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If you meet the Buddha on the Web …

24/07/2015

Iggy on IPThis post is a eulogy for one of my all time favourite websites, American Buddha.  Those of you who’ve clicked on the link in my blogroll over the past month or so would have got a ‘Server not found’ error or, more recently, been redirected to the partial copy in the Internet Archive.

Maintained by the husband and wife team of Charles and Tara Carreon, American Buddha was a fantastic repository of revelations and rants, encompassing politics, art, science, philosophy, music, sexuality, spirituality, poetry, cult debunking, personal reflections (sometimes very personal) and more. It also contained text from several copyrighted publications and that’s what ultimately brought it unstuck. (For an account of the demise of American Buddha – as well as a sample of his virtuosic ranting – check Charles Carreon’s post at PunkLawyer.com)

I always felt particularly at home at American Buddha. It not only reflected my interests and opinions but also my anarcho-punk sensibilities. And Charles and Tara are great writers. I may not agree with everything they say but I always admire the way they say it. (To be honest, I do mostly agree with what they say.) It may not entirely be a coincidence that some posts on this blog share stylistic elements (and obsessions) with those on American Buddha. In solidarity with their disregard for intellectual property laws I even stole my gravatar image from there. But I wouldn’t call my blog derivative. Oh no. Never. Call it convergent evolution instead.

So the corporate heavyweights (in this case Penguin Books) have won a minor battle in their losing war to keep information locked tightly away in their IP coffers. Futile and trivial though their temporary triumph may be, this one hurts.

Let’s try to make their victory as Pyrrhic as possible. I urge all my readers to redouble their efforts, via torrent streaming and sites like Bookfi, to pirate the property stolen by big business.  Pay particular attention to the rent-seeking ghouls who hold rights to the work of dead artists. And make an extra effort to target material copyrighted by Penguin. I for one won’t be buying any more books with the waddling seabird on the cover. But I will be reading them.

 

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2 Comments
  1. Amazing post… I didn’t know about American Buddha – its demise a catastrophe, natural disaster. Really liked: http://punklawyer.com/2015/07/17/rock-n-roll-library-rest-in-peace/
    Stunningly vivid descriptions like this one: “… Professor Hill was delivered into the hands of the unctuous bastards, fatuous blowhards, tricky sidewinders, and hard-boiled interrogators who slithered out of their holes in the Congressional woodpile…”

    Like

    • Yeah, he’s a world class ranter isn’t he?
      Sometimes he gets carried away by his own rhetoric and drops himself in the shit, but even his train wrecks make for great entertainment.

      Like

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