The Fish
for 23 May 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
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Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text
 


Pirate Flags

You're a cynical dumbass.
Here's why -

I just read volumes of
documentation as part of a
paper, "Case Studies of
Hacker Resistance," where I
interrogate the cases of
Gnutella (often called a
Napster clone, though it's
not), DeCSS, and such wacky
pirates as the Electronic
Frontier Foundation, Richard
M. Stallman, Eric S. Raymond,
Atty. Garbus, etc. etc. etc.
warez d00dz one and all. You
flat-out get things wrong in
your article, like the crack
about Richard M. Stallman
enforcing the GPL - RMS
enforces a license which is
the *opposite* of copyright,
"copyleft," for god sakes.
How is deriding A and
enforcing Z hypocritical? Oh,
I forgot, you didn't get that
far in your research. For
that reason, your article
dissolves into FUD and
half-witted rhetoric to
anyone who scours to dig your
argument out of it's sad
abyss.

I suggest you read a couple
of the following before
attempting to comment on the
mechanics of digital
dissemination these days —

The Economy of Ideas A
framework for patents and
copyrights in the Digital
Age. (Everything you know
about intellectual property
is wrong.)
http://www.eff.org/cafe/barlow.html

Understanding You Rights
Online: Copyright Protection
on the Internet
http://www.eff.org/cafe/gross2.html

If you understand how the
concepts of "idea" and
"product" change and become
inextricably linked in a
networked, digital
marketplace/community, you
realize why Prof. Fisher may
have had a point.

Oh, and tell Polly
she's da bomb.

<creon@brown.edu>

Polly, you're the bomb.

Now: If I'm a cynical
dumbass, then you're an
ivory-tower pansy. Ever tried
to make a living in your
idealized, Barlow-fueled
world, boy-o? You can't eat
rhetoric.

Stallman enforces his
ownership rights over the GNU
code, no matter what cute
little name he gives those
rights. He gets to do this
because he created the
software. A leads to B —
simple as that. But bits is
bits, and the music industry
gets to do exactly the same
thing, no matter how much
high-falutin' language
Stallman manages to wrap
around his opinions or how
much good-for- the-world
charity he claims.

And as for "how the concepts
of 'idea' and 'product'
change and become
inextricably linked in a
networked, digital
marketplace/community," you
might want to back away from
the faculty lounge, Bill,
because the crack fumes are
apparently pretty heavy. If I
create something, I own it,
and nobody — Harvard
professor or not, EFF deep
thinker or not — gets to
walk off with it. You can
pump all the New Economy cant
you want into the
conversation, but that does
not change the extremely
simple fact that it's mine,
dammit, not his, not yours,
not anybody else's.

Greg Knauss
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Are you kidding? What IP leg
do you have to stand on with
your long-winded, crying tale
of being heisted by the evil
Harvard professor? Dear God,
I hope you are being
sarcastic.

Besides giving you free ad
time to the 100 or so people
(many of whom are or will
soon be rather wealthy and
can afford all the offerings
of your advertising clients)
in his class by posting your
name and link to your website
(not to mention the rest of
the world who might stumble
on the site), what is wrong
with his including your
websites on his page?

He is neither trying to
profit from your article nor
get around having to pay you
royalties - as you do not get
any - by unfairly copying a
publication for his students
that one should buy. Fair
use, my friend, and helpful
to you to boot.

I'm not going to run off and
research this on Westlaw but
my gut feeling is you have no
legitimate claim, and the
practical implications are so
one-sided for you and Suck
that the arguments from
Napster proponents resonate
in your hollow logic. So, I
might very well be wrong,
legally, but practically you
are being a tad ridiculous.

Stick to the tech side of the
arguments. Crying out just to
try to be like the big boys
on the block who are really
getting screwed sounds even
more pathetic when you have
not been harmed.

<jrw220@is2.nyu.edu>

Here, I'll speak slowly so
you can follow my lips:

It's not a question of being
harmed. It's not a question
of being helped. It's not a
question of royalties or
advertising or illegality or
practicality.

It's a question of ownership.
Suck owns "Project Zapster."
Professor Fisher does not. If
you've been paying attention
for the last two sentences,
then it shouldn't be such a
leap to the fact that
Professor Fisher has no right
— zero, nada, zilch —
to reproduce the whole damned
article on his website.

Of course, Suck (and its
corporate master) doesn't
give a damn that some Harvard
egghead has gotten a little
confused by the whole concept
of off-site linkage, and
isn't going to do anything
about the appropriation other
than make that point.

But — again slowly —
if you missed that, then you
might want to up your coffee
dosage. Oooooownership.
Ooooownership.

Greg Knauss
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Greg Knauss,

Several people have alerted
me to your recent
denunciation of the copies I
made of your essay on
"Zapster" . Mistakenly
thinking that one of the
people who contacted me was
the author of suck.com, I
sent him the following email
message — which I'm now
sending to you (hoping that
this time I have the right
person).

I want to reiterate my
willingness to delete from my
website the copies that have
offended you. However, I'm
guessing that you would
prefer that I leave them in
place - in other words, to
leave the target of your
attack intact. If so, I'm
happy to do that as well. You
will notice that I have added
to the page a brief note
referring readers who arrive
at the page through my site
rather than yours to the
nature of the controversy.

William Fisher

Your message came as
something of a shock. I had
not expected or intended to
"steal" your creations.

To be sure, as your note
seems to recognize, my
behavior would almost
certainly be privileged under
the "fair use" doctrine. The
copying was for educational
purposes, I make no money
from my essay, I included a
link to your original site
(and thus gave you credit for
your fine work), and it's
hard to imagine that my
copying of your material
would result in any injury to
the potential market for your
creations (quite the
contrary). Those
circumstances, in
combination, would, as you
suggest, almost certainly
make my behavior a "fair
use."

However, all this is largely
beside the point. The law
ought not be the exclusive
guide to conduct on the
Internet. Customary standards
of fair dealing are important
as well. I thought (evidently
erroneously) that I was
adhering to those standards.
It did not occur to me that
you would resent the copying
- provided that it was
accompanied by a link to your
site. Rather, I thought you
might appreciate the few
extra viewers I might send
your way. (That, anyway, is
how I react when people link
to or copy my own stuff -
provided, of course, that
they give me credit.)
Plainly, I made a mistake,
and I apologize.

I would be happy to do either
of the following: (a) delete
the copied files, leaving the
link to suck.com in place.
(The only reason I reproduced
the files, by the way, was
that I feared that they would
not be available
indefinitely; again, I may
have been mistaken.) (b)
delete all reference to
suck.com.

Just let me know which you
would prefer.

William Fisher
Hauser Hall 410
Harvard Law School
Cambridge MA 02138
homepage:
http://www.law.harvard.edu/
Academic_Affairs/
coursepages/tfisher/

Dear Professor Fisher,

Firstly, I appreciate your
willingness to leave the copy
in place, for exactly the
reason you suggest: it allows
the new article to make
sense. (Though, you may be
interested in pointing your
links to the bit's permanent
home, at http://www.suck.com/
daily/2000/05/16/
.)

Secondly, far from being
offended, I'm thrilled that
you found the original
"Zapster" article amusing
enough to reference to your
readers. I consider it a
compliment, and if I appear,
ah, overly vehement about the
subject in today's article,
please chalk it up to someone
taking advantage of the only
time in his life when he'll
get to use his second-tier-
UC -school verbiage on a
Harvard Law professor. I had
written an intellectual
property article that was in
the initial editing stages
when someone pointed out your
copy of "Project Zapster" to
me and it seemed too
appropriate not to take full
advantage of. It's a wrong
place, wrong time thing.

Thirdly, though I can't speak
for my masters at Suck.com,
Lycos.com, Terra.com or
whoever else owns me when you
happen to read this message,
I personally don't have a
problem with things staying
just as they are, even if I
do personally think that
"fair use" is stretched
pretty far in this particular
case. I'm happy to debate the
point if you want, but I
expect you'd end up grinding
me into paste, what with that
whole research-doing thing
you professors have got
going.

Finally, I can't tell you how
much I appreciate your
temperate response. Thank
you.

Greg Knauss
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Dear Professor Fisher,

I am the editor of Suck.com.
I concur with Greg Knaus's
comments in his separate
response to you. Although I
too question whether
reprinting the article in its
entirety falls under the
rubric of fair use, we
prefer, as always, to deal
with events through satirical
comment rather than through
an unpleasant hubbub. I
suspect that our articles are
frequently copied in toto
into emails, usenet posts,
etc. Since Suck.com's message
is an important one that we
believe should be distributed
to the peoples of all
nations, we have never
pursued these matters, and we
don't intend to start with
your citation. In any event,
as Greg noted, the situation
was irresistibly apt to our
current article.

The one thing that did get my
nose slightly out of joint
was your reference to the
article's being "derived from
and available — for the
time being — from
[Suck]," since this invites
the inference that Suck, the
longest-running daily
publication on the Web, is
some kind of fly-by-night
operation. And of course,
since my own education
consists of some
correspondence drawing
classes and a few course
hours at the Barbizon School,
I'm always happy to tweak the
Ivy League. I hope this
hasn't caused you any
aggravation (beyond a few
emails from our more vehement
readers). I hope you'll
continue to enjoy our
articles, and on behalf of
Suck.com, I wish you the very
best.

Big Tim Cavanaugh
Editor, Suck.com
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Excellent piece today! Would
you mind if I passed the text
of this piece (an awful lot
of folks in this building
wouldn't be caught dead going
to suck.com!) around to a few
of the other librarians here
in the building?

<reitene@okstate.edu>

Sure. But I want to you to
scratch out my name at the
bottom of the page and write
yours just beneath it. Just
to see if anybody's paying
attention.

Greg
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Well done. I wonder if the
napster/gnutella
/mIRC/hotline debate had been
along the lines you point out
in your article, would
napster still have the
overwhelming popular vote
among the digerati? Probably,
but not by such a wide margin
I'm sure. "What a tangled web
we weave...". It all seems to
be about control, and there
is no better place to lose
control of everything from
your ideas to your money
(wanna invest in boo.com?)
than the wild frontiers of
the net. Unfortunately we see
in the history of our own
continent the relative ease
and speed with which wild
frontiers can be tamed. That
was with the entire support
of white society behind the
effort. Is there enough
division on this issue to
prevent the total
domestication of the web, or
is napster our Edward Teach?
I guess I'll just keep
reading to find out.

<mjean@fitt.ca>

I hope that the Web never
ends up domesticated, but,
Lordy, can't the people who
are trying to keep it wild do
something a little more
interesting than ripping off
tedious heavy metal? They
could at least confuse the
law, rather than just move
petty theft to a new medium.

Sheesh.

Greg
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Fatherhood: The New
Motherhood


Damn, woman. You said it.

My own Dad was a 'Disneyland
Dad', though this was back in
the 70's, before my parents
got divorced (and we later
learned just why Daddy never
came home during the week,
and believe me, it's just as
sordid as you'd imagine), and
I've got to say that your
column hit the nail on the
head as far as the current
'fashion' for fatherhood.

Since my wife and I will be
having kids someday soon (not
imminently, but it's a lot
closer), I have to make sure
that I'm just as ready as she
will be, because I do not
want to be either the
stereotypical 50's remote
father figure, nor the
stereotypical 'my kid's best
Pal'. The true role of
fatherhood sits between the
extremes.

Keep up the good work.

MikeC
<MCzaplinski@npr.org>

Disneyland Dads were ultra
prominent in the '70s. My own
da was the epitome of that
name — he played Captain
Hook for three years at
Disneyland, trying to "find
himself." I think he was in
it for the chicks — he
ended up with Snow White.

Good luck fathering your own
offspring. I'm sure by that
time great-grand-uncling will
be the fad, so fatherhood
should be a snap.

Gooding up the keep work,

Ginger
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


I thought your commentary of
May 15th made excellent use
of generalities and
assumptions. I honestly had
no idea that the kid-happy
behavior of male celebrities
dictated the attitudes of a
nation of men. I have been
told this for years, and now
-thanks to Suck- I know it to
be true: men are bad.

The work of fathers to raise
their children is merely a
"help" to their wives- and
not nearly enough help as it
is. Fatherhood is not even an
actual job description in
such a family design, just an
auxiliary unit for the
blessed mother figure-
whether or not she happens to
live with the children.

Thanks, Suck. It's the kind
of biting honesty you can
only find written by an
anonymous columnist.

<marenz@bennettinnovations.com>

Thank God you got it, Mark.
Suck's message has first and
foremost been "men are bad."
We've been trying to spread
the word for five long years,
and are thrilled that someone
finally figured it out. Kudos
to you.

Anonymously,

Ginger
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


my womb shudders everytime a
man details a weekend jaunt
to see elmo at madison square
garden with his wet and
sticky gene deposits as if he
is deserving of most
thoughtful parental figure.
screw that. my theory is that
it all started with lamaze.
suddenly, men were under the
misinformed impression that
they were actually "going
through" the experience of
child bearing with women. the
day they pass a walnut sized
kidney stone is the day they
will finally understand.

kbunch
<KBunch@cmp.com>

kbunch,

You are absolutely right.
Lamaze ruined everything.
Also, when men "rediscovered"
that they could write poetry
and organize big festivals in
cow country to share such
verse — well, that really
ruined everything. Elmo
didn't help either.

best,

Ginger
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Dear Ginger,

I'm a second time dad to be.
Here are some personal
observations. Becoming a
father is a simple, painless
process and requires little
or no skill. Carrying the
real thing in your tummy is
as vomit inducing and painful
as Warren Beatty's Oscar
acceptance speech. And it
takes just as much time.

shloo thululu
<slatbartifast@yahoo.com>

Dear shloo,

I would like to thank the
Academy, and my fans, for the
opportunity to serve a 7 to
10 pound humanoid through my
vaginal passage, replete with
bloody excrement and beefy
placentage. Though I worked
hard, I truly enjoyed nine
months of obesity and 5 to 30
hours of excruciating,
non-stop pain. It has made me
a stronger person.

Oh, I'd also like to thank my
darling significant other,
Lovey, and God for giving me
this opportunity...

Ginger
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Dear "Ginger",

Although your article was
well written and well
referenced to pop and
literary culture, it seems a
little unfair and
short-sighted. I'm a
verifiable subject of your
article. My son was born in
1996, and I have had the
uncomfortable role-identity
crisis to handle: should I be
the remote authority figure
like my fathers (both of
them), or should I be the
modern dad, struggling to be
an equal partner in the
parenting role with my wife.
I chose the latter, and it
also chose me. My wife and I
are like most couples, our
roles are not clearly
separated. We both work (we
were both students then), we
both parent. It's the only
way that approaches fair.
It's also what I wanted to
do.

It is not a fad for fathers'
roles to approach equality in
parenting with women. Since
women began entering the
workforce as supplementary
breadwinners or as single
mother/workers, there has
been a trend toward
destruction of the barriers
standing between women and
the breadwinner role, and men
and the caregiver role.
Women's participation in the
work-force has grown from 49%
in 1970 to 72% in 1995. See
Blau, F. 1998. "Trends in the
Well-Being of American Women,
1970-1995," Journal of
Economic Literature 36:
112-165 (the subject was part
of my undergraduate thesis,
which was sitting on the
shelf next to my computer, I
didn't research this for this
e-mail, which would have been
a little crazy). The
industrial-era nuclear family
is becoming rare. For every
family in which the parents
are both working, at the best
there is trouble fitting
parenting into the schedules
of both of the parents, worse
is that the burden will fall
solely on the overburdened
mother.

Research on "work-family
conflict" has found that the
incompatibility of "role
pressures" (the demands on
one's time and energy that
result from duties arising
from one's role) result in
decreased marital
satisfaction, stress, and
general discontent. See
Kopelman, R., J. Greenhaus,
T. Connolly. 1983. "A Model
of Work, Family, and
Interrole Conflict: A
Constrcut Validation Study."
Organizational Behavior and
Human Performance. 32:
198-215. It is true that
mothers often bear the lions
share, even when the father
is trying to take on (at
least the appearance of) the
role of caregiver. But
commentators on the subject
have pointed out that the
inequality between women and
men in work and family arenas
are, in part, attributable to
differences in social gender
identity. See Wiley, M. 1991.
"Gender, Work, and Stress:
The Potential Impact of
Role-Identity Salience and
Commitment." The Sociological
Quarterly. 32 (4): 495-510.
That is, men often feel
guilty and inadequate when
they are unable to be the
breadwinner, like their
fathers were. Or they feel
that they are being too soft
when they have to change the
poopy diaper in the men's
room, or they feel that the
older generation is frowning
on their decisions. Likewise,
women feel guilty that they
are either not the mothers
that their mothers were, or
they feel inadequate and
cheated at having chosen to
stay at home instead of
pursue a career. My wife and
I have dealt with these
problems. It isn't easy.
Social mores of different age
groups and backgrounds
collide.

There is no turning back to
the Cleaver family era. The
finances of the family
oftentimes won't allow it,
and if they do, there is
still the career aspirations
of the parents. This will not
reverse. I suggest that the
"fad" of the importance of
fatherhood is a necessary and
reasonable compensation that
the American family is
undergoing. Social mores are
changing. We men don't have
to be the cool and distant
nuclear family dad. We can
say things like "poopy
diaper" and still be a man,
and we may even begin to
change the damn things. It's
a positive thing. If Warren
Beatty were here I would
shake his hand, despite "Dick
Tracy" (but I though "Ishtar"
was great).

I'm all for the cleansing,
compensating power of
derision. I just think you
made a poor decision when you
suggested that the effort to
incorporate being a
caregiving daddy into the
popular masculine role is a
farce. Social roles define
behavior define social roles
etc.

Thank you for your time.

Ryan Wallis
<rwallis@law.tulane.edu>

Dear "Ryan,"

As you so eloquently stated,
it is a necessity in these
modern times for fathers to
"approach equality." And, it
seems that dads are trying
their progressive little
hearts out. But, when it
comes down to getting dirty,
moms are still the ones who
leap into the mud first.
According to Jessica Jones,
in a January 27, 2000 article
in The Staten Island Advance
entitled 'They're both doing
it all,' "Moms are still more
likely to be primary
caretakers, but dads are
getting much more involved
with the details." Looking at
the child-blessed couples in
my own wannabe-progressive
circle, dads definitely ARE
helping with changing
diapers, getting food ready,
holding the kid, but it's
still the moms who jump up
when the babe lets out a
whimper, the moms who stay
home while dads go grab a
quick beer with their
buddies, the moms who more
strictly adhere to
eating/sleeping/pooping
schedules.

Regards,

Ginger
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 


Dear Ms. Snapps,

I just wanted to tell you
that I found your article on
fatherhood amazingly
insightful and
big-picture-oriented, which
is rare when it comes to
touchy subjects. I myself
have a father, so this
article was particularly
interesting to me.

Rebecca Rustin
<r.rustin@sympatico.ca>

Dear Rebecca,

It's amazing that so many of
us have fathers. I guess it's
one of those "common bond"
things that never fails to
humble us now and again.

Cheers,

Ginger
 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

 The Shit
Krushchev Remembers, by Nikita Krushchev (authorship disputed), translated by Strobe Talbott
Five-Star Day Cafe
Athens, Ga.
Salon's "Action Figures"
TV ad
Donna's Famous "Long and Short of It," by Donna Anderson and friends
Two-Lane Blacktop, directed by Monte Hellman (The Anchor Bay/Universal letterboxed edition)
George Bush, Dark Prince of Love: A Presidential Romance, by Lydia Millet (Scribner)
King Kong: The Complete 1933 Film Score, by Max Steiner Moscow Symphony Orchestra, William J. Stromberg conductor (Marco Polo)
Eightball #20, by Dan Clowes (Fantagraphics Books)
The ECW's Little Spike Dudley
Stan Kenton, City of Glass, featuring arrangements by legendary weirdo Bob Graettinger (EMD/Blue Note)
Comix 2000, Edited and published by L'Association, 2000
Star Dudes
Do you know of stuff that doesn't actively suck? Things so good they deserve to make the Shitlist? Send your suggestions to us.

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