From: Flick Harrison (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Oct 14 2010 - 20:19:48 PDT
It's almost depressing to chime in on this because, as so often happens, this is about artists fighting over scraps. The royalties from Brakhage's work vs the crappy copies of films on Ubuweb, the tiny kingdom of being "the guys who make Ubuweb" or the tiny spotlight of being on Ubu.
To compare the meagre monies flowing through Canyon to the billions produced by Disney's child-labour machine is embarrassing. Making moral / legal / cultural arguments that equate the two in any way is foolish and perhaps insane.
Disney's 4-quarter revenue as of May 2010 was 8.6 fucking billion. What was Canyon's cashflow this year? What about Brakhage? What about the total worldwide cashflow surrounding experimental cinema since the invention of moving pictures? Does that even add up to 8.6 billion?
The question of whether an artist benefits or suffers from the pirating of their works is indeed open and important, and probably varies based on non-random but ephemeral factors like availability, demographics of audience, etc. But, to deny the artist the choice of distribution methods, using the same arguments one makes against Disney's right of intellectual "ownership" of our cultural icons, or the argument one makes for de-trademarking words like Kleenex or Rolodex, is spurious at best and intellectually dishonest at worst.
It's akin to the moral travesty of treating corporations as legal persons. As the film The Corporation will tell you, corporations are sociopathic characters who should be locked up in the looney bin.
The biggest difference between Canyon and Disney is that Disney will smack your ass down if you steal from them. Notice the FBI's new power to seize domain names... When will Ubuweb face this fate? Will someone on this list file a report? Will the FBI care?
PS According to Christine O'Donnell (who will put a hex on you if you disagree), any quibbles with inheritance of estates, intellectual or otherwise, amounts to a Marxist tenet.
-- * WHERE'S MY ARTICLE, WORLD? http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Flick_Harrison * FLICK's WEBSITE & BLOG: http://www.flickharrison.com
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