Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Some Thoughts the DMCA

I really can't get behind issuing DMCAs or having them issued on My behalf because I am not okay with supporting or using a legal weapon that indiscriminate. I never have been, I never will be.

I have serious concerns with the lack of due process & the shoot first ask questions NEVER approach to DMCA enforcement. It's an enforcement that lends itself to a unilateral shoot from the hip/tactical nuke form of censorship. For example: The fact that in the music industry DMCAs are routinely used to protect top 40 artists who are blatantly ripping off lesser known ones is pretty evil. It's also pretty well documented but not in a way that is presented to us as ubiquitously as the work of the offenders.

This is an issue I have a lot to say about because I don't see the facts supporting the damage of piracy presented with as much proof as the arguments for how piracy actually supports artists. I am very interested by the arguments for and against piracy. The arguments for it are backed up with actual statistical data while the arguments against seem to be taken on blind faith alone. For example: Treating downloads as if they were sales that would have happened and then calculating damages accordingly involves a number of unsubstantiated leaps of logic.

If I were to make use of DMCAs I would be helping to set even more precedents for their widespread use and deployment. Why does this concern Me? Because this is also a tool too often used to silence opposition. (For Example: The British National Party has made wide use of DMCAs to silence critics). It's easy to look at the reactions of individuals sharing paid content and project guilt onto some of their comments about being shut down for doing so, but the reality is DMCAs affect an individual's ability to participate in the conversation. It's not like a Cease and Desist where due process can be reasonably expected and which includes the courtesy of a warning. Very few platforms or connection providers even investigate the legitimacy of a DMCA claim. The most common response is immediate account termination.

My opinion is this: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act does exactly what it was intended to do, which is save massive organizations like the IRAA or private media empires the headache of having to go through due process to achieve their often dubious aims. A process they can easily afford but which poses risk if they don't win outright. They don't want to lose even one inch of ground to progress. 
(I am reminded of a rant by Malcom McDowell's character from 'Water and Power' in Tank Girl...  "oh it's just one little tract of land"...)

That's My opinion & I am aware that few of My peers feel the same as I do about DMCAs. I absolutely understand the appeal of a one-call solution, and I can't help but compare it to the ease of acquiring a gun.

That's been My position and philosophy with regards to content distribution and also with the tech behind peer to peer sharing sites.

We constantly use technology developed for file sharing (by people who donated their time and expertise to build this tech without expectation of compensation) that came from some extremely shitty-to-visit or engage with parts of the net, and that is not easy to digest. Not easy at all.

That's a short overview of some of My thoughts on this subject. I've posted about this in the past and likely will again in the future. The circumstances that brought these issues to mind if anything illustrate some of the problems of the DMCA and some of the problems with our collective responses to it. 

I am in the position of being accused of issuing a number of DMCAs and take-down orders including one that resulted in an FTP account closure (which was hosting content that included but was not limited to Mine). I was not involved or even aware of this in any way and yet due to the way DMCAs are issued and responded to, this is not an easy thing for Me (or anyone accused) to prove. I can however point out that those persons claiming to have been contacted or threatened by Me claimed that said threats came from an email domain I know for a fact does not exist, as I have legal ownership of said domain and have no email server or service associated with it. My fans can verify that all My direct email contact is through a good old fashioned address.

When I moved My content to a pay site I did NOT pursue any previously distributed copies, nor did I pursue anyone participating in unauthorized distribution of content that was never released free. I see little overlap between My new audience who is in the habit of buying content from clip sale sites and the audience who is primarily file sharing, and as such I do not see the latter in any way damaging the former. 

I see no contradiction in making a file available for purchase regardless of how it was available previously or other ways it may be available now. One thing that paying consumers are getting for their money is the ease and protection of accessing My content through their preferred platform. Another thing many are not aware of is the additional time and effort I put into remastering some of My early work to improve sound quality before uploading it to be purchased anew. 

I have been doing this long enough to have underwent many changes in how and where I host My files. Even though I charge for My content now, I know unequivocally that allowing unauthorized file sharing to continue does not harm Me in any way. I have roots, and this is not Me going back to them as much as it is Me demonstrating that My stance on file sharing has not changed. What has changed is how much less time I am willing to set aside for creating payment processing solutions only to have them disappear weeks or months later. 

My current platform dramatically simplifies the administration and accounting involved in content distribution. As My work has grown increasingly popular the gifts I receive have become challenging to manage. For example, at one point I had more than 300 pairs of shoes that had been purchased for Me by fans. Part of My move to a monetized platform is to ensure that expressions of gratitude and appreciation do not fill every inch of My living space with shoes, jewelry and fetish clothing. 

No, really. It was becoming a serious problem. I've recycled a rain forest worth of Amazon boxes. The post office was becoming My second home, and seriously: no one needs two cubic yards of frilly panties. 

My audience seems to really enjoy supporting My continued content creation by keeping Me in the studio top lists, loyally returning to collect My latest files, and even taking the time and effort to vote or like My sessions. As I see it, all of this is simply a natural progression and evidence of My success.



Sunday, 19 June 2016

Copyright Clarifications

From time to time I check in on this forum because I will receive an email from a fan with a link to posts they made promoting My work. But sometimes I receive messages of distress from fans who want Me to be aware of what is going on in this community in My absence.

I checked in today to find a whole lot of bullshit and misrepresentation:

- Forum members claiming to have received DMCA and take-down notices from Me.

- Others claiming I was directly responsible for cancellation of their file hosting accounts.

- A post made by someone impersonating Me issuing a blanket threat of legal action.

- Claims from forum members that I had emailed them (of course no screen caps of this) demanding tribute for downloaded content.

- A whole lot of confusion regarding the licensing of My previously free content.

- Rumors that I sold My brand and content to someone else. (patently absurd, countless fans can verify that I am still Me hands firmly on the wheel of My own ship. I do Skype sessions with the camera on, after all.)

Today I made a post there and am sharing it in its entirety here to authenticate that these are in fact My words. I feel this verification is necessary because at least one responder on this forum has pretended to be Me, issuing opinions and threats that I do not support or appreciate. I have never authorized anyone to post and sign off as Me, EVER. I do not have a staff, I run this show on My own and with the full support of My husband (who, respectfully does not process My correspondence either).

The post I made today is only the second I have ever made there. The previous post I made was to share a link to one of My later pay sessions that people were having difficulty downloading from a faulty torrent link. I had hoped that My participation in a conversation about content distribution would make it transparent that I have a complex and nuanced attitude regarding unauthorized content distribution. Let Me clarify here that any of My content acquired via creative commons distribution will be honored as such. I maintain a legal right to appropriate attribution of My content, whether distributed in its original form or as part of a derivative work. I welcome fans to remix, sample or in other ways incorporate My work into their own creations. Some of you who were there when I first stepped onto this scene may remember when I shared a link to a particular trance song a DJ friend produced which featured samples of My work and voice. I would love to see more! As a point of policy, I don't issue DMCAs or authorize others to do so on My behalf.

This is where I agree to disagree with almost every one of My respected peers. My philosophy recognizes that people who "pirate" a given content are participating in growing a brand in an unconventional way and that I benefit from their actions even if not monetarily.

Yes, My work is now for sale on KinkBomb. I was approached by a FemDom idol of Mine who invited Me to join and I did. I was encouraged to upload content regularly in order to reach a new audience. Not every person who wanted to own My entire Syllabus was interested in tracking old work down via torrents or Soundcloud. KinkBomb has allowed Me to greatly simplify content distribution and management in a way that frees up a lot of time to create new content, interact with fans and support the community as a whole. 

Can I just say how incredible it feels to by a primarily audio mp3 producer thriving on a platform mostly oriented around video?!?! This is not just My doing, this is My fanbase. They support Me, they enjoy My success, they promote Me and they mean the world to Me. 

Bottom line, I enjoy producing content for adults, and I feel good about My works being hosted on a site that takes care to ensure that content consumers are adults. Oh, and getting paid is nice, too, but a straight-forward payment system that I don't have to micromanage Myself is AWESOME. People just do not know how much work I had to personally put into the back end when I began creating content for pay. One site I had tried to use for fans requesting custom sessions ended up creating more problems than it solved, including but not limited to: delay in upload, failed transfers to content purchasers, time and file size limits, delay in payment and content restrictions. I am in Canada, not the US, where the majority of My fans live, and there are limited options.

Let's be frank. The financial sector is not a friend to people who produce work like Mine. I am delighted to have found a platform where I feel neither My fans nor Myself are being punished or exploited.

As culture and technology continue to evolve, I will always be looking for a way of getting My work into the hands of fans as smoothly as possible in a way that lets Me focus on doing what I love. Guess what I am going to do right after I hit the publish button on this blog post... Record a new session.



"Hello all,
Ellechemy here, for real, with a few words about some of this controversy. Some... not all.
I know that some of My files that were once free have been moved "behind a paywall" and it has caused much debate. I used to torrent My own work, so it does not bother Me at all that these files and even new ones are available to you. Enough listeners do pay Me for My creations and it finances the making of more sessions.
I never threatened to sue anyone. Ever. Litigation is anethema to My creative process. Anyone claiming to be Me and threatening to sue is likely a well-intended fan or fellow content provider who does not understand My philosophy regarding content distribution.
While I no longer directly provide My content free of charge, I have not and never will persue legal action for unauthorized distribution so long as the content is appropriately tributed.
I will mention that I have encountered My content for sale by unauthorized third parties. In these cases, I have contacted the seller and platform provider and requested it be removed.
I stridently object to a content creator's work being stolen in this manner. However, free peer-to-peer distribution does not concern Me.
Should there be any ambiguity on My stance regarding "piracy", I would refer curious parties to My blog, where I have commented on this subject in the past. Again, I can assure you that I have not EVER written or authorized a threat of legal action for unauthorized peer-to-peer distribution of My work, and as I administrate My own domains, any claim to the contrary is either erroneous or fraudulent.
Thank you for your continued interest in My work.

~ Ellechemy"

I responded to someone's specific questions regarding DMCA's in a second post in this forum and am re-posting it here and in full (with spelling errors corrected) to authenticate that it is in fact My words.

"Neither I nor any party representing Me has issued a DMCA ever. The first I heard of any of this was when someone alerted Me to the fact that someone in this thread was impersonating Me and issuing threats in My name.
I had nothing to do with the closure of the giga account. 
Further, I would invite anyone claiming that they have received legal notice from Me to CAREFULLY check the email headers as I have not engaged in such action.
At this time I cannot imagine a scenario where I would issue a DMCA notice, barring third party, for-profit sales of My work (ie: someone not Me selling My files without My permission). I imagine we can all agree that is reasonable: someone else selling My work, pretending to be Me is a situation where a C&D would be appropriate. The individual fan sharing My work with other fans, with no money changing hands, is a situation I don't feel requires My intervention. 
I think this pretty well covers it, and I hope this issue can finally, if not belatedly, be put to bed. 
I would remind you all that I do not check in here except maybe once or twice a year and that this is not the place to write to Me. Please regard any poster that claims to be Me with suspicion unless their comments are mirrored on a platform I control such as My blog or website, such as above.