– Mark E. Smith

I am getting really tired of the Spacers’ insistence on rolling over when their copyrights are infringed, which now happens three times a year.

First the Tubby rewrote and published a Spacing blog post without permission. Shawn Micallef, the Spacer It’s OK to Like™, acted like he was in the wrong and took a measly 200 bucks from the miscreants. Hey, Shawn: How about $500 per print or electronic copy and a page-two apology? (But it’s not about money, right?)

Later, the doomed campaign of a candidate trying to unseat Toronto’s mayor-for-life copied a Spacing piece – then did it all over again. All that head Spacer Matt Blackett asked for was an apology, as though this were a defamation case and a retraction had to be issued.

Now CBS Outdoor has clearly infringed the copyright and trademark of Spacing, not to mention the copyright of the illustrator of the cover. Every pixel in the street-furniture PDFs was intentionally included. They knew exactly what they were doing, and there isn’t a single exemption under the Copyright Act that would save them. (Try out the incidental-inclusion defence, CBS. Just try it. Then explain how the images were “incidentally” duplicated, resized, and placed exactly where they were.)

What is Blackett doing? Asking for an apology, which is really the same as offering one. This is a clear-cut case of copyright infringement, a crime with the potential for significant monetary damages that could fund Spacing’s operations for years. Heck, Blackett could quit his job teaching teenagers how to design publications and, in his newfound free time, learn the first thing about the copyright laws that apply to publications.

Spacing, the market-leading brand that the Marxists at the Toronto Public Spacing Committee introduced and proceeded to fumble, has found a new twist on Toronto mediocrity: They’ll undertake any form of activism as long as it’s ineffective. They’ll do whatever it takes unless it might actually work.

Fifteen years ago, I organized a kiss-in at a bar that ran a vaguely homophobic ad in a newspaper, and it prompted another ad apologizing. This, in the industry, is known as doing something and winning. Spacing’s idea of justice is holding a news conference to apologize to Dick Cheney for getting in the way of his buckshot. Fight fire with lawsuits, not apologies.

In somewhat inexact terms, CBS Outdoor is Spacing’s enemy. Act like it for once! CBS certainly is.

Knock off the amateur hour. Leave the Marxist consensus to TPSC. (“Spacing and CBS agree that Spacing’s feelings were hurt when….”) Stop being such fucking milquetoasts. Quit being nice. Get a real lawyer, one who’ll go for blood and money.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2007.04.17 14:48. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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