In the recent post on Kukuruyo, a commenter asked me:
I dunno if you should have any sympathy, to be honest. He’s a GamerGater, and so has my antipathy right off the bat. There really isn’t much I like about him. But just because I dislike someone, or disagree with their politics, that doesn’t give me (or anyone) free license to destroy their lives. Accusing someone of pedophilia and creating child porn is exactly that. My contention is that nothing he has done is deserving of that level of attack, and vigilante justice is not something we should be encouraging anyway.
Terms of Service – I dunno about Project Wonderful, but c’mon, that’s a joke for DeviantArt. Half of DeviantArt is fanart, and it’s not like porn is uncommon. And by invoking copyright infringement you’re implicitly siding with America’s absolutely broken copyright laws, and declaring all fanworks should be purged. Is that *really* the position you want to be taking? Because that’s far more detestable than anything Kukuruyo has done.
This seems to be entirely a case of selective enforcement. Common activities are made illegal, but the laws are never enforced. UNTIL someone draws the attention of a group that wants to suppress or destroy them, and then it’s easy to do so because all they have to do is persecute for any one of the myriad things that everyone does. It is arbitrary power disguised as rule of law. Are *you* in possession of any music or art that you didn’t legally purchase? This is the sort of tyranny I find despicable, and just because it’s aimed at someone I dislike doesn’t make it ok!
The one grey area I waver on is the fact that he did make some money on the side off the fanart. That’s sorta shady, I guess? But as original pieces of art that are his own creation, I have a hard time siding with the international mega-corporations, over the guy doing sketches in his free time. I strongly believe that the claiming of cultural myths for exclusive use by media corporations is an abomination.
And at the risk of repeating myself, the people who are attacking Kukuruyo seem to me to be practicing selective enforcement. Did they disparage Scalzi for writing Star Trek fanfiction? Did they encourage Universal Studios to sic their legal attack hounds on Peter Watts for writing The Thing fanfiction? Both of those were Hugo finalists, and I don’t recall any such hostile acts.
So no, don’t bother with sympathy. But don’t pretend that what’s been happening to Kukuruyo is anything but reprehensible.
EDIT: For an example of this selective enforcement, I present Mark Oshiro. I am aware of him because I follow Matthew Foster, who was married to Eugie Foster before her untimely death. Mark Oshiro stole her work “In The End, He Catches Her” and read it for his Patreon supporters, as well as putting it on YouTube. He never asked for permission, he never paid for audio rights, he simply stole them, and profited from that. And this is a thing he had been doing for quite some time. But Mark Oshiro is on the same political side as those who are currently attacking Kukuruyo. He is a darling of theirs. He has been a guest of honor at at least one con. No one called for his head (aside from a rather incensed Matthew Foster, but he never got any traction with that). Some people even bemoaned the fact that they can’t vote for Mark as Best FanWriter this year. I suppose it’s a lot easier to steal from individual starving artists, as they don’t have a team of lawyers to sic on you. :/