Why Do The People Who Always Ask Us To 'Respect' Artists Seem To Have So Little Respect For Artists?

from the just-wondering dept

Over the years, we’ve posted tons and tons of stories of content creators embracing the internet, exploring the new opportunities it creates and often profiting greatly from doing so. We regularly celebrate the great creativity from these artists, and cheer them on as they succeed and (sometimes) make lots of money. And yet… there is a certain contingency out there who keeps insisting that we “hate” artists, or alternatively, that we have no respect for artists. This is bizarre. I adore artists and creativity. Part of the reason we spend so much time here discussing new business models and opportunities is that we want more artists to succeed. I have trouble understanding why that’s so bad. At best, it seems to be a case of shooting the messenger. In order to embrace these new models it helps to recognize that the old models just aren’t that good anymore. And that gets some people upset. So they shake their fist at the sky… and blame us because we tell them that having an umbrella might be a good idea.

But one thing I find most troubling in all of this is that the very same people who constantly yell and scream about how we don’t respect artists almost always make sure to mock and denigrate the quality of artists who do succeed these days. Take, for example, Jonathan Taplin, who (for reasons that escape me and many others) is the head of an “innovation lab” at USC, despite an apparent lack of understanding of the very basics of innovation. Instead, he pines for a historical fictional world that never existed. We wrote about some of his bizarre claims a few months ago. A few weeks ago, I was able to debate Jonathan at the Tech Policy Summit. Video of that should be going up soon, but it was more of the same. Taplin didn’t have the facts on his side (he repeatedly made statements that were out-and-out false) and once he was called on it, he resorted to personal insults directed at me.

Taplin, in the past, has directly accused me of not respecting artists. But, then, we recently had a blog post about filmmaker Nina Paley and how she’s dealing with the fact that copyright laws — if obeyed — would hold back her own creativity. And, rather than “respect” artists, or even engage in any form of serious debate, Taplin went on a Twitter rampage tossing insults at Nina and the quality of her work. First, he called her talentless:


Text: @techdirt. Only someone as talentless as Nina Paley would excuse theft. She can’t even give her work away. Revenge of the nerds

Then he called her thoughts on the matter “half-witted”:


Text: @ninapaley-This is truly sad and half-witted. radar.oreilly.com/2012/06/copyri … via @radar

And finally, he made this confusing statement, which is similar to one he emailed me about how (in his head) my vision of the world is one in which we were all forced to watch videos of cats rather than Hollywood movies:


Text: If @ninapaley gets her way we will be forced to watch crap like Bob, The Angry Flower. The Revenge of the talentless Nerds

First of all, nearly everything he says is wrong. Nina Paley can and does give her work away. You can (and, if you haven’t already, should) go watch her excellent movie, Sita Sings the Blues. And, contrary to what he’d have you believe (that no one could possibly make money giving away content for free), Nina does make money. Finally, I’m really at a loss as to how one would ever be “forced” to watch anything they didn’t want to watch. In fact, these days, with such a massive explosion in choice, the idea that anyone would ever be a captive audience forced to watch something they didn’t like just doesn’t make any sense.

But the larger point is this unfortunate trend that we’ve seen, exemplified by Taplin’s childish outburst here. The people who keep claiming that those of us seeking real solutions don’t “respect” artists when we cheer and celebrate their successes and praise their artwork and creativity — always seem to be the same people who mock and insult those very same artists’ work for being successful. It’s one thing to criticize their ideas. That’s perfectly reasonable. But to take it a step further and insult their abilities as an artist is really quite shameful. And that’s doubly true when you’re talking about someone who is a public figure like Taplin, a representative for USC. Is this really the face that USC wants to show to the world as its “director” of an “innovation lab”? Someone who mocks an artist and attacks her talent?

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Comments on “Why Do The People Who Always Ask Us To 'Respect' Artists Seem To Have So Little Respect For Artists?”

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208 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Nina Paley is so untalented that her first feature had the “dishonor” of being one of the highest rated films ever, being forced to be praised by the likes of Roger Ebert, put in film festival after film festival. And now she can’t give it away without a significant portion of her fanbase trying to give her money and gifts. I feel sorry for her and her “lack of talent”.

Eponymous Coward says:

“The people who keep claiming that those of us seeking real solutions don’t “respect” artists when we cheer and celebrate their successes and praise their artwork and creativity — always seem to be the same people who mock and insult those very same artists’ work for being successful.”

There’s the rub, Taplin and ilk refuse to see these artists as successful for they don’t respect the new playing field and rules that now define success. They don’t want to abandon their old metrics for a dead system that they’re comfortable with. In other words they refuse to adapt to the new normal. Then again we already know this so like any other relic of a bygone era (like racists or misogynists) we have to dismiss their critiques as the shameful rants of the grotesquely out of touch. That, and keep supporting these adaptive artists so that these types don’t bring them down.

Anonymous Coward says:

the idea that anyone would ever be a captive audience forced to watch something they didn’t like just doesn’t make any sense.

And therein lies the essential dichotomy between the now and the has-beens in this debate.

The old content industries would (more than a decade after their fall from relevance to the future) like everyone to put the brakes on innovation while they sort out how to capture free radicals and park them in front of the same reality show.

AG Wright (profile) says:

In answer to your question

The answer is simple and already noted above. If an artist isn’t making money for big entertainment they aren’t an artist. Period.
I have to admire any artist that is making a living in the present or any past environment doing what they want to do to make a living. Selling out?
Artists have always had to make stuff, music, paintings, plays… that are to the taste of someone that is willing to pay for it. Now it’s just easier for those artists to find an audience.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Asshat?

And I quote,”Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach”.

I really hate this quote, because it isn’t at all true. I’d fix it by saying “those who can’t, teach badly.” Like the teachers that get tenure and then don’t teach anything more for the rest of their career.

In order to teach something effectively, you have to know how to do something well enough to be able to convey the process to others. Sure, you can wing it, but you are discovered as the charlatan you are before too long (and unfortunately, many education systems are set up to keep the charlatans around entirely too long.)

This is just an asshat, who, thanks to the Peter Principle, has reached the zenith of his career.

Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style says:

Re:

“And yet… it’s the pirates who dominate your fan club (and comments), not the artists. Funny that.”

Wow. Can you perhaps give me tonight’s Texas Lottery numbers. Seeing as how you’re omnipotent and all knowing and perhaps even a Force user and whatnot. I say that based on how you apparently know that everyone who dominates Mike’s fan club is a pirate. Wait, what’s that you say? You have no definitive proof of that claim. Oh, I see. So you’re just full of shit… like usual. But the headline hit home, regarding you being one of those same people who regularly ridicule/mock any artist who does things outside of the “business norm”. Oh, okay. That explains things then. Carry on, Troll.

Richard (profile) says:

Asshat?

And I quote,”Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach”.
It’s an old saying – and it never was true.
In reality you keep the very best corn for seed.

The thing is – I don’t think Taplin does any actual teaching. He would have a problem with bright students calling him out on his errors. The lecture theatre would not be a safe environment for him.

Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style says:

Re:

Actually, they are both showing “creativity”, which you yourself aren’t. The fact that their art (be it motion pictures or music) isn’t up to whatever elite standard you have is meaningless. The phrase, “to each their own” comes quickly to mind. It’s still art/creativity being expressed, regardless of what your Trollself says.

But by all means, prove Mike’s headline right. You just did.

Oh, and for the upteenth time. Marcus/Leigh’s music is purely done as a hobby. Not with the intention to make a successful career out of it.He’s stated this repeatedly. It’s his way of having some fun, letting his hair down, cutting loose, etc. That you seem so focused on it and making a point to bring it up as often as possible leads me to wonder if perhaps Marcus has a secret admirer. Shame, shame, shame AC. All you have to do is tell him you like him. No harm in that. As long as you accept who you are and are happy with whatever life style you may have, then who cares what others think. Now, I’m not saying he’ll reciprocate your obsessive feelings for him. But hey, at least you’ll get that off your chance and possibly have him reciprocate, or have him shoot you down at last at which point you can move on. Like they say, “to each their own”.

Anonymous Coward says:

when you have no proof to back up your rantings, it’s so much easier to just come out with whatever bullshit you can think of to put the blame elsewhere. if that is back on to a particular person, so be it. it is, however, such a shame that a so-called professional has to lower himself to such a level. i wonder how much he was paid to spout this crap?

Laurel L. Russwurm (profile) says:

if you're over 50, just shut up about the internet

Uh, no.

James Moore, Canada’s own “Minister of Canadian Heritage” just turned 36, thinks he’s tech savvy (because he knows how to buy Apple products) yet he’s about to ram through the Canadian DMCA which will make it illegal to circumvent DRM for *any* reason, including (but not limited to):

  • accessing
    1. our own work,
    2. public domain, or
    3. fair use work, (what we call “fair dealing”) and
  • making it illegal to repair DRM devices/media
  • or to install free software
  • or circumvention for accessibility
  • playing your own media on the device of your choosing, etc…

    Age has nothing to do with open mindedness and the ability to understand new ideas.

    Besides, the Internet belongs to all netizens.

    Mitch Featherston (profile) says:

    Free Culture Hatred

    I think this gentleman dislikes anything that has to do with the growing realm of Free Culture. My guess is that he prefers traditional media efforts… in other words, big media. If you are unknown, you are a non-factor… if you believe in alternatives to copyright, you are problem child. Nina Paley is obviously talented, and has proven it many times.

    I really think this guy is just not happy with those who dare make their works freely available.

    lfroen (profile) says:

    Enough with this Nina already!

    What is this obsession with Nina and her “Sita whatever”? We’re all happy that she makes money. Really, really happy.

    That’s being said, can we please never mention this “Sita sings …” thing ever again? Or is it one and only her somewhat successful piece?

    No matter what you do, someone will call you idiot. Does it worth yet-another-iteration-about-how-great-nina-is? Not really.

    And about “talentless” part – there’s proverb in my language, saying “cheap fish – bad soup”. I say “Sita …”, and yep, it is cheap. But hey – some people prefer plastic jewelry.

    ltlw0lf (profile) says:

    Asshat?

    The thing is – I don’t think Taplin does any actual teaching. He would have a problem with bright students calling him out on his errors. The lecture theatre would not be a safe environment for him.

    For further history: Wikipedia Article on Mr. Taplin

    Very much a member of the copyright industry, it does note that he is a clinical professor in Communications and Journalism. He conducts three seminars a year. If I remember seminars, from school, it was pretty much sit in the seat and listen to all the folks speak, with very little interaction.

    Laurel L. Russwurm (profile) says:

    The mighty have fallen

    Is USC really that bad these days? Anyone who thinks Nina Paley is talentless is simply not competant to judge.

    This Taplin guy would seem to be a walking-talking anti-USC advertisement.

    Or is he the PR shill there to ensure the dinosaur content industries will hire USC grads. If that’s the case, USC would do well to teach its students that they are being trained to be employees these days (teach them important phrases like “yes, master”)

    LDoBe (profile) says:

    Re:

    While I personally know quite a few people of the older generations (50 to 60 and even a couple septuagenarians) who are very tech savvy, from my personal experience (I know, unscientific) most people aged >=50 either refuse to use the internet to any greater extent than email, or simply can’t learn how to do it no matter how much they want to. Not saying there should be a rule, just personal observation no more accurate than doing astrometry of exoplanets with the naked eye.

    On the other hand, I also know a lot of people of my generation (the millennials) who know nothing about anything technical. Their knowledge of the internet is at the same level as a trained monkey with a tin cup. They push a lever and get a food pellet, that type of thing. There is so much ignorance it’s sickening.

    In conclusion, my observations, while statistically insignificant, are all I have to go on, and I see that the quote “any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic” completely rings true for anyone unwilling to look below the surface.

    PaulT (profile) says:

    “In fact, these days, with such a massive explosion in choice, the idea that anyone would ever be a captive audience forced to watch something they didn’t like just doesn’t make any sense. “

    Actually, that’s their problem. They can’t force people to listen to pre-approved radio stations, watch pre-approved movies or TV, read pre-approved books or pre-approved videogames.

    People can watch, listen to or play whatever they want, and the majors have never been noted for their attention to actual quality. They know they’re screwed.

    terry says:

    To Jonathan Taplin, Nina Paley is a threat.

    Nina Paley is an independent artist, free of the gatekeepers. As such she and other indie artists represent the threat of change, and that scares the gatekeepers. Whereas Mr. Jonathan Taplin is heavily invested in gatekeeper members of the MPAA:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Taplin
    He is also listed on IMDB.

    Nina is a great artist, I have one of her books. It is a shame to see Mr. Taplin spending his time name calling, There must be something more productive he could be doing.

    Loki says:

    I think the problem is they are using a different dictionary than the rest of us.

    As far as I can see, their definition of “respect” is “a requirement to receive a significant percentage/portion of one’s potential income”.

    If you work with that definition, the entertainment industry is significantly more “respectful” of most artist than the rest of us will ever be.

    DOlz says:

    Let Taplin keep putting his foot in his mouth!

    It’s not the global warming people putting out all that misinformation. It’s people claiming they have said these things or deliberately misinterpreting what they have said. I would really recommend that you check out potholer54 on youtube, especially his series called “Monckton Bunkum”

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re:

    I didn’t even realize something had been censored here. Why? Because “Mr. Free Speech” (LOL) himself, Mike Masnick, set up this site so the “reported” comment notification is so light I couldn’t see it on my laptop. Nice, huh? Just the usual slimy behavior from everyone’s favorite piracy-loving weasel.

    Anyway, what was censored? This:

    “And yet… it’s the pirates who dominate your fan club (and comments), not the artists. Funny that.”

    Yup, that was “reported”.

    Why?

    Because pirates are slimy douchebags that refuse to allow the dissemination of inconvenient facts.

    drew (profile) says:

    Re:

    Right, your colour settings are squiffy so it’s Mike’s fault?
    The point is that the users of the site (not Mike) reported your comment because it’s a bullshit comment. It’s not related to the article, it has zero basis in fact and it’s actually pretty insulting for a whole bunch of people on here who either are artists or don’t pirate or both.
    If you’d care to provide any “inconvenient facts” you’ll find we’re happy to discuss them. As long as you just keep spouting shit then you’ll get the report button.

    Milton Freewater says:

    Re:

    “And yet… there is a certain contingency out there who keeps insisting that we ‘hate’ artists, or alternatively, that we have no respect for artists.”

    “And yet… it’s the pirates who dominate your fan club (and comments), not the artists. Funny that.”

    These comment threads are not fan clubs,. They’re some of the most hostile and confrontational on the net. Example: You.

    David Lowery deep-sixed the use of the word “pirating” once and for all when he replaced it with “looting” – behaving unethically, not illegally. We will always be able to get around any restriction and technically not be pirates. That’s not the point. The point is compensating creators so they continue to produce. Right, trolly? I’m feeding you now, and on purpose! And I’m saying you win! My god it’s full of stars.

    I’ll take up your challenge – Nina Paley allows me to compensate her when I encounter her work outside of a paywall. If David Lowery does the same, I will do the same. Sound good?

    Milton Freewater says:

    The last word on "piracy," from Billboard magazine

    Unless you’re earning money per post, this leaves you with little to argue about. The discussion is done. This is from the freaking music industry bible.

    http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/record-labels/guest-post-jay-frank-on-npr-s-emily-white-1007388552.story

    I never thought I’d see the say when the anti-pirate New York Times and Billboard slap down the “just say no to piracy” position with a verve that makes TechDirt look like the Snuggles bear, but that just happened.

    harbingerofdoom (profile) says:

    Re:

    you may have not noticed it because you could possibly be completely oblivious to things that are obvious, as noted by the content of the post in question.

    the setup of the site that allows its userbase to report items is nothing new, its something that happens on more nearly every site (they all have some reporting mechanism) and re-enforces that you are oblivious to things obvious.

    the fact that you cannot see them either means you cant set your system up correctly so that colors can be seen or you cant recognize that there is a gap in comments, so… either you are technologically inept and people who are not so inept are not going to listen to anything you have to say… or you just blindly skipped over the apparent gap in comments thus re-enforcing the whole oblivious thing…

    it was reported because it was a stupid overplayed incorrect generalization. something that oblivious people would not pick up or even understand when its pointed out to them.

    we are now discussing your items, thus your comment that we do not allow the dissemination of inconvenient facts has been proven wrong. that makes you either oblivious (yet again), a liar, or just plain stupid… ill let you pick which one.

    RD says:

    Re:

    “Let’s face it. Nina is to motion pictures what Marcus is to music. Both are talentless drecks who embarrass themselves by by representing their pathetic offerings as “creativity”.”

    It’s comments like this from douchetards like you that make me glad for a “report” button. Then I can just skip down the page hitting “report” on your nick and not have to read the bile and unfocused hatred you spew.

    Milton Freewater says:

    The last word on "piracy," from Billboard magazine

    “Mmm, pretty good article, agreed with many of his points. He spoiled it a bit in the comments with a silly reply to someone along the lines of downloading = stealing.”

    Eh, if he were perfect, he’d be Jesus Christ, downloading loaves and fishes.

    Downloading isn’t stealing, but if someone says “I feel like I’ve been stolen from when people share my work and don’t compensate me,” I can respect that.

    Of course, most of the time rightsholders and their trolls are just yelling like homeless people. If you’re screaming “entitled thief” at me to push me into taking out my wallet, without any regard as to why I’m on your radar, the big bum in the alley comes first.

    RadialSkid (profile) says:

    Re:

    She has ideas and she seeks to spread them. She doesn’t attack anyone’s artistic output or their integrity as artists, she merely believes, based on her own success, that she’s found a path towards a more open, free culture, in which artists can thrive no less.

    Why, precisely, does that create butthurt among your crowd? And why do you use it as a rationalization for your badmouthing of her?

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re:

    And yet the reality is that the response to Nina’s movie has been so tremendous that, as one commenter stated, ‘she can’t give it away without people throwing money and gifts at her.’ Just because you dislike something does not change the reality of the opinions of others. I’ve yet to see you give a single sample of your own work, thus I’m inclined to believe you have no talent of your own.

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re:

    So either admit that you’re colour-blind, or you’re too stupid to notice the little black square in front of the flagged message that indicates a message has been hidden, and move on.

    If it were loud fire-engine red or something you’d still find something about it to complain. (“The fire-engine red’s too loud! Why didn’t you use lightly coloured, almost-unnoticeable pink? Why do you hate my eyes, Pirate Chubby Chicken Little Mike?”)

    Bob Fan says:

    See why is this guy wasting his time being futile when he could be innovating great new entertainment like “Bob the Angry Flower”. This sounds like an intriguing concept.

    I want to learn all about Bob and why he is an angry flower but instead all I get is whinging drama-mongering on twitter.

    For shame futile guy. You’re wasting what talents you have.

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re:

    I most certainly do not “slobber” over anyone who “loves” copyright. Moreover, I am not one of your so-called “copyright maximalists”, having been one of the voices in professional organizations expressing strong support for the formalities and limitations associated with the 1909 Act, as well as continuation of fair use being developed by case law, and not memorialized via statute as is now the case.

    I listened to the video you posted some time back (linked in your above article) and left it with the impression that the two persons in the “debate” were talking past, and not to, each other.

    Taplin never said that technology, per se, was the bane of the music industry. What he did say is that when technology is being used in a manner that gives nary a thought to the rights under law of artists, the companies using such tech for conducting their profit making businesses should bear some measure of responsibility for what is going on within their business by their customers. In my view theirs is a legitimate concern.

    BTW, I do not relay “facts”, though I have on occasion raised questions about “facts” being relied upon by those who would relegate our laws to the dustbin of history. What I do generally comment upon are situations where I believe the law is being misstated, by accident or otherwise.

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re:

    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 2:25pm

    I didn’t even realize something had been censored here. Why? Because “Mr. Free Speech” (LOL) himself, Mike Masnick, set up this site so the “reported” comment notification is so light I couldn’t see it on my laptop. Nice, huh? Just the usual slimy behavior from everyone’s favorite piracy-loving weasel.

    Anyway, what was censored? This:

    “And yet… it’s the pirates who dominate your fan club (and comments), not the artists. Funny that.”

    Yup, that was “reported”.

    Why?

    Because pirates are slimy douchebags that refuse to allow the dissemination of inconvenient facts.

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re:

    Saying you don’t like someone’s art is not the same as saying the artists should have no rights. This is also confused in the debate about expression. Many confuse the right of freedom of expression with thinking they can illegally profit from that expression. Again, comparing apples and airplanes.

    SujaOfJauhnral (profile) says:

    Re: Re:

    Saying you don’t like someone’s art is not the same as saying the artists should have no rights.

    I am a remix/crossover artist, I like mixing things new and old.

    It only takes one complaint from a copyright holder to one of my assets, because they don’t like it for whatever reason, to have it removed.

    Clearly someone had say that my kind of artist should have no rights on certain things.

    Nina Paley did not advocate to take these rights from me.

    She wants me to have more rights. This is what you are afraid of.

    Many confuse the right of freedom of expression with thinking they can illegally profit from that expression.

    With enough support you can make anything illegal. Even the stupidest, most ridiculous things.

    Making copying illegal is one example.

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re:

    I personally like what I like when it comes to art, but rarely make statements about the quality of someone’s creations because art really can’t be measured. What we can measure are consumption, sales, revenue, peer given awards, critical acclaim from respected outlets, etc. So in speaking of “Art” I find one’s claims to be simply opinions, and treat them as such.

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re:

    Rights on the hand, are not as subjective. We have laws. They are understand and should be enforced. The issue on TechDirt is the belief that the laws no longer apply and that artists RIGHTS should no longer be protected against those who would exploit them illegally. This is of course highly ironic given the sites absolute disdain for record labels, yet giving a free pass to sites that have never paid artists a single penny while profiting from their work illegally.

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Nina did have trouble giving her work away

    It’s the double standard that I find troubling. If there were any consistency in the argument it would make more sense to me. Either be OK with everyone ripping off artists (like labels and pirate sites) or be opposed to everyone ripping off artists (like labels and pirate sites).

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Your problem:

    If those posting in TechDirt really believed that the future is inevitable you wouldn’t be wasting time here. I don’t have a crystal ball, so I’m fighting for the protection of artists rights from exploitation be it from record labels or internet companies acting illegally and I would hope everyone else here who respects artists and creators does the same.

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re: Your problem:

    The issue is that the anti-piracy people want to blame legal companies, working entirely within the law, of exploiting artists. Google is a favorite. (Right, bob?) The problem is that they cannot point to anything that is demonstrably illegal in their operations.

    Other than that, no idea what your comment has to do with my own, or even the others within the thread. You sure you posted in the right spot?

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re:

    There’s a lot of art I don’t like (also not a fan of Nina) but I respect her right to do with her work as she chooses, be it to ask for payment, to give it away, or any other choice she makes as long as in turn, she does not infringe on anyone else’s rights in the process.

    Opinions on “Art” and respecting and artists legal rights, are two very different things.

    PaulT (profile) says:

    Re:

    “admit”

    This idiot isn’t capable of doing that, unfortunately. Actually admitting a mistake is beyond him, he just keeps digging…

    I mean, as mentioned above, he routinely defends domain seizures, shutting down legitimate free speech as collateral damage and false DMCA notices as perfectly acceptable. Yet, he complains about censorship here. A premise so flimsy that when people destroy his argument, he’s reduced to arguing over a shade of text rather than admit there’s no censorship. He’ll make a fool of himself long before he admits defeat.

    I actually enjoy this. With some of his arguments, people unfamiliar with his line of bullshit might believe him or think he has some reasonable points, which we then have to repeatedly debunk or prove as lies. With this kind of argument, no intelligent person can do anything other than point and laugh.

    DataShade (profile) says:

    Bob the Angry Flower is crap?!?!

    Close to eight years ago, I contacted Mr. Notley to inquire about obtaining permission to use altered images (animated .gifs, cropped and recolored .jpgs, etc) from his comic strips as avatar icons for message boards and internet fora. His response was (and I’m paraphrasing): “do whatever you want as long as you don’t claim Bob is yours; also, any good word you can spread about Bob is appreciated.”

    I’ve been linking to and promoting his site to friends and coworkers for almost a decade now =P

    bratwurzt (profile) says:

    Re:

    Because pirates are slimy douchebags that refuse to allow the dissemination of inconvenient facts.

    It seems you should look up the definition of a fact. Facts are checkable and I did not see any source links in your opinions.

    You basically got angry because we, the community, reported your comment as offensive – I for one sure got offended when some anonymous nobody told me I’m not an artist. I cried all the way to bathroom while wailing about how the internet is full of not-so-nice people that deny my existance.

    (crocodile tears on my face)

    .
    .
    .

    (stuffing myself with some junk food and telling myself that pink hidden comments are hidden for a reason)

    .
    .
    .

    (going to console myself with piratin’ the murky waters of the intertubes!)

    Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style says:

    Re:

    He thinks that he has to repost things. Why? Because they’ve all been “censored”. Don’t bother trying to explain how a comment that is still easily viewable, even if apparently “easily viewable” to all means that for some reason he’s the only idiot who can’t see them because of the color. (Which is what he or another AC was harping on about earlier, not that they were “censored”, although they did go on about that too, but that the color is too light in a manner that supposedly shows Mike is trying to hide them entirely.) And this, in addition to the fact, that two people thus far have said they can easily spot them and see them. One of those people being legally color blind, the other partially blind in one eye. Heck, if I take off my glasses I’m legally blind and even then I can still see that there’s something there. Sure, I might have to put my nose practically to my screen to make out the words, but I can still see that there’s something there.

    But anyway, yeah. He repost because he thinks he’s taking a stand against “censorship”. Of course, you have to ignore that he was an outright and VERY vocal supporter of SOPA, an act which would have allowed for outright censorship (the kind where if I don’t like your website I can have it taken down entirely and it would not be viewable at all, which is what censorship actually is). SOPA was perfectly fine and he’s still sore that it was stopped by those nefarious pirates. I mean “us” (because to him we’re all pirates). But heaven forbid a comment get reported, particularly a comment that consist soley of ad homs and the usual Troll/Shill AC type remarks. We’ll never hear the fucking end of it then. That it says “hey, click here to view what was flagged by the community” is ignorable in his eyes.

    Just report the comments of his that are worth reporting and don’t waste a breath replying to him and carry on abotu your business. He’s derailed entire threads (and coincidentally, they’re always threads where artists are trying something new or being given an opportunity to speak for themselves… or better said artists who are willing to try new business models that is) with his “censorship” rants (along with “illegal exploitation” ones too).

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re:

    Yeah, didn’t even see his comments (honestly, my brain has already learned to filter the comments of certain ACs without even having to read them to know that it is one of “those” ACs. The reason he repost things (like the one so far) is because the original post was reported. He does this a lot. He’ll repost something multiple times, with his reasoning (as has previously been stated) being that they’re just being censored left and right and that’s his way of showing us censor-happy hypocrites. So somehow, in his mind, posting something multiple times, despite the fact that they’re probably going to end up being “censored”, is logical and worth doing and not at all annoying or spam-like. Try explaining to him that he’s just spamming and/or reposting (what are for the most part) ad hom comments and he’ll go on and on about how we’re all pirate hypocrites who are censorship happy.

    But yeah, basically, just report and move on. Don’t bother asking questions of him. Don’t bother trying to reason with him. Don’t bother trying to explain things to him. Etc. He’s not here to be reasonable or discuss things, he’s not here to listen to the opinions of others, he’s not here to present facts. He’s here to troll/shill and disrupt any attempts at discussion. Pure and simple.

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re:

    Of course, the reality is that all of Megaupload, in 7 years of existence made somewhere around $150 million — and part of the *evidence against them* (which Taplin clearly did not read) was that Google dropped them five or six years ago due to concerns about too much infringement.

    That’s an interesting admission. How much illegal infringement is too much for Google?

    terry says:

    Re:

    Since elementary school I have considered myself an artist as have others. My status as an artist hasn’t been flipped on and off like a light switch as I sold work, been contracted or employed.

    FYI ? To date I have animated sequences for presentations, video and television, made graphics for web, apps, and programs including games, made some 3d screen-savers, Illustrated a book, did some CD covers, did a few paintings and some sketches, made store displays, and lots of corporate logos, signs, brochures etc. I’ve also written my share of code, shot stills and video, made the landscape concept drawings for a public park. And yes, some of my work has been “pirated” and some released as public domain, copyleft and open source.

    I don’t know if my work history makes me a *real artist* in the eyes of a Anonymous Coward on TechDirt, nor do I even care. I currently and usually have made my living from what is commonly called “intellectual property” and was successful but found something I find that has the graphics aspect but is more than just that. So, no I still make my living at it and never failed, just rounded out my own interests, just keep disrespecting the artists why don’t you, it’s proving the point here .

    Gwiz (profile) says:

    Re:

    He thinks that he has to repost things. Why? Because they’ve all been “censored”.

    Wait. This coming from an AC who posts link after link to that silly Trichordist site where what you call “censorship” is running wildly rampant:

    From The Trichordist site:

    Lately though we?ve adopted some totally random rules to cut down on the sheer volume. If your IP address has ?23″ in it we immediately delete w/o reading. If your wordpress handle has ?girl? or ?free? or ?media? or ?Tech? we delete immediately. If you start with foul language or are extra angry we delete. Unless of course we want you to look stupid then we publish your comments. Today we searched for all comments that contained the words ?market? ?zero? or ?marginal? and bulk deleted. This was specifically cause we don?t really want to explain that fixed costs really do matter and no matter what you heard from some idiot on the internet. If you play bass we delete. Also ??McPherson?: bulk delete. The use of the words ?consumer? , ?ointment? , ?dude?, ?gatekeepers? and ?dubstep? also resulted in a fair number of deletions. We are only joking about some of this. If you feel that this somehow infringes your freedom you have the whole free internet out there to express we?ve infringed your freedom.

    At least Techdirt lets all voices be heard. If the community here thinks your comment sucks then that is your problem dude.

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re:

    The point, Rembrandt, is that the specter of infringement plays no significant role in the way you make your living. The original comment referred to the fact that all of the so-called “artists” on Techdirt (so far, neither of them) have to rely on a medium where there is wholesale, commercial grade infringement to make their livings. There’s a reason for that. Those people actually feel an impact. Infringing on stuff like writing code, making sketches, logos, paintings, non-commercial video isn’t where people like Kim Dotcom was making money. You self-styled “artists” cast yourselves to be among the voices of the creative community that has dedicated themselves to their artistic careers which are suffering the corrosive effects of piracy. It’s bullshit. And it’s only done to weaken the voice of people whose livelihoods are actually impacted by infringing.

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re:

    Artists create art, if it sells, great. But they don’t create for money, they do it for passion.

    Try eating passion or sending your kids to college with passion or paying your mortgage with passion. And it’s fine if it sells or not. But what shouldn’t be tolerated is that others enjoy and/or monetize that artistic output of another for their own benefit without paying for it. If it’s too expensive, don’t buy it. If it’s not available watch/listen to something else.

    terry says:

    Re: Re: Re:

    You are wrong with almost everything you say. As I pointed out before you are as insulting as you are ignorant. Starting right from the beginning you have made so many incorrect assumptions about every artist here including me and my work.

    Did you ever read the title of the article: ?Why Do The People Who Always Ask Us To ‘Respect’ Artists Seem To Have So Little Respect For Artists?? Thats you bud! You have done an exemplary job making that point here on TechDirt.

    But, hey, it’s good to know friends like you are out there with the best interests of artists everywhere in mind. Now I get to make assumptions about you and your work, get back to your spreadsheets, I’m sure you have to show that royalties are not yet due for somebody. Accountants financially shortchange artists more than infringement.

    Kaden (profile) says:

    Re:

    Yeah, I’m a self supporting visual artist. I honestly don’t give a fuck if my work is monetized by others, but I’ll admit I was kinda pissed that O’Reilly Media wouldn’t consider a CC license when they published my book.

    How about you… do you actually create stuff, or are you just one of those armchair quarterbacks the arts community tends to attract on the periphery?

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re:

    copyright protects artists from exploitation by giving them free agency. artists have no free agency or protection from exploitation from the pirate bay, so I’m not sure what you talking about. lessig wants corporations to be able to rip off artists with impunity. so I don’t know why you would want to support bigger and worse corporations illegally exploiting artists than record labels.

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Always remember and never forget...

    actually no.

    The issue on TechDirt is the belief that the laws no longer apply and that artists RIGHTS should no longer be protected against those who would exploit them illegally. This is of course highly ironic given the sites absolute disdain for record labels, yet giving a free pass to sites that have never paid artists a single penny while profiting from their work illegally.

    drew (profile) says:

    Re:

    but if it’s available for free, then it isn’t too expensive is it. This isn’t going to go away.
    If someone else can figure out how to monetise your work whilst offering it for free, why can’t you? This just emphasises that it’s a business-model failure.
    And where exactly is it written that passion should be financially rewarding anyway?

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re:

    So I keep pointing out that you are not representative of artists who struggle to earn a full time living in fields that have serious problems with infringement…. and you respond that I don’t respect artists. WTF? I respect artists. I do not respect poseurs who claim to be part of a group that they’re not; attempting to speak for that group. You’re like the buck private who was back in camp peeling potatoes while claiming he was leading combat patrols. Your income. Mr. Artist, is not in any meaningful way affected by piracy. That is irrefutably true. Stop pretending otherwise and speaking for people whose livelihoods are affected.

    jupiterkansas (profile) says:

    Re:

    When did Lessig say that? I’ve never got that from anything of his I’ve read.

    I don’t support the exploitation of artists, but I’m also not ready to grant them every privacy invasive, rights grabbing, culture stealing, unreasonably punishing law they come up with to protect big business in the name of copyright. As Lessig did explain very convincingly in “Free Culture”, copyright law is out of balance and needs correcting. I agree with that. I don’t want to see it abolished. I’m an artist myself.

    And if there is so much profit to be made in piracy, then maybe the record labels should start a pirate site?

    terry says:

    Re:

    You come across as somewhat ignorant, to be more informed:

    1. Go find out more about the source components used.
    2. Check what specific government granted exclusivity licenses are attached to components, the date ranges covered and exemptions.
    3. Review an artwork before commenting on it.

    4. Optional – Try and do better!

    Notice that by writing your comment you have done exactly what she has done, taken existing components and mixed them to form something new. In your case, you composited existing words. Just pointing out that none of us can ever really make something original without some level of copying from others. And if nothing different is done then results will not be different, which is not the case presently discussed because of compositing. Elsewhere there are plenty of discussions about how much change should be required for various categorization of works.

    Here is a somewhat relevant quote I like:

    “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

    – Isaac Newton

    After noting trends by various Anonymous Coward commenters on TechDirt and occasional others, I have come up with a little quote of my own:

    “The most sure-of-themselves art critics, do the critique sight-unseen.”

    – Terry B

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Slonecker just hates it when due process is enforced.

    Where is hurricane head anyway? Slonecker’s still kicking around… well, was kicking around, up to about last year at best when his boyfriend average_joe up and never logged in again. I’m still waiting for his sleeping giant artist friends. Maybe he strangled himself to death choking on Lowery’s imaginary phallus.

    …Fuck, did that happen to Slonecker too? I fucking swear, give these tumblr activists a platform to post their ramblings, and suddenly they think they’re gods. I don’t give two shits what you sexually identify as! You fucking breathe oxygen, not Cowper’s fluid!

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