Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Richard Baker, Dec 30, 2015.
Agreed. I think it's high on the wishful-think-o-meter.
In the 90s, everyone came down on every website. I was into Simpsons wavs at the time (Jesus fuck that's a dated admission), and sometime in the mid-90s Fox sent C&Ds to countless websites hosting them.
It was a brave new world and the to the suits in LA there wasn't much difference between a website hosting hoyvinmayvin.wav and a guy with a card table full of bootleg movies.
Wow---that seems like a lifetime ago. Going to sleep downloading a trailer in glorious Quicktime to view the next day.
I'm not the one to address this as, with the exception of libel cases, we only have jury trials in criminal cases so it's not a issue for us. In fact, I have long been an advocate of judge decided cases as I don't think juries are reliable in the modern age. For me, it's entirely normal and expected for a judge to make a finding of fact. I suppose it boils down to whether or not the forum of summary judgment allows a finding of fact in spite of the Seventh Amendment. I'd have to see the case law to have a view on that. But it seems from a quick Google that the process of summary judgment has been said to be constitutional by the US Supreme Court, and I personally don't see how a court can say that without accepting that a judge has to make at least some finding of fact for the summary judgment process to operate effectively.
Where Ranahan is concerned, if she is professional then her client's best interests come before glory. I am concerned that the longer this case is dragged out the worse it gets financially for Peters. So she needs to have a pretty strong argument to advise her client that the risk is worth taking.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall for meetings between Ranahan and Peters.
I think the possibility exists that Ranahan is advising Peters that the risk isn't worth taking and he's telling her to go ahead anyway.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Well, in the U.S. most lawyers (in both types of cases) recommend the following:
- If you know you're innocent/not at fault - ask for a Judge trial.
- If you know you're guilty/at fault definitely ask for a Jury trial.
Quite possible...and she is obliged to follow his instructions for as long as it is reasonably arguable, subject to whatever parameters their pro bono retainer agreement may have and provided she has fully explained the risks and the alternatives, like the possible benefits and drawbacks of settling or walking away now to minimize damage.
I think that explains well why I don't approve of juries in the modern age.
I like this one (taken from Tampaxanar tweet):
I'm glad you guys brought up the Copyright Act, the whole time Lane was talking about the sudden change in the way fair use was decided, I kept thinking something must have been changed that he wasn't mentioning.
Late to the party here, but RE: those Jonathan Lane posts about the Axanar case being heard in the Supreme Court...
I actually like Lane's writing style. It comes across as chatty, accessible and conversational. His latest ideas might be pie-in-the-sky, but I kinda admire his enthusiasm.
However, I seem to recall Peters having a rant about @carlosp , complaining about 'armchair lawyers'. Now Lane - in his two recent posts - has himself turned into one of these very armchair lawyers that Peters was railing against, only this time Peters is endorsing it. It's this endless stream of hypocrisy and double-standards that really winds me up.
There's a marvellous quotation from Doctor Who (of all things), which goes:
"You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views."
Whilst Mr. Pedraza and Mr. Lane both approach this case from different angles, and both (in a sense) are armchair lawyers, their methodologies couldn't be more different. Lane epitomises the Doctor Who quote above, twisting his interpretation of the law and the Constitution (either by ignorance or through wilful misrepresentation, not sure which is worse) to come up with a crazy scenario which sees Peters help set new laws in the Supreme Court. Each time the Axanar camp is dealt another setback, Lane always seems to counter with something to keep Axanerds' hopes up.
Pedraza, on the other hand, is the opposite. Rather than moving the goalposts every time he's proven wrong, he seems to take thngs on board and make corrections as necessary. I don't know how many times I've re-read an article on Axamonitor and thought "oh, he's changed that post slightly because new information has come to light". Unlike Lane, he doesn't change the facts to suit his opinion - quite the opposite - his take on the situation evolves as new facts come to light.
Some of the buzzwords of the past year have included "post-truth" and "fake news". This is because lies can be more easily spread a) if the messenger seems authoritative or friendly enough; and b) when people tell us what we want to hear. It's never been harder (or more important) to stay diligent, read all sides of an argument and filter what is real from what is fiction.
That's the current challenge - and I'm glad we have people like Carlos (and company) on hand to cut through all the bullshit.
Your post was insightful and a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Carlos is leagues beyond Lane in every way, but please, let's not pretend he also doesn't have an agenda. Peters does those critical of him a favour by being such an obvious flimflam man, but I do tire of the buttering up of the big personalities on the anti-Axanar side as being the purveyors of truth and only the truth. It's not so. I think people forget Carlos's history in the fan film community before this case, and the likely brushes with Peters he has had....and now he's suddenly reinvented as a "journalist"? Come on. Some of of people on the anti-Axanar side do have an agenda, especially the biggest voices, who are so invested in it they devote so many hours to it and then claim unconvincingly that they are arguing for protection of intellectual property ownership.
I admire the effort Carlos goes to in order to try and seem neutral and it's very welcoming that he's not a puppet like Lane, but every so often the desire to see Peters fail bleeds through his blog, and, in my opinion, you don't spends copious hours every day dedicated to the comeuppance of a man like Peters unless you have an axe to grind.
I had no knowledge of Pedraza, Peters or Lane prior to the Axanar lawsuit news, so I was unaware of the history there, cheers for the clarification.
I had just assumed that the 'copious hours' of work put into AxaMonitor were simply due to Carlos' massive interest in the case and his eagerness for justice to be done.
I wonder, is it possible that you could cite specific instances on Axamonitor where Carlos' zeal has led to inaccuracies?
Think what you will, @Smoked Salmon; I won't try to change your opinion of my work. It speaks for itself and whatever conclusions you choose to draw from it are, of course, your own. But your estimation of my "agenda" should at least be drawn from facts rather than supposition. Namely:
I've never had any "brushes" with Alec Peters. Ever. My time in fan films concluded before his began; I left Star Trek New Voyages in 2009 to begin working on the first of three independent feature films. Naturally, Peters and I know a lot of people in common but I've never met him.
I'm not a "reinvented" journalist. My degree is in journalism, and I was a working journalist for many years, including at The Associated Press, as well as the deputy press secretary for the governor of Washington state.
I've been up front from Day 1 about my perspective in covering this case; it appears in the About section of the AxaMonitor homepage: "AxaMonitor aims to inform readers about what’s at stake in this suit, and its possible impact on fan productions and U.S. copyright law."
Obviously, I believe the stakes are high or I wouldn't dedicate the amount of time to this case that I have. This case has always had an important precedent-setting aspect to it, and CBS' promulgation of restrictive fan film guidelines because of what Axanar has done has, as blogger Bjorn Munson put it in his commentary the other day, "helped decimate an entire ecosystem of fan productions."
Fan films were how I got my start as a professional screenwriter and producer. I've made cherished lifetime friendships and professional connections having been part of the community. Axanar and its lawsuit hurt a community I'm proud to have been a part of, and people I'm proud to call colleagues and friends.
Perhaps such sentiments give me something of a personal stake in this story but demeaning them as a mere "axe to grind" is unfairly reductive, particularly since Peters has never done anything to me that I believe would warrant such a characterization. As I mentioned, we've never met. I was not an Axanar donor. Other than his public denunciations of my work, that's about it.
I started AxaMonitor almost a year ago because I saw fans' increasingly vitriolic debates about Axanar were generally ill-informed about what fan films are and how they operate, and about copyright law in general. My intent was to offer an information resource that could inform such discussions. I freely admit that my bent as a journalist has been to call out inaccuracy, particularly when it's deliberate. And I think the record is pretty clear Axanar engages in such behavior in an effort to control the public narrative about the case.
In large measure, Peters has been successful. Given not one but two PR professionals at his command, his hundred thousand Twitter followers, tens of thousands of fans on Facebook, claimed 14,000 donors and the national (even international) positive news articles from such outlets as Space.com, Newsweek, Bloomberg, the Washington Post, and Wired, you might understand why I've become so passionate as a voice in such a media wilderness.
Finally, I admit I was offended by how thoroughly Peters hides or squashes dissent — even simple questions about his actions. And I'm not talking about me. Since the lawsuit was filed more than a year ago, Peters has purged hundreds of former fans from his various Facebook pages, blocked many from Axanar's Twitter feed and, after failing to silence critics with a combination of refunds and non-disclosure agreements, forced refunds on backers in order to delete their critical posts in Axanar’s Kickstarter comment section and posted dozens of spam messages on Kickstarter in order to obscure critics’ comments by moving them down the web page.
Yes, this got my dander up, and yes, it does color the manner in which I cover the case. But I have only ever been absolutely committed to purveying only facts (opinion, analysis and commentary on AxaMonitor are explicitly labeled as such). I firmly believe that facts pose the greatest threat to Axanar, not whatever measly opinions I may hold.
Your accusation that I have an axe to grind implies that I have done ill service to the facts in favor of my so-called agenda. In a year, not one Axanar supporter has pointed to an inaccuracy on AxaMonitor that I haven't corrected. Instead they seek to discredit the work only through personal attacks and name-calling. When confronted on the facts, they reliably deflect or ignore them.
I appreciate your admiration of the effort I expend, but I'm not trying to "seem neutral"; I'm trying to inform and provide perspective. Readers get to decide how effectively I do that, and I won't try to change whatever conclusions they come to. But they should get to do that without intimations that somehow my motivations are anything less than honorable and without having me lumped together with anti-Axanar people out there with their own agendas likely quite different from mine.
@carlosp, speaking to your comment "When confronted on the facts, they reliably deflect or ignore them" @asurob & @Ryan F give us a humorous example of 'deflecting':
Wit is a trait I have long admired, being severely lacking in it myself.
Maybe you could post an example? I've followed the case for a while and both Carlos Pedraza and @jespah have both seemed to put the facts first.
I think SmokedSalmon has simply fallen victim to cynicism. I have seen nothing that indicates Carlos has anything to gain from his work, either in terms of personal satisfaction from helping destroy AP (LFIM is doing that quite well on his own) or monetarily. I'm sure that being a self-appointed bringer of truth to an issue can seem suspect, but unless there's something to back up the claims that Carlos is grinding an axe, I really don't buy it.
This thread has been an ongoing journey and I've appreciated most of the people's contributions on it be it witty humor, no nonsense insight, legal and/or journalistic acumen, fan production experience, ST fan, it's all been an interesting read this past year.
For the life of me I don't understand why you, Smoked Salmon, keep going after people on this thread with your straw man arguments. Once or twice alright, I guess, but it's a chronic behavior now that really sucks.
Separate names with a comma.