Make Art Not Law

from the Permeance-vs.-Permission dept

Below are the images and text of a Pecha Kucha talk I gave in Champaign, IL. The Pecha Kucha format is 20 slides x 20 seconds per slide. Hopefully the video will be online within a few months.

Transmission_10fps2
You are an information portal. Information enters through your senses, like your ears and eyes, and exits through your expressions, like your voice, your drawing, your writing, and your movements.
02_Paley_pkncu
In order for culture to stay alive, we have to be open, or permeable. According to Wikipedia, Permeance is “the degree to which a material admits a flow of matter or energy.” We are the material through which information flows.
03_Paley_pkncu
It’s through this flow that culture stays alive and we stay connected to each other. Ideas flow in, and they flow out, of each of us. Ideas change a little as they go along; this is known as evolution, progress, or innovation.
04_Paley_pkncu
But thanks to Copyright, we live in a world where some information goes in, but cannot legally come out. Often I hear people engaged in creative pursuits ask, “Am I allowed to use this? I don’t want to get in trouble.”
05_Paley_pkncu
In our Copyright regime, “trouble” may include lawsuits, huge fines, and even jail. “Trouble” means violence. “Trouble” has shut down many a creative enterprise. So the threat of “trouble” dictates our choices about what we express.
06_Paley_pkncu
Copyright activates our internal censors. Internal censorship is the enemy of creativity; it halts expression before it can begin. The question, “am I allowed to use this?” indicates the asker has surrendered internal authority to lawyers, legislators, and corporations.
07_Paley_pkncu
This phenomenon is called Permission Culture. Whenever we censor our expression, we close a little more and information flows a little less. The less information flows, the more it stagnates. This is known as chilling effects.
08_Paley_pkncu
I have asked myself: did I ever consent to letting “Permission Culture” into my brain? Why am I complying with censorship? How much choice do I really have about what information goes in and comes out of me?
09_Paley_pkncu
The answer is: I have some choice regarding what I expose myself to, and what I express, but not total control. I can choose whether to watch mainstream media, for example. And I can choose what information to pass along.
10_Paley_pkncu
But to be in the world, and to be open, means all kinds of things can and do get in that are beyond my control. I don’t get to choose what goes in based on its copyright status. In fact proprietary images and sounds are the most aggressively rammed into our heads. For example:

“Have a holly jolly Christmas, It’s the best time of the year
“I don’t know if there’ll be snow, but have a cup of cheer
“Have a holly jolly Christmas, And when you walk down the street
“Say hello to friends you know and everyone you meet!”
12_Paley_pkncu
I hate Christmas music. But because I live in the U.S., and need to leave the house even in the months of November and December, I can’t NOT hear it. It goes right through my earholes and into my brain, where it plays over and over ad nauseum.
13.2_Paley_pkncu.013
Here are some of the corporations I could “get in trouble with” for sharing that song and clip in public. I wasn’t consulted by them before having their so-called “intellectual property” blasted into my head as a child, so I didn’t ask their permission to put it in my slide show.
14_Paley_pkncu
Copyright is automatic and there’s no way to opt out. But you can add a license granting some of the permissions copyright automatically takes away. Creative Commons, the most widespread brand of license, allows its users to lift various restrictions of copyright one at a time.
15_Paley_pkncu
The problem with licenses is that they’re based on copyright law. The same threat of violence behind copyright is behind alternative licenses too. Licenses actually reinforce the mechanism of copyright. Everyone still needs to seek permission – it’s just that they get it a little more often. 16_Paley_pkncu
Like copyright itself, licenses are often too complex for most people to understand. So licenses have the unfortunate effect of encouraging people to pay even MORE attention to copyright, which gives even more authority to that inner censor. And who let that censor into our heads in the first place?
17_Paley_pkncu
Although I use Free licenses and would appreciate meaningful copyright reform, licenses and laws aren’t the solution. The solution is more and more people just ignoring copyright altogether. I want to be one of those people.
18_Paley_pkncu
A few years ago I declared sovereignty over my own head. Freedom of Speech begins at home. Censorship and “trouble” still exist outside my head, and that’s where they’ll stay – OUTSIDE my head. I’m not going to assist bad laws and media corporations by setting up an outpost for them in my own mind.
19_Paley_pkncu
I no longer favor or reject works based on their copyright status. Ideas aren’t good or bad because of what licenses people slap on them. I just relate to the ideas themselves now, not the laws surrounding them. And I try to express myself the same way.
Transmission_10fps2
Like millions of others who don’t give a rat’s ass about copyright, I hope you join me. Make Art, Not Law.

crossposted from ninapaley.com

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Comments on “Make Art Not Law”

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61 Comments
out_of_the_blue says:

Re:

Sit around a bunch of TechDirt fantasy hippies shared anti-corporate thinking. Without any fee that pays only the amount of bandwidth.
So get over your lies. Get over it is sharing information about your horsemanure. Create a negative or interesting design company.


And rip off artists and creators artists suckers off rip. Pocket Web site + fools fools is paid 5 m apologists falsely claim suckers to believe shared files come out.

07:24:20[i-577-2]

Ninja (profile) says:

If we analyze the basic intention of copyrights (as they are in the Constitution) it should be a quite nice tool to prevent commercial exploitation of any work without permission. But it morphed into a hideous thing thanks to some heavy lobbying. I think I’m with Nina in this, even though I do see the benefits of copyrights it should be better to abolish it altogether.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re:

There is no benefit to controlling who copies.

People nerd to make copies to share knowledge and learning while publishers want to prevent copying for their bottom line.

We have to all ourselves a serious question… Which idea is more important?

Controlling quantities or sharing?

How much have we lost to sharing information?

How much have we lost when someone thinks about each skated copy as a sale?

Those are better questions imo.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I totally agree. I mean explicit commercial use not the rest. We know what it means but we also know the MAFIAAs distorted what “commercial use” means to the point abolishment is the only way out. I like to think on attribution grounds instead of copyrights simply put although the idea itself has its flaws it makes much more sense.

out_of_the_blue says:

You need to separate STIFLING from STEALING.

Because so many here believe that they’re entitled to steal.

I’m with ya on the stifling aspects. If you’ll stick to pulling down The Rich and their controls that go beyond the specific expression, FINE. — But when Rikuo brags about how much actual content he’s stealing, that’s outside statue and common law: you don’t have any right to the work, content, or intellectual property that others have paid for, made, created, worked out, promoted, and so.

Oh, and ESPECIALLY grifters like Kim Dotcom have NO right to get millions off what others paid for and created. File hosts sharing coprighted content is SIMPLY STEALING.

So just stick to the stifling.

Here’s an old tagline, happily not much needed of late:


Where arrogance meets ignorance to conspire what they’ll do with someone else’s $100 million movie.

07:24:20[i-577-2]

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: You need to separate STIFLING from STEALING.

@ jameshogg (profile), Dec 9th, 2013 @ 11:29am
Re: You need to separate STIFLING from STEALING.
Which would you say is more futile, the war on drugs or the war on piracy?


a) Just because “war” on vices can never be fully won doesn’t mean that civilized people can just ignore them. Copyright makes possible the creation of entertainments, which is desirable. System will work fine so long as stealing is suppressed — and that includes The Rich stealing what doesn’t belong to them. (And I advocate return to no more than 28 years for copyright…)
b) What’s really futile is expecting Techdirt fanboys to stay on topic, STATE a position, and NOT drag in utterly irrelevant VAST controversies, believing in their foolish way that they’ve made a point.


Whenever restraints are taken off, people NEVER become better. Especially not The Rich.

07:42:51[i-765-6]

S. T. Stone says:

Re: Re: Re: You need to separate STIFLING from STEALING.

Just because “war” on vices can never be fully won doesn’t mean that civilized people can just ignore them.

So maybe we should stop ?fighting a war? and start working to fix the root cause of the ?war? itself (i.e. the ridiculous terms and conditions of copyright law as it stands today).

Copyright makes possible the creation of entertainments

No, the existence of people makes the creation of entertainment products possible. Copyright doesn’t do jack shit to influence or induce the creation of any creative work.

Show me a single artist who has ever said ?I made this work because of copyright? and I’ll have a better chance of believing your stance.

What’s really futile is expecting Techdirt fanboys to stay on topic, STATE a position, and NOT drag in utterly irrelevant VAST controversies, believing in their foolish way that they’ve made a point.

As opposed to your constant ad hominem attacks, erasure of context from quotes, and flip-flopping between stances of your own in a foolish attempt to troll the comments section of a site you apparently hate so much that you keep coming back here day after day to comment on it?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: You need to separate STIFLING from STEALING.

a) Just because “war” on vices can never be fully won doesn’t mean that civilized people can just ignore them.

1) Prohibition was a major factor in establishing organised crime.
2) Citizens of Mexico and Columbia, amongst others, might have have a word or two to say about the war on drugs, but I doubt that they would be very polite. They are paying a high price for USA war on drugs.
Fake wars on what people wish to do, that does not hurt other people, are very destructive of society, and only advance the means of control desired by power seekers.

jameshogg says:

Re: Re: Re: You need to separate STIFLING from STEALING.

You are not talking to somebody who by any means is in favour of the argument “since we can’t do everything, why don’t we do nothing?” I’ve ridiculed this argument many times when it comes to silly ad-hypocritum arguments people put for their isolationist foreign policies, for example.

But let’s really get real. A website taken out here and there has no effect, not even a SCRATCH, on the following: Google’s linking to alternatives, advertising flooding the pirate sites, BitTorrent and the “I am Spartacus” effect, ISPs, VPNs, Tor, Encryption, international piracy, China’s 80% piracy market share. The only thing you can do is break these piracy monopolies (especially China’s) caused by the Al-Capone enabling of copyright, by abolishing copyright completely and force them to suffer from free-rider problems, in favour of a crowdfunding system that more strictly adheres to the principles of John Locke (i.e. not confusing products with services) where all monetisation goes to the artist if anyone is to benefit whatsoever.

Copyright is not out to prevent piracy, it is the ENABLER of piracy. You need to get this right or everything else will just fall apart. The Chinese government and Kim Dotcom probably SUPPORT copyright for the same reason drug cartels would lobby to keep the war on drugs going if they could. All untaxed, all unregulated.

But since you did not directly answer my question and say which “cause” is better than the other, drugs or piracy, I may as well say this. I know what would happen if I were to call the police and report somebody for possessing Class A drugs: they would most likely break down their door within the hour and search the house inch by inch. If I were to report somebody to the police for an illegal copy of a movie, chances are that I would be arrested for wasting police time.

If that doesn’t tell you everything I do not know what does.

And I don’t know why other people’s opinions on this website should have any relevance to mine. I can do my own work, thank you.

JMT says:

Re: Re: Re: You need to separate STIFLING from STEALING.

“Just because “war” on vices can never be fully won doesn’t mean that civilized people can just ignore them.”

And when your chosen methods for fighting a “war” on vices has the exact opposite effect to what you intended, and the unintended consequences are worse than what you were trying to prevent in the first place, it’s time to completely re-evaluate your approach. Should’ve been done years ago in the War on Drugs and should’ve been done years ago in the fight against piracy.

“Copyright makes possible the creation of entertainments, which is desirable.”

This comment clearly illustrates your complete ignorance of what actually makes people create content. People would continue creating without copyright, as they did for thousands of years before copyright was introduced.

“What’s really futile is expecting Techdirt fanboys to stay on topic, STATE a position, and NOT drag in utterly irrelevant VAST controversies, believing in their foolish way that they’ve made a point.”

Like bringing up Google in every topic that has nothing to do with them?

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: You need to separate STIFLING from STEALING.

And before Rikuo objects that he’s never written any such thing:


Rikuo (profile), Oct 29th, 2013 @ 4:12am

Better make sure the ‘AAs don’t raid my house. I’ve had my desktop on non-stop since I think Saturday night, I got up moments before writing this comment and check my utorrent. 114GBs uploaded. Fortunately, it was all through a VPN.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131028/07252625033/russias-leading-social-network-vkontakte-cleared-copyright-infringement.shtml#c55

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: Re: You need to separate STIFLING from STEALING.

@ “. T. Stone”
You do know that legal torrents exist, right?


Rikuo admits liability that more than implies ILLEGAL: “Better make sure the ‘AAs don’t raid my house.” It’s not enough for a charge, but once MPAA has him in its sights…

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 You need to separate STIFLING from STEALING.

Mainly because they view anyone using their home internet connection for uploading data as a surest sign of copyright infringement in and of itself. As proven by your quoting of my comment, and saying that of course the only thing I could have uploaded over a 100 gigs on would be copyrighted movies.

Also, I notice you’ve finally realised the benefit to having a signed in account here on Techdirt, that of searching for and quoting past comments. I don’t mind that you’re quoting me. The only reason you never bothered creating your own account was to stop us from doing the same.

S. T. Stone says:

Re: You need to separate STIFLING from STEALING.

so many here believe that they’re entitled to steal

Show me a single instance of a court convicting someone of, putting someone in jail over, or assigning them huge fines for ? and this part?s key, so pay attention ? the theft of either intellectual property rights or ?theoretical? profits.

Not copyright infringement, but theft. The actual charge, decision, and judicial opinion must contain the word ?theft?.

When you can do that, I?ll glady believe you and your multimedia conglomerate brethren when you equate copyright infringement to theft.

Until then: shut the fuck up when grown folks is talkin?.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: You need to separate STIFLING from STEALING.

@ “S. T. Stone”: Show me a single instance of a court convicting someone of, putting someone in jail over, or assigning them huge fines for ? and this part?s key, so pay attention ? the theft of either intellectual property rights or ?theoretical? profits.


I say these fit your criteria:

MPAA ‘Settles’ Another ‘Victory’ Against Hotfile For $80 Million That No Artists Will Ever See

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131203/16342525445/mpaa-settles-another-victory-against-hotfile-80-million-that-no-artists-will-ever-see.shtml

As does the prior $110 million from Isohunt linked there:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131017/10532524916/isohunt-agrees-to-shut-down-pay-110-million.shtml

IF you grasped those cases, the charges include getting money indirectly from advertising drawn by known infringing content.

S. T. Stone says:

Re: Re: Re: You need to separate STIFLING from STEALING.

Did the courts find Hotfile or IsoHunt guilty of the actual crime of ?theft?, though?

Did Hotfile and IsoHunt plead guilty to the crime of ?theft??

I want you to understand what I?ve asked of you here here: I don?t want you to show me a case where the courts have convicted a person/company/etc. of (or said person/company/etc. has pleaded guilty to) the act of copyright infringement.

You want me to believe you when you refer to such acts as ?theft?, and I?ll believe you as soon as you show me a single court case that has ended with someone convicted for/pleading guilty to an actual charge of ?theft? (not ?copyright infringement?) in relation to either intellectual property rights or ?potential? profits.

Until then, I?mma just go by what the Supreme Court has already said on the issue in Dowling vs. United States:

[I]nterference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The Copyright Act even employs a separate term of art to define one who misappropriates a copyright: ‘[…] an infringer of the copyright.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 You need to separate STIFLING from STEALING.

  1. He STILL isn’t being charged with theft but rather commercial infringement.
    2. The case hasn’t been tried yet so there the courts have not given a ruling.

    His question was very specific:

    “Show me a single instance of a court convicting someone of, putting someone in jail over, or assigning them huge fines for ? and this part?s key, so pay attention ? the theft of either intellectual property rights or ?theoretical? profits.

    So no, MegaUpload does not count.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You need to separate STIFLING from STEALING.

No you don’t because as the famous quote goes…

“Good artists copy. Great artists steal.”

So preventing this stealing IS stifling by definition. But then again why do I bother as the true meaning of that quote is probably beyond your capacity to comprehend.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re:

What’s being stolen is time, money and brain cells. Everytime someone tries to make a ‘Copying is stealing’ argument more braincells are stolen and time is wasted.

With enough time I will steal all of the braincells on this site and then I will be a genius!!!


06:72:54[i-784-2] (To stop the kiddies from committing fraud on my username)

Karl (profile) says:

Re: You need to separate STIFLING from STEALING.

I’m with ya on the stifling aspects.

No, you’re not. You’ve not once defended fair use, for example.

If you’ll stick to pulling down The Rich and their controls that go beyond the specific expression, FINE.

So if it’s the government, or someone who is not “rich” by your (never-explained) definition, then stifling speech is fine? Goody.

But when Rikuo brags about how much actual content he’s stealing, that’s outside statue and common law

Rikuo bragged about torrenting files, not about committing copyright infringement. There is a difference. The fact that he acknowleges that the MPAA can’t tell the difference just shows that he knows the MPAA.

And, for the love of all that’s holy, stop saying it’s common law. Copyright was never, at any time, in any part of the world, a common law right. Nobody in history was ever granted a post-publication monopoly unless legal statutes said they were. Unlike fair use.

you don’t have any right to the work, content, or intellectual property that others have paid for, made, created, worked out, promoted, and so. [sic]

Not only is that not why copyright exists, that’s not even an accurate portrayal of copyright law. If your use is one that falls under the many exceptions to copyright, you absolutely do have a right to use others’ intellectual property.

File hosts sharing coprighted content is SIMPLY STEALING.

Copyright infringement is not stealing, and no file host has ever been found guilty of theft. They have been found secondarily liable for copyright infringement. In other words, they weren’t stealing, and they weren’t liable for anyone else stealing; they were liable for other people (none of whom were “the rich”) infringing on copyrights.

Where arrogance meets ignorance to conspire what they’ll do with someone else’s $100 million movie.

Amazing. In one post, you’ve gone from claiming that you’re fine with “pulling down The Rich and their controls,” to insulting people who infringe on the copyright of artworks that only the rich are capable of creating.

I would say your hypocrisy knows no bounds, but I don’t think you’re smart enough to be hypocritical.

Anonymous Coward says:

Just curious how many times the author of this article has suffered from the woes of the “trouble” she describes by the assertion of the rights held by a third party author or its assignee? I do not recall any, and nothing springs forth from an internet search.

It sounds as if she is able to do her thing quite effectively.

If she can do it, then why all the hand wringing by the copyright anarchists?

Anonymous Coward says:

As usual the troll gets far more attention than he deserves. Just hit the report button and move on.

Copyright has endangered public domain. So much so it’s to the point that public domain is being retroactively retracted. I am reminded of the recent court trial over the “No Fly List” posted here earlier today where the judge tells the lawyers for the DOJ that they don’t get to retract public info into the world of National Security for the purposes of denying the court the use of that info.

As it is, nothing you hear in your lifetime will ever be public domain that is now locked up in this insane idea of copyright lengths. To add insult to injury they are wanting it longer? BS. At this point I am agreeing that the bargain with the public to allow copyright to exist has been damaged beyond recognition and that bargain now needs to be retracted and absolved. It no longer functions as intended for the benefit of the public. Greed has it’s end price and in this case, most aren’t asking permission any more.

Nina Paley (profile) says:

Re: Re:

๐Ÿ˜‰ Heh, I am notoriously bad at depicting guns, and you are right I am unfamiliar with rifles. Last year I took up archery so I could properly depict bows and arrows; I’ll probably have to visit a rifle range to get guns right. I seem to keep needing to depict them, they are such an icon of modern violence.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

wow oh wow oh wow...

ok, just perused the article, and i CAN NOT stop thinking about the brilliant iconography of the sine wave stitching human beans together !

talk about a concise and universal graphic definition of ‘culture’, wow ! !

(i was going to self-censor on a micro-scale, and say ‘shared culture’; but -to your point- that is redundant: that which is not shared, can NOT be part of our culture; that which is shared, will thrive (or fail) based on a varied mix of usefulness, novelty, and beauty, as valued by all the sheeples…)

brilliantly done, and of course the whole thing looks terrific… wow ! ! !

(would have appreciated a comment on what ‘pecha kucha’ is (besides this org); now i gotta goog or wiki… and, yes, i am a lazy sort, thank you very much…)

art guerrilla
aka ann archy
eof

meh... the idea is more important than who said it says:

looking for that gif I made of (i think) you and Mike in roman attire… Must have deleted it.

Like the silhouette characters btw.
The “cutout” dashed outline looks awesome. Got yourself the beginnings of a recognizable and unique character there. Seriously Nina, those white dashed outlines on grey BG are nice.

Anonymous Coward says:

Bad Copyright Bad

Yeah, Yeah.. Copyright is bad until you are the one who actually creates something worth copyrighting. Maybe, it could launch your career or make your family wealthy beyond your wildest imagination, but oh yeah, you voted against copyright, so a hundred million people stole your work and now you have squat.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Bad Copyright Bad

Question, why would I need that much money ? Money is meant to be spent, not stockpiled abusively like that!

Also, tap water is free, yet people still buy bottled water. Why then would anything prevent me from making money without relying on copyrights ?(Which I’m actually aiming to do pretty damn soon, to shutup people like you, and fat old geezers playing at running the world)

Don’t bother replying, those are rhetorical! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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