March 7th, 2003


(no subject)

Feeling glum and malnourished, I went out for a bagel, and stopped at the Independant Intellectual Bookstore down the block. Generally I don't go there, because I am not nearly cool or intellectual enough--this is a place for people who can really get into poetry written by tormented Korean sweatshop workers and who practice composting and could explain all the references in "Naked Lunch" if you asked them to, completely disabusing you of the notion that it was about a crazy guy seeing fishmen and talking typewriters. Their sci-fi/fantasy/horror section is a thin bookcase labelled "Other" which mostly serves to house books by Tepper, Gibson, and Octavia Butler, with carefully handwritten notes by the staff about how these books, despite being fantasy, are actually metaphors for suffering of peasants during the Russian revolution and thus okay.

They also carry "Preacher" for some odd reason. No other comics, but they've got every "Preacher" ever written. This gave me pause. Someday I'll read the rest of those--it's a guilty pleasure. And, wedged in between all the fantasies with social conscience are a few old favorites and bestsellers, looking vaguely embarassed that they are not a metaphor for anything in particular.

It is a sign of my general blahs at my husband's absence that I went for the most cheesy, comfort-food, young-girl-overcomes book available, which is naturally by Mercedes Lackey. God, the shame. It's the equivalent of Ben & Jerry's for the soul...nothing but empty calories. Mmmm....Ben and Jerry's...To hide it on the walk home, I also picked up "Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice For All Creation" which, despite being on evolutionary biology, looks like a cheesy sex advice book. It is perhaps a sign of the wiring in my brain that I would far rather people think I had trouble with my love life than see that I am reading Mercedes Lackey. It's probably due to lack of adequate nutrition. I tried to make a TV dinner earlier. Let's just say that was a learning experience and move on.
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And another thing...

It's a truism that people who are most freaked out about the possibility of having their artwork stolen, to the point of the slathering of watermarks and the lengthy and dramatic threats of gross bodily harm to anyone looking/touching/breathing/thinking/wiggling/whatever--are the people least likely to need it. Heck, probably the number one cliche people mentioned over in the art challenge thing was poorly-drawn-with-enormous-mememememe-copyright.

This is a truism. I'm not saying it's true, neccessarily, since that would be bad and judgemental of me and at some point bound to bite me in the ass, and god knows, we don't want that. But why is it a truism, anyhow?

I never really went through the Big Copyright phase, myself, even in the days when I was far worse than most of the art on the net, largely because it didn't occur to me, and nobody ever tried stealing anything. These days, I'll pop a discreet web address in the corner, just so that people know where to find more if they find it somewhere un-accredited, but I only go to the lengths of do-not-alter statements when I don't hold the copyright myself, and even then, it's more of a token effort than anything else. I confess, for awhile the copyright statements on my website were fairly corny, but I did make them at least entertaining. (I was particularly proud of the ones in haiku format.)

My best guess would be that if you're good, you're well known enough that people are less likely to steal, or more likely to be noticed, and so you don't need such marks because people look at your art and go "Well, that's obviously an *insert Artspawn*" but that seems counterintuitive, since I'd hope that people would be more likely to steal good art. (By steal, I mean "claim as one's own" since unaccredited display is usually well meaning and nothing to get one's panties in a knot over.) Or do people just steal crappy art a lot? Is there any other simple, logical explanation, or is this phenomenon just one of those things that make you go Hmmmmmm? Is the truism even correct?

This was inspired by yet another Art-Vigilantes-Taking-Applications thread at VCL--I'd link to it, but the misspellings and grammatical errors made even my relatively lenient brain twitch and flop like a fish that had come out of water to watch that one episode of Pokemon, and I'd as soon spare y'all. (And I live with a guy who spells "cat food" with a U and an umlaut.)
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