“You Will Receive No Payment…”

Oh my gawdd! Can we use this?

Such has been the concept that has governed the internet for years. Not section 230, not the Zuck. No the internet engine has been powered in large part by two things – girls with phones filming vertically and yelling “oh my gawddd!!” over and over – and media companies wanting to use the imagery for free.

I give you the following – two bros in Nashville, home of gentrification as a culture and a processed identity of chicken with cayenne on it, drunk brides, and shitty processed-cheese “country music.” (Jennings, Cash, Carter family, et al, I’m really sorry) decided to go full bro and BASE jump off the Hyatt downtown.

Frankly, it was awesome. Two weeks after an anti-bro, a depressed, angry man went full cousin Eddie and blew the RV to bits only a few streets away, these young men reclaimed the narrative.

Buildings were meant to be jumped off of, not blow up! So someone on the rooftop bar, one Amanda Bagley, did exactly what we do now. Film it!

And then she just yelled “oh my gawdddd” over and over and over. To be fair she did yell, “Yes!” once, and frankly I agree. Here is her feed. https://twitter.com/AmandaReality/status/1345159694579449856

So yes Amanda (and the bros) you won January 2, 2021, much like Harry Styles won Jan 1. He wants us to treat people with kindness and the bros wanted a shot of endorphins. Who can blame them? We all might have considered jumping off a building for a hot second in 2020. They were kind enough to do it with parachutes.

And there was only one negative Nancy in the back yelling, “Sir you can’t do that.” Whatever.

Which brings up the second point. Amanda, being the individual media platform we all are, posted the jump, and thank you Amanda because really, I loved it. Your commentary was not Al Michaels, but hey, two guys just walked past your cocktail and lept. Michaels might have added, “Do you believe in that sh-?”

No, it’s the comments below her post that really are the issue. One media outlet after another begging to use the footage, with “credit” of course. Whores. 

To that Amanda, I would recommend you say piss off. It’s your footage. YOU own it. The most egregious ask is from Greg from ABC, who was kind enough to provide a form for Amanda.

https://abcnews.go.com/Press_Release/social-media-imagevideo-solicitation-rights-confirmation-guidelines/story?id=60443540

Feel free to look, but the bottom line is this – they want to use her work, forever, in any way, for free. And she is supposed to be fine with that.

And even in the case of this social commentary I feel a bit awkward. To be clear I linked her feed to make a point.  Which to be honest still feels a bit wrong. It’s hers. And if she wants the link gone, done.

So let me recommend something Amanda, the next time you get a hot video – tell them to go straight to hell, even me.

We have been conditioned by media companies to think the content we create is something to just be given away. It’s not. Name another company that gives their products out for free.

Hey nice new Jeep there Chrysler. I wanted to impress my neighbors so i just went and got one from the lot. Cool? And I’m going to use it forever.

Hey Publix I saw all these steaks and well, I’m just going to take them, with your permission right? Cool.

Even my links to photo galleries go right to the source, where they get credit for click-thrus and ad hits. I didn’t take the photos and use them for a new gallery all my own.

That’s not how capitalism works. Yet somehow we are fine with feeding the internet machine, for free. We create the content, we share the content, yet we do not profit from the content.

The tech barrons, and you know them, made something around $500 BILLION in 2020.

Read that again…

In a year that saw 300,000 people die, millions lose their jobs, hundreds of thousands evicted, etc, those at the top profited.

Mightily.

And they do it off the “free content” people like Amanda, and well, 300 million other Twitter users, provide, happily, daily.  Even this article is free, and I linked to Amanda’s Twitter. Frankly I owe her a beer. Greg didn’t even offer a beer.

Come tomorrow Amanda’s awesome programming will be replaced by gawwd knows what, but it will be, and around we will go, more “Gregs” asking for people to give away their content.

To that I say enough is enough.

There was a great scene in the 1983 film The Right Stuff where the Mercury 7 debate what they are, and the conclusion is that “they are the monkey”, meaning just a cog in a space-race machine, not valued for being trained, accomplished pilots. So they revolt and change the narrative. They alter the experiment.

A little social media revolt might be nice too. And that starts by understanding that WE are the content. We feed the machine.

The machine should be paying us. It is the fundamental concept behind well, everything relating to money – you OWN what you create. Oh and pay college athletes too..

YouTube, to its credit, can be monetized. So Amanda get that channel up stat.

Next time Amanda, when the Gregs of lazy media want you to sign everything away, just reply like this..

“We are no longer the monkey. Pay me.”

 Give NOTHING to ABC, NBC, FOX, any of them. Charge em a North American One Time Use fee only across digital platforms with a sunset clause for $5000 Amanda. Otherwise, get bent.

And if you contact me I’ll buy you that beer.

Oh and bros, keep jumping man. Wheee!

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