I am a documentary film director. Subjects of my films have included love, sex, 9/11, indigenous fisheries, hurricanes, refugees, HIV/AIDS orphans, and visualization of God. I am best known for the Real People, Real Life, Real Sex series of documentaries that simultaneously explore the vital role of sexual pleasure in committed relationships and the problematic place of explicit sexuality in cinema. This is my "Safe" blog.

Yvonne Craig – Dancing Machine (I’m a fair-weather friend to fair-use.)

Posted: June 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

As I mentioned in my Nov. 2009 post Walking the walk. (Even if she won’t talk the talk.) my wife Peggy is a supporter of The Organization for Transformative Works and is an enthusiastic fanfic reader and writer. So you might imagine she and I don’t always see eye to eye on copyright issues.

Copyright is our bread and butter here at Comstock Films. We think up ideas, buy filmstock, rent expensive equipment and higher skilled professionals to create our films. Then we spend more time and money pressing them, paying to warehouse them, running our servers, etc. The analogy that I like to use is that we packed our wagon, headed off into the wilderness, cut our farm out of the jungle, planted an orchard, nursed it till it began to bear fruit, and then cut a road back to civilization so we could sell our crop.

It was and still is hard work; and I’ve been known to get a little prickly about the idea that other people have the right to do whatever the hell they want to do with our films, or that after some arbitrary period of time these films that cost us so much time, money, and grief to bring to the public magically turn into public property. Given Peggy’s interests, you can imagine the sort debates over “fair use” that rage here at Casa Comstock.

This morning Peggy’s winning:


While I was away in the Carribean I was befriended by a 19 year clean and sober drug and alcohol addict, turned high performance motorcycle builder, turning bluewater sailor and dive instructor. He was remarkably clear-eyed about his misadventures (and adventures!) with addiction, and hearing his story helped me better understand some of the things that have been making me less than happy for the past while.

One of his useful tools for self-examination was “Based on results, how’s that working out for you?” and that’s a question I’d love to hear the answer to from both sides of the (perennial) pro-porn/anti-porn debate that’s sprouted up again.

Because from where I’m sitting, after the 30 years I’ve been watching and participating, nothing’s changed. The antis are still saying it’s worse than ever, (if it still worse than ever, maybe you’re doing something wrong).

And if porn’s so great, how come after more than 40 years of (relatively) legal status, there’s still not much that’s worth defending on anything more than principle (Napoleon has a quote about the sorts of results you can expect with that approach, but my Google Fu is weak this morning.)

Anyway, this morning, based on results, my narrowly drawn fair-use arguments aren’t working so well. But I am loving the above embedded Ynonne Craig mashup!

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