Computer Update and SOPA/PIPA Rambling

Success! I have a desktop computer again and, most importantly, I finally have Photoshop and my scanner running again! I’m still slowly transferring files over in chunks, but all of the most important things are back where I need them. Looking at what I’ve managed to get done on the comic (mostly on lunch breaks at work; no rest for the wicked >> ) and then looking at the time I have left… It’s going to be tight, but I think I can still reach the Monday deadline if I pull a late night or two with painting it. Monday looks very likely. I’ll give it a 90% certainty, barring any unforeseen distractions or disasters. 🙂

While I’m here… The unfortunate part about all this is that I missed the SOPA/PIPA blackout day because I missed the memo since my contact with the world of the internet over the last few days has mostly involved being up to my elbows in computer cables. By the time I found out, the world of the net was a dark, angry place and I was very impressed. TIME Magazine was right on the money to call 2011 the Year of the Protestor. It’s still going on now in 2012.

It just goes to show how amazing the internet is as a voice of the world. I was born when the web wasn’t available to the public. I remember when it slipped into households around the world, and I’ve watched it change everything through the course of my life. It’s astounding, the way it’s become such a foundation for society all over the world, and how dramatically and quickly it’s changed the way that communications and media are used. It’s opened up a whole ton of gray areas that weren’t there when I was born and yes, one of those is the issue of copyright.

I’m going to drop this here for your viewing pleasure, although you’ve likely already seen it a dozen times:

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

In a world where the results of hard work and creativity are composed of insubstantial data that can, in seconds, be picked up, multiplied millions of times, and scattered around the globe without significant cost or clutter, the old ways of thinking cease to fit, and I understand that it’s hard to come up with a reasonable way to look at and deal with the result. But that’s what the internet is. That’s what we’ve wrought, the way forward that we’ve embarked on, and who we are when we’re a connected global community. The reality of it has to be faced, not buried and censored and blockaded, especially at the expense of the little people like myself. The internet has been a haven for people like me – it is the reason I even have a voice – and while copyright infringement hurts in a way that every artist, big or small, feels, the methods outlined in SOPA and PIPA aren’t the way to handle it. It’s too broad for its target, and power lies too strongly in the wrong hands for something as complicated and user-generated the web. I don’t want to go back to even a shadow of what it was like when I was born. When I was small, and already telling stories because it’s what I love to do, I remember the looks of pity I’d get and the lectures I’d hear about how hard it would be to get anyone to hear what I have to say or see what I had to show: that it’s a business world, and that I didn’t have a head for business, and I was creative but looking at an uphill battle. The world wide web arrived, Twitter and Facebook and WordPress and DeviantArt arrived, and it changed. For the better, for the better, not just for the worse. You can all hear me, I can tell this story, and I’m still not a business-minded person. That is huge and I don’t want to see it damaged.

As a Canadian, I’m slightly on the sidelines since it’s not my government that’s trying to push this ludicrous thing through. As a creator who can only thrive where I can share my work with the ease that exists today, and who would still be depressed, alone, and trapped with a story in her head that she could not tell if it weren’t for the free and open internet… I’m right in the middle of the mess and I strongly oppose this thing.

No real surprise, I suppose.

4 comments

  1. Luka says:

    As a canadian, we’ve got a bill just like it being slipped through the cracks on us, and half the country doesn’t even realize. 🙁 Bill C-11. Basically allows the government to spy on us all, whatever we’re doing and is alleged to “stop internet predators”… but I think it runs a bit deeper.

  2. Osk says:

    A private publisher and webcomic artist just raised over a million dollars to re-publish some of his print only books (for those interested: kickstarter fundraising, GiantITP, OOTS). I suggest the big companies study this success story and try to learn about the amazing new opportunities available on the internet instead of clinging to ideas and a way of thinking that simply isn’t compatible with current media anymore. It’s what business people have always done. Look for new opportunities… Oh, and stiffle innovation and progress in an attempt to cling on to a profitable status quo, that’s what has been done before too.

  3. Vulpine says:

    I have to say I love you for this. I, too, have a story to tell and the internet is going to help me tell it.

    And asterai, you are right about the wings.

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