- Posted by Johanna on November 17, 2009 at 9:38 am
- Category: LinkBlogging
Via the Icarus Publishing blog (maybe NSFW) I found this story. Simon says:
Writer/editor/publisher Robin Bougie learns that Cinema Sewer, his comic/magazine hybrid about porn, cinema, and porn cinema, was recently torrented en masse. … The creator intended for his art and writing to be experienced with the smell of paper and the smudge of ink. Uploading scans not only infringed upon Bougie’s rights as a publisher, but the very act of moving print to digital usurped his creative control as an artist.
Yet when I followed the link to Bougie’s angry post, I saw this:
On the one hand, downloading rare out-of-print movies that no one can get otherwise seems to be a perfect use of the technology. And music downloading makes a whole hell of of sense. Bands make all of their money from touring so giving the music away and getting lots of new fans is brilliant marketing.
But what the f**k do I get out of someone else giving away everything I do? Nothing. It’s not “free advertising” for my next big tour or something.
That seems like a pretty big contradiction. The maker of that “rare out-of-print movie”, if they’re not currently working on a new film, similarly doesn’t get any “free advertising” benefit. So if you’re going to bitch and moan about people giving your stuff away — although the issues torrented include some that are out of print, just like the movies he mentions, and he has since had the torrent removed — maybe you shouldn’t say in the same post that you think it’s fine to do the same thing in other media.
Also, when someone suggests that maybe Bougie could put out some digital material to satisfy the apparent demand, he says he wants his work only in print. To many modern readers, that’s the equivalent of saying “I only want my music heard on record albums” — whether that’s what you want or not, customers are going to take your content where they want it, in a format that satisfies them.
Bougie later softens his stance to admit that if the torrent had only been out of print issues, he wouldn’t have had that much of a problem with it. Also, after some small-band musicians point out that they’re also being harmed by downloading, he apologizes for that comparison in his post.
Comic creator Alex Robinson also comments:
Eventually I told myself that as someone who has copied plenty of CDs from the library I couldn’t really take the moral high ground. I also realized that my book was several years old and a little on the expensive side so maybe there was something to the “free advertising” angle in this case. Still, it does seem an ominous sign of things to come.
In short, I think many people’s opinion on the subject boils down to this: Getting stuff I want for free? Cool. People getting something I’m involved in for free instead of paying me? Sucks.
That’s selfish human nature, but it would be nice if people thought through this a little more before getting outraged in public.
Update: (11/19/2009) This is one of those rare yet wonderful online discussions where people actually talk through things and come to better understanding of each other’s viewpoint, as can be seen in the comment thread at Bougie’s original post. Unfortunately, the torrent site admins aren’t nearly as mature. They’re now trying to encourage people to spread the download because they got mad at Bougie expressing his opinion.