Why did we move Orbit Trap to this site? Well, like any online publishing venture, we’ve changed and grown over the years and our web hosting needs have become more sophisticated. We need things that Blogger, as wonderful and generous as they’ve been to us over the years, isn’t able to provide.
“Oh?” you say. “What kind of things is big old Blogger not able to provide for tiny little Orbit Trap?”
Well, since you asked, rhetorically, Blogger isn’t able to provide us with things like protection from false claims of copyright infringement. For a blog like ours that specializes in comment and criticism of current artwork, the principle of Fair Use as provided for in the Copyright Act is what allows us, or any publication like it, to speak its mind. Fair Use of copyrighted material reflects the U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment right to freedom of expression. Fair Use, is a Constitutional right founded on Constitutional principles, not a legal loophole for unsavoury lowlifes to squeeze through.
Some of you reading this may think that Orbit Trap deserves to get muzzled and who cares about such academic things as the Constitution? That wouldn’t surprise me because I’ve seen such attitudes very much alive and well in the way contests and other events are run in the fractal art world. They’d like to see Orbit Trap shut down, but so far all they’ve been able to do is harass us in minor ways. Fortunately, the Constitution of the United States of America and the U.S. Copyright Act wasn’t written by people with such ethical apathy or such a narrow perspective on culture and public commentary. I don’t expect any of Orbit Trap’s critics to object to the censorship of our blog postings through bogus DMCA complaints.
What is the DMCA? Ask Cornelia Yoder. Ask her how a screenshot of the Benoit Mandelbrot Fractal Art Contest Winners page, published on the internet, intentionally or not, indexed by Google and used on Orbit Trap for the purpose of reporting on how the contest is run behind closed doors; ask her how it could be considered copyright infringement because it just happens to include a trivial 30×100 pixel thumbnail of one of her images entered in the contest?
It isn’t, of course. In fact it’s a ridiculous claim because the image represents nothing more than a navigational button in a gallery index. But that’s all you need to push the DMCA takedown notice button these days and get the entire blog posting taken offline for a month. Guilty or innocent, it makes no difference, and web hosts like Blogger are caught in the middle, forced to become instant copyright lawyers and chose between becoming part of a lawsuit themselves or to censor their own clients by removing entire blog postings without consulting the author.
I guess it’s a clear indication of how desperate our critics are to have Orbit Trap silenced that they’ve taken up such sleazy tactics as this.
So where does Orbit Trap go from here? Stay tuned. That is, change your bookmarks to OrbitTrap.ca, and stay tuned!