A few words about the whole "Black March" thing...

ummm... no.
Okay, so one of my fellow artists on Google + posted this promo for Black March, the SOPA/PIPA- inspired  mass boycott of movies, music, downloads, and the media industry at large. I somehow managed to not know about Black March until today, and I typed out the response below in his comments section, but then chose not to post it.

"No. This will unfairly impact too many little people who have nothing to do with the issue in question. I'm not just saying that because I make books and magazines (my income from self-publishing these days is so small it will not make much difference if it dries up for a month), or because my birthday is in March (no one is likely to buy me anything anyways).

I have a day job now, but if I wasn't married with a toddler, I would be trying to make my living as a full-time freelancer and self-publisher right now, and this kind of mass tantrum would kill my business.

As an opponent of SOPA and PIPA, as well as a champion of independent artists and musicians, I totally disagree with this. We should definitely find a way to solve the problem of piracy on the web. SOPA was not the answer, and neither is PIPA, but this kind of attack on creatives is dangerous and poorly conceived.."

After thinking about it, I decided not to post the response because I understand why people are frustrated by media companies that are trying to protect their financial interests at the expense of personal freedom. I believe in their right to protest. Maybe it's arrogance on my part to think their plans are misguided and will be mostly ineffective. Perhaps movie theater, bookstore and comicshop owners ought to absorb the loss in the name of the greater good. Maybe professional creatives should just take one for the team.

Usually it's the bad guys saying you have to break eggs to make omelets. That's an argument that sounds good to everyone except the chicken. I recognize your right to vote by withholding your dollar from giant media companies that are advocating for SOPA and PIPA. That said, I would actually encourage you to instead use that dollar to support an independent artist, filmmaker or musician, rather than throwing us all out with the corporate media bathwater. If you're mad because you heard Marvel and/or DC supported SOPA, by all means, boycott them. But don't punish your comicshop owner too... buy only indie comics for a month instead. Turn off MTV, VH1 and BET and go cop some cheap or free music directly from the musicians via sites like bandcamp. Skip the studio blockbuster of the week and go to the arthouse theater for an indie movie or rent a documentary or something. You want to send a message? Spend money with independent artists... people just like you who would actually appreciate your business.
I know I would!


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