Mike Masnick at TechDirt links to an article by Martin Bosworth, the managing editor of ConsumerAffairs.com, entitled “The Creative Class War”. (Sadly, Bosworth passed away the day after writing this piece.)
After discussing a novel set in a dark future world, which involves a copyright enforcer hunting down and killing copyright violators, Bosworth puts forward the thesis that “there’s a long-simmering resentment of people that actually make art, and the Internet has brought it to the surface in a way we’ve never seen before.”
(On reading this, I couldn’t help but think of the title of Ficbot’s frustrated rant of a few weeks ago about how many authors and publishers ignore readers’ complaints about the poor quality or unavailability of their e-books: “Maybe we should be hurting the authors.” Though in actuality Ficbot’s article did not express the sort of resentment Bosworth postulates.)
However, Bosworth does not use this as an opportunity for putting down either the content creators or the people who “resent” them. He simply discusses the issues, and concludes
For now, I’ll just say this — creators and fans should not be at war with each other, especially when the real culprits are the bean-counters, the middle managers, and the corporate structures that siphon away as much profit from the creator as possible while ensuring maximum value return for their work.
Bosworth stated in closing that he planned to write more on different aspects of the issue. It is unfortunate that he never had that chance.
But in his TechDirt response, Masnick disagrees with Bosworth’s central point. He believes that critics of copyright enforcement are critical because they fear it will harm that which they love. And if authors are shown to respect fans, those fans then become extremely loyal—possibly even hero-worshipful.
I’m not denying that there is some resentment out there of successful people. There are always some people who are resentful of others, but I just don’t see that as a driving force in the criticism of content creators who choose a path that is anti-fan.
Regardless, recent events in the world of publishing have brought out consumer aggravation with publishers in ways that I do not recall having seen before. I would like to think those publishers will take notice, but they seem ready and willing to make the same mistakes the record and movie industries have made before them.