Lucia, possibly the smartest lady in the blogosphere [her partials are just as strong as the boys'] has had a series of posts up recently at her climate oriented blog The Blackboard that strays from her usual blog-fare: toy worlds and the intricacies of modeling thermodynamic systems; betting quatloos on the monthly UAH temperature anomaly; how-to sessions on anti-bot script writing for self-hosting WordPressians; and knitting.
The subject of this series of posts at The Blackboard is one Linda Ellis, author of the 1996 inspirational poem The Dash, and her propensity to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the OCILLA code to guard – very closely - the unauthorized use of her work on the internet. Ms. Ellis’s behavior has been described by some in the blogosphere as “trollish“, and by some others as a “shake-down operation“, though I’m sure if you asked Ms. Ellis she would say she is only defending the integrity of her intellectual property and trying to make a living from her work. To find out more about the specifics of the controversy at Lucia’s peruse the relevant blog posts of: 18 February, DMCA Takedown: Linda Ellis; March 19th [which seems to have disappeared from the front page of The Blackboard], Don’t Post Linda Ellis’s ‘The Dash’; and March 27th, Linda Ellis DMCA follow up. Lucia loves a puzzle and the most recent post from her fits that tendency to a T. Lucia is also: feisty, smart, and doesn’t like the idea of someone gaming her. There are some very good comments so it is worth at leas skimming those as well [Lucia attracts very smart commenters].
It is not the intent of this post to discuss the specifics of the legalities or even the ethics of the ‘trollgate’ controversy [feel free to comment at Lucia's], but in the usual Meme Merchants fashion take a slightly tangent tack and look at a few of the deeper issues of culture and society that form the basis and rational for intellectual property rights and law.