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Jan 28th 2011 at 9:18:59 AM •••

Can we get a different page quote happening? I know a lot of people are fans of The Spoony One, but he's bashing fan vids and their creators.

Jan 18th 2011 at 4:23:04 PM •••

This is a long post that's in response to the fourth point on the Just Bugs Me page. (The one about general issues with I felt my response was sufficiently long and specific that posting it there would start to make the page unreadable, especially if people wanted to respond to me. I'll keep the discussion to the discussion page, as it were.

To start, while I can't directly comment on the "community" of the site (I haven't used it recently and didn't get intimately involved when I did), but I do think it's nice to have a place to go to download full-quality videos. Similarly, it was also useful to have a place to gain feedback on the videos and support on all the technical aspects of making them. Obviously, it's not the only source of tech support, but it is one of the few that's specific to this subject. It's a shame to direct generalized flaming and active attempts to bring down the site just because of problems with parts of the userbase; it seems similarly unfair to the site's own attitude toward You Tube.

There are a few more general criticisms I'd like to respond to, though. First off, it's not necessarily hypocritical to approve of Fan Vids and not all forms of piracy. Just because various actions are grouped together legally doesn't mean that you have to view them together ethically; compare people who only pirate works that aren't made available for purchase, or who believe that theft can be justified based on who you're stealing from and how much you need what you steal. You might not agree with the position that only certain forms of piracy are ethical, but that doesn't mean someone is idiotic for taking that position.

Secondly, I'm not sure that it's valid to fault the site owner for folding under legal pressure. It's easy to cast stones when it's someone else's job to pick up the legal fees against a large business. Somehow, I doubt that a well-written letter about why he thinks the videos are legal would suffice to call off the opposition, and not just because they pretty definitely are NOT legal when they involve (albeit indirectly) distributing unaltered music tracks. Is it really his responsibility to ward off legal attacks? As I understand it, the site is a free service to users in the first place.

Finally, While I again can't comment on the way the criticism was delivered, most of what I see listed here is valid criticisms, and would be considered such in most works. Lack of originality in particular is something you hear about in almost every medium. It's possible to work around, but if there's nothing else to set the work apart, it tends to come across as laziness or inability. More specific issues, like beat synch and video quality, can improve over time as you learn about new software and get better with the old. There's plenty of freeware to help with cleaning up footage. People may have been unpleasant about these points, but they're not inherently cruel to bring up.

The ability to take criticism is important for anyone who produces for a creative medium. A lot of people who make Fan Vids will actually deliberately solicit comments to obtain third party feedback on how they might improve; I've certainly done it. That's not to say that you have to agree with all of them, or to feel terrible if a lot of people dislike your work. Since it's just a hobby, what's really important is that you are satisfied with the end result. Another part of taking criticism is just accepting that not everyone is going to like what you make.

Edited by SomeName
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