Thursday, December 22, 2011

What I wrote to a Congressman Clyburn after he wrote back to me....

Dear, Congressman Clyburn,

I appreciate your response in a timely manner. Merry Christmas.

Concerning your stance on SOPA and Internet IP bill; as you know from experience in life, good intentions usually lead to horrible consequences that mostly fail in the long run. Attempting to control and protect identity and/or regulate piracy on the web may sound great in theory but is extremely difficult if not impossible to implement. SOPA and Internet IP is too ambiguously worded to be practical and is very dangerous for our free speech and sharing ideas. Let me be clear, as an artist, I am, of course, against any type of piracy and illegal downloading especially to make a profit from the hard work of an artist. I do however, understand that people have downloaded my work for their own personal viewing pleasure and I have no problem with that aspect; but I will take legal action on anyone infringing on my copy-written work without my permission and reselling my work illegally I however, should be the one to pursue legally these matters with my copyright attorney, as there are already laws set up by our government to protect my work. It should not be up to the government to regulated the net and/or to basically make it a felony for someone like my Aunt to share an image of my art or a kitten on an email or Facebook. Because SOPA is so dangerously worded and written by people that have no real understanding of web technology, it would be how this law would destroy the internet and it's wonderful burgening business potential with You-Tube, Pod Casting, etc. I only see big businesses like the RIAA and the MPAA being the only ones lobbying and pushing this law that would not hurt piracy, but only people's free speech and create a censored internet with disastrous results. In addition, why is Congress so worried about this bill so suddenly when they should be focusing on creating jobs in America and not destroying them? The vast majority of internet and technology experts that are far more knowledgeable in internet and computer protocols will tell you that any attempt would be disastrous to the growing internet community and rapidly growing innovation in America that is actually creating millions of jobs with small online businesses especially for artists and musicians struggling to create and sell their work online. SOPA would destroy these artist's abilities to market their work as any one could simply "claim" infringement on their competition and shut down the small business owner without any real justification. As an artist that is struggling even more now thanks to a sagging economy, the web is an extremely valuable tool and possibly the last chance for marketing by using such sites like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and MySpace. SOPA would shut down these sites and create censorship that would be comparable to China and Iran. We are better than that as Americans. Please do not allow our free speech to be stifled that millions of American soldiers died for in history.

I believe this is a bill that should be stopped and let's let time and technology grow with working carefully with web giants and technology innovators to create new ways to stop online piracy without destroying our current internet, create censorship in America or destroy budding innovation and creativity.

Thank you for your concern and understanding.

Best regards and Merry Christmas,

James Christopher Hill

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I had a wonderful time with a couple of well-known established artists that paint outside the norm of Charleston artwork the other night.  We discussed issues concerning various art forms and art movements and one brought up a much neglected point of Charleston.  We don't have an art critic here in Charleston that really knows art and art history.  I realized that we are really a city full of great talent but no one to really appreciate what is going on here.  Sure, we have the usual patrons of "Charleston" art that consists of paintings of Rainbow Row, Palmetto Trees and Marshes along with the historic building paintings, but nothing of real substance is purchased, supported or collected amongst the Charlestonian "elite".  They only know what art is because most are told what to buy and what to hang on the wall.  The new movement is either no art on the walls or photographs.   We have a long way to go and to grow as a cultural city.  We have great artists that are being ignored by the dozens!  This past month has seen the death of two exciting galleries, Scoop studios and Eye-Level Art; why, because they didn't have the patronage that keeps the doors open.  Sorry to say out loud, but true.