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Author Topic: Copyrights and stuff essay  (Read 22334 times)

theguywitha645d

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Copyrights and stuff essay
« on: April 03, 2012, 07:30:24 pm »

Alan, call the university in question and ask for their legal representative. The use here is well out of the fair use because it was used in an advertisement of a university sponsored event. The poster is actually promoting the event. The student does have the right to copy and use your work for a classroom project--you cannot stop that. But the work cannot be shown at a public event outside the course. By calling and asking for the universities legal representatives you will catch their attention--tell them you want to speak to their lawyer over a copyright infringement.

The professor should know better (and she contacted you for usage fees and so she does know) and so should the university. BTW, I teach poster design at a college.
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John.Murray

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2012, 09:20:20 pm »

A helpfull read on the concept of "fair use"

The student *does not* have a right to alter the image, removing the copyright information for *any* purpose
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theguywitha645d

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2012, 09:29:10 pm »

A helpfull read on the concept of "fair use"

The student *does not* have a right to alter the image, removing the copyright information for *any* purpose

Actually, in a classroom context, they do.
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John.Murray

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2012, 09:41:19 pm »

What scholarly purpose would removing the copyright serve?  Curious.....
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theguywitha645d

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2012, 09:53:33 pm »

What scholarly purpose would removing the copyright serve?  Curious.....

As a student, you can manipulate any work anyway you choose. This would certainly be helping the student learn to retouch an image and therefore be improving their skill.
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Schewe

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 11:03:15 pm »

As a student, you can manipulate any work anyway you choose. This would certainly be helping the student learn to retouch an image and therefore be improving their skill.

For the strict purposes of "educational" fair use, yes it would allow taking somebody else's image and screwing around with it and using it for a class, but the line is drawn very easily at "using" that image for any purpose outside of the scope of a class. Using it as a promo for a promo poster for a conference is in no way an "educational use". The scool screwed the pooch.

It's infringement, clear and simple and if the infringing party took the time to remove the watermark, it's willful infringement. The only real question is whether or not Alain has a Copyright Registration...if he did, a simple letter to the school proving willful infringement would shut this down immediately and result in a settlement.

The registration of a copyright in the US has major implications. If a post registration infringement occurs, it's pretty easy to force the infringer to settle otherwise face punitive damages (50K per infringement plus attorneys fees). The problem with non-registered copyright is that in order to sue in Federal Court for infringement, you have to first register the copyright. Infringement AFTER a registration presumes you are the copyright holder, infringement BEFORE registration requires the copyright holder to PROVE ownership. That is a HUGE friggin' difference...in the case of an infringement of a registered copyright, you'll have IP attorneys lining up outside your door to work on contingency, infringement after registration, you'll need to front the money just to file in Federal Court...

There is no question that academia is totally friggin' clueless regarding intellectual property...look, they can barely teach their classes let alone understand any sort of legal nuances of copyrights...

I've yet to actually have a copyright infringement case get to court, but I have settled out of court many times. Why? I try to register all my copyright with the Library of Congress. When the apposing council finds out that the infringement is of a registered copyright, the attorneys tell their clients to settle or else face punitive damages plus attorneys fees (which can be far more than actual damages).

The main problem with copyright in the US is that yes, authors are accorded copyright protection at the point of creation...but, if you don't register your copyright BEFORE infringement, you have to prove you ARE the copyright holder (which it much tougher in court with rules of evidence) AND you have to prove actual damages (which is a much harder proposition than you might imagine).

The school screwed up big time. If Alain had registered his copyright BEFORE infringement, he could own the friggin' school at this point. If it's not a registered copyright, well, the best he can hope for is to slap the hands of the student/teacher and teach the friggin' school a lesson or two. The odds of getting lots of money isn't great. On the other hand, I've successfully gotten money from a wide array of infringers of my images–largely because many/most of my images are registered...my Globe Hands image (as seen on my home page) has been licensed legally for nearly $1/4 million and almost $50K just in infringements...I take this shyte pretty seriously :~). Business is business...
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LesPalenik

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 11:09:27 pm »

They are stealing our work

Yes, it happens all the time and will happen to anyone. When you least expect it.
As Alain states, it's just too easy to lift the images from Internet and it's very difficult to track.
The good thing is, that stolen landscape or artistic images are seldom used by porno sites or dating agencies.

Even the stock photos with embedded agency copyright notice in small web size are pulled from the websites and used in unauthorized ways. Or single images without the watermark notice are bought inexpensively with a subscription plan and remarketed as original images with another unsuspecting agency. If a graphics designer on the other side of world gets somehow your image, and uses it locally for his clients, you would never find out about it. In another instance, large publisher buys inexpensively some images for a small initial print run, the book becomes a hit, is re-printed in a half a million print run, but they "forget" to repurchase new image license.

Once, I photographed a sport event, and sent a few images for personal use to the captain of the team, and he promptly put it on their club website with his own copyright notice. Sometimes you grant a one-time use image license to a client, and later they reuse it for another promotional project. Happens all the time.

Tineye.com will find some of the copies on the web, but not if the image itself has been incorporated in another collage or PDF file. By the way, as long as your name appears on the photograph (not an outright image theft, but sometimes an unathorized usage), you can also search for its use also on Amazon and Google.

Thanks, Alain for listing all precautions an author can take, but as you say, it is time consuming, and perhaps not worth for all images.
Sometimes, if a photographer and his images are well known, a colleague will spot an infraction or theft and report it back to the image creator.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 03:16:14 am by LesPalenik »
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BlackSmith

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2012, 11:47:11 pm »

I find the way photographers complain about copyright infringement wonderfully humorous!

When landscape photographers are arguing for the protection of the environment, the default position is (of course) that what is best for society as a whole should always take priority over the greed and profit of one corporation or individual.
Similarly, fine art photographers know that great works are not made by those who are completely naive to the masters that came before.
Yet, when it comes to protecting ones own profits, it is argued that a photo is an entirely original creation and that they should be granted unlimited degree of protection for unlimited amount of time regardless of any benefit to society.

HYPOCRITES!

And I am sorry, Sir, academia is NOT totally friggin' clueless regarding intellectual property. We just happen to understand that information, learning, nor creation - none of them - occurs in a vacuum.

-Sean

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John.Murray

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2012, 12:14:35 am »

HYPOCRITES!

And I am sorry, Sir, academia is NOT totally friggin' clueless regarding intellectual property. We just happen to understand that information, learning, nor creation - none of them - occurs in a vacuum.

-Sean



You have it backwards.  The artist's purpose is whatever they choose.  There is no implied "debt" to anyone, other than what the artist chooses.  It's called freedom of expression - any infringement, such as Alain has described, is a waste of his time - better served following his craft....
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Schewe

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2012, 12:17:38 am »

And I am sorry, Sir, academia is NOT totally friggin' clueless regarding intellectual property.

Yes, you are (unfortunately...) and it's a widespread intentional and institutional ignorance...(meaning, on "purpose")

Academia presumes little or no prior ownership because, well in academia there is nothing original, everything is built upon others. That flies directly in the face of the creation of new intellectual property. Do you really understand "copyright" and the original origins? Do you understand that copyright laws in the US precede the Bill of Rights? Do you understand the origins of copyright law? Do you understand the Statue of Ann?

Sorry, academia is indeed intentually ignorant, on purpose (because its useful)... "academia" tries to raise above "ownership" of IP and makes claims of prior works and building upon others and reducing "creation" to something other than clear ownership of new ideas...

Bullshit...if somebody creates something on their own, they OWN it...and nobody has a legit claim to be able to incorporate prior work into new work without ceding ownership to the prior work (thus giving you copyright ownership).

Sorry...academia, in this day and age is, well, a very retro art and relies too much on non-ownership and way too much on assuming that others can take what others have worked hard producing and moving it forward without consequences...

There are consequences...and academia needs to learn some hard lessons. Go ahead...steal one of my images for "educational uses" and see what happens to you. It won't be pretty...and if you steal one of my registered copyrighted images, it'll cost you. (the upside it I've already got a track record of previous infringements which I can use as proof of damages)...

Actually, that's an asset...
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BlackSmith

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2012, 01:25:28 am »

Calm down, calm down. I meant "hypocrite" in in the humorous-juxtaposition sense, not in the new-testament damned-to-hell sense. And certainly if one of the two preceding conditions doesn't hold for you, then certainly the accusation doesn't hold either.

Mr. Schewe,
Your statement that "academia is totally friggin' clueless regarding intellectual property" is an vast generalization applied to a large and diverse (by anyone's standards) group. I'm calling you on that generalization.

And...  WOW, "in academia there is nothing original"?  Used any technology lately!?! The American academy had no influence on the creation of any of that stuff. ;)

Truly, I don't want this to turn into another internet flame war.
In no way am I trying to suggest that anyone, including students, should break the laws that have been part of this country for a very long time.
I'm simply pointing out that those laws are in conflict with the reality of how creativity happens. All creation, including yours, occurs by copying a large number of other peoples' ideas and making only small adjustments. Just because the copying part is subtle and usually subconscious, doesn't mean it is absent. Example: are not almost all of the photos you copyright rectangular in framing? Sorry if I don't believe that you came up with that idea. There are MANY little things like this related to exposure, lighting, composition, etc. All of these were learned from others, and each little advancement was an important creative idea for the person who came up with it. You are the beneficiary of these advancements and as a result you produce work that is almost entirely made up of what society taught you to produce - with a small touch of true originality.
The sheer number of photographs being created simply doesn't allow anymore for any one individual to lay claim on societies ideas. Just look at the vast body of work on flicker. And you think that you can do anything that someone else can't claim as a copyright infringement? If you sincerely attempted to avoid all copyright infringement, there would be nothing left for you to point your camera at. In the end, copyrights don't protect the photographer. They protect those who are willing to take it to court!

Don't shoot the messenger,
Sean
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 01:42:59 am by BlackSmith »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2012, 01:40:57 am »

... Don't shoot the messenger...

Fair enough... But may I call the message for what it is... A load of crap?

Schewe

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2012, 01:58:27 am »

Mr. Schewe,
Your statement that "academia is totally friggin' clueless regarding intellectual property" is an vast generalization applied to a large and diverse (by anyone's standards) group. I'm calling you on that generalization.

It may be a generalization, but it doesn't make it less true...I've dealt with WAY too many college level teachers who have zero understanding of copyright law and studiously try to ignore the consequences...and I've successfully gotten settlements from that group when they stray from the straight and narrow...

Look, "Photo Education" in America is an inbred cesspool...college level teachers (in general) have no clue about intellectual property and copyrights...Go ahead and prove me wrong! (I've had this conversation with college level instructors who DO care and it pisses them off too).

To teach in a college level photo curriculum requires an MBA/MS at best, right (there may be a few PHDs that lecture)? What are the odds that such an instructor has studied either business law (actually ANY sort of business classes) and understands the implications of what they or their students do? Somewhere between zero and nothing.

Been there, done that, have the Tee shirts...it's very VERY rare where a college level instructor can articulate the principals of intellectual property and the origins of copyright law to their students. Do you honestly dispute that?

In the internet age, things have gotten worse, not better...if "creativity" requires taking somebody's image and repurposing it unmodified except for the removal of a watermark, then that creativity is an abomination...it's intellectual theft, pure and simple. I think there are STILL rules regarding "plagiarism" in higher education, right? Are words any more susceptible to plagiarism than images? They shouldn't be...

What Alain wrote about was plagiarism without a doubt...the sad thing is some don't even realize that. That student should be suspended and the instructor that allowed it fired. And the school should pay the financial price for the actions of the student and teacher. That way the institution might learn something–and be able to pass it along to it's paying students.
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BlackSmith

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2012, 01:58:45 am »

Fair enough... But may I call the message for what it is... A load of crap?

Okay, funny.  :D  Makes it hard to answer, "No". But I guess it was rhetorical anyway.
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BlackSmith

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2012, 02:24:05 am »

...if "creativity" requires taking somebody's image and repurposing it unmodified except for the removal of a watermark, then that creativity is an abomination...it's intellectual theft, pure and simple.

Yes, certainly. Direct reproduction is over the line. And cloning out the copyright statement is just admission of guilt. This is what Alan Briot was talking about, and I take that as given.

There is an essential need for copyright laws. They have, unfortunately, moved too far in scope (à la: if one concept from my photograph appears in yours, then you are infringing) and duration (damn you Micky Mouse!) from their origin and purpose. My arguments are intended to push the pendulum back to the center, not to have it swing the other way.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 02:30:47 am by BlackSmith »
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LesPalenik

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2012, 03:24:15 am »

Quote
The sheer number of photographs being created simply doesn't allow anymore for any one individual to lay claim on societies ideas. Just look at the vast body of work on flicker.
Well, those pictures are not in the same league. Hardly worth taking the perpetrator to the court.
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imagico

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2012, 04:19:47 am »

Alain, i could not help smiling when i saw how boldly you have been ripped off here.  I understand your reaction - however it seems this kind of unauthorized use is easier to deal with than a lot of other cases.

Some of my (non-photographic) images turn up quite prominently in Google image search and as a result are used without authorization frequently.  On the other hand i get quite a lot of inquiries for image production and licensing the same way - these are two sides of the same medal.  What troubles me most is that in case unauthorized use happens internationally people sometimes feel quite safe doing so.  And i am not talking about some poor 3rd world country people who cannot afford my prices or some private website use - some time ago a US company for example approached me about an image for use in some kind of booklet and after we did not come to an agreement simply used another image anyway.

I wonder if anyone here has an idea how international copyright violations can be efficiently handled in case talking does not work without hiring a local lawyer.
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Tony Jay

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2012, 04:35:25 am »

International copyright violation is a whole different ballgame.

Some country's legal systems will respect the laws of others.
In terms of criminality extradition agreements are in place.
Civil litigation is much more difficult and expensive.

I don't think that there is an internationally enforcable code of conduct or legal framework across all countries dealing with copyright infringement.
Even multinational companies with billions of dollars in their legal warchests may fail to enforce their own trademarks and copyrights so what chance individual photographers.

Nonetheless, this whole issue is a growing one and deserves attention.
Are there any in the LuLa community with specific legal knowledge in this area that can shed light on how to enforce copyright across international boundaries.

Michael: would it not be an idea to approach a copyright expert for an article dealing with the issue of international copyright infringement.

Regards

Tony Jay
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fike

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2012, 09:00:34 am »

Blacksmith, I have a lot of sympathy with your point of view about creativity and the proverbial "dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants" problem. Unfortunately, here at LuLa, photographers tend to have a sense of entitlement that blinds them to seeing a more nuanced or alternative point of view...of course, they have their economic livelihood in the game. Young people today will not be able to follow the career path that Schewe or Michael have made for themselves. Like it or not, digital technology resulting in the commoditization of art along with globalization (sharing with cultures that don't share our values about ownership of creative work) are factors that have forever changed the rules of fair (or unfair) use of creative work--the law and the practitioners just haven't caught up yet.
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: Copyrights and stuff essay
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2012, 09:09:05 am »

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