours is yours. You can work with the same raw materials everyone else does, and when you want to borrow some of my finished product to use on yours, you can ASK, and I can give it to you, lend it to you, or sell it to you.

    The rights are always the same. Nobody needs to "control" anything, except perhaps you need to learn to control yourself.

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But there's a big difference. With physical property, I can make what's mine mine even without laws and society to back me up. It's harder, sure, but that right still exists - I can hold on to my stuff, I can shoot you if you try to take it, I can hide it away so you can't find it.

    With creative works that can be copied, no such natural right exists. Without law to back you up, the only way to protect your creations would be to never share them. The moment you let one person look at your painting, it has escaped your clutches, and there is nothing you can do to bring it back.

    Now, I'm not saying it's necessarily bad that society grants some rights and protections that do not exist naturally. In fact it's very good, and the whole principle of having a society to begin with. But the fact remains that the two are entirely different, and there is no natural argument for why copyable creative works should be the same us un-copyable physical items. If we all feel it is better for society to provide that protection, then that's fine: I for one think that some limited amount of copyright protection is a sensible idea. But attempting to use copyright to apply all the same controls of physical property is nonsensical.

     

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    Rob, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

    IOKIYAWD

    "It's OK if you are Walt Disney". Or any major label or studio, etc. It's only theft below a certain market cap

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hi Marcus... shouldn't you sign in before you try to be a prick?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There is no natural right in either direction. At best, your natural right is to whatever you can carry in your own hands, and perhaps the piece of ground you are standing on at the moment, and nothing more. Beyond that is entirely artificial constructs of society.

    The property line on your Dad's house (because I know you don't own one) is an artificial construct, created by law and not by some natural situation. Nature doesn't give a rat behind if the property line is one inch this way or that way. Heck, nature doesn't care about propertly lines, the natural thing would be everyone goes where they want when they want.

    The ability to copy something doesn't suddenly negative the effort made to originally create it. Your basic premise ignores why the thing exists to be copied to start with. Someone made it, and just like your Dad has rights to his property, the someone who made whatever it you want to copy has those rights as well.

    I think that because you aren't able to accept and respect the efforts of others, it's not surprising that you don't understand copyright very well either.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re:

    Ahh yes, the classic Marcus attempt to stuff bizarre absolutes into other people's statements.

    It's amazing just how big of a prick you are. Not original at all, just a young, snot nosed prick.

     

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  40.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    snot nosed prick

    I could deal with your creepy stalking up until now - but digging through my garbage for my used kleenexes? That's going too far!

     

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  41.  
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    Narcissus (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    Re: What about the down side culturally?

    "then the overlaid crap is back, SPOILING the nostalgia"

    That reminds me of a story. Some years back I heard a song from Limp Bizkit, Behind blue eyes. It sounded familiar but I couldnīt place it immediately. After a couple of weeks of hearing it on the radio something clicked and I remembered. It was a cover from The Who, a band which I used to love but which I never played anymore (yes Iīm an old geezer too).

    That actually made me want to listen to the original again and I found out that the original was infinitely better. Of course I could be like you and let the Limp Bizkit version "SPOIL the nostalgia" (I almost forgot the all caps there) but it actually revived some of the nostalgia and how many good songs they made. I ended up buying a good many The Who songs again but now digitally. Yes, you read that right, I actually spent money.

    So, you tell me. If you let bad covers SPOIL your nostalgia is it something inherently wrong with covers or is it perhaps some personal issue you have. I think at least Pete Townsend wasnīt complaining...

    Additionally, some covers can be just as good, or better than the original. My personal opinion is that any cover of a Frank Sinatra song would be better than the original but thatīs my personal opinion.

    The bottom line is this: Donīt force your tastes on anybody else. If you donīt like covers (or (re)mixes for that matter) switch it off and donīt listen. Let me however enjoy it if I want to.

     

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  42.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Teehee. I'm deriving an unholy amount of glee from watching you come apart at the seams while desperately trying to undermine my credibility. I'm starting to understand why you trolls do what you do - provoking people can be fun! Especially when they are as dumb as you. It's almost like debating a baby, except babies at least have partially developed brains.

    The sad part is, you have a couple of good points here, and I'd love to respond to them, but there's no point since you will just ignore what I say and call me a prick. If prickishness is what you want, then that's what you get :)

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    "If you can't respect amazing creations built off of others' work as being something amazing and new, then you lead a culturally deficient life. "

    So, if I create tecdirt.com, copy this website and say wired.com in its entirety to my new site, and I make alot of money off of it, it will be OK and Mike would applaud me for my innovation?

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 1:27pm

    Re:

    "People's rights need to be respected if we are to have any sort of order in the world."

    glad you agree, so, how about MY right to use, remix and redistribute what i want as a partaker of culture without having to bend over like a serf before a king for permission to do something simple?

    oh wait... can't do that... cause then i'm "stealing"... stealing from whom? the very people who stole culture from me/the public because of their ginormous ego and sense of entitlement? i'd be a robin hood in that case

    "And, if you are using others expressions to enrich yourself without contacting their creators or their representatives, you are truly a non-caring, non-thinking lowlife bastard."

    oh! thanks! that'll convince me! "JUMP THROUGH OUR HOOPS OR YOU ARE UNCARING UNTHINKING SORRY WORTHLESS SCUM!"

    by the way, i need a cronie to do something for me right now, you think you can get that done for me? if you don't you are a sorry, worthless, unthinking lowlife scum, better get to it right now


    ...that's what's wrong with the copyright think, it's so obnoxiously one-sided "oh respect the artist", hey how about respect ME? THE PUBLIC? where the fuck is the respect for OUR rights? oh wait we don't matter, just a bunch of peasants/thieves looking for a free hand out, my mistake

     

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  45.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

    Re:

    There are a bunch of sites that already copy all techdirt's posts and repost them. Try googling any headline from the site: you'll find countless copies. None of them seem very popular though, because why would they be? This is where the info comes from, this is where there is an active community, this is where you can expand or correct the story in the comments and get direct feedback from the original author.

    If someone beats you by just wholesale copying your content, then you are doing something wrong and they are doing something right. You should learn from them, not get mad.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    Re:

    Respect THE PUBLIC and they will respect you. Don't respect them, and well, you are a "non-caring, non-thinking lowlife bastard"

    just for the count, making them line-up and have to go through you as a sort of middleman for everything that regards your art or whatever so you can dictate what they can and can't do is about as respectful as a peasant kissing the ring of a king, it's all one-sided, totally disregarding the other

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "they will force the tards to actually get off their ass and create some original expression."

    that includes copytards, which, for people who hate copying so much, seem to do it more than anybody else, how many times have i read the same old pro-copyright "be original/ask us for everything or you are a brainless lowlife thief!!" over and over and over and over hell half the time they don't even bother rephrasing i think they cut&paste these arguements

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    i mean... COPY&paste, not cut&paste, just for accuracy

     

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  49.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ooh, I'm making you paranoid! You make this too easy.

     

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  50.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

    Re:

    "I don't have the right to steal your paycheck every week and you don't have the right to use what produces income for me without my permission."

    Why do copyright supporters always fall back on this braindead comparison. It's intellectually dishonest at best. If someone uses a sample of what produces income for you, you don't lose any income! In fact the additional exposure of your work could well benefit you. This is so blindingly obvious it's incredible that it has to be repeated so often.

     

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  51.  
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    Gracey (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    I suppose there are still a few things left in life that are (and can be) considered "our creations".

    My husband and I created two kids...can I copyright them?

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Sure, you can use my house to run your small business. All you have to do is find a way to infinitely duplicate it without causing me to lose the original and your scenario will be comparable to remixing.

    I don't feel, if you could duplicate it without causing me loss, that I have any right to restrict you from doing whatever you want with a copy of my house. Burn it, take it apart and put it back together, sell it to someone else (who apparently doesn't know how to copy it), paint it some god-awful color or put in shag carpet and puke green laminate floors. Go wild. A copy of my house is not my specific house and a copy of my house is not mine. You do not need my permission for things that aren't mine and I cannot own things that I cannot exclusively control, like a house.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There are freetards everywhere!

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Re:

    STRONG LIKE FREETARD!!!

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are right it doesn't guarantee bad productions what it does guarantee is that people want forget, it will maintain a larger market for any crap that is released and it signals clearly what people want to see in any given moment, I say that is reason enoufh to let them have a go at it.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No copyright only forces people not to say honestly where you got those raw materials, it benefits the lying people who say they created something from nothing, it also creates a bad culture that ultimately will harm everyone.

     

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  57.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 5:16pm

    Re:

    So, if I create tecdirt.com, copy this website and say wired.com in its entirety to my new site, and I make alot of money off of it, it will be OK and Mike would applaud me for my innovation?

    What a derivative argument.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090116/0348223430.shtml

     

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  58.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 5:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are entitled to your opinion, even if it is wrong.

     

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  59.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), Jul 7th, 2011 @ 5:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And you are a fount of creativity? You've called Marcus a prick at least a dozen times in two days.

    Pretty unoriginal.

    For someone who goes on and on about originality, you sure repeat yourself (and your Master's talking points) a lot.

    I doubt you are capable of coming up with your own original position. Your mind has atrophied from being spoon-fed the drivel that you spout here (if you had ever developed your mind to begin with. Did they train you from birth?).

    Why don't you run on home now; I hear your Master calling.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 9:08pm

    Copyright also encourages people to be a-holes to other people, you see without competition and having to work those lazy bastards just think they can force other people to comply with ever increasing absurd demands instead of the old age proven behavior of having to be nice to other people oh the horror, without copycrap people would actually have to convince other why they should give them money and this may be horrifying to the monopolistic types so accustomed to bullying other.

    Copycrap makes people become a-holes in the long run, and I don't believe that is good for society at all.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 9:29pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Here's the thing though: Derivative, or inspired by, is not the same as just taking the recorded video and slapping a new name on it. You can be inspired by something without having to just copy it.

    Example: There have been 5 Star Trek TV shows. ST, STTNG, STV, STDS9, and Enterprise (plus an animated series if you want to look at that). Each one of them is set in the same universe, so you can imagine there is plenty of duplication. Yet each show is incredibly unique given it's lineage and constraints. Each successive show is inspired by the previous, but it doesn't slavishly copy it. These are shows that are from the same people! If they can be original within such constraints, why can't anyone else?

    They are inspired by the other shows, but they are not lifting it whole cloth. They certainly are not taking the performances and reusing them.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 9:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Why? Your argument is weak, almost meaningless. Watching you try to come up with extremely stupid questions is amusing. You are a prick, and you aren't even a very good one at that.

    Go to f**k to sleep, freetard.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2011 @ 9:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I ain't got no master, and "prick" is the acceptable techdirt term of the week. It is pretty appropriate for Marcus as well, he doesn't add much, mostly takes away from the discussion, and tried to put words in people's mouths.

    He's a waste of electrons most of the time.

    My opinions are my own. If you don't like them, too bad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Ed C., Jul 7th, 2011 @ 10:04pm

    Re:

    Too true! I seen that happen too many times after an established artist focuses more on the copyright than on the art. They sometimes even stop creating altogether--which is rather ironic considering that copyright was created to spur the creation of more art.

     

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  65.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 4:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Fun fact about Star Trek, to show how even there, copyright interfered:

    The character Tom Paris on Voyager was based on the single-episode character Lokarno (sp?) from a TNG episode. Originally, the plan was to make it a continuation of the same character - a rather neat idea that tied the story together nicely. Then the producers realized that if they kept the name, they would have to pay the original writing team royalties for every episode he was in - so they simply copied the character and changed the name from Lokarno to Paris.

    So right off the bat, the Star Trek example includes derivatives and, indeed, direct copies with superficial changes - and demonstrates how copyright needlessly and unfairly ties the hands of creators with good ideas.

    (note: this comment is not for your benefit since you will just ignore it - it's for any intelligent and open-minded people who might happen to be reading)

     

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  66.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Derivative, or inspired by, is not the same as just taking the recorded video and slapping a new name on it."

    Neither is remixing.

     

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  67.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ""prick" is the acceptable techdirt term of the week"

    Out of curiosity, who else has used it apart from you? Come to that, who else has justified themselves being called that more than you?

    "My opinions are my own. If you don't like them, too bad."

    You're entitled to your opinion, just as you're entitled to be corrected if you're wrong and called out if you're obnoxious. It's not Marcus' fault, nor anyone else's, if you're both of these things most of the time.

     

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  68.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:43am

    Re: What about the down side culturally?

    "honor them by NOT diluting their value"

    What you value and what others value may be two totally separate things.

    "Are we doomed to suffer no-talent hacks TOO?"

    Indeed we are. As we always have been. Today is no different to yesterday, you've just managed to forget the hacks who were around yesterday.

    "Nothing annoys me more than some feeble new singer doing a cover of an older song"

    You're entitled to your opinion. Just don't force it on the rest of us - if there was no audience for such things many of them would not be made. You're not in that audience, but that doesn't make your opinion an absolute.

    "It's even worse with remixes: the original keeps breaking through to remind (and the older the more nostalgia associated), then the overlaid crap is back, SPOILING the nostalgia."

    You have the choice not to listen to the remix then, grandpa.

    Also, what about when it works the other way? I know I've been introduced to many artists who have been sampled/remixed in songs I like, but had never heard the original.

    "don't nobody /ever/ cover Frank Sinatra"

    I'm glad you've put in the double negative there, because that's already happened, many times. He also covered songs by other artists himself - should he not have done that? In fact, name a major artist who hasn't recorded at least one cover.

    "Anyone /still/ wanting to "cover" songs should seek out William Shatner doing "Mr Tambourine Man""

    Many people love that version of the song. For very different reasons to why fans of the original love that version, but it's a classic to many nonetheless. Again, the quality and value are subjective.

     

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  69.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    (I probably should have mentioned the two are portrayed by the same actor - the new character is very clearly a copy of the original)

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Brian Dupont, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 6:29am

    Rights vs. Responsibility

    I wrote a long series on fair use and on copyright (see the last 4 posts at http://briandupont.wordpress.com/)but the central issue for me is that if you put an idea out into the culture as an artifact (be it philosophical, aesthetic, etc)then the culture has a corresponding right to respond to it in kind (as fair use). Intellectual property rights do not give the author the right to dictate response to their work.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 7:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think it was dark helmet that used it first this week. It might have been someone else. It was them calling me something. I figure if Mike doesn't censor the term and nobody feels the need to click the report button, then it is an acceptable term.

    That an the fact that Marcus pretty much is the very essence of a prick never hurts either!

     

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  72.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 7:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So, you admit using the tactics of a kindergarten aged child? Someone said a naughty word, so you must use it repeatedly and name-calling is better than discussing issues like adults? It's all OK if Mommy or the teacher don't tell you off?

    Well, that's one way of doing things I suppose. It just doesn't reflect too well on the person doing so - you're definitely coming out of this worse than Marcus, DH or the other regulars. Perhaps that's why you refuse to create a login, so that you have plausible deniability when someone quotes you acting like a child.

     

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  73.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    LOL. So you openly admit to copying your new favourite word from someone else? But I'm the unoriginal one. Riiight....

    You are such a joke (and not a particularly funny one at that)

     

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  74.  
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    Ken H (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:04pm

    Art and Ownership - my personal views

    As an amateur artist, and as I've stated on my deviantART account; I believe that with my art, the only things I own are the credit for making it, any of my physical property that depicts/conveys it, and a "temporary" (I think it's life + 70ish years now) and government-granted exclusive rights over what's done with it, if I don't grant permission. Any other "ownership" is an illusion when I cease to keep it to myself.

    "I think we have to stop conceiving of remixing as a kind of theft."

    I personally agree with this statement, although especially on deviantART, there's people who have a lot more draconian and different view of this. Just do a search for "art theft" on deviantART and you'll come across a lot of angry rants against it.

     

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  75.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, plus I"m pretty sure I haven't used the term "prick" for...well...since Friends was on...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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