Pro-IP Blogger Feels Raising The Level Of Debate Means Locking Up Your Comments And Throwing Around The Word 'Freetard'
from the just-'cause-your-horse-is-high-doesn't-mean-your-road-is dept
Whenever you hear someone talking about “taking the high road” in regards to a controversial issue, it normally means they’ve got something to sell you. In the case of the Burns Auto Parts Blog (not associated with auto parts in any way), what Leslie Burns is trying to sell you is a one-way “discussion” peppered with sidelong swipes at the “anti-IP crowd.”
She desperately wants to claim the high road, but she can’t even make it into the second paragraph before it all falls apart:
Although it is incredibly tempting to want to, oh, smack freetards upside the head (or worse), we have to keep our fight above such tactics. Leave the bullshit attacks to them and rise above it.
“Freetards?” Really? In a post about the name-calling leveled at Jay Maisel for his legal scuffle with Andy Baio, it seems a little suspect to toss out “freetard” so quickly. But we’ll give her the benefit of a doubt and see if she can still locate this “high road”:
What can we do? Calmly and articulately post comments and blog posts everywhere we can, defending Maisel and intellectual property rights in general.
That’s better. Everyone likes a calm, articulate discussion. Even those of us who’ve “agreed to disagree” can get behind that. What else should we do?
Fight against CC and the Lessigites (including groups like Public Knowledge and EFF) and call on your professional organizations to come out 100% against these IP-weakening “tools” and the groups which support them!
Holy blindside! What was that? “IP-weakening tools?” “Fight against CC?” It’s odd that a post that starts out decrying the name-calling leveled against Maisel would suddenly veer into an attack on Creative Commons licensing, but I guess Leslie feels that attacking something unrelated out of the blue is clearly warranted and in no way “a bullshit attack.”
Back to the debate about the debate:
Don’t call names (okay… “freetard” is acceptable I think, but not much worse) but instead focus on the importance of IP in the global economy and on your personal economy. Make the case-you only can make your art if you are paid and IP rights are how that happens, etc.
Really? “Freetard” is “acceptable”? Since when? The only reason it gets a pass here at Techdirt is because we’ve completely co-opted it. But seeing as “freetard” is simply a modified “retard”, it still offends some readers when it gets used. Check out this comment thread to see just how upsetting it can be.
Obviously, this isn’t the only thing wrong with this paragraph. “You only can make your art if you are paid?” Well, Leslie, my condolences to all your readers who will be unable to enjoy the thrill of creating unless someone happens to be standing nearby waving money. I’ll go inform all the artists who create for the joy of creating that they’re “doing it wrong.” Not only that, but these artists might also like to know that the IP laws you’re so fond of are often known to hamper artists.
But Burns continues, adding insult to injury to stupidity:
These people, the freetards, the anti-strong-copyright people are tough enemies. They hide often behind anonymity. They are adept at spinning the rhetoric to make it sound like any strong copyright laws are an attack against free speech.
Yep. All of us “freetards” hide behind our “anonymity.” Why, look at that Mike Masnick guy. Or Chris Rhodes. Or Timothy Geigner. Nina Paley. Marcus Carab. Glyn Moody. Bas Grasmayer. Blaise Alleyne. Take a look at our comment threads, filled with named accounts.
And as for attacking free speech? It’s been pointed out here time and time again that these laws, which are being put into place to protect certain industries, are exactly that: attacks on free speech.
And what do you care about “free speech,” Leslie? Because as far as I can tell, you’re only interested in listening to the choir:
I will not approve any anonymous and/or freetard comments. I give you no space on my blog to “share.” Don’t even bother trying, okay? Thanks.
Nice. Say what you will about opposing opinions being “shouted down” or whatever here at Techdirt, but at least the opposing opinions are allowed to get in the front door. Over at the Burns blog, opposing views are locked out, which makes a complete mockery of the post’s claim of taking the high road in this debate.
Having a discussion does not mean locking out dissent, Leslie. What happened to the “calm, articulate comments” you were encouraging your readers to leave? Is that something only those you agree with are welcome to do? This street doesn’t run both ways?
If that’s the case, then your attempt to “raise the level of debate” is every bit as disingenuous as your favored industries’ attempts to “level the playing field.” And your frequent use of the word “freetard” indicates that you’ve already written off those opposing opinions as unimportant at best and mentally challenged at worst.