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In 2013 when site-blocking was hitting the courts in Norway (again,) Sony’s legal team briefly considered the threat of a challenge from the Norwegian Pirate Party or other groups opposed to filtering the internet. But any fears of a challenge were quickly brushed aside. Why? Because, in all likelihood, no one could take the financial risk of challenging the site-blocks in court.

This week, Wikileaks released the Sony email archive. The communications contain no surprises on their anti-piracy views, but they do provide a window into the thought process of a corporation whose business model is built on censorship, discriminatory geoblocking, and turning local ISPs into the internet police.

And by local, they mean mean the world.

Norway provides a stark example of Sony’s overreach, because the country is already a case study in how to eliminate piracy. Despite passing legislation that allows site-blocking, Norway hasn’t actually enforced a filter for the Pirate Bay or other file-sharing sites. Yet music piracy at least has been nearly eradicated as Norwegians flock to legal sites to pay for their music. (Of course, delivering content that people actually want to buy is another story entirely, as the industry has discovered.)



NOT blocking sites in Norway has proved to be effective.

For those who have crowed loudly for years about the need to reduce illegal downloads, Norway is a perfect example of how to do exactly that – with accessibility, not censorship, steering consumers from piracy to paying sites. The music industry is hardly a role model for sane digital policy, but in this instance they provide an example which other anti-piracy groups may want to pay attention to.

Unfortunately, it’s no surprise to see Sony pushing for censorship in courts around the world. Nor is it a surprise that, as the emails now on Wikileaks show, the corporation assumes it can do so unchallenged.

Sony brushed aside even the idea of a challenge to their site-blocking efforts because if the challenger were unsuccessful, they would have to pay Sony’s legal costs. Taking advantage of the fact that no one will be able to take on that risk, the corporate alliance with deep pockets gets the go ahead to demand blocking measures for an entire nation.


Let’s go ahead & demand filtering because we have money and they don’t.

Interestingly, as the email points out, Sony themselves would not be liable for anyone else’s legal expenses if they lost their case, tilting the scales even more in their favor.

The policy of making losers pay legal costs for the other party is not unusual, surprising, or necessarily even wrong. The Norwegian legal system isn’t at fault for ensuring the party who wins isn’t out of pocket thousands of dollars. But in a case involving ISPs, massive corporations, and access to information for an entire country, the result of such policy is a severely asymmetric power dynamic.

Sony’s eagerness to exploit this feature of the court system may not be a legal problem, but it is certainly an ethical one: pursuing a case because no one can afford to challenge you is pretty gross behavior.

But what else do we expect from the so-called creative industries?

We can’t be shocked by the calculated power play and assumption of dominance against citizen challengers. The days of being surprised at censorship should be long gone with the likes of SOPA- and ACTA-esque attempts to control the internet. But it’s no less disgusting just because we already knew it was happening.

Posted by & filed under Book Club, Reading and Reviewing. 2 comments

I FINALLY have the chance to catch up on reading this weekend! Come hang out on Twitter & read with me (because who says reading has to be a lonely activity?!) or stick around here for the reviews afterward.  So what are you reading? What books are on your wish list?

Reading Now:
Post Human by David Simpson

Sorry, David Simpson….. I hate your cover. But I am loving* the book.

*Loving: tentatively and with reservations. I’m about halfway through the first Post Human book, and so far enjoying it. The writing is sometimes choppy with disorienting time/perspective jumps, I’m less-than-convinced by the romantic story arcs, and I’m rolling my eyes hard while reading this. BUT despite my efforts not to, I actually kind of like the book…

And, call me escapist if you want, but I really, really need a break from the real world to read some fiction.


Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy by Gabriella Coleman

Ok, so I’m not a total escapist. I do still read non-fiction.

I didn’t think I’d be reading this one, though. Barrett Brown critiqued it and Jeremy Hammond gave his (somewhat more positive) take on the book. Initially, I thought reading the “characters'” stories in their own words would be enough. Who needs an academic with a publishing contract, when the characters are real damn people who can speak for themselves?

But here’s something Jeremy said in his review that finally made me pick up the book:

“We are condemned as criminals without consciences, dismissed as anti-social teens without a cause, or hyped as cyber-terrorists to justify the expanding surveillance state. But hacktivism exists within the history of social justice movements. Hacktivism is still the future, and it’s good to see people still doing something about it.”

I can’t make personal judgements about the stories in this book, because I don’t actually know the people involved. But the stories of hacktivists are historic. Their ongoing battles are history in the making, their cases foundational to the social and judicial order of the digital age. Regardless of whether this book is the definitive corpus of anonthropology (probably not), the subject matter is significant. HHWS, like any book, may just be one flawed view, but it’s a view of an intriguing and notable time and therefore, I think, worth a look.

So I’m giving it a read and coming to my own conclusions.


On my wish list:

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow

Here’s one that I really want to read, but haven’t been able to get my hands on yet. The last book I read by Cory Doctorow was Pirate Cinema, which has made it’s way onto my Favorites(EVER) book list, so I really, really, really want to see what he’s come up with since then.

Anyone read this one already?

Here’s the description from Amazon:

“Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing.

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer — a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake.”


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CommunicationAgeReviewing: Keep Rootin’ for Putin, get a copy from the Free Barrett Brown people HERE.

Today, Barrett Brown is in court for – hopefully – the last time. As we wait for news from his sentencing, I urge everyone to spend some time reading this persecuted journalists’ work.

I picked up Keep Rootin’ for Putin in December (during his 1st sentencing hearing) as a sort of defiance against the attempts to silence it’s author. You can read more about Barrett Brown’s case here and in his own words to the court here. Brown is a great writer – even in jail – and I’ve enjoyed his literary eviscerations of the foolish before. But reading his latest book, published while he himself was locked away, was definitely, partly my quiet FUCK YOU to those who would have a journalist silenced.

Keep Rootin’ for Putin tears apart the so-called “experts” on everything from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to the drug war to American evangelicalism to the racism of popular media moguls. It’s written in the clear, methodological style that Brown does best: juxtaposing the “experts” own words with their actions and fact-based analysis exposing their hypocrisy with incisive, irrefutable (and often hilarious) clarity. The title of this book, for instance, comes from the 2001 period in which Thomas Friedman was busy heaping high praise on Vladimir Putin and his vision for Russia (emphasis mine)…

“sushi bars are opening all over (yes, from borscht to Big Macs to California-Kremlin rolls in one decade!), and so many people have cars now that traffic is permanently snarled…. [Putin] is Russia’s first Deng Xiaoping—Mao’s pragmatic successor who first told the Chinese that ‘to get rich is glorious’ and put in place the modernizing reforms to do it…. So keep rootin’ for Putin—and hope that he makes it to the front of Russia’s last line.

…a period which Thomas Friedman himself forgot a few years later when he openly mocked those who “fueled” Putin’s rise to power, writing a column entitled What did we expect? “We” presumably meaning all those OTHER idiots who’d written about Moscow’s sushi bars and Putin’s pragmatic efforts to modernize the Russian economy, because Friedman for all appearances doesn’t include himself in their number.

Brown’s point in Keep Rootin’ for Putin is not that people’s views evolve. It is rather the lack of self-awareness with which they do it and the free pass the media – and in turn we, the public – give them in their selective memory. Friedman’s change of heart, for instance, is not a thoughtful reassessment of his views, but a cover-up of his past proclamations and an eschewal of any responsibility for his role in shaping such views.

Another pundit called out in the book, Richard Cohen, laments the very fact: that, in the modern age, columnists can actually be held accountable for their columns and are expected to take responsibility for the views they’ve espoused (even where those views are a matter of life and death in war):

“I yearn for the freedom to be what I want to be. I don’t want to lie, but I want to be comforted by my own version of the truth. I want to own my life, all of it, and not have it banked at Google or some such thing. The trove of letters that some biographer is always discovering, the one that unmasks our hero and all his pretensions, has been moved from the musty attic to sleek cyberspace. I am imprisoned by the truth, a record of what I wrote and the public’s silly insistence on consistency—a life sentence without hope of parole. For me, the future is the present. It’s not that I cannot die. It’s rather that I cannot lie.”

To which Brown responds:

“Any individual who decries the arrival of the communications age on the grounds that the truth has become more accessible is an enemy of truth and of man’s ability to discover it.”

He rightly calls out the arrogance of these pundits, their lack of accountability, and the dangers inherent in empowering those who are so frequently, so obliviously wrong to shape public opinion. Keep Rootin for Putin is his attempt to bring this accountability to the sphere of so-called experts. This is does quite effectively.

And what a coincidence that today he is to be sentenced for harnessing that essential “bug” of the internet age: discovering and sharing truth.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly. Brown’s style is entertaining, but his humor brings a particular poignancy and clarity to grave warnings: warnings about media idolatry, trust, and uncritical acceptance of those with just enough star power to have tenure on the talking-head circuit, warnings of abdicating our own reason and responsibility to the truth in the face of unquestioned “authority.” In his efforts to counter these dangers, Barrett Brown himself leads by exemplary example. We could all stand to take inspiration from him.

UPDATE: Barrett Brown has been sentenced to 63 months.

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B5bo-8CIMAALoLNGet the book HERE.

If you aren’t reading Barrett Brown’s work, you should be.

This week, I’m reading his latest book, Keep Rootin for Putin, after witnessing (from afar – thanks, Twitter) the depressing spectacle of his December 16th sentencing. LOL jk, I mean “sentencing.” More like a sorry excuse to drag the poor guy in front of an apathetic press, scare the crap out any journalists who WERE paying attention, and extend Barrett’s imprisonment through yet another Christmas. Sentencing’s now set for January 22. (Let’s hope that’s the real one.)


I’m a huge fan of his past work. I’m excited to finally get the chance to read his latest book, and you should join me. You can get a copy by donating (any amount!) to the Free Barrett Brown support network. Here, read a review first if you’d like. Or, if you’re not convinced, take a look at some of Barrett’s own writing on DMagazine.

But seriously. Get the book. Read the book. And tell everyone you know. Now more than ever, it is time to listen. Let’s show those in power, it is NOT so easy to silence a journalist!

Or……….. if you’re that lazy, you can listen in on Twitter, where I’ll be tweeting as I read 😉

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“If you want to make stuff and earn a living from it, rather than shaking your fist and telling the Internet to get off your lawn, then this book is for you.”

In short: read the book. THE WHOLE BOOK.

Secret confession: if a book starts with anything other than CHAPTER ONE, I don’t read it. I ignore forwards, introduction, little quotes in italics… I didn’t even read the Lord of the Rings prologue until the 4th time around (which was really a good thing because WHY DID THEY NOT HAVE SPOILER ALERTS IN 1954?!) Anyway…

Cory Doctorow got me to read a forward.

Two forwards, actually, and an introduction. I couldn’t help it. Written by Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer, they turned this book into possibly my favorite collection of people ever. If only they’d added one more defiant, geeky internet hero–OH WAIT, THE AUDIOBOOK IS READ BY WIL WHEATON.


Seriously though.

Information feels more like a collaboration, in part because Doctorow brought other titans of the internet in on it too. Part history primer, part manifesto, part how-to manual, this isn’t just one guy’s ramblings. It’s the voice of a growing culture – wait, no, a generation – of creators who are embracing and fighting to protect their new home: the evolving, digital landscape.

Echoing so many voices of the digital generation, Doctorow’s three Laws for the Internet Age will ring so, so true for many netizens:

1. “If someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you, and doesn’t give you the key, that lock is NOT there for your benefit.”

Doctorow blasts apart the narrative of so-called “copy protection” (which is neither copy-proof nor protective,) aka DRM. With example after example, from jail broken iPhones to Sony rootkits, he argues something that many of us know intuitively from growing up online: that attempts to stop users from using their own devices have failed miserably at great cost, and without being even remotely beneficial to creators.

It is something that is glaringly obvious to many of us – not only through our own anecdotal experiences, but evidenced through a history of failure and harm. Doctorow First Law is a powerful reminder that trusting companies with the keys to our digital houses, puts us – and our creative work – at risk.


2. “Fame won’t make you rich, but you can’t get paid without it.”

This is his version of the ubiquitous Tim O’Reilly quote: Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy. Doctorow reminds us of the reality of making a living with creative work: it’s HARD. (True story.)

Copyright maximalists (read: the SOPA crowd, DRM proponents, industry lobbyists, MPAA lawyers…) love to reminisce about the Good Old Days before the internet when a copy was hard to make and people were paid living wages for their art. But they forget that people making living wages for their art have always constituted a minuscule, minuscule number. Most people who make things never even got in the door, let alone signed a contract that covered beer money, let alone made a living wage. 

The internet – a free internet – which opens up the channels to ALL creators, which powers the connection between people who create things and people who like things, and which multiplies the channels through which art can be spread, appreciated, and supported  is the biggest boon to creators since the printing press. Because if people don’t know who you are, they can’t pay you. 


3. “Information doesn’t want to be free. People do.”

This is the crux of this book and perhaps of the entire freedom-on-the-internet debate. This book, this fight, this generation’s zeitgeist, is NOT about information, it’s about the people who use it.

So much of our lives are conducted online that without a free digital life, we suffer: we are less free. Protecting the right to communicate freely online is imperative, not because of some lofty duty to the rights of data to flourish. It is imperative because of the need of people to communicate in order to live a full and free life. When we can point to a file, a site, a person and delete them from the internet or decide that their devices need monitoring and control, we impair their ability to live a full and participatory life in the twenty first century.

Living under surveillance and censorship, we are not free – a fact made chillingly clear when Doctorow points to hardline copyright proponents holding up countries like China and Russia as models for how the internet should be run. It is a stark warning that a restrictive internet policy is not actually about the latest Game of Thrones episode to be liberated by bittorrent. It’s about us as people, and how we are to live under such policy, and what we have to lose.

And do we creators really need an authoritarian model for the internet to practice our art?

No. No we don’t.


I love this book…

Information reminds me of the infamous Rats in the Slush Pile, an essay about just how much it sucks to be a creator trying to make in this (or any) world. But Information is hopeful where Rats is depressing. While reminding us that getting rich making art is like winning the lottery, Cory Doctorow also celebrates the many, many tools we have to fight the odds in the Internet Age.

We can protect these valuable assets, or we can shutter them out of fear.

Information asserts – truly, I think – that the interests of artists are neither separate nor above the interests of people. Making a living from art is hard, but only through protecting our right to communicate freely can we protect our art. Censorship and control won’t help us to be heard. Preserving a free and open internet for all will preserve a free and open world for artists too.

The message to the dinosaurs – the DRM proponents, the censors, and the authoritarians and the lobbyists – is clear: get out of our fucking way, and let us flourish on the internet!

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“Information… doesn’t want a damn thing.

This is a fight about people, and people want to be free .”

I’m reading: Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free, Cory Doctorow’s latest non-fiction book on laws for the Internet Age (aka Doctorow’s Laws……. dude, love the humility 😀 ). Like all his books, it’ll probably wind up on his site for free before long, but until then all you cheapasses out there can listen to the amazing talk it’s based on. Or follow the livetweets, because who says reading has to be a solitary thing !

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Will the concept of a library die with the advancing digital age?

Listen, if you haven’t heard – although the gaping vacuum in the Internets is hard to miss. That’s the whisper, in ever corner of the digital ‘verse, of the Pirate Bay vanishing, taking with it massive swaths of culture-hungry, file-sharing traffic. It’d hardly be news, except that this time there are whispers that it may be the end. In fact, in the eyes of the very people who built our beloved haven, it should be.

Among pirates and freedom-minded tech people, the idea of decentralization is sacred. This deep-rooted belief is reflected in the opinions of those saying The Pirate Bay should die. It is too big, they say. Too commercial. We have come to idolize a king, instead of building new and better challenges to the powers that be. The Pirate Bay needs to die, so it can be replaced with more and better sites that do not sit in the hands of a few people, at a single point of failure.

I do not disagree with that.

But I think there is value in having a commons.

The Pirate Bay was a commons – a space everyone knew, where everyone was welcome, where participation was free, without barrier and without exception. It was indeed a single point of failure, a central place controlled by…. who knows who, a tiny invisible thinktank that bartered in porn ads and millions upon millions of hits. But it was also home to the decentralized masses – torrenting is, after all, a decentralized act by its nature. Ultimately, as a commons the Pirate Bay was a central space, but not a wholly centralized power structure. It was not a governor, but a facilitator. The Pirate Bay was an empty space that it’s users filled up. It’s power didn’t really come from the invisible thinktank, but from the millions of people who met within it to swap and spread culture.

I deeply respect the thoughts of the founders.

I do not disagree that there is a time for everything and maybe the Pirate Bay’s time is passed. I agree that good will come from new things growing where old things die out. (At 10+ years, TPB is indeed an old thing on the Internet.) The internet is a hydra, after all. We’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it again. One head falls, only to make room for two more. The Pirate Bay’s permanent death (whenever that is) will no more be the death of file-sharing than Napster’s death was.

But I’m sad, too, wondering if This is It. As Henrik Alexandersson muses on What will the world look like without the Pirate Bay, I too fear: “a world without TPB would be a poorer, duller and worse off place.”

I have written before about the importance of the library in digital space. Libraries are, inherently centralized in some way. They are gathering places, like the Pirate Bay. They are protected and public repository of information that may not be accessible to everyone otherwise. And ultimately, they facilitate the very decentralized act of culture- and knowledge-sharing. I believe, as other do, that the Pirate Bay did serve a library-like function. Yes, it was a central location that could be exploited or brought down. But it was was this very fact that made it most useful to the most people.

I am hopeful for what will come next, but I am shaken at the loss of such a massive library.

Will the things that grows up in its place reach the same heights? The same level of accessibility? The sheer volume of culture and knowledge it held?

More importantly: will the Internet ever have a library that is not under constant threat? Will such a vast commons ever be safe online, or will there always be someone fighting to destroy it? I understand the fear of centralization in this context: one point of failure is catastrophic when very powerful people are dead-set on making you fail. But will that fear preclude us from ever having a truly free, truly accessible, truly comprehensive library in the digital space?

I don’t know, but I know we’ll find out.

I’ve used the past tense here, but honestly I don’t think the Pirate Bay is in the past. Maybe that’s Denial talking. But here’s the truth: the Pirate Bay is not just the handful of people in control, it’s also those millions upon millions of users that filled up the commons. That’s the difference between a truly centralized power and a commons: we’re all still here and we’re not lost without a “king.” The Pirate Bay is too many people to disappear without a trace, and I know that something will rise from its ashes. Maybe it will be the Pirate Bay. Maybe it will be something else.

I look forward to what comes next. For now, I’m just talking into the void…

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“Books were safer than other people anyway.” The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Currently reading (ok re-reading!):

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This book is so good I want to cry.

(Will be back with a review! Just checking in :) )

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On October 17th, Gottfrid Svartholm – founder of the Pirate Bay and Scandinavia’s favorite hacking scapegoat  – will spend his birthday behind bars… for the third time. We already know why we should still care about Anakata’s post-Pirate Bay trials, and how tech-illiterate prosecutors are a chilling side effect of the digital age. But today, how about just dropping a card in the mail to wish this free internet pioneer a Happy 30th? (You know, while we’re all waiting for TUEBL to come back so we have something to read! 😉 )

(Big thanks to Free Anakata Info for the pic and to Mama Svartholm for keeping us all updated! )



Anakata’s new address:

Gottfrid Svartholm Warg

Arresthuset i Koege

Kongsberg Allé 6

4600 Koege


Posted by & filed under Pirates & Politics, Writing and Writers. 4 comments

This post was inspired by a TorrentFreak comment thread earlier this week. But it could have been inspired by any number of interactions I’ve had over the years as an artist with a political opinion. It’s been said a hundred times, but I say it again because it keeps needing to be said:

Artists can make up their own minds on copyright.

This isn’t some new, untested theory. But you must not be an artist if you question copyright! remains an all-to-common retort in the intellectual property debates. A person who creates art can’t possibly be a pirate, so the saying goes. And a pirate (actually, forget pirate, in some circles it’s enough just to bring up copyright reform, let alone actual piracy), or a supporter of free culture can’t possibly be a creator.

Saying that artists can’t make up their own minds on the topic is dismissive in the extreme. Pretending that we are unable to hold opinions that may or may not agree with the industry perspective, or with each other, is also blatantly false. See the recent displays of opinion-having by Hollywood folks as well as the Pirates-with-a-capital-P or pirate-with-a-lowercase-p who make or made music or writing their business.

But I’m more worried about the dismissive attitude we aim at creators.

Artists have opinions. Sometimes, even their own.

Me having opinions.Hi I’m Aelius. 
I like writing, coffee, Finland, and the amazing peach-pink shade that’s 
in this season.
Oh, and pirates. I like pirates.


The first time I ever heard of copyright reform (and it was a very tame reference to curtailing the length of IP protections) I didn’t like it. I had the negative reaction that the entertainment industries tell me I”m supposed to have. Ok, maybe not the vitriolic knee-jerk they hoped for. But I gave the idea a solid Well-thats-a-bit-extreme brush off.

Over the years, I developed my opinions on the subject in the normal ways human beings develop opinions on things. I read up, followed the news, hunted down facts, listened to others’ experiences, and paid close attention to my own budding experiences in the creative world. I was lucky enough to be allowed to pursue information in relative peace and quiet – it was the quiet before the storm in the ebook world, and afterwards it wasn’t until I had opinions that I faced the vitriol of those who I disagreed with.

My opinions are not static. They may be wrong. They may change. They may disappear, expand, reverse, or veer off into some yet-undiscovered direction. But that’s the human capacity for making decisions at work. Denying artists’ ability to come to their own conclusions is of no benefit to anyone, least of all the artists themselves. Neither is pretending that any deviation from the default industry narratives is tantamount to treason or indictment of ones’ status as an creator in the first place.

People will always find a reason to tell you that your opinion doesn’t matter.

As a newbie writer, you’re told that you’re new and naive. You don’t know how things work around here. Never mind the ten years you spent writing stories, dreaming about going pro, and googling how to get published, you just can’t understand. You might be lucky enough to pass the first level, become successful, very successful, or even just happily midlist with a platform to speak from…… but you’re too comfortable! You’ve found your creative niche, your struggle is over. You just can’t understand. And god forbid you really succeed and get to superstar status. Then you just really can’t get it. You can’t have opinions while rolling around on your bed of money. You just don’t understand.

There will always be a reason.

There will always be a reason that, no matter your level or position within the creative community, you don’t get to have an opinion – that is, if it’s not approved by your industry. There will always be a reason that – forget the facts – you just don’t get it. If you did get it, you wouldn’t dare to differ on this topic that affects you.

But artists do have opinions.

You do.

I do.

Do you think we need more ways to support musicians, writers, filmmakers, and other artists? Great! Me too, let’s talk about that. Do you think fair use, parody protections, and safe harbor policy is working? Let’s talk about that, too. How about term limits, format-shifting, paywalled torrents, and…

There’s a lot to talk about. There are even more opinions to be formed.

So let’s talk.

Because if we don’t, the lawmakers and lobbyist will do it for us. And leaving our creative work in the hands of a bunch of stuffy old rich white dudes behind closed doors is a really scary thought.

It’ll take some work.

I know – I’m not that good at it. Talking. I can be obnoxious. Confrontational. Prone to passionately unedited wall-o-text rants. My high school English teacher even put it in my college “recommendation” letters. (Not the wall of text thing. The thing about being confrontational, or something like that.) And that sucks. It’s something I need to work on. I don’t think aggression is useful unless you’re squashing spiders. Instead, I want to emulate those who argue with grace, empathy, and creativity.

So I’m extending an olive branch.

This olive branch goes out to all others creators just as capable of making their own opinions.

Please accept my Creative-Commons licensed olive branch. CC-BY-SA from WP user SchnobbyPlease accept my Creative-Commons licensed olive branch
CC-BY-SA from WP user Schnobby


Just talk.

And know that the people you’re talking to, creators or not, are human beings with the capacity to hear you and make up their own mind. And we can both keep saying – a thousand times over, if need be, because it is worth it – that creators can have opinions – opinions, plural – on copyright and the issues that affect us. And we do.