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.



1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.