Code of Conduct for fan productions?

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Matthew Raymond, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

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    Fan productions need only three rules.
    1) Respect the intellectual property owner's rights to their property.
    2) Respect the fans who will consume your production
    3) Respect the property itself, and it's history.
     
  2. Matthew Raymond

    Matthew Raymond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    None of this has anything to do with a Code of Conduct. A Code of Conduct is about how members of an organization are supposed to conduct themselves with other members of that organization (e.g. no harassment, no discrimination, et cetera). The CBS Guidelines have nothing to do with it. In fact, nothing in the Guidelines serves as any kind of a code of conduct. (And there's nothing wrong with that, because that's not what the Guidelines are intended to do in the first place.)
     
  3. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I thought respect involved conduct? :shrug:
     
  4. Matthew Raymond

    Matthew Raymond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Only Jedi_Master mentioned "respect". I can appreciate what he is trying to say, because those things that are very pertinent to a fan production. What he says is good advice for any fan project.

    However, the things he listed to respect are all external to the actual production (the original copyright holder, the copyrighted materials themselves, consumers of the fan production). He may be discussing conduct of a kind, but he is not discussing a "Code of Conduct", nor is he discussing whether or not they are necessary for a fan production, nor is he discussing the merits of the Contributor Covenant. All of those things are things I mentioned in the initial post, and all of them have been ignored. He is NOT on topic.

    It is not respect you're showing me when you hijack this thread to opine on your own political viewpoints on fan works and copyright, nor is it respectful to Gaslight me after the fact about those opinions being on topic, and I'll be darned if I just sit here and let "respect" be reduced to little more than a rhetorical shield for threadjacking.

    But don't get me wrong. I encourage you all to continue this discussion to your heart's content...

    ...in another thread!
     
  5. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

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    Okay, fine. I've read and re-read that "Contributor Covenant Code of Conduct". It appears to have been designed for open source / crowd source code-writing (computer programming) projects, not so much for in-house projects. I don't see how it applies well to a filming project. It is, however, all common sense stuff, not really any different from the "Terms of Use" that any decent bulletin board / discussion forum has (e.g., TREK-BBS), so I suppose it would be fair to include some sort of "code of conduct" once you formalize the project's go-ahead.

    However, comma, after reading the FAQ for the "Contributor Covenant Code of Conduct", something seemed a little off, so I did an extra ten-fifteen minutes of research and found more than a few complaints about the vague wording and thus uneven application of certain terms in the "Contributor Covenant Code of Conduct". Based on what I've seen, I personally would not sign onto any GitHub project or any other project that would require me to sign-&-return that document.

    Again, it would seem to be common sense and common decency to treat other members of a project with respect. As someone quoted Tom Clancy on another website: "If you have to write your ethics rules down, you've already lost." Sadly, some people still need to be reminded. All that you really should need to say, to quote Wil Wheaton, is: "Don't be a dick."

    Furthermore, once you get into fan-film projects with people working face-to-face in groups, there are laws that kick in to handle any improper actions or harassment. This is especially true if anyone is paid for their service; even if you don't have a formal Human Resource department, there are still laws that apply above and beyond criminal laws.


    Oh, and by the way: Gaslight = manipulate someone by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. How, exactly, did anyone do that above?????????
     
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  6. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What just happened?
     
  7. Matthew Raymond

    Matthew Raymond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Are there specific requirements the Covenant doesn't meet, or is it more a matter of having bits that are superfluous and do not apply to film production? Are there other codes of conduct or similar documents that would be more applicable to film production?
    Can you be more specific? Also, isn't uneven application of rules a universal problem that all social endeavors have to address? How is the Covenant uniquely susceptible?
    You're contradicting yourself. You seem to simultaneously imply that a particular code of conduct is too vague to be useful while suggesting that a code of conduct can be summed up in a single line without any problem.

    By the way, it would seem to me that "Don't be a dick" has a lot of potential for uneven and inconsistent application. Theoretical situation: If I lecture you about how God says divorce is immoral and tell you that you need to leave your second wife and go back to your first wife, am I being a dick, or am I a loving Christian who's simply trying to save your immortal soul from eternal damnation? What happens if the producer of the fan film you're working on believes it's the latter rather than the former?
    If you're involving the law, then you're dealing with a problem after it's already occurred. The whole point of a Code of Conduct is to be preemptive by informing people of the behavior that is expected from them. Furthermore, the law is often insufficient. In many states, it would be perfectly legal to fire an employee for no other reason than their sexual orientation, for example. Some states are also crafting "State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts" that permit some forms of religious discrimination on the part of business owners.
    One of the forms of psychological manipulation used in the movie Gaslight is to tell the victim that nothing happened when it actually did. From a synopsis of the film on IMDB:

    "Why does the flame go down? Lights in the London house are from fixtures with gas flames, and when you light one light, it reduces gas supply to the other lights in the house that are close by, and the light dims. Yet no one in the house has lit any other lights! And there are also footsteps overhead, from a nailed-closed attic. Neither of the two servants sees or hears either of these signs."

    Emphasis mine. In other words, if I discover that a thread I started has meandered wildly off topic, and people try to convince me that's I'm mistaken and that it's just my imagination, I would consider that a form of Gaslighting.
     
  8. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Again, who did that? Seriously? I made one comment and I get accused of gaslighting? This makes no sense and I'm genuinely hurt and confused by all of this... :wtf::shrug::weep:
     
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  9. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    I was going to ask the same thing, and follow that with... maybe people weren't interested in the topic as defined by the OP...
     
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  10. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's all very confusing...
     
  11. Matthew Raymond

    Matthew Raymond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Frankly, I'd rather this thread be a graveyard than a waste of time to people actually interested in the original topic.
     
  12. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

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    Well, considering the topic sat dormant for eleven days before the first reply, I'd say no-one is really interested in the original topic. And given the hyper-parsing you did of my post above, to me it looks like you're just looking for a fight.

    Okay, so you want to know what's wrong with the Covenant, why it's "uniquely susceptible" to abuse. Look, without knowing ahead of time that there's a problem, I found several reports in under fifteen minute of Google time. I'm not going to go back and dig around for all that again. I've told you there's problems, so you can spend five to ten minutes and find the examples easily enough.

    Short version is this: the person who authored the so-call Code of Conduct is a hard-left political activist and self-proclaimed Social Justice Warrior (her words, not mine). She carefully phrased the code such that it can be used as a club to drive anyone out of a project if their politics don't line up with hers.

    One the surface, the code states that anyone regardless of their background should be allowed to participate in any given project. Okay, great. I agree. If we're talking about writing computer code, or in context of this BBS running a camera or creating CGI scenes or even acting in a fan-film, I'd accept help from anyone and everyone with the skills and desire to do the job at hand. Maybe it's just my military background showing thru, but I've worked well with people from all backgrounds, including some I had a personal dislike for. The job comes first. I don't care what color your skin is because once you put a uniform on, you're green.

    The author rails against the political / social-economic philosophy called "meritocracy", which says that power and wealth should be "vested in individuals on the basis of talent, effort, and achievement, rather than based on gender, race, ethnicity, or other such factors." The author believes that this philosophy somehow prevents opportunities for minorities, and has used the "code of conduct" as a tool to "correct" this flaw in society. I read of several incidences where the author and like-minded people have used it to drive non-minorities off of projects and even went so far as to have good programming code removed to purge any contributions by that person.

    I'm sorry, but this is completely two-faced. It is in direct contradiction to the letter of the so-called Code of Conduct (although apparently not the intent). The code says "we use the best ideas we can get no matter where they come from," but it appears that the author is willing to settle for a second-rate product if it means that the work of someone of a minority background is used instead of a non-minority who might be more skilled at the task.
     
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  13. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    You don’t have to open and read the thread. No one is making you
     
  14. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    I finally looked at the page in the OP and found it...perplexing. At the bottom it claims:
    This Code of Conduct is adapted from the Contributor Covenant, version 1.4, available at https://www.contributor-covenant.org/version/1/4/code-of-conduct.html
    ...which leads in a circle back to itself. It is adapted from itself?

    Honestly, I think whatever the biases or overreactions of the person @Sgt_G mentions, it's not necessarily a bad thing to set some ground rules for people participating in a project so that you make it clear upfront what is and is isn't going to be tolerated so those who feel they can't operate under such guidelines can avoid wasting their and others times. But then you get into issues of enforcement and who gets to decide (the project leads I suppose) and all the potential high school drama that comes with that. And, when the pan's in the fire, bad conduct often gets a pass when the supposed offenders have become key players whose work is difficult to replace. "We should boot X because he said Y but man we really need that Z he's working on, so maybe we'll look the other way."
     
  15. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    There's got to be something at one of the unions, Sag or IATSE, about how to behave on set and while in production.
     
  16. Matthew Raymond

    Matthew Raymond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    @Sgt_G, One of the advantages of the Contributor Covenant is that it's licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license. As a result, we are free to create our own version of the document and make any changes we wish. In fact, it's already a project on GitHub, so forking the Covenant would be pretty trivial.

    This is why I find it disappointing that you fail to articulate any specific argument against the actual language or wording of the Contributor Covenant. If you believe in meritocracy, shouldn't things like the Covenant be judged solely on their merit? If you could explain that certain language should be changed or removed for specific reasons, we could make those changes directly. In fact, even if I disagreed with your reasoning, you yourself could make those changes on your own in your own personal fork.

    Speaking of "meritocracy", after reading a few articles, I think some of the objections that some people have to meritocracy are that it's a system that sorts people into an arbitrary hierarchy (often a pyramid-like structure) by subjective criteria that change depending on what the position in question (and the person charged with filling that position). What "merit" actually consists of is typically a matter of opinion (with some skills being overvalued, ignored, or simply too difficult to measure in any meaningful way), and the hierarchy is usually just a traditional structure passed down over the years without challenge rather than a reflection of the actual skill set of all employees, making it more likely that people will be selected for scarce jobs based on arbitrary grounds. I'm not sure "Post-Meritocracy" is a real, workable solution, but I've definitely seen meritocracies go awry.

    For example, I worked for a large company once in a relatively unskilled position, in spite of the fact that I had a college degree and several years of experience in a highly technical field. I looked into positions that were in my intended career path, and I noticed that there wasn't really a way to advance to the job I wanted. I'd basically have to spend my own money to learn a particular skill, go work for another company for several years to gain experience with that skill, then come back and hope I'm not missing some special sauce needed to land that particular job. In other words, there were rungs missing on the metaphorical merit ladder within the company.

    So, I guess Meritocracy is kinda like Democracy. It's the worst system except for all the others.

    Regarding the use of a Code of Conduct to depose long-standing members of a project, the responsibility of enforcing the Contributor Covenant is in the hands of "project maintainers". I presume this refers to the people running the project. If someone is thrown off a project, it's usually because the people in charge of the project decided that's what should happen, regardless of whether a code of conduct is in place or not. Thus, if you had a large group trying to drive someone out of the project because of some political reason, the project maintainers could just say "no" regardless of what the code of conduct says. In fact, they could decide to change the code of conduct, or even drop it entirely. They may face a claims of hypocrisy or favoritism for violating their own rules, but the actual decision was always theirs to begin with.

    So why have a code of conduct? For the same reason we have the Guidelines: to let everyone know what behavior will and won't be tolerated. (Except the Covenant implies that they won't go after you if you actually follow the rules.)
    How would that keep other people from having their time wasted? You do know that these forum posts are indexed on Google, right? You do know that if you type in "code of conduct for fan productions" in Google, this is the first result, right? And if someone clicks on that link and posts something of actual merit here, how would I know if I never open or read the thread?

    Of course the real question is this: If you think this thread isn't worth the time of the very person who created it, why do you think it's worth your time?
    I think the idea is that if you copy the page wholesale, it links back to the original page.
    Most small productions like fan films, even when they have the money to employ professional cast or crew, are non-union jobs because it's cost prohibitive. Star Trek Continues basically had to use union workers because Vic and most of his friends are already union.

    But, now that you mention it, that might be a good starting place if you're trying to craft a code of conduct specific to film production.
     
  17. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    Are you responsible for how people use there time? Most people are grown ups.

    YEAH, that's why I mentioned it.

    Also: you can use SAG actors, you can do it under the New Media Contract--if you are planning to only release it on the web. It's much more flexible as far as wages... basically, you don't really have to pay the actors (though you should pay everyone something, because that's a good thing to do, even if it's a token.) But, the New Media Contract allows you to use union actors in a very not cost prohibitive way.
     
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  18. urbandefault

    urbandefault Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Questions:

    Who will police fan productions for "code" violations?
    How will the "code" be enforced?

    Suppose an entire fan production does not fall into compliance with the "code." What then?

    I'll reserve comments until I see answers to my questions, but I'm sure they won't be favorable. :techman:
     
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  19. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    These things would have to be project by project. You can establish guidelines & standards for your own projects, and that's about it.
     
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  20. Matthew Raymond

    Matthew Raymond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm responsible if I sit on the sidelines while their time is being abused.
    I fail to see how dedication to finding pertinent information is a sign of immaturity. Intentionally burying that information under a pile of useless comments, however, strikes me as very immature.
    Hmm... My concern would be that such a contract may be too restrictive. It may prevent me from, for instance, debuting a film in a local theater for my friends or screening it at a convention using a Blu-ray.

    But it can't hurt to look into it.
    According to the Contributor Covenant, the person or people running the project in question.
    Then the people running the fan production wasted their time creating a code of conduct they never intended to enforce.
    (* Sigh! *)
    Right, but I see value in assuring your cast, crew and contributors that you're playing by a certain set of rules. That's one of the reasons that STC's 501(c)(3) status was important: it sent a message about what rules they were playing by.