So, I know a lot of people are upset because Six Apart's been acting like a bunch of wankers again. I've been cyber-squatting on my username in a few alternate journals for a while (and anyone who chooses to leave LJ can feel free to friend me at InsaneJournal or GreatestJournal), but for now, I'm not going anywhere. There are several reasons for this, described below.
Reason #1: I'm a permanent account holder, so I won't be denying LJ any income by leaving. Also, since I've already paid for the damn thing I intend to use it for as long as it's worth using.
Reason #2: One of the things I like about LJ is the size of the community. GJ and IJ just don't have that many users right now. And anyway, it's looking like some of the exodus is going over to GJ and some to IJ and others to JF, which means this community that I enjoy so much is splintering into pieces. Blogreaders are fine and all, but I like actually being a part of a community with you guys, not an outside observer stopping in to read your journals.
Reason #3: This one is probably the biggest reason (and why I'm not all in a tizzy over Six Apart's actions) and mskala's explained much better than I ever could: The terrible secret of Livejournal. I recommend that everyone go and read the whole page, but here's a taste:
The terrible secret of Livejournal is that a lot of fandom material is illegal. It's not just incorrectly classified as illegal. It doesn't just "appear" to be illegal to people who don't understand. It doesn't just "resemble" illegal material. It isn't just "illegal to show to minors but perfectly okay as long as you card everyone." It's not "arguably" illegal under hypothetical assumptions that haven't been tested in court. It's not just against Six Apart's terms of service. It's not just disfavoured by Barak Berkowitz's personal taste. There exists material that may be in a grey area, but a lot of it isn't. A lot of fandom material really is definitely illegal to distribute; sometimes even illegal to possess...
...In light of this terrible secret, and in light of the imperfect world in which it's all happening, Six Apart's actions actually make a whole lot of sense and aren't nearly so evil as fandom people are saying.
He's not denying that Six Apart has screwed some stuff up and neither am I. But they're scared, and they have a right to be scared. I don't agree with a lot of the laws in this area, but wishing the laws were different doesn't make it so. I'm not going to show up in someone's backyard with a shipment of illegal substances and expect them to shield me from the fuzz.
On a side note, he goes on to point out exactly how delusional those ridiculous disclaimers that we put on our fanfic really are. Seriously, ya'll, can we stop doing that now?
Reason #4: Until the larger legal issues of intellectual property and freedom of expression on the vast new frontier that is teh internets are more definitively resolved, we're destined to keep bumping up against the same problems over and over again. Sure, GJ and IJ say they're supporting fandom now, because they're small and they haven't drawn any fire from the big guns. It's easy to support fandom when you're flying under the radar. But I guarantee that these issues are going to crop up again, and when they start getting the scary threatening letters from the law firm of Shut You Down and Seize Your Assets they're going to cover their own asses instead of ours. You know why? Because of Reason #3 up there. And honestly, I won't even blame them for it.
There is nowhere safer or better to go. Nowhere where they won't be able to find us and shut us down if that's what they decide they want to do. So I don't really feel like packing up all my stuff and moving into a new neighborhood only to discover that it's built on the exact same sink hole as my last one was. It just doesn't seem worth it to me.