New article on KICK

Discussion of Harlan's fight for creators' rights.

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BrianSiano
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New article on KICK

Postby BrianSiano » Mon Sep 15, 2003 2:31 pm

A new and very good article on Harlan's lawsuits has appeared on the Net. It's at the site for a promising journal called _Stop Smiling_. The article quotes Charlie Petit at considerable length, discusses the economics of writing for a living, and ends with an appeal to donate to KICK.

Read it at
http://www.stopsmilingonline.com/archive_detail.html?id1=21

nanojath
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Sums it up pretty well

Postby nanojath » Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:42 pm

This article pretty much sums up why I'm so unimpressed with Mr. Ellison's lawsuit, and why I'm saddened and baffled at the time and money he is expending on it.

Because it all boils down to AOL's responsibility for copyrighted work being incorrectly mediated through a network they maintain. It is not, as the proponents would insist, about some crazy out of control movement to destroy the validity and power of copyright. A handful of kooks are out there actually suggesting that copyright should be abolished or something equally obtuse. It is not about whether copyright law must be enforced, or even whether providers like AOL must cooperate with this enforcement. It must and they must. It's all in the law. AOL screwed up by changing their contact address for this and that's the end of the story. The people wrongly and illegally putting Mr. Ellison's stuff up on the net were made to stop. So what exactly is the issue still being litigated?

The assertion of this article that what is being fought is a definition of transitory content on the internet that "would imply that such works are mere information, like anything else you encounter in cyberspace, and thus vulnerable to pilfering," and that this could cause "the end of the career author," are quite simply untrue. The validity (and defensibility) of the copyright are not in the slightest threatened.

And in essence what we have here is Mr. Ellison throwing a hissy fit over certain nimrods putting crappy scans of his work up on the net and AOL not jumping high enough when he barked. And so up on the high horse, emitting dire warnings of the death of copyright and the vandals and visigoths are out to destroy authorship on the net, and hey, give me some money to pay for this damn thing willya?

Mr. Ellison is not gonna be with us forever and it pisses me off that he is expending his resources on this pointless suit that will not make the world any better or safer for artists. I certainly don't support unauthorized duplication of copyrighted works (we're not on the high seas, okay? Noone is being boarded, so can we ditch this "piracy" bull?) I have never been on a file sharing service, and I bought all of Mr. Ellison's books new if I could find them, used as a last resort. But the internet will get used as a medium for unauthorized duplication just like a copy machine or a tape recorder. It's the nature of media. Provided the laws are in place to require that when discovered this activity is stopped, then the death knell of copyright is being sounded as a mere act of alarmism.

rich

Re: Sums it up pretty well

Postby rich » Fri Oct 24, 2003 1:05 pm

nanojath wrote:Because it all boils down to AOL's responsibility for copyrighted work being incorrectly mediated through a network they maintain...


Exactly. Since it seems we're in agreement with each other, what exactly are you arguing about?

And I'm really not sure why you're pissed off if Mr. Ellison wants to use whatever means he feels necessary to do what is a prerogative of any individual in these here United States. Whether one agrees with his stance or not, you shouldn't feel cheated or pissed off if you think HE should be doing something more valuable with his time.

This is what I find disconcerting and why I never really saw eye-to-eye with Eric (and I don't mean to pick on you nanojath, it's just that you said it and I'm using it as a jumping-off point) among others: What does it matter to you or me what Ellison does with his time? Or, his money? Or, whatever else is his that has no concern with you or me? If HE wants to gamble his money away or give it to the poor or wear empty Kleenex boxes on his feet while his hair and nails continue to grow quite unruly and gnarly, that's his business.

This is his business. And I, for one, don't understand the amount of anger and annoyance towards Harlan Ellison for conducting his own business as he sees fit. Someone please tell me how Harlan Ellison suing AOL hurts me.

nanojath
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being pissed off

Postby nanojath » Mon Oct 27, 2003 1:55 pm

Rich: A reaction is not necessarily dictated solely by reason. I find what I view as a waste - of time, of money - troubling. I'm bothered by the action of pursuing litigation when the fundamental issue - an individual improperly distributing copyrighted material - has been resolved. I'm annoyed by the self-righteous and overblown rhetoric Mr. Ellison is employing. It vexes me that Mr. Ellison ignores the reality that there is a serious discussion going about the role of copyright in the digital age, particularly as it is being extended and punitively applied by some corporations. He chooses instead to vent his spleen against the straw men of slack-jawed morons who brainlessly recite "information must be free" and are too dense to understand that people need to make a living.

It's an opinion and I expressed it. I certainly would not suggest that Mr. Ellison should somehow be denied the right to seek the legal redress he sees fit. Furthemore, a thing does not need to do me harm for me to justifiably react to it. It has no effect on me personally that Bill Bennett chose to blow his cash in Vegas but it ticks me off. It has no effect on me that Rush Limbaugh blew his cash on Oxycontin but it ticks me off. In both cases not just because of the waste but the context.

Maybe you're so advanced intellectually and morally that you don't react viscerally to things unless they impact you directly: if so, more power to you. I myself am not quite so enlightened.

rich

Re: being pissed off

Postby rich » Tue Oct 28, 2003 8:48 am

Allow me to retort:

nanojath wrote:A reaction is not necessarily dictated solely by reason.


You're right. But, reason does dictate whether our reaction is/was appropriate or not.

I find what I view as a waste - of time, of money - troubling. I'm bothered by the action of pursuing litigation when the fundamental issue - an individual improperly distributing copyrighted material - has been resolved.


Actually, that was only one of the fundamental issues involved. The others involve whether AOL reacted accordingly when notified of copyright infringement and to what extent AOL should be held responsible for account users infringing on others' copyrights.

I'm annoyed by the self-righteous and overblown rhetoric Mr. Ellison is employing. It vexes me that Mr. Ellison ignores the reality that there is a serious discussion going about the role of copyright in the digital age, particularly as it is being extended and punitively applied by some corporations. He chooses instead to vent his spleen against the straw men of slack-jawed morons who brainlessly recite "information must be free" and are too dense to understand that people need to make a living.


I would argue that Ellison is very serious about the reality of the discussion, hence the lawsuit. One of the ways (probably the only real way) to resolve these types of discussions is through the courts. I'm not all that interested in whether Ellison deserves the reputation as a litigious person, but I am very interested in what the courts have to say in regards to his particular case. The Internet is still a thorny legal issue as far as what's free, public, or intellectual property, etc. This case may go a ways to resolve what ISPs are liable for and where their responsibilities reside.

It's an opinion and I expressed it. I certainly would not suggest that Mr. Ellison should somehow be denied the right to seek the legal redress he sees fit. Furthemore, a thing does not need to do me harm for me to justifiably react to it. It has no effect on me personally that Bill Bennett chose to blow his cash in Vegas but it ticks me off. It has no effect on me that Rush Limbaugh blew his cash on Oxycontin but it ticks me off. In both cases not just because of the waste but the context.


Gotcha and good point. However I would add that in the cases you mention of Bennett and Limbaugh, their hypocrisy has more to do with the reaction than anything else.

Maybe you're so advanced intellectually and morally that you don't react viscerally to things unless they impact you directly: if so, more power to you.


Thanks.

I myself am not quite so enlightened.


Sorry to hear that. Just stick around here and enlightenment will come to you.

Douglas Harrison
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Postby Douglas Harrison » Tue Oct 28, 2003 2:46 pm

Thanks, rich, for clarifying the purpose of the lawsuit.

One of the reasons I support KICK is because I don't believe corporations will police themselves properly unless they know there are are others willing to do so. I don't trust any organization where the bottom line is the bottom line. AOL may want to provide its service to everyone on the planet who can afford it, but it's obliged to ensure that service is legit before it takes the money, not after.

rich

Postby rich » Wed Oct 29, 2003 8:33 am

Demonocrites: Exactly.

It annoys me and pisses me off (shows how much I'm so advanced) that the argument is made that government services would be so much better off if they were only "privatized". Not only is that a fucked up word, but it completely misses the point for the government providing certain services anyway: NO VESTED INTEREST.

I mean, I cannot believe this argument would even be made with the way the Bush administration has handled the economy (they've all had experience at the upper levels of business), and the fallout of cooked books from major corporations that make the junk bonds of the '80s look like convenience store stickups.

And people will still, with a fucking straight face, say: "Name one thing that the US government has done that wouldn't be done better by a private company." Straight from the fuckin' mouth of Rush Limbaugh, along with the smirk.

Oh, I don't know, maybe mail service. Clean water. Food relatively free from bacteria and poisons. Drugs that don't kill us or turn us into Rabbis. Social Security. Law enforcement. Firefighters. Basic fucking services that keep us from living like a third-world country.

The real question is: Is there any service that the government has ceded to the private sector that hasn't come under scrutiny for misappropriation or failing to provide the basic services it was supposed to provide?

Sorry for the rant and being somewhat off topic, but, yes, if we ask AOL to be their own watchdog, they will fail miserably because history has shown us that without proper guidelines set and enforced (i.e. court cases), the business won't give a shit about anything other than their bottom line.

Eric Martin
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Postby Eric Martin » Thu Jun 10, 2004 7:29 pm

As everyone knows, Ellison and AOL settled. This is the ideal result for any lawsuit.

The obvious question now is: what were the terms, aside from AOL getting to quote Harlan saying nice things about them in their press release?

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JaySmith
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Postby JaySmith » Fri Jun 11, 2004 6:08 am

The Googlebot email on Harlan Ellison hit my mailbox hard this morning.

I LOVE this headline. It sums up everything I hate about journalists http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=16531 I hope Harlan tears this Tamlin MacGee a new asshole to celebrate his victory. Of course he's too good for that, but...a wag can dream, right?
"I dig the man's book. It's all about me! And I LOVES me the monkeys!" - Hanuman

rich

Postby rich » Fri Jun 11, 2004 7:04 am

Oh, dear god. "Trekkie"?? "Trekkie"??? Even I would be offended by that sobriquet.

Eric Martin
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Postby Eric Martin » Fri Jun 11, 2004 7:35 am

It is pretty horrid---but it testifies to the ongoing association by the general public of Harlan with Star Trek.

tke3
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Postby tke3 » Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:43 pm

Is the justification for giving a shit about a half dozen sci-fi fans trading stories on the net that it deprives a writer of his income? Or is it that they're disregarding the law? Because if it's the former, shouldn't we all be leading the charge against libraries? And if it's the former, does that mean that we would all be ok with swapping stories on the 'net were it legal to do so?

Incidentally, I wonder how much more Ellison might've gotten if he'd held out until the recent Grokster SCOTUS case.

rich

Postby rich » Sun Jul 17, 2005 6:38 pm

You're talking about what now? A year later?

It's over. Done. Kaput. Fini. The End.

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NeonMosfet
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Postby NeonMosfet » Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:00 pm

The aging Trekkie? Makes you wonder whose bias they travel.
Myopia Through Convexed Harlequins


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