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Trouble with a capital A
That rhymes with something or other.
May 19th, 2003 
Francine - harvest
I'm not playing in Fannish Grey Day/aka Access Denied, for a number of reasons.

Among them that my sites *were* down very recently, for almost a month, and the only reactions I received were polite, helpful, sometimes worried ones, from fellow fans who didn't act as if they thought they were entitled to the things I'd been posting there, at all. In fact, many of them had saved those things on their own hard drives, and sent them back to me in order to help me re-create the graphical parts of the site that I didn't have backups for and couldn't get through google/wayback. People astonished me with their concern and generosity - and I'd like not to freak any of those kind folks out by accident, letting them think the sites might be down *again*. It's not that big of a deal, but for their part, it's a courtesy, and for me, it's avoiding the hassle of having to answer worried e-mails. "What's going on? Would you like new webspace?"

There's also the part where I couldn't get a custom 404 page to work no matter how hard I tried, so determined that either I'm a dunce, or the server isn't set up for them, and damn if I'm going to a) set up empty versions of all of my subfolders, with the accessdenied link page in each of them or b) set up only the front page with a link, and have everybody who comes straight in to a subfolder off a search or a bookmark get the standard unhelpful error page.

Which means that yes, I did consider it, and ended up deciding no, I'd rather do something else for fan community/solidarity today, that doesn't drive me nuts for practical reasons or straddle all of these incredibly stupid political lines people are drawing. (That something else would be "make a new mood icon set" -- aka contribute to the community, as some of the opposers of Grey Day suggest.)

So, no Access Denied for me -- but I do support what they're doing, or at least many of the motivations behind it. Do some spokespeople maybe have unfortunate ways of phrasing their grievances, largely because they've been direct victims, and still feel hurt about it? Well, yeah. And everybody who's participating isn't doing it for the same reasons, too.

But that doesn't make the general philosophy wrong: that fans shouldn't take things from other fans and claim the creative work was their own, or leech bandwidth by sourcing images from someone else's site, or take other fans' work and archive it on one's own server without permission, where the creator can't protect it from the PTB in the ways that they would prefer to. And it's not impossible that maybe among the people who click on the link to a greyed-out site, there might be someone fully intending to grab a photomanip/find a screencap to link to/search for that one series of scenes they know is in one of Jane Q. Vidder's older vids so that they can include it in their own vid. Someone who, denied access to the thing they were about to do something dubious with, takes a look at the Access Denied site and finds out something they didn't know, or gets convinced of something they didn't previously agree with.

Low odds? Sure. Probably. Maybe. But what harm does it do? No, really, tell me? Aside from annoying some people in principle? Does fandom disappear? Does the War and Peace of fanfiction not get written because somebody couldn't get at a transcript for *one* day? The people who are bitching loudest that the Access Denied folks are self-aggrandizing, overreactionary drama queens, mystify me, because, I repeat:

They're taking their sites down for *one* day. Back up tomorrow. It will no more "punish" all the helpful, innocent cheerful members of fandom, than if they had server maintenance issues, or decided to spend a day blacked out while putting a re-design in place, or just decided for completely unrelated reasons to take their site -- which they owe to *no one* in fandom -- down.

It's *one* day. Who's overreacting, again?
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