Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The SOPA Blackout

sopa blackout, blackout, stop online piracy act, copyright, anti-piracy, ownership, godard, film socialisme, sopa, vishnevetsky, no comment

" 'No Comment,' reads the final title card of Film Socialisme. [...] On its own, it appears to be a puckish deflection, a great big jokey shrug to ward off interpretation and criticism, but within the context of the film—and, most importantly, as the last thing the audience sees—it reveals itself as the opposite. […] “No Comment” is not a deflection of responsibility, but a declination (from, of course, the master of declining) of authorial control. That is: he has declined to comment so that others might instead. Directly preceding this final statement in Film Socialisme is the second-to-last image of the film, in which the FBI anti-piracy warning that usually goes at the beginning of DVDs is overlayed with the words, in French, “When the law becomes unjust, justice comes before the law.” Godard’s made a few comments lately about his stance against copyright, and a few gestures, too, including a token contribution to a pirate’s legal defense fund. Being, in part, a film about how culture is (or isn’t) transmitted and repurposed, Film Socialisme is also a film about copyright. Copyright law replaces authorship with ownership; it institutionalizes the barrier between the creator of a work and his or her audience. So, in a world where the more draconian expressions of copyright—the transformation of a work into a property to be sold and controlled, instead of a protection of the authors’ rights—are givens, the only way to resist is to cease being an author yourself." --Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

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