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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!


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.


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.)


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.


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!


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.