After the National Emergency was declared on March 13, 2020 unemployment rose at alarming rates. At no time in recorded history have so many become unemployed so quickly. This was an attack on the middle and working class and launched a new paradigm of human capital, free market options and once again enormous gifts curated specifically to benefit the billionaire class.
Struggling to cobble together an income, many in the middle and lower classes have been forced to reinvent themselves through social media platforms, creative tools and personal expression. With no savings, inheritance, trust funds or even slave wages to offer them a way to survive, their own personalized curated energy has become their sole source of income and the competition in this carved out new niche, is fierce.
Prior to the National Emergency a story about a fake heiress splashed across propaganda outlets worldwide. When you hear the name “Anna Delvey” or “Anna Sarokin” one might automatically lurch to the go-to/take-away we’ve all been spoon-fed for over four years now: a young con artist was found guilty of lying to the billionaire class in order to fund an extravagant but empty lifestyle all the while pitching an idea, or creative invention, that would benefit New York’s royalty launching them into upwardly mobile positions of power and influence. This idea dazzled the billionaire class and they set to work to somehow make it happen.
In the long run, the idea tanked. The girl, it was discovered, was a fraud. And that’s all we hear. According to the media that’s where the story ends. But for many, it just begins.
No one ever hears about how the billionaire banking industry were never actually hurt in any real way through her lies. In fact, a few of her close friends who believed her lies benefitted very well from knowing her. After she was found guilty and spent nearly two years in prison, her friends and acquaintances were able to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in book deals and media appearances. Some received pay raises and promotions in their fields of industry. Some were able to capitalize on the story itself by circling with A-listers who portrayed them in a series picked up by Netflix. No one was hurt by Anna’s dreams or visions, packed in between her lies, about who she was or where she came from.
They only benefited.
The take-away from this is that the billionaire class don’t want anyone outside their class circling in their midst. It’s very clear: stay in your lane. The story of Anna Sarokin is simple: stay in your lane and if you don’t and we are duped into trusting you and you outsmart us, there will be consequences. In the fairy tale story we are always told that such innovative thinking and moxie is embraced by the billionaire class and often a plucky rags to riches story gags us into delusions that the parasitic class is a forgiving and benevolent entity.
As class war continues and attacks continue to define existences, more and more people are turning to creative ways to leave their mark, secure an income and somehow benefit from curating their energy into something outside of the desperate situation they may find themselves in. Whether it’s painting, poetry, dancing for TikTok, podcasting or the synthesis of ideas formulated through commentary or video essaying, this new niche relies on popularity capital, likability, relatability and discovery.
With this rise of online creative capital also comes the rise of copyright violations and possible libel, but mechanisms of creative use licenses are carved out to allow for the freedom of expression even if that expression offends.
When a creative team synthesized an idea that stemmed from a wealthy socialite seeking influence and the socialite permitted the creative team to produce the idea in video format, the idea itself became property of the creative team. In fact in today’s market all ideas from creative energy should be personal property and protected under creative commons licenses. The wealthy socialite benefited from the creative team’s production and was able to amass a strong following due to the creative team’s efforts.
Years later that same creative team curated an audio podcast and within that audio podcast were criticisms of the wealthy socialite’s business ventures. The socialite then took on the role of creator. Without permission from the creative team, the socialite downloaded their property, chopped it up and reproduced it to benefit her influence-potential.
This reproduced video, which in itself is a violation of the creative commons license and hedges into libel, is the socialite’s most-watched recent video to date.
The existence of the video itself gave permission for the socialite’s followers to wage an online attack against the creative team, which then hedges into harassment and bullying and an attempt to harm. Furthermore, the ability to earn an income is reduced as a result of this violation of the creative team’s own work, potentiality for libel and the online attacks inspired by the socialite.
In 1998 Sidney Blumenthal (yes, that Sidney Blumenthal) won a defamation case against the Drudge Report. (See: https://archive.epic.org/free_speech//blumenthal_v_drudge.html). Defamation occurs when a person makes a false statement to a third party about your character from which you suffer harm. Defamation includes slander and libel. Libel is the act of defaming another person through writings, such as newspapers, other publications, articles, blogs or social media postings. Although the creative team were criticizing the socialite’s business ventures, the violation occurs when the socialite used their work without permission to in turn defame them.
Although the wealthy socialite might say there is defamation in the criticism of her business ventures, the fact is she benefited from this criticism, suffered no harm and was able to gain popularity. So it seems there was no defamation. However, the protected content the socialite used without permission does have the potential to cause harm to the creative team’s bottom line and income potential and they were already the victim of online abuse as a result of the misuse of the protected content.
The socialite had access to the creative team and should have followed the creative content applicable licensing rules which is to seek permission to reproduce any of the creative team’s content. However, the socialite had blocked the creative team years earlier, indicating to the creative team that she wanted nothing to do with them.
Furthermore, prior to the misuse of protected content, the creative team sent communication via a group email and the socialite was inadvertently included in this group email. The socialite responded to the creative team demanding to be removed from their email list. After the socialite had blocked the creative team and after demanding to be removed from any group email communication, the creative team had no reason to believe the socialite was interested in their work.
Therefore, when their work was misused against them and reproduced without their permission, it was a shock. Why would anyone be interested in the creations from a team they had already blocked and wanted nothing to do with?
The messaging in this story is the same as the messaging in the Anna Sarokin story: stay in your lane. The wealthy class only want to benefit from the class they feel is lower than them, um, when it benefits them.
In fact, the wealthy socialite even uses a pejorative coined by a member of the creative team, to describe herself. She uses this pejorative as a badge of honor on her social media page right up at the top, for the world to see and in her banner credits the creative team member by name. This is an obvious attempt to discredit the creative team member.
But will it?
Who benefits from misuse of protected content without permission, libel and instigating attacks against a creative team that the socialite already blocked? Perhaps that question can only be answered by the court of public opinion, the most effective court in a day and age when social and energy capital are the means of further defining the parasitic wealthy class.
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