31 Jul

Over a year ago I stopped by the Judiciary offices. I learned quite suddenly how little legislators and their staffs knew of real value of 2D IP, Intellectual property to the Arts Community, or of 2D IP creators Identity, too. I am understanding artists of my background- the licensing world- don’t often walk in the door saying, “Hi, I am here and this is what I am not hearing presented to Committee.”  Staff and legislators speak to CEOs and professors mostly, it seems, when it comes to policy making, and wonks and lobbyists too. Art school humor, let me share- Thems that do, do; Thems that get jobs like CEOs and professors with paychecks and perks who get paid whether or not the © Copyright Protection Ball for the 2D arts gets moved forward.

Then someone told me last week (a wonk, of course, who knew about the hearing only when I told him about it- paycheck dude) that the Judiciary is going to take at least two years to knock out a Bill on Copyright protection.

OMG. Not on my watch.

I am a commercial artist by training. That means, I got an assignment, I got it done, NEXT!, always moving things forward. That is how I earned my living, as a female small business owner who raised three sons into professional men, by doing what I loved. I many not have been the best in my field. I may not have been the most successful. I loved it so much I tell people I have yet to work a day in my life.  Decisions got made. Tradeoffs were considered like when it came to moving my programs overseas, I balked. My number one job was MOM. Kids came first.

I wouldn’t have given up my “Mom Job” for anything in the world. It wasn’t easy doing it on my own. There were nights I fell asleep at my art table. There were things I didn’t do for me because I wanted to “do” for my sons. The more I worked 24/7, 12/365, the more I was able to provide for my boys just the same as other parents who took entrepreneurial gambles to work at what they love. I worked hard to create 2D IP, I owned in order to provide for my future and for my children. Being my own boss with a professional ethic was all that mattered when I connected to clients around the world who all they cared about was that I met deadlines then shared profits we made. I was a voice on the phone, a signature on a paycheck, a name in a designer ad. And once in a while when I met employees of my licensees, I was a rock star. My employees, my art, made sales staff gush. Our being successful wasn’t contingent on gender or color as some blame their status in life. Our work ethic is what counted. Our work at home success wasn’t impacted if we were black or white or plaid or blue, disabled or sickly or male or female.

Owning my 2D IP and my IDENTITY hence my COMMERCE allowed me to be a stay at home mom, there when my sons went to school in the morning and there when they came home at night, a REAL small business person- just like all the artists, writers, dancers who follow their hearts- that your staff don’t put before you nor explain the dire straits of their lives now and why we cant wait two years till you get your Acts together.

Our children’s values come from learning our ethics and values coming from being self starters, owning what is ours. My sons grew up going to trade shows with me thinking every child met Clifford the Dog or the Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles. One of my sons has come back to the industry of IP as a lawyer.  http://ybltv.com/?p=306 THIS is the value of 2D IP and ID, giving your children your wealth you built- cash and knowledge, not by having someone like the Administration or groups like the Internet Association or Electronic Frontier, trolling your offices, getting paid weekly paycheck telling you what they told my peer communities “you have owned it (IP) long enough.” Who are you to legislate that I get to keep my 2D IP Life + 70 but allow Disney’s copyright to roll over and over? Who am I to ask that question? I outsold Disney on like product at Point of Purchase without TV promotion or other so what makes my art less valuable than THE MOUSE. Let me let you in on a secret, Disney’s success in bottom lines? Youtubes? Googles? And so on? Comes from raping our content for investors’ gain.

We freelancers, independent small business Arts peoples don’t get pensions, we don’t get disability, we don’t have weekly pay checks the SSI office asks for to qualify. When we cant work, we dont get paid. END OF STORY. Ask us how we feel covering people clamoring for disability or free Obamaphones when we pay for ours out of diminishing earnings as you give more latitude of our 2D IP, ID and Commerce to technology racing ahead? Our 2D IP, ID and Commerce is the juice that makes their engines rev. Let me repeat, OUR IP and ID and Commerce.

Your laziness in making timely decisions to protect the Innovative Entrepreneurial Communities is killing America. It isnt jobs Americans need, it is owning every single solitary bit of their intellectual property that your lawmaking keeps giving  away to technology. What are you thinking? And what are you thinking now when it comes to letting entities like FaceBook and Google rotate in and out of your offices without holding them accountable to Identity theft, violations of Unauthorized Use of IP and even of Fair Use. The money offshore- Googles and Apples billions wasn’t made from their creativity, it was made from misrepresenting a product to consumers IN ADVANCE without advising in plain simple English that “we are going to stalk your life, then sell you to the highgest bidder.” Gimme a break when it comes to Human Trafficking- if selling my name on 123people.com or spokeo.com and other such site Human Trafficking at its basest level THEN WHAT IS?

It is really simple. We don’t want jobs. We want our IP. We want people to say ‘Please may I’ before taking our stories, our dances, our songs, our designs, our photos, our poems, our website data, you name it that celebrates us, our cultures. 2D IP and our ID, identity is the great equalizer when it comes to immigrants. It tells you who we are in a way that only we can, drawing you “in” to the heritage we come from. We want to control how people or companies use our 2D IP and ID. And no, don’t even entertain Small Claims court for 2D IP creators. Ever pay attention to the cameras in the well in front of you, sounding like machine gunnery blasts. THOUSANDS of images a day. Really. Institute a dedicated IPR court with a REAL LEARNED IPR judge presiding rather than someone who took one IPR course in law school.

So the next time the Internet Association or the Electronic Frontier or Google walk through the door, ask them the tough questions about the Property they are stealing from the 2D arts community? And don’t back down.

They wont answer so fast. Theft is theft and theft is criminal. No. We don’t want the pittance like Arianna gave to her free content providers. This is different. We aren’t giving our 2D IP to the Search Engines and ISPs. They are just taking it and you wont make them stop.

Ms. Chu, when you called out WHERE ARE THE ARTISTS, they were on their knees in the well in front of you. All you had to do was peer over the wooden desk, smile, wave and say, “hello, how are you, who are you”, my lesson learned from Samuel Jackson from my LA days. Try it some time and ask that  photographer- day rate or staff? That will get the Missing Artist conversation going.

My peer are a good starting point help Legislators learn firsthand from 2D IP creators answers about Artists financial health- that some do, some don’t have insurance- life, car, health- most don’t have pensions, most don’t have savings, most don’t even own their own gear. Some are salaried. Most aren’t. Some are on assignment. Some are on day rate. Some used to make a living at what they love. Not anymore. And if one of us gets injured- short of nest eggs from prior careers, a working spouse or a sugar daddy or mommy as the case may be- I could be blunt- I will be lady like- they are screwed. Ask them how they afford replacing broken gear and/or body parts. You can gerry rig a camera or flash but…. bodies usually makes a snapper a “retired alum.”

What you weren’t asking the witnesses at the last hearing was how is Getty wire service surviving with technology nipping at their heels;  or to answer honestly the real reason they HAVE to keep on chasing new clients (not that they don’t want to) is because your decisions giving the search engines and ISPs latitude has devastated our industry that within seconds of selling a One Time Use of an image it is EVERYWHERE without payment moreso with little incentive to recoup losses because the average thief is probably close to your home. Ask them how much they were making PRE-INTERNET and then Post. Copyright law is broken even by Congress when you hustle a pic off the net to illustrate your message. Remember when Ms Pelosi used photos of Paris Hilton, the Monopoly Money Man and other celebs to make a point? Remember the Shepherd Fairey “Obama HOPE” lawsuit. AP has deep pockets. Ask your staffer who gave them permission to use RGIII as their avatar. Ted Leonsis says it’s the cost of getting fans to become fans. The cost of using a sole proprietor disabled entrepreneur’s 2D IP? Ask one the next time you meet one.

This is our message. We don’t want to end up disabled and on the dole. We don’t want to end up on the streets or in the poorhouse. We don’t want to borrow money to survive. We want to pay down school loans. We want to buy houses. But the rate you are giving our 2D IP away we have one reality looming on the Wall- the poorhouse or stop creating. How does one turn off a passion?

We don’t want jobs. We are exactly who we want to be, Small Business People Entrepreneurs. We respect your work. Now respect ours! I know for me, one morning I want to wake up hearing the Entrepreneurs report not the Jobs report. Future jobs in America are going to come from entrepreneurs if you stop the theft of our Property Rights- 2D IP, ID and Commerce.

Look, I have written this over and over to make the point you aren’t getting from the Alliances, the guilds, etc who get paid to do lunch, to drop in, to do the weekly route of Brookings, Cato, book signings, cocktails and to sit or put up the witnesses in front of you. We are the Ginger Rogers of the IP world- without Ginger where would Fred Astaire have been? Ginger was AWESOME. She did everything Fred did only better, backwards and in heels. We do all the same stuff the wonks and lobbyists do excepting they get the big bucks while we are working the events they are at as guests or speaking only to have technologies they are pushing to you decimate our industry’s gross. How can anyone compete with a White House with a Free Internet agenda who within weeks of being in office was giving away CLOSED OPPORTUNITY pics even Pool is closed out of on Flickr, youtube, pinterest, etc ?

Me and my peers don’t do lunch, we work too hard for the Commerce you are giving away for free. If Technology wants our images, then pay us for what your took and pay us going forward. Even hookers get paid cash up front. And we are worth far more than that because a world without Arts is a world without heart- you are killing the Arts, you are killing the artists, you are killing colleges who turn out students owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for four years or more of a career that even if THEY don’t put their arts on line, someone else will and make a profit. The world may be changing but Title 17 hasn’t been changed YET! Don’t.

So, yeah, I’ve got an Act for you…. in marketing, we call it the Idiot Proof pitch- direct and to the point. Its called the 2D IP & ID & Commerce Protection Act.


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