Stage Directions February 2012 : Page 2

Editor's Note We’re Practically Giving Them Away How do you get what you’re getting? esterday was an online day of protest against the SOPA and PIPA acts, which would drastically re-write laws regard-ing how the law handles copyright infringers online. The backers of the bills say that the laws are necessary to stop content piracy, which is hurting the entertainment industry through lost jobs and untold millions of lost income. It is important to keep in mind Y that the people saying these things are also the people who thought that VCR’s would destroy the movie industry and who sued a deceased grandmother for downloading music files. Opponents say that the bills trample over portions of the First Amendment, and that they are so sweeping in their language that they will create an online censor-ship regime driven by baseless accusations. Hence the protest by many, many websites on Wednesday, January 18, where they took their websites down or blacked out portions of them. I absolutely and without reserva-tion believe that artists should be paid for their work. I also believe that work is sacrosanct and that artists should be able to exercise control as to how their work is performed, displayed, or oth-erwise expressed. (We have an article about just this very idea on page 12.) But I have a hard time siding with massive changes to constitutional law based on the fear that artists and arti-sans won't get paid unless we enact far-sweeping and potentially damag-ing legislation. My opinion is shaped both by the fact that artists have, in fact, been profiting by giving their content away, and because I'm in charge of a magazine that gives away all of its content for free. Bands like Radiohead and perform-ers like Louis C.K. have let their fans download their latest performances for free, in the hopes that they would like it enough to pay for it (they did), and theatres have given performances for free and asked the audience to pay afterwards. And they've made it work. We make it work because your attention is valuable. So valuable, that advertisers pay to reach you. So if you like what we have to offer, if you like what we give you, and if you need supplies, gear or consulting to put on a show—use the advertisers in this magazine. They’re the best in the business, and they deserve your sup-port. It’s the best way to give back to us, and to ensure that the content you want keeps getting created. It's also a great way to let people know that alternate models work, and you don't need to change laws to pro-mote artistry. Jacob Coakley jcoakley@stage-directions.com 2 February 2012 • www.stage-directions.com

Editor's Note

Jacob Coakley

<br /> We’re Practically Giving Them Away<br /> <br /> How do you get what you’re getting?<br /> <br /> Yesterday was an online day of protest against the SOPA and PIPA acts, which would drastically re-write laws regarding how the law handles copyright infringers online. The backers of the bills say that the laws are necessary to stop content piracy, which is hurting the entertainment industry through lost jobs and untold millions of lost income. It is important to keep in mind that the people saying these things are also the people who thought that VCR’s would destroy the movie industry and who sued a deceased grandmother for downloading music files.<br /> <br /> Opponents say that the bills trample over portions of the First Amendment, and that they are so sweeping in their language that they will create an online censorship regime driven by baseless accusations. Hence the protest by many, many websites on Wednesday, January 18, where they took their websites down or blacked out portions of them.<br /> <br /> I absolutely and without reservation believe that artists should be paid for their work. I also believe that work is sacrosanct and that artists should be able to exercise control as to how their work is performed, displayed, or otherwise expressed. (We have an article about just this very idea on page 12.)<br /> <br /> But I have a hard time siding with massive changes to constitutional law based on the fear that artists and artisans won't get paid unless we enact far-sweeping and potentially damaging legislation. My opinion is shaped both by the fact that artists have, in fact, been profiting by giving their content away, and because I'm in charge of a magazine that gives away all of its content for free.<br /> <br /> Bands like Radiohead and performers like Louis C.K. have let their fans download their latest performances for free, in the hopes that they would like it enough to pay for it (they did), and theatres have given performances for free and asked the audience to pay afterwards. And they've made it work.<br /> <br /> We make it work because your attention is valuable. So valuable, that advertisers pay to reach you.<br /> <br /> So if you like what we have to offer, if you like what we give you, and if you need supplies, gear or consulting to put on a show—use the advertisers in this magazine. They’re the best in the business, and they deserve your support. It’s the best way to give back to us, and to ensure that the content you want keeps getting created.<br /> <br /> It's also a great way to let people know that alternate models work, and you don't need to change laws to promote artistry.

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