Hello everyone! I know it’s already July 16, a day after the end of the Miraculous Blackout. First, I just wanted to say, thank you everyone for your patience and your support in this movement (unless you sent a bunch of hateful messages to some accounts and mine, then I don’t know what to say to that).
I was glad to hear that some of you learned a lot from our blackout, including differences with reblogs and reposts, the arttheft struggle, and other aspects of the issue. From the very beginning, my sole purpose for this blackout was never to punish the others for wrongdoing or to change society. It was a form of education and raising awareness. And I’m glad it has achieved its purpose, at least to a degree.
But today in church, I was reminded of an emotion that many of us have experienced even before this blackout had even began, whether creator or otherwise: Anger.
Now don’t get me wrong. Content creators are allowed to be angry over their stuff getting stolen. I mean, it’s upsetting. It causes grief, it causes problems for people. And on the flip side, people are allowed to feel wronged if their stuff was taken down. However, I was reminded-just today in fact-that despite such emotions, we need to learn to check ourselves.
Something I observed during the blackout was that a lot of us had the tendency to go up and arms over belligerent reposters or vice versa. I can think of at least one or two cases where I personally said “let me fight them” when I found out that a fellow artist was being harassed over a copyright takedown. And to a majority of you, yes we had every right to think such thoughts. But as a follower of Jesus Christ, I felt off about it afterward. Then, in church today, I was reminded why.
In Romans 12:19, it says: “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”
In 1 Corinthians 4:5, it says: “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.”
If you simply Googled “What the Bible says about revenge”, you will find plenty of verses and passages all pointing to generally the same idea: “Do not take revenge”. “Let go of your anger, and let God deal with it”. “Turn the other cheek.”
Don’t get me wrong. There is a difference between acting/thinking in vengeance and acting within legal rights. Creators have every right to have their content taken down because there are rules and regulations set to protect their content. It is when we start falling under the malicious “eye for an eye” mentality that things start to get very messy. I have seen too many unnecessary fights happen because no one backs down or compromises, and one or both get angry. It becomes much more difficult.
But this is something I had to face when I recently took down videos on Youtube containing copyright material that belonged to me. A funny thing about Youtube is that after three strikes, an account is set for termination in seven days since the third strike. For awhile, I ignored these terms, but then I began to think about how it affected the account owner. I saw how angry and desperate these Youtube account owners could get, from incessant emails to hacking threats. It was heartbreaking to say the least.
I admit, when it comes to these things, the content creators do have the upper-hand regarding negotiations over the use of their work. But it is not undeserved. They made the content, they trained for it, they practiced, they spent money to learn the skills (sometimes they even cried and bled and sweat for it). Simply taking their content without so much as getting permission wrongly invalidates everything they’d done to come to that point in skill, in order for some other person to simply make a quick buck and/or gain a number of followers. So you can see why many creators have not even tried to sympathize with the perpetrators. Like I had said in a previous post, consuming all of this content is considered a privilege. Not a right.
Nonetheless, I personally think that we don’t need to cause any more unnecessary harm to each other. Like the title says, revenge isn’t sweet. Sure, you may beg to differ, especially if you uphold different beliefs than I do, but I still think it saves both sides a lot of trouble when one learns to back down, swallow their pride and be the bigger person.
But here is my afterthought to that last one: If we step back, away from that pride stuff and take a look at both sides in this, who is technically in the legal right to control such distribution of works? You, the content creator who put out all that labour into your work? Or, you, the one who saw their work, thought it was cute/worth dubbing/worth earning from and decided to separately upload and/or sell it without even asking for the creator’s permission?
Think about that first before using my words for your argument. Because there is a right answer there.
P.S. This is exactly the reason why I try to always ask that you guys NEVER harass the reposter whenever I post their Instagram/Youtube online in order to notify other creators whose rights were infringed (which I haven’t done in awhile actually).