Friday, November 19, 2010

How to make an enemy for life

My household got its DMCA cherry popped this morning.

The immediate effect was that a file (an MPEG of "South Park -- The Original Unaired Pilot") was removed from a hard drive, an application (UTorrent) uninstalled from a computer, and the rudest notice of "compliance" I could wordsmith on short notice submitted to the vultures.

The second line effect is that ...

Viacom International Inc., Atom Entertainment, Inc., Black Entertainment Television LLC, Comedy Partners, Country Music Television, Inc., Network Enterprises Inc., 51 Minds Entertainment, LLC, and Mindring Productions, LLC (collectively, the Rights Owners), one of which is the owner of exclusive rights alleged to be infringed herein

... have incurred the eternal enmity of a nine-year old with a long-term history (a couple of years, at least) of spending significant portions of his (admittedly rather small) disposable income on things like "South Park" DVDs (including the "Bigger, Longer and Uncut" movie and two season boxed sets) "South Park" plushies (Cartman), even the "South Park" video game for Windoze 98 (he figured out how to install and run Win98 as a virtual machine for the sole purpose of playing it).

Smooth move, idiots. You just turned a paying customer -- a devotee, even (he's been creating his own animations "in the style of 'South Park'") -- into a boycotter over his alleged possession/sharing of something that was only making you money by being handled exactly the way he was handling it (being passed around and increasing/extending interest in the show).

The third line effect is that you seem to have helped him bring his personal deliberations over the validity of "intellectual property" claims (a subject he's spent a good deal of time thinking about and asking me about) to a conclusion.

Needless to say, it's not the conclusion you'd want any of your actual or prospective customers to reach. Matter of fact, I rather suspect you've created a future anti-IP "Dr. Chaos," so to speak. Even Stephan Kinsella (whose work I've had him browsing) hadn't managed that yet, but you did it in about two minutes flat. Heckuva job, Brownie.

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