Okay, so I made this video, a scathing political statement, which blasts both sides. It is incredibly rude, wrong, and quite frankly, well deserved. I put it online to emphasize a point. When politicians use a local, low budget filmmaker’s clips for free can claim “Fair Use”, while they are spending MILLIONS OF DOLLARS on ad campaigns, it sickens me. I’m not someone who vents to my pals and sits on the sidelines. I’m more proactive. I risk it all and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
There are consequences for this kind of bravado. At this point in time, I know what they are and I accept them. It will cost me friends. Doing what I do will cause people to talk or say things about me. There are no surprises.
First off, because of “Social Media” like Facebook, I know that our local film community is already a buzz with discussion about my video and what I did in response. Here’s what I predict is happening: some people are emailing, texting or calling each other and in the course of their conversations about whatever, they bring up, “Did you hear what Ross did?” and like that game of telephone, certain drama queens will make this the topic d’jour. On sets, at the next MOFA meeting, or wherever, the people who think what I did is amusing will say so, and the people who disagree will say something along the lines of “Does he really think he’s helping the Ohio filmmaking community by making an enemy of the politicians?”
The politicians were never our friends and don’t care about constituents who don’t contribute money to their campaigns. We aren’t making or bringing in enough money to the state to warrant any consideration. Even if the usage of these film clips is deemed in court to have been “legal” it wasn’t ethical. They stole the clips from YouTube and the CONTACT button is on the page. They never even tried.
Sadly support for my statements and being against this abuse of “Fair Use” is almost 100% drawn by party lines. Unless the person making statements and their political views are not known to me, so far Conservatives support me and liberals support the use of the clips without permission. Of course it was the Democrats who took the clips to attack a Republican. The legal “loophole” of Fair Use is just that – a cheap justification for doing something bad to avoid consequence. We never would have had an issue if the dumbass Republican hadn’t wasted money on an attack ad in the first place. Ugh. I don’t care about right or left, this is an issue of right and wrong.
I also predict that people who may agree with my video are silently sitting on the sidelines, afraid to upset the applecart or appear to actually have an opinion for fear of their high school style reputation affected within our hallowed community. Most people want to be liked by everyone. I stopped caring. I don’t care if people hate me for what I did or love me for it. I didn’t do this for attention.
My prediction? My videos will get removed by request of the Democratic and/or Republican Candidates by no later than 3:00PM on Monday. Enough people have complained that by the time it reaches the people who make the determinations for the hosting sites (YouTube and Vimeo) on Monday morning, since they don’t have people work these jobs on weekends, it’s easier to delete than take a legal chance.
Will I fight this? No. I made my point, at least enough to satiate my own interests.
I don’t believe for one second Fair Use should cover my video. It doesn’t mean that Fair Use does NOT cover it, but the whole purpose of my demonstration was about how ridiculous the defense for the improper usage of our local filmmaker’s film clips was. Notice it HAD to be a DEFENSE? They never tried to ask.
Because of the “human interest” angle, plus the very politicizing nature of the situation, I expect the ide of claiming “Fair Use” and the original videos will get even more attention this coming week. Since I predict my video will be gone by Monday afternoon, there will most likely be no interest in me, nor should there be. It’s not about me. This is an ethical issue and a broken political system, not Peter John Ross.
For all media inquiries brought my way so far from me email to journalists, I have directed them to the filmmakers who had their film’s pilfered and to KC Allen of the 48 Hour Film Project. I have no interest in being interviewed for this story.