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August 22, 2002
This afternoon, you can watch me on TechTV's The Screen Savers. Then tonight, I head into the DNA Lounge in San Francisco to defend your right to free speech and parody on the Internet as I go toe to toe with Barney in a celebrity boxing match brought to you by the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Chilling Effects project.
If you're in or near San Francisco, and your value your rapidly diminishing rights of free speech and free expression, I encourage you to come and check it out.
However, if you can't be there, for whatever reason, here is a copy of the speech I'm giving tonight.
"Copyright law is a good idea. It allows actors, writers, and musicians to create and own intellectual property, and hopefully derive a living from their creations.
As an actor and writer, I have a personal stake in making sure that Copyright law is enforced. If I can't own the works I create, then I can't feed my family.
The music labels, publishing houses and studios who release our creative works would have you believe that unless we strengthen copyright laws, their clever euphemism for eroding your rights to parody and free expression, all artists will suffer.
Don't you believe them. As a negotiator for the Screen Actors Guild, I have firsthand experience with these men who claim to care so greatly for artists, and I call shenanigans. The greatest danger to musicians is not Gnutella. It is the label. The greatest danger to actors and film makers is not DeCSS. It is the studio. These corporate masters care little for the artists who are filling their 4 car garages with new Porsches and filling their private jets with fuel and "hostesses."
What they do care about is controlling how you listen to music, or watch movies, and, increasingly, how you discuss and react to our creations.
Copyright law was best described as "a balance between expression that the owners can control and expression that is left open to the commons."
Right now we are facing the complete destruction of that delicate balance. Corporations, and their congressional lap dogs, are doing everything in their power to ensure that the "expression left open to the commons" is forever removed, leaving only "expression the owners can control."
That is a truly terrifying statement, which bears repeating: "expression only the owners can control."
Do you want your freedom of expression controlled by a studio, record label, or multi-national corporation? Do you want Sony's goons kicking in your door because you dare call Shakira SUCKira? Do you want Paramount to have the right to tell you that you can't write that Star Trek fan fiction you've been working on while your wife is asleep? You know, the one where you're the captain and Counselor Troi is giving you a "special session?" Do you want Best Buy telling you that you're a criminal for expressing, on your website, your opinion that, "Best Buy sucks?"
Of course we don't. We all value our freedoms of expression and our rights to satire and parody. Can you imagine a world without "The Onion," or "Satirewire?" Area Men everywhere would be slienced. I don't want to live in that world.
Corporations know that they're wrong. They rightfully fear the Internet, and those of us who know how to use it. They don't like it when we step outside of the narrowly defined, consumer culture they've created for us.
They have seen "expression left open to the commons" running counter to "expression that the owners can control," and rather than respect our rights, they are working feverishly to destroy that all-too-delicate balance.
Corporations regularly abuse copyright law to silence dissent. Best Buy, Wal*Mart and Starbucks have all sent Cease and Desist letters to angry consumers who feel that they've been ripped off, and, like me, taken their case to the public via the Internet.
So they are shoving money at congress, and sending lawyers after us.
Our fundamental rights are under attack by a terrified cabal of corporate monsters, who have bought and paid for the DMCA and CARP, and I say that the erosion of our rights stops right here, right now.
I will continue to parody public figures and cherished icons.
I will state, on my website, in 100 point flashing red type on a blue background: "Barney sucks! Best Buy sucks! Sony Sucks! Microsoft sucks, Bill Gates is the anti-Christ and John Ashcroft can kiss my ass!"
I will promote artist's rights. I will educate, enlighten, and empower. I will write, call, FAX and email congress.
Copyright Law is not a tool of repression granted to an unaccountable corporation by a corrupt congress at the expense of an ignorant public.
It exists to protect and promote artists. Don't ever forget that.
Tonight, we are ignorant no longer, and as ignorance goes, so goes complacency. The EFF has created an online library where you can research your rights, at chillingeffects.org. Get online, get educated and get involved.
Individually, we can get angry. Together, we can, and will, make a difference."
Posted by wil at August 22, 2002 07:28 AM
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Tracked on December 1, 2003 04:11 PM
As a writer and copyright holder myself, I know where you're coming from.
Nice speech! This is an issue that I feel very strongly about and I would have loved to have been there myself.
Kick Barneys ass a little bit for me okay? ;)
/me claps loudly....
/me gives standing ovation..
/me claps even louder....
All true! You speak the thoughts of many.
‘I will state, on my website, in 100 point flashing red type on a blue background: "Barney sucks! Best Buy sucks! Sony Sucks! Microsoft sucks, Bill Gates is the anti-Christ and John Ashcroft can kiss my ass!"’
If I do this on my own site, would I be sued for copyright violation? That’d be cool.
When I download something from a gnutella I do it just for a preview. Many things don't come where I am and whether they come, there are always expensive. But when I like something i previewed it I go and buy it, for respect to the owner (the artist or the one who made the program/game), but such laws (In my country they are thinking on baning computer games just because slot machines were rigged to draw capitals from the addicted poor people - made poor by the same government-) are made just for those who own the reign of government.
I'd say SHOOT THE DOG!
That concise and to the point speech you will be giving is going to run long due to the interruptions caused by applause.
Very well played, Wil!
Glad I'm not the only person who wrote "Best Buy Sucks" on his website...lol
And whip that purple beast's ass good!!
(not so eloquent)
Excellent speech and a great way to spread awareness! I have a question: I play in a cover band where we perform songs by artists other than ourselves and get paid for it. Is that copyright infringement? How does playing in a cover band fit into the scheme of things?
lursxt: you should look at eff's website, and search for their Open Audio License.
San Francisco, no, but I will be watching Wil (you) tonight on TechTV; VCR ready. Freedom of Speech...
While I agree with what you're saying in principle, I think the breadth of your argument is too expansive for me to get behind. You've got three types of copyright infringement running simultaneously -- the copying of a creator's music/written works; the criticism of a legal entity (personal or corporate); and satire/parody of an entity or character -- and you're treating them as equal.
For argument's sake, say I produce written works (fiction and essays), own a business (my translation company) and co-own a cartoon character (Man-Man). Now, say I wake up one morning and find (a) people photocopying my book to give away, possibly uncredited to me, (b) somebody starting a website called Matt-Shepherd-Translations-Sucks.com, and (c) producing a parody of Man-Man pointing out the inherent flaws in the character concept.
My reactions would be to (a) stop the people copying my stuff, by whatever means possible, since it's my livelihood, sweat and blood; (b) address valid complaints and take legal action to stop libel, if necessary, and (c) laugh if the parody is funny, shrug if it isn't.
You can leave it at that, or extrapolate me into a hundred-employee Matt Shepherd Corporation, but the basic principle should remain the same -- they're different animals.
Even there, I'm roaming into grey areas, but you see what I'm getting at. I'm no Big Fan of Big Business or Big Brother, but I can't equate intellectual theft, consumer criticism, and fair comment just to make that point.
...without freedom defenders like you, Wil, we would be leaning toward abolishment of our rights.
Wil, what's up with the 15 year old Wesley Crusher glamour picture in Screen Savers?
Is this internet parody?
Did you provide them with this picture?
Is it a Parmount copyright infringement?
Free Willy! - (Can I be sued for this?)
Good points, Matt.
What I'm hoping to get across is how Big Business takes those 3 things you're talking about, and abuses the copyright law to shut down websites and silence dissent.
Of course copyright holders have a right to profit from their creations, and of course people should defend themselves from libel.
But I am not equating those three things with each other,and I disagree with what I understand to be a 1:1 comparison between individual artists and large corporations.
My main point is that corporations are not respecting copyright law as it is intended, and they are trying to convince you that they are doing otherwise.
You'll get the last word on this, if you desire, because I have to leave for the airport now.
Okay...am I losing it or did the post title change?
Did you get strong armed for the title or what?
Brevity sucks. I think given your time limits (you're doing a speech, not a dissertation) and mine (I'm at work and furtively looking over my shoulder) we're trying to fit some pretty giant problems in a very small box.
Re-reading your original article, my response, and your response, I think that the real threat is the ability of large corporate entities to lump the categories together, not us. Any successful libel/infringement suit opens the door to success in less warranted libel/infringement suits, and so on.
I'm enjoying the Chilling Effects web site, BTW. And I am 100% behind your intentions, if not behind your phraseology...
Good speech.. Wish I could get down there to see you beat the crap out of the purple dinasour :-) But its on the other side of the country :)
Have a good flight to and from, and whip up on barney for me. Be safe and take care, oh and thanks for what you are doing.
Until your next post......
Wil (if I may assume so much to address you by your familiar name),
I've been following your site for a couple weeks now and trying to figure out if you're true libertarian, or hollywierd's version of one (i.e. Greens are worse than Democrats).
As for copyright laws, I believe it is a sticky question when dealing with Napster and Gnutella type technologies. While some artists may welcome to added, free exposure, others definitely have the right to protect their work if they so choose. Where do you draw that delicate balance?
I hate the recording industry not so much because of what they do (although it's deplorable, I'd rather give $5-$10 directly to an artist than pay $20 and have the artist get $0.50), but the manner in which they pass themselves off. They say they are capitalists. Bullpucky! Capitalists do not try and use the force of government to expand and keep their little empires at the expense of others.
Until then...I will be watching you with keen interest.
As a photographer I have to tell you that copyright law is a hot button issue.
I can see Wil's point of view and I can see Matt's point of view. My take on it has always been simplistic in nature but works for me. I do not tolorate copying of my work in any way! I took created the art (be it nature, sport, portrait, event, etc.) and I should get paid for it not someone who copied it.
Now we get into the world of parody and imitation, that is trickier. For photographers that happens more often than we would like. Think of some of the great landmarks and scenic views in the world and how many times they have been photographed. Duplication is going to happen. Now this may not happen as often in music, writting, sculpting, etc. but it does happen to some degree. I think when it comes to that area imitation is the best form of flattery. Again, before people start to tell me how naive that is remember I said this was more of a simple approach. I also think that parody is a form of flattery and can create a greater interest in me and my work. However, if the imitation or parady causes harm by slander or liable then I must take action to protect my reputation, but even in this I look at the amount of damage or harm. Someone calling me names on the internet more than likely would not be cause enough for me to take action. However, each case must be evaluated on its own. Of course if the parady is funny, I may contribute to it myself.
Overall I think that each case should be judged on its own merits. I think the law should be as broad as possible without jeapordizing the rights of the artist.
Good luck Wil and please knock that annoying purple thing in the nose for me.
Congratulations on a eloquent speech and a fine analysis. "Expression left open to the commons" vs. "expression the owners can control." Clean cut at the right point.
Please, bring back Barney's tail, hang it on your chimney and upload a photo of you and your trophy.
Copyright is way-the-fuck out of hand.
Speaking as the holder of some copyrights that make me money, I feel there is NO reason why copyright has to last for 70 years after my fricking death! Let my grandchildren write their own crap and sell it. Geez. In fact, I see no reason why my copyrights have to be maintained AT ALL after my death.
Copyright is intended to promote the advance of art by extending, for a limited time, the exclusive right to a created work to the creator. It's not intended to block everyone's use of something for all time.
Wil Weaton you REALLY DO RAWK!!!!
instead of protecting creativity...these proposals would strangle creativity...leaving control of the arts in the hands of the corporate digitheads who know nothing of art except that it can make them alot of money...one may think that he had written a funny story, song or poem...but instead would be recieving a threatening letter from a lawyer...nows the time to fight back while the public is aware of what some of these vermin have done
If you want to see Wil's speech live or see them set up for the show go to:
Apparently they have a live cam at the place.
I hope they don't forget to look up at your audience from the paper.
I'm gonna try to make it, but I'm such a geek that I'll just blend into the woodwork anyway. hehehe
If you need help with taking down Barney, I will be there as backup. Just tag me in.
ps. i think you say delicate balance multiple times in too similar a way.
I totally agree with you!
Kick ASS. I'll be there tonight at the VIP thing-o.
Wil WIl WIl WILWIL!!!
I started reading this site as a Star Trek Fan and I became a Wil Wheaton Fan.
I was reading this and saying "Oh my god, this is exactly how I feel." Then I got to thinking, if there was a god I would want it to be either me or you. :P
Wow! A Wil Wheaton post that I actually agree with. Well, the moon is full right now and stranger things have happened.
Fight! Wil! For everlasting peace!
Screw you Wheaton, you quiche hugging, liberal eating, tree poser.
I will side with the iconic John Ashcroft, that cherished parody of a public figure.
Woohoo! I'll be there. Celebrity boxing with Barney...I hope you don't loose. Hahahahaaha!
Thanks, Wil for the eloquence.
One of the interesting things that large corporations ignore is the licencing issue of works issued on vinyl and cassette, pre-digital. About 8,000 miles from where I currently live, I have a modest collection of LPs and cassette tapes. These, of course, were bought mainly in the seventies and eighties. I have one very crummy bootleg in that collection which I shouldn't have bought because I knew it was going to be inferior. As a matter of fact, everyone I knew said that bootlegs were inferior. I bought it anyway, much to my regret, I listened to it a couple of times and put it away. Lesson learned: buy professional produced and packaged products.
My collection contains an almost complete catalogue of Beatles stuff, Canadian stuff, hard to find crapola, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Bram Tchaikovsky, and even a copy of Nicol Williamson performing The Hobbit (on 4 discs).
Man, I miss that music and stuff. But, hey, I paid my licence fees! Why should I not be able to download a digital copy? I plugged in a couple of terms into GOOGLE and there it is... Nicol Williamson reading (and performing) the Hobbit, archived as MP3 files. I feel no remorse in clicking on it and getting a new digital copy. And I feel no remorse whatsoever in getting KAZAA going and downloading a copy of A Hard Day's Night to my hard drive.
What copyright is all about is the author's right to make money on SELLING his work. The Beatles (through their proxy, Capitol Records of Canada) made their money off me when I bought their album. I feel no remorse when I refresh my copy with a digital.
What I find reprehensible are the people who would *sell* duplicates of their copy of a legally purchased item.
Here in Chile, a lot of assholes do just that. Software, books, comics, music, movies, you name it, for sale in the streets EVERYWHERE.
Also, as an aside, I purchased a bunch of videotapes the last time I was in Canada, Blazing Saddles, Blade Runner (director's cut), Star Trek movies, and brought them to Chile. I was robbed of those items here in Chile. *I* paid my licence fee. I feel entitled to have a copy of what I paid for. Am I wrong to download a digital copy to my hard drive? I don't think so.
Just my 10 pesos' worth.
Two of my favorites in one place:
Wil Wheaton and Tech TV, what more can I ask for in a day?
Excellent speech, at first I was thinking you were against morpheas etc, but then I realized what you meant. Very interesting......
Any specific reason in you naming your last two posts (46 & 2, H) after Tool songs?
by Johnvril Tchoevigne
Spread out what you waitin for?
Relax it's all been found before
And if you could only cough for me
I will see
The kilo of cocaine up your butt
But you're clenching so it's stuck
So I'm using my tools in your bum
It'll come undone
Lie through your teeth try convincing me
You're glad to be back
You're tanned and relaxed
You sweat but it's cool
You look like a mule to me
Where'd you go and get these drugs that I confiscated?
I see the way you're actin like you're not gonna talk
Getting me frustrated
It's like this you
You talk and you deal and you turn and you put on a tap
And you walk or you're serving twenty you work for me
Your lawyer's telling you to take it
No no no
I'm with you in regard to defending free speech. I'm not so with you in regard to packaging freedom with unmitigated hatred of corporations.
wil: if you don't kick barney's ass you got some 'splainin' to do!...besides "teletubbies" is a much better program.
As far as copyright goes, it can be fucking stupid. An indigenous artist from my country (New Zealand) isn't allowed to sell copies of her cd in Germany, because they patented her own name!! Can someone PLEASE explain to me how on earth it is possible some git can patent someone's first name? My name is MINE. How can someone else tell me what I can and can't do with my own frickin name? Sorry for the rant. Intellectual property aside, as with everything else, it can be taken to idiotic pathetic extremes.
On another point, if record companies didn't charge so damn much for cd's, people wouldn't burn them. Up to $35 in this country for new release cd's, so if people don't want to pay that, they will download from Kazaa [or anywhere else they can] for free. When put in that way [which I agree is simplistic] it makes sense.
You manipulative, mind-altering, cult-creating bastard.
I hope you took your orange stuff with you to screen savers or your tent's gonna smell like the urine of a man with mighty blisters (on his feet).
You go, Wil! And MUCH props to you, my homey, for naming your last two entries after Tool songs! I didn't even know you liked them (but I should have figured). Am I the only one who caught on to the Tool thing?
Just scrolled up and realized someone else saw the Tool thing, too. BTW, I am a lawyer and I have NO idea what is going to come of this copyright issue.
Wil must be listening to Aenima a lot lately. It's also nice to see a celebrity as passionate as he is about things and taking action, and not for the publicity.
Just saw you on The Screen Savers! You rock! You did a great job, you were so well spoken, and funny as hell as usual!
You were very well spoken!
I saw you on tech TV. Very cool speech, and it was good to hear that somebody's fighting the corporations. I've got a debate tomorrow in school (Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA) about whether or not the DMCA is ethical or not. I'll make sure to reference you when I quote you. Very cool.
As a former car and home audio sales associate, I believe that Congress has been misled into thinking that the Digital Millenium Act would support performers. I must admit that I am a very serious political conservative and I STILL think that this law is flawed. I am a big believer in sharing, and I also like your idea for an alternative revenue stream for performers. I hope that the industry will figure this out; it's Hollywood paranoia that has relegated the Internet into simply another advertising method, and it's the fear of "piracy"(ahem) that has put a major wrench in the High-Def TV movement. To be so paranoid as to assume that the American public will do nothing but sit and copy every TV show, and then pass these perfect copies to everyone, cutting Hollywood out of the profit stream, is just outrageous. (In reality, it is actually easy for someone who knows what is involved to make a good clone; there is nothing available at Circuit City that gives the everyday VCR user this ability no matter how much the industry believes it!)
Well, thanks for giving me a forum, and I hope I can help you out in your cause to blow the DMA out of the water!
If I didn't hate driving into SF, I'd SO be there.
Hrm. Maybe I can finagle some chauffeuring. Mwuahahahahahahahahha
Copyright laws bug me when I need to read a book, and I don't have it in hardcopy, and I look for it on the inter-net, and I can't find it because of reallyreallyreally long-lived copyright/public-domain laws.
And they put ketchup on my burger...
good job on "screensavers" wil...now kick barney's purple ass!
I think its wonderful that you truly believe in your principles and have the balls to stand up to the 'Yes men'. As a Brit, I sometimes dont understand American politics and the like, (probably the same with British politics to the non Brit).
I know I'm stepping on dangerous ground mentioning politics, but with your devotions to your principles, (a very good thing btw)and the rights of your fellow man, have you ever thought for running for government? It could be an excellent career move.
Did a great job on The Screen Savers tonight!
It's going to be an awesome speech! and, btw...i really like the fact that you've titled two articles in a row after tool songs... keep up the good work :)
Copywright laws are a joke, and it will become apparent to everyone in a couple of years that art (music, movies, t.v.) will become all one and there's nothing that you or anyone can do about it.
I quote David Bowie in the article that I will leave at the end of the quote:
"I don't even know why I would want to be on a label in a few years, because I don't think it's going to work by labels and by distribution systems in the same way," he said. "The absolute transformation of everything that we ever thought about music will take place within 10 years, and nothing is going to be able to stop it. I see absolutely no point in pretending that it's not going to happen. I'm fully confident that copyright, for instance, will no longer exist in 10 years, and authorship and intellectual property is in for such a bashing.
"Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity," he added. "So it's like, just take advantage of these last few years because none of this is ever going to happen again. You'd better be prepared for doing a lot of touring because that's really the only unique situation that's going to be left. It's terribly exciting. But on the other hand it doesn't matter if you think it's exciting or not; it's what's going to happen."
Barbrady: Okay, Recording Industry, do you accept this declaration of Shenanigans?
Barbrady: Well that settles it. Everybody grab a broom! It's Shenanigans!!
WIL!! Kick Barney's butt!! I gotta get out the dictionary to understand what you wrote. That's my flaw. Not understanding things the right way. Anyway, I'm watching you on ST TNG right now. You're trying to get Riker, Data, and Worf out of the novel hologram-like planet. Go get 'em. L8rs!! ~~*Gooniegirl*~~
I find that I'm agreeing with you once again. This chills me to my conservative soul. The first film I ever made in high school was a spoof of Star Trek. Without parody, we wouldn't have Mel Brooks movies. So keep on speaking.
However as to your corporate and political diatribe at the end I must disagree somewhat. If I had a website I would agree that Barney sucks. So does Sony. Larry Ellison is my personal Anti-Christ, Oracle sucks instead of Microsoft(own a share or 2, sorry) and Bill Clinton & the Mrs. can kiss my ass.
Yes I aggree.
Spudz, did you get the CD of burned pirated MP3s that I requested?
you've been sigged!
"Barney sucks! Best Buy sucks! Sony Sucks! Microsoft sucks, Bill Gates
is the anti-Christ and John Ashcroft can kiss my ass!" -- Wil Wheaton
I must say I hated the Wesley character but find that you seem to be a very smart guy. This speech is very well done.
Some great points there, I wish I lived in San Fransisco and could watch. I like the use of humor, well written!
Like so many I have discovered this site thru someone who is a rabid fan and have joined the ranks of slobbering fangirlness. I liked Gordie, Wesley and love ST:TNG. I have been reading the archives from the beginning and have gotten as far as Mid Feb '02. But I've been checking the current page as well. I'm so glad I did or I would have missed your funny, well-spoken and endearing appearance on Screensavers tonight. I made my hubby tape it watched it twice and then watched it again when I realized they were re-running it ar 12:30am. I am behind you 100% as far as your support of the EFF and being against "The Man" and the corporate tyrants that run our lives these days. I agree with you especially on supporting musicians because so many of my friends are struggling musicians. Once again you prove what I already figured out, you are too cool for words!
just got back from the fight. Those of you who weren't there, you missed out. pictures are up if you know how to find them...
Sorry. But my daughter absolutely hates your guts. It’s all my fault and I’m not sure there is anything I can do about it.
You see, we were watching Barney last night(shudder) and I, trying to be funny, mentioned to her that there was a good possibility that Barney would be killed.
My daughter is 3. You never, never joke about the demise of one of her TV icons. Never! But I did. And I had some explaining to do. She gave me the horrified 3 year old glare.
So, to make matters worse, I tried to explain to her that Wesley and Barney were going to have a fight and there was a very good likelihood that Barney would be no more.
She looked at me with her frightened eyes. ‘Why?’
“Well,” I said, “sometimes disagreements happen between purple dinosaurs and young ensigns and they can’t be peaceably resolved.”
“Why?” She asks again, this time tears are beginning to form in her eyes, and I can tell I’m headed for the ‘why’ hell that can be any conversation with a 3 year old. No answer will suffice.
“Well, they are fighting over something they disagree on.” I offer lamely. I can see she isn’t buying it and is getting more upset. But for me to try to tell her it’s not really going to happen would be a lie and totally confuse her at this point. My hesitation causes her to interject again with…
“Why? Wesley shouldn’t do that. That’s not nice. I hate Wesley.” She starts to cry and I offer my feeble support and feel horrible for what I have done.
There is nothing I can say. She has made up her mind. She hates Wesley. And it’s all my fault.
I have many years to correct my error, if I ever can. She will eventually grow out of Barney and rethink her hatred of Wesley, but I hope she never looses the ability to ask why or question the need for violence.
I learn many new things everyday from her. And I’m sure in the years ahead I will learn many more.
Ps: I didn't see the fight, but I hope you whooped that purple abominations sorry ass!!!
so who won the damn fight?...wil...or the freaking purple dinosaur.
I play in a cover band where we perform songs by artists other than ourselves and get paid for it. Is that copyright infringement? How does playing in a cover band fit into the scheme of things?
So I answer: If I remember correctly, Lursxt, what you and your band do does not constitute copyright infringement. If you were lip-synching to a tape of the original band and getting paid for it, that would be infringement. If you were saying that you wrote those particular songs, and receiving money for the writing of them, that would be infringement. In this situation, the only things that can be copyrighted are a) the actual written sheet music, and b) the specific performance that is on the original CD or tape. That's why if you were lip-synching and getting paid, it would be infringement. In fact, as long as you got permission from the original writer of the song to record your own copy, the original writer would not then be able to sell your recorded performance and make money off of it. They make money from the licensing fees, but the recorded performance is yours and yours alone. Just the act of recording it copyrights it- the performance, not the song itself. Have I confused you enough? Anyway, Wil, as I am in an original band myself, I highly value copyright laws. Hopefully one day we'll make enough money from our songs that we can quit our day jobs and do music full-time. Until then, dear, thank you for defending us starving artists and our works! :)
P.S. You can listen to some of my band's *copyrighted* songs on our website- come visit! :)
Dear lord, don't use "shenanigans".
You had me until the Shakira part... bad Wil, take a time out and think about what you said ;-).
Other than that, Amen and ditto.
Sounds good, but what specifically are you talking about? I'd love to know how Walmart, etc. is abusing copyright law to stifle dissent. I honestly have not heard a single peep along these lines until now. Have you got examples? I'm slightly skeptical but not beyond convnincing.
Also, is there some BILL about to be introduced into Congress that'll take away the right of parody? Right now, parody is protected by Copyright law, at least the last time I checked. That novel, THE WIND DONE GONE (dealing w/characters from Gone With The Wind), avoided a preliminary injunction based on the theory that it was parody (though I don't buy the argument that it really is a parody), so there's your evidence that parody is still protected.
Reason for my skepticism:
First, I'm a lawyer and I constantly see people mistate out of misunderstanding, legal issues (the worst offender is the New York Times, which almost ALWAYS mistates the legal principles invovled in Supreme Court cases. Those articles are painful to read. Why don't they get a lawyer to write those articles?).
Second, it's just that so far the people I've heard complain about this sort of thing are people who love to steal software and movies and music off the net and get mad when companies take steps to prevent it. One woman at a party I had recently was complaining that Bill Gates is Big Brother and the new Microsoft video software was monitoring what we all watch. I asked her just exactly what it does and she said, "It stops you from watching copyright protected movies on the net." I said, "So," and she said, "Well I watched the Scooby Doo movie for free on the net from some pirate site. And it sucked. I shouldn't have to pay to see that crap."
This, to me, is the very definition of uncompelling logic. Spock would have raised both eyebrows and Data's neural net would have gone into an endless loop.
Note: If some parody-preventing law was passed it would be promtply struck down as violating the First Amendment anyway. One thing this Supreme Court has been vigilent about is Free Speech.
Note: Be careful not to confuse copyright with trademark. I thought that when Disney years ago sued a kindergarten for painting Mickey Mouse on its wall (for TRADEMARK infringement), that Disney was an evil s.o.b. BUT THEN I went to law school and learned that if you do not enforce your trademarks you can LOSE THEM. That is, if Disney lets X and Y paint Mickey on their walls because X and Y are nicey-nice schools doing goody-goody work, and THEN decides to sue Z who's selling Mickey painted on lunch boxes to make a gazillion bucks, the COURT will say - no dice Disney - you've lost your rights to Mickey by letting X and Y use him. Mickey has been released to the public.
Note: Trek Fan Fiction is allowed only because Paramount has apparently decided to let it exist, at least where people aren't cashing in on it. For the entire history of copyright law it's been a violation to take someone else's well-rounded well-developed characters and make your own story out of them, UNLESS it was a true parody. So if I published "The Adventures of Wesley Crusher and the Enterprise F" (and it wasn't some Wesley-bashing parody) I could be sued for it easily. This is nothing new. If, in the year 1900, I'd written a Sherlock Holmes story of my own, Arthur Conan Doyle could've sued me for it (by today his copyright has expired so I'd be in the clear). The law on that has not changed.
So if Paramount decided to come down on fan fiction (true fan fiction, not parodies) that would represent a change of attitude on Paramount's part, but NOT a change in copyright law.
The day Mad Magazine's parodies of movies and tv shows mysteriously vanish is the day I'll begin to believe there's some real threat.
(p.s. - I'd push that Enterprise F idea; the current show is a washout (Trip Tucker notwithstanding, but he can't carry a whole series alone), especially given the way they repeat each episode about 4 times a season).
Note to Lurxst and the Wagband. This is offtopic but I just have to straighten this out.
Playing cover songs IS infringement unless you pay a certain amount to ASCAP for it. A musical recording is protected so when you perform, say, a Red Hot Chili Peppers song, you infringe the copyright on that recording. Because you "copied" that recording with your performance you've violated their copyright (which IS the right to copy). This is pretty standard. ASCAP has a mechanism set up just for this very thing.
The chances that any record company or band will CARE enough to go after you is virtually nill, however, unless you get to be really, really big.
The musical score is also protected separtely from the recording, so there's two copyrights in each recorded song.
The interview was great. Good luck with the big purple moron. Even my daughter can't stand him. :) I would greatly appreciate it if you give a few extra kicks for us.
I left the sane confines of Canada to make a 5 day trip to Boston. I ducked into a comic book store for some solitude, and I heard a voice, yes I said a voice, calling me from the back of the store, and there I found a Wesley Crusher MIB. I liberated him, came home from the airport with him under my arm, only to find out that the poor guy had been cut from the film. WHAT THE HECK ARE THOSE GUYS THINKING!!!???
Anyway, I'm really really ticked. So I hope you beat that silly dinosaur to a pulp, I need the tension release!!
Here's a URL of last nite's fun
"I will state, on my website, in 100 point flashing red type on a blue background: "Barney sucks! Best Buy sucks! Sony Sucks! Microsoft sucks, Bill Gates is the anti-Christ and John Ashcroft can kiss my ass!"
So, where is it Wil?
I was just about to say, I wanted to see pics of last nights event when I saw Roberts post!
Very cool! :)
Good luck on an issue so many of use take for granted.
Seem slike you have your font set for about 6pixels, but on a high res screen that is very small. I've bumped the size up to 20px to be a
readable size - but then the lines overlap.
Think about your readers - if you don't want
your stuff read, then why print it in the first
Try using 'em' (let the user set his size.)
Wheaton d. Shatner
Wheaton d. Debbie Gibson
Wheaton d. Barney
It all comes down to this...
Guantanamo cage match.
Exclusively on Pay-Per-View.
Break a deal, face the wheel.
You have guts, Wil. By the way, I'd love to see the Captain Crusher/Deanna story when you're done with it ;)
2 men enter one man leave.
the purple one has been vanquished...next up...clifford the big red dog.
while i was unable to actually see your speech in person, i am glad i got to read it here. for what my opinion is worth, i have to say that it was incredibly well written. it's refreshing to see somebody on your side of the table make a pro-consumer (for lack of a better term) argument while sounding intelligent at the same time. as a musician working with a small label, i try to do my best to keep the balance between my rights and the listeners' rights as stacked towards the listeners' rights as possible. perhaps if people like us keep fighting the good fight, one day radio and tv will be made more for the sake of art/entertainment and not exclusively to make the corporate types richer.
also, good job giving barney the beat down. bastard deserved it.
also, i thought i'd point out that i was listening to 46&2 when i visited your site, and when i saw that headline it made me laugh. the funny thing is that i couldn't decide whether to listen to 46&2 or H.
my photos are up too, within...
Very well said. I was wondering why you've chosen to name the last two posts after Tool songs.
As a working musician who makes his living through his art and enjoys cashing his royalty cheques every bit as much as the next guy I have this to say to your little rant...
... RIGHT ON BROTHER!
I will state, on my website, in 100 point flashing red type on a blue background: "Barney sucks! Best Buy sucks! Sony Sucks! Microsoft sucks, Bill Gates is the anti-Christ and John Ashcroft can kiss my ass!"
- END QUOTE
You have used Microsoft (Bill Gates) Windows did you say?
And that you also ACCEPTED a gift in the mail: a (SONY) Vaio computer. Working or not, you did take it home and TRY to make it work - yes?
Guess that makes you about as big a hypocrite as anyone else I've heard. Pretty speech, though. Grow up, Willy.
Well said. I think copyright enforcement is good, but I will not supply all the untalented millionaire musicians and actors by buying their CDs and buying their DVDs.
The entertainment industry should be restructured. Until a CD's price is above 5 dollars and a DVD above 7 dollars I am not ready to pay for it. I am not a cheap man, I just can't afford it here in central Europe.
But if you guys pull the plug for kazaa and gnutella, we won't be able to get the new TV shows from the States and no new music either.
Until the entertainment Industry produces so many millionaires I will continue downloading everything I can get my hands on.
Like Mrs V and others, I think the 70-year rule is insane. There are people born in the freaking 1840s whose work is still copyright.
If you've ever read a book published by Oxford University Press, you will know that "'Oxford' is a trademark of Oxford University Press". Which means that you must always give it a capital letter...
Someone on the Planet Mu BB, in a discussion on this very subject, noted the simple yet extremely elusive point: none of this would be a problem if artists owned their own works.
The reason the present system exists -- and thrives -- is because artists need economic capital to profligate their works on a mass scale. In return for the resources of major corporations, they forfeit their rights to their creations. It doesn't sound entirely heinous on paper, really, but the fact that we now have completely fabricated, synthetic artists like Britney Spears (who is the Whore of Babylon if ever there were one) is endemic to this sort of paradigm; by combining the talents of many artisans -- studio engineers, remix DJs, plastic surgeons, graphic designers, etc. -- the artist becomes a conveniently disposable accessory to the process.
Good on ya Wil. That was a five-star rant. Excellent.
Hey will they show a re-run?, because iwasn't at home i was at my my Aunt's house when they showed it.
Not to dis you, Wil, but doesn't the Actors Guild (and other artistic unions, like ASCAP and such) issue restrictions on who can and can't be in films, work in "union shops" and otherwise participate in artistic endeavors? Heck, if the union decides something and an actor doesn't follow the rules, they get fined by their union and risk losing their union membership, which would effectively kill their ability to work in their chosen industry. You can excuse one side for controlling and limiting people's opportunities, while condemning the other? Freedom of speech is hampered by the union's heavy hands as well.
Good stuff. Nice to someone who actually creates something speak his mind.
Questions: How common is it for artists/actors/entertainers to retain copyright to their work, in their name? Is such a stand compatible with steady employment in your industry?
Thank you so very much for your campaign. I run a Star Trek web site where I parody Trek episodes. Do I hate Star Trek? Absolutely not! Quite the contrary. I parody because it is fun and because I believe it adds to the enjoyment of those who watch the shows and read my parodies.
That is one thing these money grubbing corporations don't seem to have the intellegence to understand. Pissing off the fans is not a good thing and in no way protects their interests. Can Paramount, Fox, or Disney show where they have lost one red cent from fanfic or parody? I don't think so. Without the fans, what do they really have of value? As Shatner would say, "Get a life"
Keep up the good work.
Thanks to all of you for posting the pics...
Wheathin wins again!!!
You rock.. It's great to see some sanity about copyright laws. Sorry to add a "ditto" ...but I just wanted to add my two cents..
I need to side with "BILL" on this one, Wil. In addition to his (or her) observation(s) of your lack of consistency in your words against your own actions in your daily life practices, I can't help but also notice that you seem to like PLAY STATION 2 -- is that NOT a SONY product?
Additionally I also wonder about all of your PC work through the years. You clearly make $$$ off of the use of your PC, e.g.: writing scripts/skits, selling an action figure on e-Bay, heck you even make a little bit of $$$ from your TIP JAR. Curious: Has ANY of this been done on PCs with ANY Microsoft products? Now be honest, here. And did you REALLY get a free PC in the mail?!? Wow! Gotta love America -- eh, Wil?
Not trying to bust your little balls, dude. I can see you have a need for folks to see what a real every day kinda fella you are. You got the house, the wife, the step-kids, a real modern day American story -- and an edgy kinda fella to boot. But your words and show of support toward extreme causes don't always seem to align with your life at times. You see, that's what's so difficult about Jesse Jackson's life or even Bill Clinton's; they like to preach to folks how to live/lead their lives -- but in their own private world, the brothas need to smack that ass on occasion -- and not necessarily their own wives'.
Basically, if you're gonna preach vegetariasim, besides your diet, be careful as well not to wear any clothing that an animal had to die for you to wear. Otherwise, some may think you a hypocrite. Just be true to yourself!
It's hard serving several gods. I say, pick one, serve it and be consistent about it.
But that's just one guy's thoughts.
great speech, wish i could attend. i agree with all of it one hundred percent!
RDEAN and Bill are missing a small point... and it's something i hear all the time in the form of "if you don't like America, move to Russia" which is the most assinine statement ever. A person can have opinions on things and have a will to change them without becoming abstinant to them in some cases as long as there is an effort to do something about it. The fact that i dislike a lot of MS practices doesn't change the fact that i have to go to work and use their products every day. The fact that Sony's licensing schemes are sometimes f'ed up doesn't change the fact that i have to go to work and work on a PS2 based game. Idilic statemets like yours generally don't hold up in the real world in this society. Sometimes they do. I guarantee the both of you are hypocrites in your own light by your own definition... pretty much everyone is. Wow, it's late and that was terribly worded. Weeeee!
I'm not out and about taking positions in a public forum with ANYTHING I can NOT stand behind whereas Uncle Willy is making a big stink about stuff he indorses -- without necessity at times, e.g.: SONY, (some) MS products. Look, I'm a SW ENGINEER for a major CORP and every time someone in my lab bitches about MS, I can't help but point out that some of MS's products are giving them a pay check. I mean, I need to feed my family as well as have some principals. I just don't go around making a stink about ANYTHING unless I am at least 100% behind it and free of inconsistency in my stance.
Hypocrite? Me? Sure. I'd NEVER deny that. However, I'm not mouthing off in areas for how it suits me one day then using the very targets of my speeches to my advantage the next. There's a difference right there between myself and your bud, Wil. I recognize how screwy MS and other big time CORPS out there are (at times) -- but I don't bite the hand that feeds me. At any rate, MS is also making some sweet $$$ for yourself and others -- yes? I mean I'm certain LOGJAMMING (free plug) is making use of at least some of the many MS products out there. I mean how many of your users out there use MS products to upload their web pages to your servers? Wow! Gotta love America Loren. However, if you're going to use MS (or others) as a punching bag, then I'll call you on it. Either boycott 'em altogether or shut up and find a more diplomatic solution other than mouthing off like an Oregon tree hugger/anarchist. And frankly, I'd prefer you (and Wil) to visit Afghanistan for a week rather than move to Russia forever. Me thinks without your lofty life styles and your PLAYSTATIONS for a week that you'd both be a tad bit more tolerant of your youthful views.
Seriously and my bottom line; stop (100%) using the products of ALL of the companies you despise so much for just one year and then maybe I'll see your point. Until then, you're just a bunch of mouths flapping in CYBERville.
Yeah, I'm no big fan of Bill Gates (have to give him credit for running his company so well) but I still use Windows. Linux doesn't give me acess to Photoshop and all the games I like. It's really hard NOT to own products made by companies you might not like.
One thing that gets me. These right-leaning guys saying that they agree with Wil but also saying don't be so hard on companies. Who do you think is doing this bad thing that you are agreeing with Wil on?
You seem to forget what a company's primary function is: to turn a profit. Most corporations have nothing to do with making a quality product or living up to a mission statement. It's how their stock is performing. And some of them are willing to achive these goals by any means possible even if it means causing harm to the public.
The goal of governement is the protection of it's citizens, not just by having a military, but guarenteing the rights of individuals and defending them as well. When companies over-step their bounds and cause harm, that is where such things has law and regulation come in to defend the populace.
Now, I'm not going to say that they're all bad or that any of them is evil. I'm saying some are just too greedy and need to be reminded of who's in charge here. The government is more powerful than they are, and through the vote we control it. In otherwords, they play (or should) by OUR rules, not theirs.
You need to realize that a lot these guys are only out for themselves. If we are to not be stepped on by them then we've got to do the same and look out for ourselves. They can, should and have every right to do business. They just need to realize that I've got my rights too and if they step on them they need to realize that I've still got my vote.
Good luck with the speech...hoping this link works. http://www.royalmali.com/postcard.html...we need al the help we can get:
>> Either boycott 'em altogether or shut up and find a more diplomatic solution other than mouthing off like an Oregon tree hugger/anarchist.
May I take your order?
when you get to the point where it's all or nothing...black or white...and no shades of gray...then you'll never find an agreeable solution to anything...just because you use a corporations product doesn't mean you have to like everything about them...the original vw beetle was commissioned by adolf hitler...if you don't like hitler...does that mean you should not buy a beetle.
Wouldn't life be so much easier if everything was black or white?
Turns out it's not.
Learn to swim.
Happy Birthday River!
we luv u and miss u!
Happy Birthday River!
we luv u and miss u!
Big Corporations suck. If that's not what his blabble was bout, but I'm sorry I didn;t read what he wrote. I just saw Walmart. . and it's a big corporation, and like I said Big Corporations suck. ASS.
is there a way to make your comment section thread on topics like a newsreader? all of these comments are great, but it's hard to keep up with follow-up posts.
You the man!!!
Now if only the politicians can figure out how to work the remote/keyboard to find out what's really going on in the world outside their little shell.
I am just a worthless liar.
I am just an imbecile.
I will only complicate you.
Trust in me and fall as well.
I will find a center in you.
I will chew it up and leave,
I will work to elevate you
just enough to bring you down.
Trust me Trust me Trust me TRUST ME!
Believe in the Wil. He will show us the way.
Mike P., I'll have to find my book about copyrights and such. I could have sworn I was right... I'll look for it.
Wil, I took a peek at the pics from your fight with Barney. Judging from how many people looked at photos of Anne as compared to the other photos, it seems that many of us- including myself- wanted to see what the lucky lady looked like. She's just as outwardly beautiful as I expected! And if you love her, she must be inwardly beautiful too. Good going! :) That's all for now- have a great day!
just stopped by to see if there was a new update.
Guess what, there isn't so I will wait here all alone till one pops up, or I may go farking.
I know I need to get a life but, oh well.
Till your next post......
wil: what matt said goes for me too.
you have got to check this link out if it is the last thing you do. http://www.insanity-inc.org/homepage/private/menu.htm Here is the history behind this. I was kinda bored today so as I was surfing the internet and linking off of your site at various places I caught a link to losers.org. Now here is the good part at Losers.Org I started with couples and started scrolling down killing time, reading about these pathetic people. Then it hit me this one site hit me where this one loser said her favorite site was www.wilwheaton.net. If you go to the above mentioned site you can click on Shawnas bio and, Poof!! there it is, all about this 5'2 280lb woman that is into the wildest shit I have ever heard of, that has a crush on you. Did I mention she was 5'2 and 280LBS if not I'll through that in at no additional cost. If ever you want to tick away a moment that makes up a dull day as you say, then there is one place to do it. She even has a place where she defends being fat and says she likes being Hobbit like since she is a Lord Of The Rings fan. She even runs a site for gay Lord Of The Ring fans. UGHHH!!
Well, just thought you might enjoy that one. I know you can sleep easier knowing there is this hobbit like woman out there that wants to see you with no shirt on, I think I forgot to mention that part, but I'll let you read about that on your own.
I'll leave you with this thought
5 foot 2 inches 280 pounds DAMN!! Hunk of burning love.
Take care, Wil, and have a good day.
Till your next post......
Hey Will, you don't think that all that the activity of:
"They have seen "expression left open to the commons running counter to "expression that the owners can control," and rather than respect our rights, they are working feverishly to destroy that all-too-delicate balance."
will eventually backfire with a massive consumer shift?
As an inveterate ficcer and slasher, I've always been mystified by studio opposition to fic. (Slash they always hate just out of homophobia -- they can bite me.) They want us to see their shows, but they don't ... want us to enjoy them? This is how I and my circle of friends *ENJOY THE SHOW*. We fic it. We share stories about Mulder and Skinner (or more often Krycek), Jack and Daniel, Luke and Han, Picard and Q, Bashir and Garak, Xena and Gabrielle. It's why we watch. It's why we buy the DVDs and tapes. It's how we ENJOY THE SHOW.
(Or at least with me, it was until the shows uniformly tanked in just about all cases. Now, it's PBS and little else ... )
How we enjoy the shows -- how we discuss each episode and keep ourselves occupied for the six days a week when it's not on -- involves our own personal correspondence, which is none of the business of multinational corporations, no matter how lengthy.
But they want us to watch the show and then instantly erase it from our brains and not think about it or talk about it with anyone. It all boils down to the fact that they don't want us to enjoy the show -- because this is *how* we enjoy it.
They own the show. They do not own the firing pattern of the neurons in my brain when I watch it, nor do they own my sharing that with anyone else. They own the characters of Jack and Daniel or Bashir and Garak, but they do not own me when I watch and go, "Oh my GOD, they are SO doing it!" and then proceed to share that with my friends.
They seem to want to protect themselves ... from their audience. This is sort of a stupid thing for an audience-based industry to do, ya think?
Wil, your postings always come across as a nice even-tempered guy even when you are tired from all your travelling, not like that bad-tempered grouchy Chris Pirillo on his blog.
I might just email this to wil... but I'd figure it's better to post it here and get more people to see it...
Rant Radio's Sean Kennedy is doing a radio type show about "Tales from the afternow" and it has everything that wil's talking about, and stuff he's written has been starting to come true. He brought up the concept of a liscener's liscence, now there's books out there that have lisceneces before you read them.
So, uh, here's the link, the show airs every tuesday night at 11pm/est, or you can download them.
I think it's nice of oldtraveler to say nice things about this site and to Wil, but awful rude to put down Chris Pirillo. *Especially* on this site. This is not the place for it. If you have a complaint with Chris and his attitude, take it to http://chris.pirillo.com. The beautiful thing about this thing they call the Internet is that everyone can have a space to post their own opinions. Let's be nice to each other, for there is enough other shit going on in the world that us geeks need to stick together. We're all we have.
well I believe in copyright laws but do go fro the sex fiction that is sick and gross. Plus Richard Dean Anderson even agree it was sick .
It's difficult to stay upbeat in today's world, but people like you give me hope that the Good Fight can be won.
Gosh, some guy on TV said sexfic was "sick," so it must be true!
Hon, famous people are no different from anyone else, only we know their names and what they do for a living. They are as likely to be brilliant or off-base as any other chump on Usenet with a keyboard and a cable modem.
Good lord n'butter, people can't imagine that just because someone is on television that they are closer to the truth, can they?
Besides, that guy may look hotter than hell, but think about it: he's all anti-violence and he plays hockey. If that's any indicator, he's not exactly best friends with the concept of thinking things through. :-)
Richard Dean Anderson said sex fiction or whatever you guys call it was sick I am not lieing he said it in an interview with techtv when they interview him on site screen savers show.
fucking awesome. thank you.
Nice site. You are doing a great service to the web.
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