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Author Topic: Copyrights and stuff essay  (Read 22328 times)

Kirk Gittings

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #40 on: April 04, 2012, 05:42:58 pm »

Quote
and I'm giving away a bunch of event flyer/poster templates I spent hours designing. Get creative, roll with the punches, and enjoy all the amazing opportunities available to us.

all the amazing opportunities to give work away........the future is soooo bright.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 08:12:40 pm by Kirk Gittings »
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Kirk Gittings

dreed

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #41 on: April 04, 2012, 07:35:02 pm »

This is referring to international copyright. Alain is writing about domestic violation isn't he?

Interesting point.

It is true, he may not care if someone from Canada, England or France were to do exactly the same thing as he complains about in his article.

Quote
US copyright law is here: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/

Partially quoting from Chapt 4 Sec401: Notice of copyright; visually perceptible copies
The "may" and "If"---which I have placed in bold---means, of course, that the copyright notice is not a requirement for a valid copyright. I don't see anything that would indicate that if one does place a copyright notice that does not follow the above, that the improperly made copyright notice would invalidate the copyright. A correctly written copyright notice, does however, eliminate any defense of innocent infringement. (Sect 401(d) Evidentiary weight of notice)

It would come down to whether or not a domain name can be considered to covered by this rule - "3 The name of the owner of the copyright in the work, or an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation of the owner". Does a domain name represent a designation of the owner? At least in my mind they are generally separable as domain names themselves are considered to be property.

If anyone plans on putting a copyright stamp in their work and it contains anything other than a name of a legal entity that has been assigned the copyright ownership of the work then consult with a lawyer and get advice first. Do not take the advice of a photographer or random internet forum posts.
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bobtowery

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #42 on: April 04, 2012, 08:00:54 pm »

I'm an author, I currently publish two novels a year, more than 30 total now, and every one of them has been on the New York Times bestseller list. A bunch of them, including my last one, have gone to #1. Within days of publication, you can download a complete text of the newest book from (apparently) a website in Russia. I suspect this enterprise is costing me thousands of sales, though I couldn't prove it. I can do *nothing* about it. I don't even know if the government could, if they were inclined to try. But, it's just something you live with. Instead of getting (too) pissed off, I just write another one.

Oh, by the way -- if you go to Google images and put my pseudonym in, you'll find hundreds of images, taken off book covers,
    

John, I don't think you said what your pseudonym is? I went to Amazon and there aren't a bunch of books by John Camp.

Also, I'm a big reader, so send the link to that russian website so I can check out your work, eh?
 ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
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Richowens

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #43 on: April 04, 2012, 08:37:21 pm »

Bob,

 Try John Sanford.

Rich
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John Camp

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #44 on: April 04, 2012, 08:58:43 pm »

John, I don't think you said what your pseudonym is? I went to Amazon and there aren't a bunch of books by John Camp.

Also, I'm a big reader, so send the link to that russian website so I can check out your work, eh?
 ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

John Sandford. You'll notice they've got a whole bookshelf for me.

http://www.e-reading.org.ua/bookreader.php/104334/Sandford_-_Heat_Lightning.html
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Schewe

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #45 on: April 04, 2012, 11:34:23 pm »

The fact is, it's one school with a minor conference that nobody's paying attention to. And Jeff is wrong about one thing - if Alain took it to court, he wouldn't wind up owning the school. There'd be a jury and a lot of excuses and hung heads, and the jury would award Alain $250 but they would NOT award him attorney's fees, because they'd have more sympathy for the school ("It was just done by a kid") than for some fruity artist from the Southwest, and so, in my opinion, Alain would have wound up losing his shirt over a minor manner.

True if Alain's copyright was unregistered at the time of the infringement, not true if the school infringed on a registered copyright. There is, in the US a HUGE difference. The author is granted copyright at the moment of creation.

However, the full protection of the Copyright laws and the ability to sue in Federal Court is predicated on the copyright being registered. If the infringement is prior to registration, the first thing the author has to do is register the copyright with the Library of Congress. These days, depending on how you submit, it can takes weeks/months for a work to even be be registered and get a copyright registration number. You can't get in court without that registration number.That's the first of many hurdles the author must make it over.

The second hurdle is that a pre-registered copyright infringement makes it the sole responsibility of the author to prove copyright ownership. If the infringement occurs AFTER registration, the court accepts, at face value, the author's ownership of the copyright and the author does NOT have to prove in the court he is the owner. That is a considerable burden because rules of evidence puts the onus upon the author to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he owned the copyright BEFORE the infringement. That's why registration prior to infringement is critical.

The next hurdle the author must establish is actual damages...not what you might have charged for the use or some pie in the sky number but actual damages to the author because of the infringement. I agree, the odds of getting a settlement amounting to more than a hill of beans in this case is zero. But here again, infringement of a registered copyright becomes something even more critical. If the infringement is against a registered copyright, the plaintive (the author) can also sue for reasonable attorney's plus damages (same burden of proof regarding damages as an unregistered infringement) and statutory damages which is decided by the court. This is one of the main reasons that suing is so difficult. If you are trying to sue over an unregistered infringement, the plaintive is solely responsible for all court costs and attorney's fees–with no chance of recovery in a successful suit. No reasonable attorney would take that case on a contingency basis. Many would (if the case was good enough) in the case of a suit against an infringer whose infringement came AFTER the registration.

Would the court rule in favor of the author with a large sum for statutory damages (up to $50K per infringement) in Alain's case? Ok, I'll admit it's not likely...unless Alain can prove willful infringement. The court takes a very dim view of infringers knowingly infringing on the work of an author...the student removing the copyright notice (which BTW is not a US Copyright requirement, it's more of an international requirement according to the Berne Convention and is almost obsolete) is an example of willful infringement. Is it worth $50K? Unlikely...

The US Copyright laws are actually pretty unique in that they grant the right of exploitation of an intellectual property exclusively to the creator. It's actually the first "Right" mentioned in the US Constitution. The "Bill of Rights" was actually 10 separate amendments to the original Constitution and came much later. I'm pretty sure it was James Madison along with the other writers of the Constitution that wrote the original phrase: "The Congress shall have Power ... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." This was as important for "writings" as it was "inventions" (which now falls under a different sort of IP law for patents). Hence the Library of Congress' Copyright Office being in charge of all this.

No, I am not an attorney...but I have studied Copyright law extensively during my time spent on behalf of photographic trade organizations. Another friend who is also well versed in Copyright law is Seth Resnick. I find it incredible that many photographers either are ignorant of the laws or chose to ignore them. I for one would never violate the copyrights of other authors...I don't infringe on other photographers, I don't use unlicensed software, I don't copy music nor even something as mild as fonts (which are copyrighted).

We recently taped the LR4 video tutorial and I wanted music (Scottish bagpipe music, you'll hear it when that section is posted). I went through bloody HELL trying to find access to bagpipe music that sounded right and was the correct length. Sure, there was a LOT to choose from that would have amounted to a direct infringement, but Mike, Chris and I are are sticklers for this sort of thing. We legally licensed the bagpipe music to include in the section we did where we used it. It didn't cost "a lot" but we secured the right and have a license.

Alain is a really nice guy, a talented photographer but he, like a lot of photographers doesn't really "Grok" the full impact (and limitations) of US Copyright laws...and when you start talking Canada, the UK and Europe, all bets are off...it's kinda like the Wild West out there. And don't get me started on China, Japan, Korea or Russia...all of these places have institutionalized infringement. When Adobe did the first regionalized release of Photoshop for China, it was immediately pirated and Adobe didn't even recover the cost of the translation into Chinese in their sales. I think that has changed somewhat because of the much higher activation security Adobe has had to adopt...

John, if you are a published author you should know this stuff, unless your agent handles all this stuff for you and the publisher–and I absolutely guarantee your publisher has legal staff just wating for the chance to pounce on any infringement of your work, my publisher does :~)

Copyright Law in the US is really designed to help the "little people" if only those people could understand it. It's usually the publishers who know this stuff inside and out and use it against us "little people", unfortunately...

(Edited to add clarity and the last line)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 11:44:55 pm by Schewe »
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PierreVandevenne

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #46 on: April 05, 2012, 06:18:38 am »

Isn't it a bit ironic that a guy who breaks traffic laws and gets away with it on a technicality is described as a person of principle while someone who breaks copyright law is described in much less favorable terms? Are some laws more acceptable than others? It could be argued that the laws aren't perfect, but are there some guidelines about the ones that can be broken "ethically" ? What if someone is, in principle, opposed to copyright laws?

That's a bit of a tongue-in-cheek comment, but still. Paying speeding tickets to the state goes (roughly) in the budget that allows to pay judges and officials on which photographers would rely in a (c) dispute. Yet I'd venture to say that most photographers will find speeding and trying not to pay speeding tickets an acceptable attitude but would jail (c) offenders if they could. ;-)

Note: don't get me wrong, I've suffered from the piracy of my own IP/work for most of my professional life and would, like most, gladly dispute speeding tickets. But some perspective doesn't hurt.
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dreed

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #47 on: April 05, 2012, 06:54:03 am »

Isn't it a bit ironic that a guy who breaks traffic laws and gets away with it on a technicality is described as a person of principle while someone who breaks copyright law is described in much less favorable terms? Are some laws more acceptable than others? It could be argued that the laws aren't perfect, but are there some guidelines about the ones that can be broken "ethically" ? What if someone is, in principle, opposed to copyright laws?

There is an increasing body of people calling for copyright reform because of the continued extension of copyright ownership past the death of the creator. That is, the original purpose of copyright is being lost as a few well connected men seek to exploit the efforts of people long since capable of receiving benefit in spite of the community.

One can but wonder what impact the aggressive actions of the MPAA/RIAA is having on the attitude of those that fall before them in copyright.

All of which is to say that in certain circles, the current incantation of copyright is increasingly on the nose .
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Farmer

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #48 on: April 05, 2012, 07:06:55 am »

Jeff - why would the burden of proof be "beyond a reasonable doubt" in a civil matter?  The burden, surely, is "on the balance of probabilities" being a tort or civil matter.  This is a significantly easier standard to reach.
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Phil Brown

Schewe

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #49 on: April 05, 2012, 12:22:11 pm »

Jeff - why would the burden of proof be "beyond a reasonable doubt" in a civil matter?

In a Federal Copyright case, the author of a copyright which was unregistered at the time of infringement has to prove to the court that the plaintive is indeed the rightful owner of the copyright. Simply getting a post infringement copyright registration is insufficient. To be honest, I'm not sure whether or not the proof of ownership has to be beyond a reasonable doubt or meet the preponderance of the evidence or be clear and convincing evidence. Again, I'm not an attorney and the rules of evidence do vary. The main point I was trying to get at is the differences between a suit where the copyrighted work was registered BEFORE the infringement and AFTER. In the situation where the infringement happened AFTER, the court will accept the copyright registration as constituting prima facie evidence of the validity of the copyright. In the case where infringement happens after the registration, the burden is on the copyright holder to prove to the court they are indeed the rightful owner of the copyright.
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bobbyv1

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2012, 02:09:20 pm »


That sounds like the Internet is some sort of immaculate conception? In fact, it is a result of millions of "personal investments", some less, some more, some on the supply side, some on the demand. In that respect, Alain, as well as you and I, have our "personal investments" there. By creating his website, Alain both personally contributed to the demand for the Internet, as well as contributed to the supply of content on it, without which there would be no increased demand by other users.


I suppose my point more clearly stated is this: To take a landscape photograph and post it online is to make use of two vast commons, one natural and one man-made. It seems increasingly absurd to draw hard lines where one says, "This is mine, this is the part where we commerce." A new way of doing things is emerging, and there's an opportunity to redefine our relationship to the commons in a way that our primitive industrial slavemasters can't imagine. This article begins the author's grappling with the issue, and it's an issue I personally find fascinating, as someone who makes a living doing creative work and is interested in 'right livelihood.'

Incidentally, as someone who's been building Web sites for a living for over a decade, I can tell you with authority that the people who have built the Web work in a very different way. Everyone who builds the Web 'steals' anything and everything. There are a few who try to eke out a living selling plugins, but all the core technologies are shared for the purpose of improving everyone's quality of life. So there's a strange irony when people want to use the Web for its benefits AND enforce copyright to the nth degree. (Some even cite U.S. Constitutional rights, as though those are relevant in a global context!)


Hell, yeah!

Hell, yeah!


It's strange that the hyperindividual who on one hand asserts a laissez-faire contempt for the planet and the common good, also asserts that the state should protect his perceived right to earn a living taking photographs. Respectfully, I'd have a hard time living with both those ideas at once.

(After a review of your Facebook wall, I can say we do share some values, but this hyperindividualistic notion of personal property is precisely why I left Chicagoland. You may be heartened to know, my first job was Photoshopping work visas for Polish immigrants, so I understand some people are coming from a very different place on capitalism. No doubt it takes a couple generations for the lustre to fade. Hopefully before every living thing is extinguished from the Earth. If someone gives you a new planet to live on, remember to bring some animals as they are a refreshing photographic diversion from all the rocky moonscapes.)
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bobtowery

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #51 on: April 05, 2012, 02:44:30 pm »

John Sandford. You'll notice they've got a whole bookshelf for me.

http://www.e-reading.org.ua/bookreader.php/104334/Sandford_-_Heat_Lightning.html

Thanks John. Reading ripped off work would not be my style.

I'd like to offer my congratulations on your writing career. I'm sure it has its own issues, but it sure seems like a dream way to make a living. I live near a couple of NY times best selling authors, great people.

Bob.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #52 on: April 05, 2012, 02:49:45 pm »

... all the core technologies are shared for the purpose of improving everyone's quality of life...

Ahhh.... Communism, here we come!!!

bobbyv1

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #53 on: April 05, 2012, 02:59:30 pm »

Ahhh.... Communism, here we come!!!



Communism's pretty dumb too... there are more than two ways. As Alain pointed out, there are at least K solutions to a problem :)
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Isaac

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #54 on: April 05, 2012, 03:28:50 pm »

Ahhh.... Communism, here we come!!!

Hardly. Simply giving away razors and selling razor blades.
Of course, it helps if you never actually planned to make money selling razors, just razor blades.

"If you're not paying for something, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold."

« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 04:00:32 pm by Isaac »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #55 on: April 05, 2012, 03:54:21 pm »

... my first job was Photoshopping work visas for Polish immigrants...

Are you saying you were committing a crime by forging immigration documents?

EDIT: Based on your later replies, the above perfectly explains your blatant disregard for the rule of law (copyright law, specifically)
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 04:59:52 pm by Slobodan Blagojevic »
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bobbyv1

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #56 on: April 05, 2012, 04:05:53 pm »

Are you saying you were committing a crime by forging immigration documents?

It would be more accurate to say I was told by my employer to move some pixels around on a screen and save the files. At the age of 17 I didn't look too closely at what the documents were, and wasn't interested to know how they'd be used. In retrospect I'm happy to have helped people make better lives for themselves, but now we're back to the topic of discarding outmoded boundaries.
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Isaac

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #57 on: April 05, 2012, 04:09:49 pm »

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theguywitha645d

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #58 on: April 05, 2012, 04:17:13 pm »

In retrospect I'm happy to have helped people make better lives for themselves...

You are sure about that? You are sure you did not help someone exploit them?
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bobbyv1

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #59 on: April 05, 2012, 04:32:03 pm »

What's with senior members hijacking an interesting topic? I just wanted to add an on-topic perspective, not get a bunch of flak from armchair vigilantes. Enjoy taking your landscape photos with your expensive cameras. I hope you each make one million dollars selling each photo. Peace.
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