On Personae (2)


There are intellectual property issues too. Here’s what I wrote (in mixed voice…) in my last “Admin-voiced” post over at the Forum (it’s all non-commented, straight-up information henceforward):

Much of her “more personal” or subjective / opinionated / researched material – essentially, anything containing intellectual-property-content – from here has now moved over there. Interpreted loosely: I’m viewing the brain-work that went into designing and building the Forum as belonging to the Forum – to all the co-ordinators and to the members. [And that will be the last Admin-“voice” comment here.]

What’s moved: posts on the VILLAGE GREEN; work on categorising ONLINE RESOURCES – though the alphabetical list is still here, plus links to the MMM versions.

She has tried to replace content with links as far as possible, but being human, there may be the odd glitch. Please do let her know should you spot anything.

This is mainly because I am moving to Canada this summer, and gradually reducing my services to the Forum. Rest assured: normal service on collecting and advertising jobs and events will continue as before, for as long as need be, however long that might be. There will be no leaving of people in the lurch!

But that made me think a bit –

(1) The obvious Old Hat Question: what counts as intellectual property? How much creative input is needed? How subjective ought it to be? Got round that one by being subjective myself, but also subjective in being nice and not, say, dismantling the entire FMRSI site. That would have been within the letter of the law, as it is my work: from Googling “MySQL” and “PHP”, through to researching blogs, cross-comparing what was available, deciding on WordPress (Blessed Be! All praise!!), and designing and building the thing; plus subsequent maintenance, re-organising, rewriting, and so forth and so on. It does feel rather like a “Temple construict par divin artiffice”:

L’altitonant suprème plasmateur,
Monarque et chef en l’art d’architecture, […]
Préordonna çà bas ung édiffice, […]
Temple construict par divin artiffice.
(Guillaume Cretin, “Chant Royal.” Recueil Vidoue of 1525: ff. v-vi.)

But Objectively Sticking to the Letter of the Law would have been mean, nasty, and rude.
Also, I do think – again, this might be a more generous interpretation – that this being a Forum means there are certain parts of it, and an overall structure, that are held in common, and “belong” to the Forum (i.e. its constituent Co-Ordinators and Members).
It does make one worry, though – what happens when people fight? when co-operatives and relations break down? like in any other kind of divorce, acrimonious disputes over property – and investment, resources wasted, opportunities lost, sacrifices made, …
But then again:

  • Property Is Theft
  • Web 2.0: Share The Wealth


(2) Are creative acts by a persona, avatar, or other pseudonymous other-self covered by intellectual property rights – and indeed by a Creative Commons licence, insofar as that actually affords read protection?
Let’s look to a couple of Authority Figures (though they must be rolling around in their graves chuckling merrily at that idea).

(3) Aristotle’s Poetics re. the “appropriateness” of characters’ behaviour, and of the distinction between views held by a character and those held by an author.

(4) Jean de Meun, RR (Strubel edition & pagination, Livre de Poche coll. “Lettres Gothiques”):

“Tout ne soit il samblable gloire
De celui qui la chose fait
Et del escrivain qui le fait
Veult metre proprement en livre,
Pour mieus la verité descrivre,
Si n’est ce pas chose legiere,
Ainz est mout fort de grant maniere
Metre bien les faiz en escrit,
Car quiconques la chose escrit,
Se dout voir ne vous veult embler,
Le dit doit le fait ressembler;
Car les voiz as choses voisines
Doivent estre a leur faiz cousines.”
Si me couvient ainsi parler
Se par le droit m’en vueill aler.
(ll. 15185-98)

Mais pour ce en escript le meïsmes
Que nous et vous de vous meïsmes
Puissons connoissances avoir,
Car il fait bon de tout savoir.
D’autre part, dames honorables,
S’il vous samble que je di fables,
Pour menteour ne m’en tenez,
Mais as aucteurs vous en prenez
Qui en leur livres ont escrites
Les paroles que j’en ai dites
Et ceuls avoec que j’en dirai.
Ne ja de mot n’en mentirai
Se li preudoume n’en mentirent
Qui les anciens livres firent.
(ll. 15215-29)

As it happens, I’m working on these next sections (inc. what I can lay my grubby little paws on from the mss point of view…), in relation to the above and to Faus Samblant. These next sections – when considering the identity of the speaker (putting to one side what anyone else has said on the subject, and why, and returning to first principles i.e. reading what’s there…) – are at the least intriguing, at most eyebrow-raising, deep-breath-taking, and maybe even a teeny bit eye-crossing. I admit to some jaw-dropping the first time I reread this slowly, after one of those “hang on a moment, what just happened there?” moments. And I’ve now lost count of the number of re-reads over the last dozen years (curses on you, Rose!):

Par coi mieus m’en devez quiter:
Je n’i fais riens fors reciter,
Se par mon geu qui poi vous couste,
Quelque parole n’i ajouste
Si com font entr’euls li poete
Quant chascuns la matire trete,
Dont il li plaist a entremetre;
Car si com tesmoigne la letre,
Profiz et delictation,
C’est toute leur entencion.
Et se gent contre moi groucent
Qui se tormentent et courroucent,
Qui sentent que je les remorde
Pour ce chapitre ou je recorde
Les paroles de faus samblant,
Et pour ce saillent assamblant
Que blamer ou pugnir me vueillent,
Pour ce que de mon dit se dueillent,
Je faz bien protestacion
C’onques ne fu m’entencion
De parler contre houme vivant
Sainte religion sivant
Ne qui sa vie use en bonne oevre,
De quelque robe qu’il se coevre.
Ainz pris mon arc et l’entesoie,
Quel que pechierres que je soie,
Si fis ma saiete voler
Generalment pour affoler.
(ll. 15237-64)

Ainc d’autre saing ne fis bersaut,
La vols et vueill que mi fers aut,
Si trais seur euls a la volee.
Et se pour avoir la colee
Avient que desouz la saiete
Aucuns de son bon gre se mete,
Qui par orgueill si se deçoive
Que deseur soi le coup reçoive,
Puis se plaint que je l’ai navré,
Courpes n’en ai ne ja n’avré
Neïs s’il en devoit perir;
Car je ne puis nullui ferir
Qui dou coup se vueille garder
S’il set son estat regarder.
Neïs cil qui navré se sent
Pour le fer que je li present,
Gart que plus ne soit ypocrites,
Si sera de la plaie quites.
Et nepourquant, qui que s’en plaigne,
Conbien que preudomme se faigne,
Ainc riens n’en dis, mon esciant,
Comment qu’il m’ault contrariant,
Qui ne soit en escrit trouvé
Et par expirement prouvé,
Ou par raison au mains prouvable,
A cui qu’il soit desagreable.
Et s’il y a nule parole
Qui sainte eglise tiengne a fole,
Se je puis souffire a l’amende.
(ll. 15277-306)


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