Intellectual Disobedience

A little talk I gave about Seder-Masochism-in-progress and Civil Disobedience at Brooklyn Law School’s “Legal Hackathon” several weeks ago.

11 comments to Intellectual Disobedience

  • I am so impressed by your forthrightness, clarity and vision.

  • unrequiredname

    Interesting. As a consumer, I developed a similar attitude. I’m seeing local & global secret non-democratic “trade” copyright treaties, mandatory warrantless electronic surveillance & modification legislation, “copyright insurance” draining public funds, even government corporations claiming copyright on public information. In an interview, the legislator who introduced one of those bills had to admit he hadn’t read it, so I’m guessing an interested party wrote it. Some blame American intervention, but governments don’t care about enforcing copyright; global corporations do, and they have influence.

    I don’t care about counterarguments anymore because they went too far. Lawyers are important, but there’s too much profit in copyright for it to not be a perpetual issue. The game is not only rigged, it’s become immorally complicit to play. The only way not to play is to not be that consumer. You’re right, “Ignore” is the best word.

    I’d love to see your full argument for Intellectual Disobedience as it develops! And Seder-Masochism of course.

  • Nina,

    Thank you for your work, not only your artistic work, but also your work in the area of (C), (CC), “IP”, and Free Culture.

    As a Public Access TV producer, I have always liberally used remixed copyrighted material in my work. However, this has always been on shaky legal ground.

    So far, the only way I’ve been impacted by this is when I try to upload a segment >15m to Youtube containing longer excerpts of copyrighted material, their DMCA-bot flags and rejects my video as being “too long”.

    One such piece is this one:, rejected by Youtube. IRONY: In this video I discuss Youtube and DMCA, and I also include your “Copying is Not Theft” video.

    It’s great to have you pushing the boundaries of Fair Use is such a public way.

    I believe this is extremely important work you are doing, and will certainly have ripples throughout our cultural pond.

  • Matt C

    Wow. Seems like every time I hear about you, you’re upping the ante again. Good luck, this could become a big story but (hopefully) could precipitate big changes for exactly that reason.

  • Czech Pirates love you Nina!

  • Petter Reinholdtsen

    When I try to play the Youtube video here in Norway using Gnash, I am told that “This video contains content from SME. It is restricted from playback no certain sites.” SME is Sony Music Entertainment, which I guess have claimed that they own (at least part of) this video.

    I was using “gnash” if you want to try to replicate the issue.

  • Tweety

    GEMA strikes back!

    In Germany too the video isn’t available due to claims by german rights clearing organization GEMA on behalf of SME

  • George Wyche

    I concur with Matt C.

    I am impressed with the care you are giving your psyche to defuse the “burn out” factor that “upping the ante” brings to personal energy.

    Do try to disseminate suggestions about ways your supporters can care for your worldly needs as time goes on… health insurance for a few years yet?

    Our family has been a fan of yours since Eugene, OR in 1980.

  • […] { data_ga_property: 'UA-22979035-1', data_ga_social: true }; I ran across the phrase “intellectual disobedience” while putting together questions for an interview with artist Nina Paley (@ninapaley). Paley […]

  • […] Se lever pour défendre ses principes a des conséquences. Les gens vous critiquent, vous craignent et ont pitié de vous. Les condamnations publiques pleuvent. Vous perdez de l’argent. Parfois on vous poursuit en justice et, bien que cela ne me soit pas encore arrivé, cela pourrait venir vu ma pratique grandissante de la désobéissance civile. […]

  • Gernot Schrader

    i’m a little late, as usual or “gernots rant ‘n rap”.
    i just wanted to point out that a change is required.
    it’s annoying, i can live with the fact that they clamp advertises to copyrighted clips/tunes even if i marked “no advertises” on YT, even if i don’t like that. worst was what has happened to me a few months ago was i uploaded a unreleased version of a song by bob marley. so far as good, some copyrightholder claimed it belongs to them and as artist was stated someone else (a artificial non existant person). with best conscience i replied that i won’t accept this claim because the song is from bob marley and no one else. the machine insisted, me as well, obviousely i’m the loser in this play, but i wouldn’t have argued if they would have claimed it belongs to bob marley and the respective copyright holders. i know it can be sold today and i checked out who this to me unknown (and non existant) artist is.
    with no word they stated that the song is from bob marley, not even that it was composed by him, even also they didn’t changed a single chord on it, a 100% copy only the beat is somewhat enhanced compared to the version i hold. what worries me most, we take care to state the artist and refere to the holder of the IP, they don’t mind a shit about that. one could say they do what you show in your fine clip of mimi&eunice, take a song and claim it’s their own without to refere to the original artist/composer. we all know “redemption song” is by bob marley (while they changed the title, but i guess everybody knows bob marleys voice & that this tune belongs to him) likewise everybody knows “the ninth” was composed by beethoven. it had to be exactly “redemption song”, which makes it to a farce (or a fart?). damned i had scruples to upload it because i knew the one who handed it to me didn’t liked the material to be spread, but not because of a plastic character which doesn’t exists, in fact such would force me to counteract and to upload and spread it because of that. how far will this go? will future generations still know to who it belongs? or will “helter skelter” belong tomorrow to a “john henry” (resp. company so-and-so)? will your arts belong tomorrow to who? to me it’s not about the money they make with that, shall they if it makes them happy (it will never satisfy them), to me it’s about respect. i’m pretty sure tomorrow “company so-and-so” will claim they invented the wheel or the axe or the hammer or life at all. it makes me really angry, because i’m a craftsman, without us they wouldn’t have a roof to cover them, no fire to warm their bones and no food on the table.
    if it’s about me i would let them starve an watch with pleasure how they die, how ever they would beg me to help, i won’t. why should i go and build their house and dig the potatoes out for them? i have no reason to do that, but would do it with pleasure for some broken ass.

    have a hammer (right between the eyes).
    when i was still working as a construction worker some “flat breasted” walked with a guest through a almost finished building and claimed:
    “alll this I have done”
    near to i was about to throw my hammer, “what have you done? i never seen you before on the construction site!”
    but i prefered to laugh.
    yep he did that all himself without the 300 workers, obviousely, while he even wasn’t the architect of the building.
    who are you at all and what for do i need you?

    i know what for, to exactly count the amount of frankfurters and softdrinks (beer? forget that! that was yesterday) you need at the topping, well counting they can well – a single frankfurter and a coke, exactly measured not to waste a single $ for the workers on a building which has cost several 100 millions – wow! i assume he would get bankrupt else.
    idiots, we will all get bankrupt in this way, if we earn nothing we can buy nothing and the result is what you see, economy stucks.
    but i forgot they are far more clever as i am, they can count far better as i can. they are far better educated as i am, but i ask myself in which part of the body they have hidden their brain, i assume in the part where the sun never shines on.

    but you need me (and my fellow 300 workers).
    that’s what i think why it has gettin’ this far, they have no respect, they never learned to have respect, it was never needed, money always solved all problems for them.

    until we are no longer willing to bow in front of the money, only this will change the situation.

    all hail the yummie generation (they look so good and never smell of sweat & blood)!

    have phun

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