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I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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Black March and All That Boycotty Jazz
This may not be the least confrontational way of phrasing it, but it addresses the issue I have with the Big Black Box that's getting shared on LJ, reblogged on tumblr, tweeted about and generally spread around the internets today.

I have no problem with targeted activism and every admiration with the principles behind it, but please actually think about who your target is, here, because "Buy no books/magazines/movies/music whatsoever" is what's getting reblogged on that giant spiffy graphic.

Your local independent bookstore or comic shop, your favorite also-in-fandom and fair-use-activist authors (and recording artists), self-published comic creators -- those people would be hit harder by a blanket boycott on all buying of published media in the month of March than any of the huge publishing companies/RIAA/MPAA.

I chose those 3 specific artists as examples because aside from their popularity in fandom, they all actually have books coming out in March whose sales figures can directly affect whether their next book gets published at all -- or in the case of Terry Moore, comics coming out whose sales go straight to the dude's gas bills, do not pass go, do not pay anybody besides the shipping company he uses to get them out to the comic shops.

So, yeah, I get the idea. I even support the idea; by all means, wait until April to purchase that DVD box set or that new album released by RCA. But be more specific about what not to buy and who not to buy it from, so you don't cut off the nose of your favorite artist to spite SOPA's face.

ETA: from killabeez via morgandawn, here's a great and much more targeted post addressing how to boycott specifically the companies that support SOPA and similar over-reaching "anti-piracy" legislation. There's even an app for that!

apetslife

2012-01-20 05:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

That makes very good sense!

In this current environment of companies owning a thousand subsidiaries and such, I wonder if there is a good way to determine who actually is an independently-owned or self-published? I will totally amend my own blackout post to include authors and artists.


mpoetess

2012-01-20 05:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

I don't know if there's an easy way; that's an issue, yeah. For an individual artist/creator, there's always checking their personal website, but even that is hit or miss. Obviously if you're strolling your local comic shop and there's a big MARVEL or DC splashed across the front of something, that's an easy one; figuring out which of the unfamiliar labels is self-published vs. just a sub-imprint of a big house, not so easy. With recording artists, if they're selling directly from their website (Yay, JoCo) or through CDBaby, it's probably a safe bet that the big industry companies aren't making money off them and won't be losing money if we boycott them.

With independent films... I'm a bit shruggier anyway, because it takes so long for an indie film to get distribution (and it's almost never in theatres except for film festivals) that the creator isn't likely to be directly damaged by low sales for a single month. (Unlike with books where those opening-day/opening-week figures have real effects on an author's future representation.)

apetslife

2012-01-20 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Books are really hard; I will admit that I hadn't even noticed the "Books" part of the graphic, because honestly, books weren't even on the radar in the recent media kerfluffles as far as I could see. The TV/movie/music files, with the RIAA and the MPAA, are the big guns from what I can tell.

I LOVE CDBaby!

Good authors should always be supported; good musicians too. The scary thing is when the companies that distribute even the good stuff are actively purchasing policy. The SOPA and PIPA bills just got shelved indefinitely, according to CNN, so that's one step in the right direction!


tiferet

2012-01-20 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

E-books are involved in all this mess. So, don't buy commercially produced e-books. If you want to participate.

huzzlewhat

2012-01-20 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you. So much. I work for a small independent publishing company. The entire company has about 300 employees. My editorial department has three editors to put out a magazine that publishes six issues a year. We watch newsstand sales and count every single copy sold to figure success or failure. That's what happens when your newsstand sales in a successful month amounts to about 4,000 copies. The idea of someone refusing to buy my magazine out of a misguided belief that they're sending Time-Warner a message is horrifying to me, because these small publishers really are fighting for survival. Choose your targets carefully, and make sure the people you're targeting really are the problem.


mpoetess

2012-01-20 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

This post of Killa's is awesome, and has links to lists of the companies and organizations that people should be concentrating on.

morgandawn

2012-01-20 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Killa and I are now boosting this tailored boycott:
http://killabeez.livejournal.com/407045.htm

mpoetess

2012-01-20 07:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

That is awesome. I shall edit my post and link that up!

fangstress

2012-01-20 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Totally agree. There's a need to go after Lawmakers-- Congress-- rather than punish the artists and small business people. By the way-- most Indy recording artists see almost nothing from their work, anyway. So all you're doing is limiting their exposure.

Anonymous

2012-01-21 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

(Correction: http://seananmcguire.livejournal.com/ should be http://seanan-mcguire.livejournal.com/ -- feel free to delete this comment)

mpoetess

2012-01-21 09:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Pfft, correct URLs are so last year.

(I am an idjit, thanks!)