Francine - harvest
I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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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?

wesleysgirl

2003-05-19 10:33 am (UTC) (Link)

I totally agree with you that, as "punishments" go, this is a mild one.

On the other hand, I don't believe punishments work to change behavior anyway, so even if the small number of people who deserve to be "punished" are affected, I don't think it will change their behavior. If they were just ignorant and uninformed, telling them firmly and politely that their behavior is NOT okay would be sufficient. If they were deliberately being assholes, then a 1-day inability to access some fic/vids/art wouldn't make a whit of difference.

I don't like the idea of people who've done nothing wrong -- and would never *dream* of doing anything wrong -- being unable to access fandom material. I don't think that benefits fandom.

mpoetess

2003-05-19 10:45 am (UTC) (Link)

If I thought of it as a punishment, I'd agree with you -- I don't think they tend to work either. BUt the P-word is coming from the folks who are saying that Oh no, the innocent fans will have to suffer horibly -- for that *one* day that they can't access a handful of sites that were only ever there for them as a courtesy to begin with.

And... okay, what if it couldn't do a damn bit of good. What if not one person who was likely to do something skeevy in the first place, has their mind changed by not having a site available for *them* for one day -- which is more of a sharp shock to the system, to get their attention and get them to go read the polite educational material, than a method of extorting proper behavior them, as I see it. But what if it doesn't work? What if the only thing it does is make the people who grayed out their sites feel like they made a statement? Like... going to church on Ash Wednesday and walking out with ash on your forehead. Wearing a "No Nukes" pin for a day. Voting in a stupid web poll about which actor is hottest.

What harm does it do? Denying innocent fans access to a website for one day in order to make the site owner feel better about herself -- what if we thought of it that way? If I took my CG site down because it was making me feel guilty and psycho about not being able to finish the WIP -- as I did, for... a whole day, at one point, I think -- would that be any worse, or better?

wesleysgirl

2003-05-19 10:58 am (UTC) (Link)

Okay, I think it does do harm to fandom. For one thing, it makes *me* feel annoyed and negative, whereas if some other method of "improving the way things are" had been chosen (say, for example, a "FB Day" in which everyone was encouraged to publically or privately FB others whose fandom works they enjoyed) I might have felt energized and positive.

If I took my CG site down because it was making me feel guilty and psycho about not being able to finish the WIP -- as I did, for... a whole day, at one point, I think -- would that be any worse, or better?

That would be different. You taking down CG because you needed a relief from the pressure, solely to make you feel better, is a personal decision that I totally support since it was what you needed to do at the time.

Tons of people taking down their sites to make a statement that says, essentially, "We want to make sure you all know that fandom deserves to be respected *because we suspect you don't know that already*" is insulting to all of the people who *are* respectful. I don't believe you can create a more positive environment for fandom by taking things away.

I certainly don't claim to know every individual participant's motivations for taking their sites down for the day, and I'm not making judgements against anyone who is participating. I'm only saying that *as a whole* I think the statement that's being made is a negative one.

mpoetess

2003-05-19 01:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Tons of people taking down their sites to make a statement that says, essentially, "We want to make sure you all know that fandom deserves to be respected *because we suspect you don't know that already*" is insulting to all of the people who *are* respectful. I don't believe you can create a more positive environment for fandom by taking things away.


I think I understand where you're coming from, here -- that it could make people who didn't have any bad intentions at all feel insulted, as if they were suspected of being bad people, for no reason. Or suspected of being idiots.

Some of that may be ascribe-able to the way the project is phrased in some places -- very strong, defensive, "take back the night" kind of language that can put people off and make everyone feel attacked somehow. I agree that I have some concerns about that, which is another reason I decided not to play.

To me, when viewing it, though, I feel the intent is to say "You people who know better? We're not talking about you. In fact, we're inviting you to join in, because we *know* you know better. Or at most we're asking for your patience, to stand by while we use our own stuff to make a brief statement to those people who aren't clued in, or don't want to be." I don't know how well the execution of that comes across, though.

I can understand your concerns though -- they're reasonable; they make sense. Even if I'm not sure I agree with them 100 percent, you have real, respectful issues with it.

I'm just irritated by people who are loudly saying "How *dare* they take their own stuff down; what stuck-up bitches. They're such drama queens! They're freaking out over nothing! They're going to all the trouble of...turning off the lights for 24 hours -- which by the way means I might theoretically not be able to get what *I* want from their sites, and *that* would be terrible!" In those cases it feels to me like participants are being accused somewhat hysterically of melodrama and ego-wanking, by people who are acting more melodramatic and more egotistical than the AD folks seem to be.

mpoetess

2003-05-19 10:58 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm so the last one to try to figure this out, because I'm not passionate about it -- obviously, or I'd be participating.

I guess what is getting me about the people who are passionate about why it *shouldn't* be done, or heavily snarky about it, is that they seem to be saying "Your political statement aimed at someone else inconveniences me, by briefly taking away the material you were providing to me for free. Therefore you shouldn't do it, and if you do, you're selfish."

elke_tanzer

2003-05-19 11:08 am (UTC) (Link)

*adores you*

I'm not punishing anyone... and I'm also doing some spring cleaning on my site while it's down.

My main goal is to help funnel traffic that would normally have gone to my site to the central AD site and its messageboards for information. I'm just drawing attention and educating, nothing more.

For the past month or so, each of my two websites (thanks to Dreamweaver's templating functions, gotta love it) have had a small AD icon (currently my LJ default) on the bottom of them. I plan to leave them on the new version of my site which will be brought back online tonight or tomorrow. The older one is retiring today, with a redirect to the new site.

I'm also taking today to write up more of my own thoughts about AD, as well as writing up more FAQs and tutorials related to phrasing redistribution expectations, dealing with plagiarism, and restricting access to fannish sites (whether to the public or to keep children away from adult content, the mechanisms can be related).

I've said it in my LJ, and thank you for the opportunity to say it again here: Access Denied is a great excuse for learning how to better explain your expectations regarding your own creative work, how to implement protection for your work in a variety of ways, and what your options are should you have your work plagiarized or redistributed without your permission.

Thanks again, and have a great day!

mpoetess

2003-05-19 12:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

I think what's irritating me about the people who are actively campaigning against it/making fun of it, is that they're ascribing motivations (as Boni has pointed out) that might or might not be true. They have no way of knowing. But they're picking a logic-trail that leads to the conclusion they like, then proceeding to mock the effort based on whatever they *think* people's motivation is.

I can get behind Wesleysgirl's concern that it stirs up a negative atmosphere and thus might not have a positive effect on fandom as a whole, whatever its participants' intentions. I don't know if I agree, but those sorts of concerns seem perfectly valid to me, and perfectly good reasons for not participating, and/or making such a statement about why one isn't participating.

It's the people who are saying "Oh, it's a *positive* thing, mock mock mockitymock, that we're doing by denying you our work" who don't seem to want to ackowledge that there's a hundred possible positive things that people could be trying to accomplish with this, like the things you've suggested here. Hey, for some people, maybe it *is* about saying "Nyah, I'm important, see how you'd feel without my stuff?" -- but when people state categorically that it's *not* why they're playing, and they're basically called liars... It annoys me.

elke_tanzer

2003-05-19 02:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you for saying this... that's one of the biggest things that's upsetting to me today. Well, that and the fact that at least one person who has gotten irrationally confrontational with me in the past (who I deal with by actively trying to avoid online) is one of the most vocal anti-AD folks... yet she's doing nothing positive and is in fact fostering the negativity.

I have no problem whatsoever with the folks who wanted to create a positive contribution to fandom day, even when they wanted to schedule it for today, though I wanted to do both that and AD.

Tolerance, communication and respect.... underneath all the cool shows and pretty boys and girls, those are the foundations of fandom.

*hugs you*

(Deleted comment)

mpoetess

2003-05-19 12:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

[Nod] - yeah, I'm not inclined to be banshee-like about it either. I like when people ask first, and I'll be massively irritated by people who lie when confronted (usually by someone else) about it -- more because it insults my intelligence than anything else. But overall, I'm only likely to get het up over any such thing if I'm feeling unduly obnoxious and contentious myself, that day.

And when I wrote the custom 404 page (with plenty of K over the requisite number required for IE to deign to acknowledge its existence) and referred to it in the .htaccess file, I was following the correct instructions for the type of server I'm hosted on, as far as I could tell. However, instead of my custom 404, I got the standard, with a lovely "In addition to not being able to find your page, there was also a 500 error when trying to access the custom 404 page." More or less. Which means the .htaccess couldn't call it for some reason. My guess is that possibly the individual accounts have to have permissions set in order to override the main server's .htaccess file, and mine doesn't. Which, since it's being provided for me, I certainly can't complain about, so... eh.

Oddly, when I did the thing where you type the error message directly into the htaccess file

ErrorDocument 404 "Sorry, we couldn't find that page...

that worked. It was just when trying to get it to bring up a separate html page that it blipped.

(Deleted comment)

mpoetess

2003-05-19 01:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

But it's a standard html file, stored in the main directory of my account, nestled right next to the .htaccess file itself. I can access it by itself, if I call it up by going straight to the url.

Is there a permission that *I* would need to set on the redirect file? (Somehow, in some mythical world where I have shell access.) Or a specifically named subfolder it's supposed to be in?

She said, completely hypothetically, since I have no practical reason at the moment to need it working.

elke_tanzer

2003-05-19 02:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

I actually mentioned this as one of many possible expectations regarding redistribution of fan artwork, at http://www.mizjain.org/deniedboard/viewtopic.php?t=29

:-)

My point is that everyone's expectations are different, and that's OK, as long as people are clear about what they want.

Good luck with the custom 404s. Sometimes that sort of thing is just simple and straightforward, and sometimes it just isn't. :-P

(Deleted comment)

drdawn

2003-05-19 12:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you for such a nice insightful post.

mpoetess

2003-05-19 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

Anytime!

Except, uh, now, when my brain is patently fried.

kita0610

2003-05-19 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you for such a calm, level headed post expressing both sides of the issue.

Who knew such a thing was possible? *wink*

I heart you.

mpoetess

2003-05-20 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

*g*

Note that I did not, Mother Teresa figure that I am, actually get around to making that new mood icon set for the good of fandom, oyez, oyez. It has a total of 7 icons created and those weer all actually made Sunday night. Tuesday I was too busy working. At work.

Man, work fucks over more fandoms...

...

drax

2003-05-19 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

What I don't get, and if you weren't currenlty asleep on the couch being completely adored by LB I could just ASK you, is why the "Access Denied" part? I've been to a number of sites that either don't allow right-clicking or that, upon said right-clicking, take me to a page that says basically - don't steal naughty naughty.

I assume from all the comments, and the fact that you guys tend to think these thing thru to a devastating degree, that these 404 pages are explanatory? They say something about the project or the ideals behind it or that it's temporary or whatnot, ne?

See? If only you were awake. I wouldn't be making a fool of myself here. Ah well.

I guess the whole Access Denied thing DOES seem like it's a bit stuck-up-ish to me, but I agree that
a. it's your/their site
b. it's sorta your/their stuff being stolen

I guess if I had anything worth stealing, I'd be on the otehr side of the fence, too. I get into this same argument with Eugene about music and musicians and the whole music industry stuff.

Re: ...

mpoetess

2003-05-20 12:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Whee! Muaha! My comments page is normal! Ahem.

___


why the "Access Denied" part? I've been to a number of sites that either don't allow right-clicking or that, upon said right-clicking, take me to a page that says basically - don't steal naughty naughty.


Sites that don't allow right-clicking actually piss me the fuck off. They essentially invade my PC and make it difficult for me to make a moral decision on my own, not to do something they don't want with their images. They attempt to stop me from downloading it and looking at it on my own pc, or studying their html code, and that's just bullshit. But that's just me, too. (It's also just an inconvenience, since whatever it is they dont want me to download for my own use is already in my Temporary Internet Files folder.)

__

The "Access Denied" isn't about "You can't have our stuff" -- it's just about going black for a day (much as a bunch of the XFiles sites did in protest when FOX started sending out C&D letters) as a statement -- with a link to a main page (denied.mizjain.org) that explains the reasoning behind it, offers help and discussions of copyright and fandom issues, and a messageboard so anybody can cuss and discuss.

__

I assume from all the comments, and the fact that you guys tend to think these thing thru to a devastating degree, that these 404 pages are explanatory? They say something about the project or the ideals behind it or that it's temporary or whatnot, ne?

A 404 page is probably not what most people are using -- most folks just moved all the content out of their directories (either downloaded it, which, um, ok, but if you have ftp access? Such an assbackward waste of your time -- or moved it to a non-public folder. And then put up one front page with some variation on the Access Denied picture, and a link to the project;s homepage.

Me, I have so many of my sub-pages sorted into separarate folders, that people could have directly bookmarked (gallery, links, banners, fic, non-buffy fic, poetry...yaddayadda) that if I didn't want people to click on those and get the basic internet "There's no file here" and freak out that my sites were down *again* after all the jbx hullaballoo, I'd have to put a file with a link to Access denied in *every* folder.

The 404 page is the basic "No such file here, bub" file, which (if you're more talented than I, I guess) you can customize so it defualts to whatever html file you like. I had the smartypants idea of making *that* my "Link to Access Denied" page, because that way, no matter *what* page on my site anybody went to, even individual fics that had been bookmarked, they'd get the link, instead of a meaningless "No file here" statement. Except I couldn't make it work, so, meh.

So in answer, *my* 404 page was going to contain the link to the Access Denied homepage, which, yeah, what you said. Contains a description of the project and its ideals and that it's very temporary (though I was going to stress the "It's just for today" part right there on my own page before they even clicked the link to go to AD), etc.

___


(con't)

Re: ...

mpoetess

2003-05-20 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

I guess the whole Access Denied thing DOES seem like it's a bit stuck-up-ish to me, but I agree that
a. it's your/their site
b. it's sorta your/their stuff being stolen


I guess my thing is -- it's not to physically stop people from stealing stuff. If any individual writer/artist/vidder/etc wanted to do that, they could

a) take the stuff down permanently. Can't steal what you don't have access to

b) watermark the hell out of art and vids. Not as pretty, but sometimes that's what it takes, and a lot of vidders, at least, are resorting to that anyway

c) password-protect everything, and only let people you know nd trust into your site

But really, it's not about people wanting to go that far, or in some cases get that crazy. It's just about people wanting to make a statement that no, really, it's *not* ok to take someone's photomanip, make it into a wallpaper, and claim that you made it. Plagiarize someone's story. Take someone's songvid apart and use the cuts and pacing that they made, in your own vid, without acknowledging them or asking permission.

Bottom line, it's not like filesharing (like music stuff), and it's not like using screencaps and original footage and promo pics and characters to make fan art and fan fic in the first place. Because everybody, when they see a fanfic, knows that Joss Whedon owns the characters. Everybody, when they see a wallpaper made with a Nick Brendon promo pic, knows that the person who made the wallpaper doesn't own the original picture. But when one fan uses another *fan's* stuff, and claims it as their own (or says nothing, but doesn't point out that it or large parts of it were created by Fan X) then we who are looking at it *don't* know that the artsy part of it was done not by the WB, and not by the fan who's claiming it as theirs, but somebody in the middle who put a lot of work and love into doing it.

I can see how people could think it was stuck up, but I can't see how it actually *is* -- because *everybody* was invited to join. Everybody who created anything, everybody who just has a website and wanted to support, everybody who *doesn't* have a website and just wanted to come hang out on the discussion boards at Access Denied for the day, or mention it to their friends.