Welcome to OrbitTrap.ca!

OrbitTrap.ca is our new address. Update your bookmarks and check out the new site! Actually, it’s all older stuff transferred from our archives over at the old, Blogger site.

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!

How comments work: After the approval of your very first comment you will be able to post future comments immediately to any posting. Any username or fictitious email is good enough.

10 thoughts on “Welcome to OrbitTrap.ca!

  1. One thing to point out… fair use constitutes being unbiased.

    People have become increasingly agitated by the way you present your thoughts… and while I am not one of them, I can certainly understand why. Some of your comments have been quite slanderous. I am not a lawyer, but I am pretty sure that free speech only covers you so far.

  2. Chris, aka Milleniumsentry, it’s okay to disagree with someone. Amongst civilized people differences of opinion are tolerated and considered an essential part of a healthy democracy. In academic circles, giving and receiving criticism is how advancement in understanding occurs.

    A bogus DMCA complaint is nothing less than thinly veiled attempt at censorship; an attempt to silence opinion rather than respond to it.

    Only in the Fractal Art world is criticism labeled slander and popularity the measurement of what’s right.

  3. I agree Tim. Only through acting as a group can we find our way as one. However, I will say that acting as a group also means having the bravery to give the people in said group the benefit of the doubt.

    To be honest, I am not labelling your criticism slander.. I was labelling your slander, as such. And, technically speaking, there were quite a few instances of it.

    I am one of the first people to encourage criticism. I seek it out on a regular basis as a means to grow, but I do know there is a time and place for it, and constructive ways of doing it…

    Like so:

    I guess, in the end, I think you could be doing a lot better for yourself if you didn’t make so many assumptions.. and played your cards a bit better.

    Let’s take the page you guys found on that wasn’t formally published yet. You chose the option of unlidding it, peppering it with assumptions, and took a lot of flak for it. Including upsetting people enough to make a dmca claim against you.

    This doesn’t afford you any options whatsoever, and your accusations are easily dismissed as conjecture.. even if they were true.

    On the other hand, if you had tracked the page, only told a few people and kept records, you could have easily compared the official winners list once releasted with the page in your records. Using an online file storage you could have even timestamped it… and if your initial assumptions were correct, you could have had something to back it up.

    If they were incorrect, you didn’t gain or lose anything.

    It’s far more fun nailing someone to the wall anyway, and all it takes is a bit of patience…

    Have a good one, and thanks for replying.

  4. Chris,

    So you think we are bad card players who make unfounded assumptions rather than being constructively critical. Does that about cover your analysis?

    The flaw in what you say is assuming that our assumptions are fabrications — are fantasies made up out of thin air. They are, instead, reactions to facts and events — responses to what people have actually done and said.

    Are we assuming the BMFAC judges included their own work in the previous two contest exhibitions? Or that the huge file size restrictions for entering BMFAC favor the Ultra Fractal program? Or including UF’s author as a BMFAC judge could likely be seen as a conflict of interest? Are these OT’s private pipe dreams?

    And are the people who are responsible for these very real occurrences and concerns those to whom we should be giving “the benefit of the doubt”? Do you really believe if we just politely asked, and in the spirit of constructive criticism and good will toward men, that BMFAC’s director — who’s been running his contest unethically, riddled with in-your-face conflicts of interests, and ripe with favoritism to his friends and pet software — would suddenly see the light and give us a straight answer?

    For the record, the last time I tried “constructive criticism” with BMFAC’s director, he made me out to be an insane cyber-terrorist and tossed me off his server.

    And we blew the leaked winners page? We should have sat on it for a good gotcha attack piece later? Do you think that link would have stayed live for long? In fact, did it, once it was discovered? How could we prove we weren’t just “assuming” it existed or (worse) doctoring the template had we waited as you suggest? Why not immediately let the fractal community see it and draw their own conclusions? It was there and very concrete: a page on the BMFAC site where current entries were being sorted into categories by the contest director before the judging panel had convened. We asked: what is this and what’s going on? Several judges and the director replied: a test, a glitch, or who knows. The director said: it’s not judging. We said: it certainly looks like judging. There’s the encapsulated story. OT’s readers can now make their own determinations.

    You have certainly made yours. In fact, I’d say you’re making more assumptions than we are. You’re assuming the director is being slandered by us and further assuming we should instead be giving him the benefit of the doubt. But, based upon your DeviantArt journal entry here,


    I’d guess you’d already made a few pre-fabricated, “constructively critical” assumptions about Orbit Trap before you ever showed up to comment on this post. Or maybe that’s just something I’m assuming.

    Have a good one yourself,


  5. Waiting for possible documented proof or coming forward immediately upon detection, either way is a no win situation in this circumstance (based upon the group [and person] being reported upon). There are Pros/Cons with both approach.

    I once agreed with what Damien was stating within one of the email lists, and was quickly attacked and slandered by him, for no reason other than it was me doing the agreeing. So I learned quickly what type of person (and those around him) truly are like.

    The lying, deceiving, manipulating, conniving, exploiting, and dishonesty that has taken place over the years by the “Fractali” is well known to those that care to really look deep enough.


  6. I think cruelanimal, much of your assumptions about me are again, baseless. You play with logical fallacy like a pro, I will give you that.

    Not all the comments on OT were slanderous. Some were. And pointing out that some were does not mean I am labelling all your criticism as such.

    I do think, that if you are going to be attacking people, that perhaps having a system in place to do so is intelligent. Playing it by ear like it seems you have been isn’t going to net you anything. There are ways to back up what you are saying up, and just because you are unaware of the tools to do so, does not render my advice any less pertinent.

    If you wanted to know why I was waiting to post, it was important to me to find out whether you were being an agitator for monetary purposes (for your blog revenue) or whether you were actually interested in the fractal community as a whole. Funny, how that works no?

    It may also surprise you to know, that aside from a few sparse chat room meetings with Janet Parke, that I haven’t really spoken to anyone involved with the contest. Pointing out that I entered the contest, and that I encourage others to do so achieved what exactly?

    You obviously don’t care about anyone elses opinion. And it’s sad, because in doing so, in being so unbending, you are alienating people at a disturbing rate.

  7. Chris,

    Blog revenue? On Orbit Trap? How are we going to line our pockets when we don’t even have ads? Maybe we should start teaching classes on fractal blogging at the Visual Arts Academy. Sure, they can squeeze us in next to Janet Parke’s fractal art courses. Maybe we should commence selling prints of OT’s posts on Zazzle. You’re a joker — I will give you that.

    You must have been too alienated by me to grasp why I included the link to your thread. Let’s rehash. You show up, accuse us of (selectively) slandering, and then lecture us on why we should be more constructively critical. I referenced your journal to call attention to the remarks made there about OT. Were you merely providing a forum to give us constructive criticism — practicing what you preach, as it were — or were you doing something else? Since you’re the one who cast yourself as the slander expert, I’ll let you (and, by extension, our readers) make that call.

    I am listening. I care enough about your opinions to read them, reflect on them, and respond to them. I bet I put in more time replying to your views than do most of the daily people dropping in and out of your DeviantArt site to either compliment you or to bash others. They are all just socializing. I’ll tell you directly what I think — especially here in my own house. That’s how art criticism and engaging in discourse work — at least, outside the walls of Fractalbook.

    And maybe I’m “unbearable” because I won’t just say you’re great and politely leave?



  8. I am unsure as to what ads or revenue streams you have tied to the site. I tried not to make assumptions either way. It does illustrate nicely how you react when confronted with the same allegation however.

    And as I stated already, I am not a lawyer, nor an expert. I just know when lines have been crossed, and you seem to dance about them like a boxer on speed.

    And you linked my journal to reference remarks made there about OT? Are you seriously that out of touch? When have I ever made remarks about OT in a journal? I have never done such a thing. If I wanted to speak with you, I would have done so here as I have, and not impersonally on a journal,

    You seem to have much the same problem as a lot of bloggers. You put your blog out on the public domain, ask for people to offer their opinion, and when it differs, step right into attack mode. I read every post. And it is a trend.

    What can I conclude from it other than you purposefully like to antagonize? If the gains are not monetary, they would appear to be far more sinister.

    I am actually unsure how to handle this further, as it would seem, you already have your opinions formed about me. You seem to do strange things like judge people based on where they share their work. I think that’s a bit of a reach don’t you?

    We should probably cut this short and bow out like gentlemen.

  9. Chris,

    Yes, here at Orbit Trap we are into some real sinister stuff. Like: We’d prefer to see fractal art contests run fairly and professionally. Like: We’d prefer to see more variety and diversity in fractal art — more “Phase 2” thinking — instead of the same, tired, prevailing aesthetics. Like: We’d prefer to see some real discussion/criticism of fractal art and its form and theory beyond what is grounded in popularity and cliquish hierarchies. It does seem clear. We’re the black ops of blogging.

    If a “gentleman” like you comes into our home and accuses us of, say, slander (with no proof or concrete examples, I might add), and then is presumptuous enough to chide us on the proper etiquette of constructive criticism, this, according to you, is called “expressing an opinion.” But if we reply and note that we disagree with such an assessment, this, according to you, is called “attack mode.” I think I am seeing a trend, too. It’s embedded in your code words.

    You can bow out whenever you like. I’m not forcing you to read this blog or bending your will to leave comments here — especially if, as it appears, receiving unfiltered responses troubles you. OT is not a forum or a community bulletin board. Maybe you should stay in your comfort zones and frequent those kinds of venues instead. As for me — I live here. When people show up at my door and leave messages, I generally write them back — if and when it suits me to do so.

    I hope you are being deliberately obtuse about the link to your journal. The other option would likely be that you are illiterate. Let’s try this one more time very slowly. The link above. Goes to a page. Of your journal. Where there are comments. Especially an exchange. Between you. And. Your bud lyceum. Where. You two. Discuss. This blog. But, I’m sure, well out of the range of “attack mode” — and falling strictly within the prescribed parameters outlined in your recent sermons on the “constructive ways” of how to best give criticism.

    And we probably should “cut this short” as it is starting to feel increasingly futile (or surreal) — sort of like “arguing with a dining-room table,” as U.S. Representative Barney Frank once described an encounter with an especially thick-headed protester. I’m beginning to understand how he felt.



  10. You are a very strange man. I will bow out now.

    For the record, when someone brings something up, it’s polite to respond, which I did with lyc. It was in response to another, and not brought up in a journal.

    And lyc and I have spoken less than 20 times. More assumptions. It’s nearly impossible to speak with you. Do you ever ASK anything?

    I am pretty inpartial, and my response to a very aggressive journal posted with ‘facts’ that were based in conjecture was an honest one. I was incredibly surprised you ran as far with the ball as you did. It was left at that.

    You like to generalize, and while it’s an honest habit to come by, it isn’t doing you any favors.

    I wish you the best. You guys would do really well if you weren’t so negative all the time.


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