So you may be wondering, what the heck is that! I know the first time I heard about it, I was completely clueless.
International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day (IPSTD) began on April 23, 2007. The day was declared by author Jo Walton in response to remarks made by Howard V. Hendrix.
“I’m also opposed to the increasing presence in our organization of webscabs, who post their creations on the net for free. A scab is someone who works for less than union wages or on non-union terms; more broadly, a scab is someone who feathers his own nest and advances his own career by undercutting the efforts of his fellow workers to gain better pay and working conditions for all. Webscabs claim they’re just posting their books for free in an attempt to market and publicize them, but to my mind they’re undercutting those of us who aren’t giving it away for free and are trying to get publishers to pay a better wage for our hard work.”
In that essay, he also labeled the webscabs as Pixel-stained technopeasant wretches. This apparently has haunted him ever since because immediately the response was that Hendrix was a snob to compare hardworking writers to union worker scabs.
So Jo Walton, a writer from Canada, declared April 23rd IPSTD and encourages everyone to give away their professional work online to celebrate our technopeasanthood.
Oh, and let’s not forget that April 23rd is also Shakespeare’ birthday. How appropriate is that?