SOPA Is An Enemy Of Freedom – A Commentary

Posted by The G on January 18, 2012 under The G Spot | Be the First to Comment

Photo by G.

What the internet will look like if the US Government has its way

I don’t listen to or watch the mainstream news.  And for good reason – it’s always negative.  Bad news sells and it keeps people stupid and in submission.  When the internet became widely available to the masses in the mid-90s, it was an oasis of free flowing ideas.  Information that used to take ages to discover could now be accessed at one’s fingertips.  Of course, not all of the information is “good.”  Recipes for how to become a terrorist, illegal software, music files and pornography are all over the internet.  The model changed and rather than embrace this new technology, companies refused to change and then had the nerve to blame technology for their failure. 

The best example of this is the music industry.  When file sharing was introduced, the old guard in the music business had so many chances to “get in bed” with this new technology and instead continued on as normal.  A precedent was unofficially set that “digital music is free and if you want the physical product, you will still have to pay for it.”  Way after the fact, the music business decided to start charging for  these digital files, but by then, downloading digital music for free via non-traditional routes (i.e programs like Napster and blogs) had spread like an uncontrollable form of cancer.  The music business cried foul INSTEAD of admitting they made a huge mistake. 

The government has gone after many of the copyright infringers and many organizations have been taken down in the process.  In the same way that you cannot arrest an entire city because it is home to several criminals, you cannot regulate the internet because some people do illegal things on it.  Enter the US government.  (If you have theme music for the song “Team America, FUCK YEAH!” – which you’ve possibly downloaded illegally –  play it now).  A new bill has been introduced called  the “Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)”and if this bill passes, copyright holders would be able to complain to law enforcement officials to get websites shut down.  Sites could be punished for linking to other sites that host pirated content and internet companies could be held liable for users’ actions.

The website Boing Boing has explained it in the most simplest terms:  “Making one link would require checking millions (even tens of millions) of pages, just to be sure that we weren’t in some way impinging on the ability of five Hollywood studios, four multinational record labels, and six global publishers to maximize their profits.”  If this bill passes, independent sites like According2g.com are not going to survive.  I’ll be god-damned if I am going to spend my valuable free time to give something free publicity and then try my hardest to provide additional information for my readers, but if by some chance, the website I’ve advised my readers to check out just so happens to have illegal content on their site (such as the link to Boing Boing which I’ve harmlessly provided you), I’ll be sued or shut down!  NO FUCKING WAY!

The world needs to get off their collective asses RIGHT NOW and DEMAND that our government not waste our time, money and resources on UTTER BULLSHIT such as these unnecessary laws!  It’s extremely easy to see that if the masses (aka 99% of the world) instantly stopped condoning this behavior (that 1% of the world is doing) by voting, paying taxes, etc., there would be instant change IMMEDIATELY!  Why wait around for some schmuck to promise that after he proposes a bill and a bunch of rich white men talk deliberate over it for months that the changes he promised to make will happen?! Not going to happen.  People have tiny attention spans and would rather sit around talking about “a trainwreck they couldn’t take their eyes off of” instead of getting to help.  I’ve always advised against that type of behavior because one day it might be you on that train!  That day has come!

If we’ve learned ANYTHING from the internet, we should know that when it comes to change – we want it and we have the resources to have it NOW!  Anyone that tells you otherwise is trying to keep you ignorant.

RISE UP!  It’s only a matter of time….

 

The Matisyahu Incident and Taking Photos at Concerts – A Commentary

Posted by The G on December 24, 2011 under The G Spot | 2 Comments to Read

Photo by G.

Matisyahu

Matisyahu

Earlier this week, performer Matisyahu made headlines for a couple of reasons.  The Hasidic Reggae singer first shaved off his trademark beard ahead of his Festival of Lights concerts in New York.  During one of his performances, he allegedly grew tired of a photographer snapping photos in the front row and took matters into his own hands (and feet in this case).  An online blame game has since ensued with the photographer alleging “you’re a performer, you should be used to photographers.”  Matisyahu has apologized for his bad behavior, but added that photographers should be more sensitive to the performer. You can read all of the he said/she said nonsense here.

As someone who sees hundreds of bands a year, here’s my two cents on what photographers and performers should realize on a going forward basis:

– To the perfomer:  We live in a digital age.  Nearly everyone at the concert has some sort of photography device be it a legit camera or a cell phone.  Lame as it might be, it’s 2011.  This is what is really going on. Get over your need to try and control your image because regardless of “the rules,” people are going to take pictures.  It’s a fact of life.

– To the photographers:  A press pass does not entitle you to forget that there are paying customers who are not interested in trying to watch you become the next Cindy Sherman.  Please be conscious of the performers as well as the audience around you.  If you have to contort your body to get your shot, in an age where with most cameras, the most complicated trick is learning how to turn the power on, you might need to stop going to concerts and go to photography class!  It’s not that hard!

– To the iPhone photographers.  ALL of your photos are going to look like shit!  Shit!  It doesn’t matter if you are in the front row or the cheap seats.  PLEASE don’t hold your phone over your head, blocking the people behind you to get crappy pictures.  Get a real camera if you are trying out for the Ansel Adams photography contest.

– To performers and photographers – Use COMMON SENSE!  How many photos of the same scene do you need?  There’s a good chance you are not backstage at the Pink Floyd reunion, so please keep that in mind as you are snapping thousands of photos of the same exact thing.  As a performer, if you find the constant photo taking to be annoying, STOP THE SHOW!  Point out the offending photographer to the audience and I am sure the crowd will take care of the perputrator.

– To blogs/websites that use outsourced concert photography – Shouldn’t the photographer take the time to research the names of the band members before submitting their photos?!  Going to a website and seeing a guy holding a bass guitar with NO NAME on the photo caption does nothing for me!  Seeing a closeup photo of a chandelier that was hanging at a concert also does nothing for me.  Do you think I am going to understand the feeling of the show by looking at a quasi-artsy photo of one object that was present at the concert?  Not happening!

This public service announcement was brought to you by a lot of concert-goers who feel the same way but don’t have a public form to express themselves.  You’re welcome!

 

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