Posted by & filed under Pirates & Politics, Writing and Writers. 19 comments

Note: Henceforth, all TUEBL updates shall be collected into The One Thread TO RULE THEM ALL!

 

Without even offering to buy dinner first!  Chivalry, gentlemen!  Where has it gone?

*tsk tsk*

In between working like crazy on my 52 short stories for the 52 Short Stories Challenge and pulling together my second collection of stories in This Brave New World (promised it’d be out this summer, didn’t I?), I’ve been dancing in and out of the very heated battle over our beloved ebook library, TUEBL.

While there was much tantrum throwing there was also some more level-headed and intelligent discourse – more on that in another post.  But what gave me the LOL of the week were the particularly vehement reactions of one R.S Mellette in a discussion on AgentQuery.  Being a not-terribly violent person, I can’t even begin to adequatly describe his reaction, so see for yourself:  (it’s kind of little, so I copied the text underneath)

Me: The argument that what is illegal is also immoral astounds and disappoints me beyond words. That artists – historically speaking, the questioning voices that persist and often fly in the face of law – would argue this is just beyond me.

Mr. Mellette:

I couldn’t agree more! As an Artist, I think that beating your head in until it looks like a cubist painting would be fine piece of performance art. Sure, it’s illegal, but not immoral. It’s Art! Plus, you’ve stolen from my friends, so that definitely makes it okay from a moral point of view.

But wait, that’s not all! I’d be doing you a favor, because your head looks like it’s not shaped right now, so I don’t need your permission to make you more attractive to others. After all, we’re the ones who have to look at it.

As for Artists not sticking to the law… Copyright law was proposed by artists of all disciplines to protect their work. Anyone who steals from an artist is a thief and needs to go to jail. (Okay, maybe not teenagers downloading music, but certainly the person who allows the downloads).

Had Mr. Mellette cut to the end and asserted up front his opinion that copyright protects artists’ work, the AgentQuery thread may very well have had potential for real debate.  But as for bashing in my head, I must admit to being insufficiently prepared to debate that particular topic.

For now, I shall stick to writing and cheering on the libraries, the Pirates in Parliament, the heroic civil liberties defenders, and my very own New York Pirate Party – you guys rock & are totally worth the threat of getting my head bashed in!

Anyone want to bet how this one’s going to end?

  

 

19 Responses to “THIS is IT? The Debate Wherein Author RS Mellette Goes All 50 Shades & Wants To Beat Me ;-)”

  1. Scary Devil Monastery

    Quite sad. It’s obvious Mr. Mellette fails on all levels of argumentation. Indeed, he’s even inconsistent regarding who should go to jail for downloading. Not teenagers downloading music? Well, but there’s the thing, there’s no one central to download from. It’s ALL individuals downloading from individuals.

    That, and according to his argument I should be similarly liable for using his name anywhere either in public or private since that too would be “theft” according to his views.

    All in all I’ve seen more convincing trolls around than Mr. Mellette.

    And since he’s already set the tone, why don’t we just invite him, most cordially, to just look at all the f*cks we do not give about his opinions.

    Reply
    • aeliusblythe

      Sad is the right word. I can only express my deep disappointment in the complete and utter void of dialogue going on among authors around this topic. Is there even an attempt at argumentation at all? All I see is a brute force attempt at intimidation and ill-informed hysteria.

      What’s worse, they don’t even know that there is an argument at all. The shock of these authors breaks my heart. Like it’s 1999 and they just learned about Napster.

      It’s all black and white – and when black and white doesn’t even have any clear logic, something is seriously wrong.

      Reply
      • Scary Devil Monastery

        True enough. One should have recommended him Neil Gaiman or Paulo Coelho…

        …but then again, all i usually hear from copyright maximalists then is that you can’t use “successful” authors as an example.

        Which, when you get down to it, is quite a nice piece of circular logic.

        Reply
        • aeliusblythe

          …but then again, all i usually hear from copyright maximalists then is that you can’t use “successful” authors as an example.

          Cutting out a whole section of [X type] authors from the discourse is a shitty – but fortunately self-defeating argument. I hear it all the time. Interestingly, I also hear the same said about pretty much every type of authors.
          Can’t use new authors! (They don’t know what it’s like.)
          Can’t use midlist authors! (They’re comfortable/not struggling.)
          Can’t use successful authors! (They’re rich/not struggling.)

          Of course, as the Pirate movement shows itself to pervade more and more layers of society, these arguments invariably fall apart.

          Too bad the current discussion can’t just bypass it all and get to the real issues!

          Reply
          • Scary Devil Monastery

            At least you can sometimes point to bloggers, youtube-wonders such as *shudder* Rebecca Black and similar…at which point they instead instantly adopt the opposite position.

            I sometimes have to admire copyright maximalists for their superhuman ability to dodge cognitive dissonance. A trait they share with their spiritual brethren in some Afghan communities and the Westboro baptists…

    • Aldo

      Good luckFor my first contract I siegnd away my rights; hey, I was green and keen. The work was published under a pseudonym, too. Well, we live and we sometimes learn.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    So, I take it you aren’t ever planning on publishing your work with the interest of making money. That would be a tad on the hypocritical side. Everything you write will be sent out to the masses for free? How noble.
    Either that or your writing sucks and in that case, no great loss anyway.

    Reply
    • aeliusblythe

      Hypocritical? Please explain.

      Pirates have never said that creators should not sell their work. Only that the right to share one’s personal property and communicate freely is essential. Do you disagree?

      Incidentally, I am already publishing my work in the interest of making money, and have benefitted greatly from voluntary donations that helped me produce my work in the first place.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Piracy is defines as the unauthorized use or reproduction of unauthorized material.
        i.e. ‘stealing’
        Since you advocate the unpaid ‘sharing’ of others labors, it would only make sense that you not charge for your work in any way.If you want to communicate freely, then do it with your work, not those that are not speaking for themselves.

        Reply
        • aeliusblythe

          Piracy is defines as the unauthorized use or reproduction of unauthorized material.
          i.e. ‘stealing’

          Actually, that’s called copyright infringement. Stealing is when you take something away from someone, not copy it and leave the original.

          I realize many writers are very new to these debates and that certain misunderstanding is inevitable, however, you should really familiarize yourself with the correct terminology. I don’t know where you are in the world, but the United States Supreme court has already determined that copyright infringement is not stealing. See Dowling v. United States Again, I realize that this is likely just a lexical error and not deliberate libel on your part, nevertheless, you may want to be careful in the future to use the correct terms.

          I don’t know where you got the idea that pirates do not think people should not charge for their work. Again, this is about what individuals decide to do with their data on their property in their private communications. Since piracy often drives up sales, it serves as the perfect advertising opportunity to drive readers towards paid channels.

          Reply
          • Anonymous

            look up ‘piracy’ and ‘definition’. Slice it as thin as you like, it’s still baloney.
            If you want to commit your energies to authors who would willingly give their works up to be sent out into the internet for free, I’m sure you’d find takers.You’d probably even recieve that validation you seem to seek, now gained at others expense.
            I don’t ‘feel’ Pirates don’t think writers should charge for work, I ‘know’ that they are denying those same writers the income they deserved for creating those works. It’s truly a very simple concept, even for a writer ‘new to these debates’. My point is, if a ‘Pirate’wants to make that statement that distributing something that was not only protected, but not funded or created by them, then they should at least has the good sense to not attempt charging for their own work. It would be hypocritical otherwise.Th argument that piracy drives up sales may have been the case years ago, when that one report was created, but the landscape has changed. You know this. I doubt this little free ride has gotten smaller in that time. You also know that the more people get something for free, the less inclined they are to buy it. That’s why Chevy dealers don’t give away economy cars in the hopes of ‘gathering interest’ in Corvettes.

          • aeliusblythe

            look up ‘piracy’ and ‘definition’. Slice it as thin as you like, it’s still baloney.

            I am sorry that the Supreme Court disagrees with you. But while I am in this country I will go by their definition.

            I don’t ‘feel’ Pirates don’t think writers should charge for work, I ‘know’ that they are denying those same writers the income they deserved for creating those works.

            Again, this has nothing to do with a person’s ability to make an income. It has to do with privacy and property rights. I am sorry that that is so confusing for you. It will really be difficult for you to engage in debate on the subject when you have such a tenuous hold on the foundations of the issue.

        • Scary Devil Monastery

          “Piracy is defines as the unauthorized use or reproduction of unauthorized material.
          i.e. ‘stealing’…”

          Every book of law, every interpretation of law as made by a court, and every dictionary definition of the words “stealing” and “piracy” beg to differ with your opinion.

          In short you are either staggeringly ignorant on the topic you are taking an interest in…or you are simply trying to lie through your teeth. Which is it?

          Reply
    • Scary Devil Monastery

      How refreshing…an irrelevant straw man argument followed by implied insinuation and a lame one-line putdown. Did you copy-paste it from some flashback forum thread?

      http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2008/02/03/pirate-coelho/

      Go read that blog a few times until reality asserts itself and then come right back here. Paulo Coelho published “The Alchemist” on TPB and promptly received a 12 million unit increase in sales of physical copies. You certainly can and should try selling books as well. The point being that the work being available for free is not an impediment in that regard.

      Your argument just tries to point out that bottled water shouldn’t really sell since tap water already exists. Empirical facts beg to differ with that conclusion.

      Reply
      • Me

        I never knew this about Paulo Coelho! The first book of his I read was “The Alchemist” and it was downloaded from one of the sites TUEBL came from. Yes, I have been around this library for a long time. Anyway, after reading his book, I loved it so much I bought a copy for my shelf and started buying copies as gifts.

        Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Perhaps, but I thoroughly enjoy the bravado in which you rationalize your position and self promotion. If it is dubious fame you seek, I have a feeling you will achieve it soon enough.

    Keep providing the future prosecution with online ammunition. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.

    Alas, me hardy, I hear jail isn’t that private though.

    Ciao

    Reply
    • Scary Devil Monastery

      “Keep providing the future prosecution with online ammunition. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.”

      Online ammunition? All she does is advocate another business model.

      However, your ideas that having a different opinion should merit prosecution is duly noted.

      And thank you kindly for making an ass out of the paradigm you represent.

      Reply

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