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YixilTesiphon

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Re: L. Neil Smith turns out to be a statist asshole
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2010, 03:24:30 PM »

Wow. That's douchey of him. Clearly nobody was trying to make money off of this.
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John Shaw

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Re: L. Neil Smith turns out to be a statist asshole
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2010, 03:30:33 PM »

Meh. The lawyer thing annoys me.

I don't like people ripping off my work, but if they do, I just bitch about it publicly and call the people a bunch of assholes and that's that.

I wouldn't ever bring the state into it, but I'd certainly call them assholes in public.

I will say this: The usual defense I hear for this sort of thing is "It's just words, and they have no value." and my response is "If they have no value, why didn't you come up with your own, rather than use someone else's?"

People use other people's ideas because they think those ideas have value.

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Re: L. Neil Smith turns out to be a statist asshole
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2010, 03:33:07 PM »

Meh. The lawyer thing annoys me.

That's the only thing that bothers me too. It just makes me sad it's coming from L. NEIL fucking SMITH, super libertarian "freedom loving" author extraordinaire.
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Peppermint Pig

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Re: L. Neil Smith turns out to be a statist asshole
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2010, 03:35:27 PM »

This is all very disappointing.

I'm not sure that Smith is considering the repercussions of antagonizing his core audience and supporters of his work. If he's having difficulties with his sales, I can understand how that might influence his reaction to the example of what he alleges as a plagiarism, but opening with inferences of legal action are not conducive of a positive solution.

One could easily do better with an original pledge, though you think he would have been inspired by those who were in turn inspired by his writing. But I guess that's besides the point now that he's voiced his opinion. A little more time and opportunity for discussion would be helpful.. Ian's response and intent looks hasty to me.

I, for one, would want to give credit where it is due, which apparently was given in the forums when the author was mentioned. I do not feel that people must be obligated to give credit, however. By extension, no one is entitled to profits.

I don't own any of his books. This incident does not increase my interest to do so.

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John Shaw

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Re: L. Neil Smith turns out to be a statist asshole
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2010, 03:45:13 PM »

I do not feel that people must be obligated to give credit, however.

No, you're just a fucking fink if you don't, and everyone gets to call you one.

By extension, no one is entitled to profits.

Now watch the market collapse when there's no money in writing.

I don't own any of his books. This incident does not increase my interest to do so.

So your opinion doesn't matter to him, I would guess. Dude writes good books. If you want to read a good book, buy the thing and read it. If not, don't.

Again, bringing the state in ain't cool, but pretending that something has no value just because you want it for free is bullshit.
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Re: L. Neil Smith turns out to be a statist asshole
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2010, 03:55:37 PM »

Quote
No, you're just a fucking fink if you don't, and everyone gets to call you one.

Right.

Quote
Now watch the market collapse when there's no money in writing.

You're watching the record industry collapse, no? Might want to think through what I said. No one is entitled to profits just because they think their business model is valid. Just because you think you have good ideas doesn't mean your ideas deserve to be implemented at the expense of others through force. This is intellectual sloth, and it's common in people who believe in government as some kind of tool for positive change.

Quote
So your opinion doesn't matter to him, I would guess. Dude writes good books. If you want to read a good book, buy the thing and read it. If not, don't.

Again, bringing the state in ain't cool, but pretending that something has no value just because you want it for free is bullshit.

I agree with your point on value, though I must caveat: Value is subjective to the individual, and you cannot as an individual escape the realm of value. If you go against the wishes of an author, then you should be ready to accept the consequences.
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Cognitive Dissident

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Re: L. Neil Smith turns out to be a statist asshole
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2010, 03:55:44 PM »

Why exactly is he a statist?  It sounds to me like he's an anarchist who believes in intellectual property (but I'm unable to find anything at all that he actually communicated.)  

Also remember that many anarchists would PREFER a stateless society, but still see no good solutions in a society under the confused grasp of the state.  I had to legally defend a trademark once because my attorney told me if I didn't, the user of my trademark was likely to take me to court in his state.  So we sent them a letter suggesting they change their product name.  Sucks, but sometimes things get difficult in the real world.


BTW, when I criticized Penn Jillette for claiming a patent though considering himself libertarian, I got a lot of shit from some of you people.

Oh, and, I have finally gotten to his communication, and admit being disappointed....


shot-->shit
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 04:20:18 PM by What's the frequency, Kenneth? »
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Re: L. Neil Smith turns out to be a statist asshole
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2010, 04:01:13 PM »

Why exactly is he a statist?  It sounds to me like he's an anarchist who believes in intellectual property (but I'm unable to find anything at all that he actually communicated.)  

Also remember that many anarchists would PREFER a stateless society, but still see no good solutions in a society under the confused grasp of the state.  I had to legally defend a trademark once because my attorney told me if I didn't, the user of my trademark was likely to take me to court in his state.  So we sent them a letter suggesting they change their product name.  Sucks, but sometimes things get difficult in the real world.


BTW, when I criticized Penn Jillette for claiming a patent though considering himself libertarian, I got a lot of shot from some of you people.

Yeah, he already busted nut on Ian about private adjudication rather than state power. (He's ain't threatening use of the state)
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Re: L. Neil Smith turns out to be a statist asshole
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2010, 04:01:31 PM »


BTW, when I criticized Penn Jillette for claiming a patent though considering himself libertarian, I got a lot of shot from some of you people.

Wasn't me.
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Re: L. Neil Smith turns out to be a statist asshole
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2010, 04:14:05 PM »

I would also like to remind people that since we don't have a free market, the free market has not yet decided whether intellectual property exists.  I don't think it exists (in the copyright sense), but I might think differently if I were in his shoes.  

His tone definitely sucks, and even mentioning an attorney off the bat is really sour.  Yet, he hasn't clearly threatened to use the force of the state, and FWIW, I'll say again that some anarchists seem ready to sell a future society, but not quite yet to live in it. :-(

The tone, in specific, is a bit of a shock to me, as I've met him and he was unexpectedly extraordinarily personable.  He even invited me to get in touch some time and go over to his place to shoot (he also lives in Colorado.)  I think he responded as a lot of people do when they think someone "stole" from them.  He probably already regrets some of what he wrote.  

I wish I could see this as a good thing.  Ian thinks it will be good for the Shire Society, but it feels like "dirty laundry" to me to make it so public so quickly and not to discuss it as gentlemen (that's not an indictment of Ian or L Neil--just a sad observation.)


...and...now that you mention it, Ian, the following does not seem in your favor...(emphasis mine)...

Quote
FIRST, that we shall henceforward recognize each individual to be the exclusive Proprietor of his or her own Existence and of all products of that Existence, holding no Obligation binding among Individuals excepting those to which they voluntarily and explicitly consent

When I first read that, it seemed to me to include intellectual property, or be at best ambiguous.  If he wrote it, it's apparent he meant it.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 04:23:32 PM by What's the frequency, Kenneth? »
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Scott Bieser

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Re: L. Neil Smith turns out to be a statist asshole
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2010, 04:48:58 PM »

Since I'm new to the forum I'll introduce myself here: I'm Scott Bieser, general director and artist-in-residence at Big Head Press, publisher of libertarian-themed graphic novels. Including several written by L. Neil Smith. Big Head Press is also pleased to be an advertiser on Free Talk Live.

I have to confess I was the one who brought the Shire Declaration to Neil's attention, a week ago. I thought he'd be flattered, and now I'm surprised and wish I hadn't said anything, although I'm sure eventually it would have come to his attention.

In Neil's defense, I would assert that the Declaration is more than "inspired" by Neil's "Covenant." The preamble and first four articles are very similar, just short of identical. The fifth articles of each is different, and does not have the Covenant's "Supersedure Clause." For purposes of direct comparison, here is Neil's Covenant:

Quote
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED Witnesses to the Lesson of History -- that no Form of political Governance may be relied upon to secure the individual Rights of Life, Liberty, or Property -- now therefore establish and provide certain fundamental Precepts measuring our Conduct toward one another, and toward others:

Individual Sovereignty

FIRST, that we shall henceforward recognize each individual to be the exclusive Proprietor of his or her own Existence and of all products of that Existence, holding no Obligation binding among Individuals excepting those to which they voluntarily and explicitly consent;

Freedom from Coercion

SECOND, that under no Circumstances shall we acknowledge any Liberty to initiate Force against another Person, and shall instead defend the inalienable Right of Individuals to resist Coercion employing whatever Means prove necessary in their Judgement;

Association and Secession

THIRD, that we shall hold inviolable those Relationships among Individuals which are totally voluntary, but conversely, any Relationship not thus mutually agreeable shall be considered empty and invalid;

Individuality of Rights

FOURTH, that we shall regard Rights to be neither collective nor additive in Character -- two individuals shall have no more Rights than one, nor shall two million nor two thousand million -- nor shall any Group possess Rights in Excess of those belonging to its individual members;

Equality of Liberty

FIFTH, that we shall maintain these Principles without Respect to any person's Race, Nationality, Gender, sexual Preference, Age, or System of Beliefs, and hold that any Entity or Association, however constituted, acting to contravene them by initiation of Force -- or Threat of same -- shall have forfeited its Right to exist;

Supersedure

UPON UNANIMOUS CONSENT of the Members or Inhabitants of any Association or Territory, we further stipulate that this Agreement shall supercede all existing governmental Documents or Usages then pertinent, that such Constitutions, Charters, Acts, Laws, Statutes, Regulations, or Ordinances contradictory or destructive to the Ends which it expresses shall be null and void, and that this Covenant, being the Property of its Author and Signatories, shall not be Subject to Interpretation excepting insofar as it shall please them.


I am not an attorney, but as a one-time journalist and current publisher I am fairly familiar with Intellectual Property laws, and I think Neil has a pretty good case for the charge of plagiarism, even though he was given credit at the beginning of the FreeKeene.Com forum discussion in which this thing was hammered out. There is no such attribution on the Fr33Agents site, which is where Google leads people with the "Shire Declaration" search string; Neil's original was not mentioned when Ian announced and read the document on Free Talk Live; I doubt that very many of the people who will see this Declaration will see that forum post -- I didn't see it when this Declaration was announced on Facebook and I still haven't actually seen it, only heard it referred to in this thread. An attribution at the beginning of what amounts to an internal discussion thread is simply not sufficient.

To say the least, it was very, very bad form to use Neil's Covenant so extensively in developing this Declaration without getting his consent. The man makes his living by writing, and through much of his career he has struggled with New York editors trying to change his words -- and I can tell you that in my experience creating graphic novels with him, the most difficult episodes of our working relationship happens when I tell him I think some of his prose needs to be changed, or added to, or removed. But the important thing is that we talk these things through, and I don't make changes or use his work without his consent.

That said, I wish Neil had not reacted so angrily when he learned about the Shire Declaration, even though in retrospect I think I understand why he did. He regards Intellectual Property as something valid and important, even though many libertarian anarchists do not (although I make my living generating art and letters, I'm sort of ambivalent about it myself -- I understand the arguments against the state privilege that IP in its current form represents, but still feel that something in customary law is needed to afford artists and writers a just reward for the value they create).

I don't blame Ian for feeling affronted by Neil's mentioning his attorney. I'm a voluntaryist and I fully understand the threat of state violence implied in that regard. But on the other hand, we don't have a functioning private legal system. When someone feels his rights are being violated, what is he to do? Consulting with an attorney to learn what his legal options may be, is not unreasonable.

That said, I don't think Ian or the Declaration drafters intended to injure Neil in any way. Those who were aware of the provenance probably thought they were doing him an homage. The rancor that has developed on both sides of this dispute is both unfortunate and unnecessary.

I am told that Ian has invited Neil to call in to Free Talk Live this evening to hash this out. I hold Ian in high regard, and consider Neil a good friend, and I implore both gentlemen to take a calm, measured approach to the conversation, and keep your weapons holstered. A public fight will do no good for either party and cause a great deal of harm to the movement.

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Re: L. Neil Smith turns out to be a statist asshole
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2010, 05:01:18 PM »

Thanks Scott.  Well said.  I can't imagine how difficult this is for you (we met at last year's FreedomFest, and I spoke with both of you at length.) 

I too hope both men will step back, admit they were a bit quick to act without thinking enough, and find a way to make this as positive an experience as it can be.  I think there's still time for both to save face, as neither looks great right in the current light (not a personal judgment, per se--I'll personally admit to being an ass in public, from time to time.)
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Re: L. Neil Smith turns out to be a statist asshole
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2010, 05:09:17 PM »

Since I'm new to the forum I'll introduce myself here: I'm Scott Bieser, general director and artist-in-residence at Big Head Press, publisher of libertarian-themed graphic novels. Including several written by L. Neil Smith. Big Head Press is also pleased to be an advertiser on Free Talk Live.

I have to confess I was the one who brought the Shire Declaration to Neil's attention, a week ago. I thought he'd be flattered, and now I'm surprised and wish I hadn't said anything, although I'm sure eventually it would have come to his attention.

In Neil's defense, I would assert that the Declaration is more than "inspired" by Neil's "Covenant." The preamble and first four articles are very similar, just short of identical. The fifth articles of each is different, and does not have the Covenant's "Supersedure Clause." For purposes of direct comparison, here is Neil's Covenant:

Quote
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED Witnesses to the Lesson of History -- that no Form of political Governance may be relied upon to secure the individual Rights of Life, Liberty, or Property -- now therefore establish and provide certain fundamental Precepts measuring our Conduct toward one another, and toward others:

Individual Sovereignty

FIRST, that we shall henceforward recognize each individual to be the exclusive Proprietor of his or her own Existence and of all products of that Existence, holding no Obligation binding among Individuals excepting those to which they voluntarily and explicitly consent;

Freedom from Coercion

SECOND, that under no Circumstances shall we acknowledge any Liberty to initiate Force against another Person, and shall instead defend the inalienable Right of Individuals to resist Coercion employing whatever Means prove necessary in their Judgement;

Association and Secession

THIRD, that we shall hold inviolable those Relationships among Individuals which are totally voluntary, but conversely, any Relationship not thus mutually agreeable shall be considered empty and invalid;

Individuality of Rights

FOURTH, that we shall regard Rights to be neither collective nor additive in Character -- two individuals shall have no more Rights than one, nor shall two million nor two thousand million -- nor shall any Group possess Rights in Excess of those belonging to its individual members;

Equality of Liberty

FIFTH, that we shall maintain these Principles without Respect to any person's Race, Nationality, Gender, sexual Preference, Age, or System of Beliefs, and hold that any Entity or Association, however constituted, acting to contravene them by initiation of Force -- or Threat of same -- shall have forfeited its Right to exist;

Supersedure

UPON UNANIMOUS CONSENT of the Members or Inhabitants of any Association or Territory, we further stipulate that this Agreement shall supercede all existing governmental Documents or Usages then pertinent, that such Constitutions, Charters, Acts, Laws, Statutes, Regulations, or Ordinances contradictory or destructive to the Ends which it expresses shall be null and void, and that this Covenant, being the Property of its Author and Signatories, shall not be Subject to Interpretation excepting insofar as it shall please them.


I am not an attorney, but as a one-time journalist and current publisher I am fairly familiar with Intellectual Property laws, and I think Neil has a pretty good case for the charge of plagiarism, even though he was given credit at the beginning of the FreeKeene.Com forum discussion in which this thing was hammered out. There is no such attribution on the Fr33Agents site, which is where Google leads people with the "Shire Declaration" search string; Neil's original was not mentioned when Ian announced and read the document on Free Talk Live; I doubt that very many of the people who will see this Declaration will see that forum post -- I didn't see it when this Declaration was announced on Facebook and I still haven't actually seen it, only heard it referred to in this thread. An attribution at the beginning of what amounts to an internal discussion thread is simply not sufficient.

To say the least, it was very, very bad form to use Neil's Covenant so extensively in developing this Declaration without getting his consent. The man makes his living by writing, and through much of his career he has struggled with New York editors trying to change his words -- and I can tell you that in my experience creating graphic novels with him, the most difficult episodes of our working relationship happens when I tell him I think some of his prose needs to be changed, or added to, or removed. But the important thing is that we talk these things through, and I don't make changes or use his work without his consent.

That said, I wish Neil had not reacted so angrily when he learned about the Shire Declaration, even though in retrospect I think I understand why he did. He regards Intellectual Property as something valid and important, even though many libertarian anarchists do not (although I make my living generating art and letters, I'm sort of ambivalent about it myself -- I understand the arguments against the state privilege that IP in its current form represents, but still feel that something in customary law is needed to afford artists and writers a just reward for the value they create).

I don't blame Ian for feeling affronted by Neil's mentioning his attorney. I'm a voluntaryist and I fully understand the threat of state violence implied in that regard. But on the other hand, we don't have a functioning private legal system. When someone feels his rights are being violated, what is he to do? Consulting with an attorney to learn what his legal options may be, is not unreasonable.

That said, I don't think Ian or the Declaration drafters intended to injure Neil in any way. Those who were aware of the provenance probably thought they were doing him an homage. The rancor that has developed on both sides of this dispute is both unfortunate and unnecessary.

I am told that Ian has invited Neil to call in to Free Talk Live this evening to hash this out. I hold Ian in high regard, and consider Neil a good friend, and I implore both gentlemen to take a calm, measured approach to the conversation, and keep your weapons holstered. A public fight will do no good for either party and cause a great deal of harm to the movement.

Scott is a pimp, therefore all other arguments are invalid. Also, I pay cash money for LNC and SB's work. Thank you.
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Cognitive Dissident

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Re: L. Neil Smith turns out to be a statist asshole
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2010, 05:19:52 PM »

Scott is a pimp, therefore all other arguments are invalid.

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