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      CommentAuthorAlexis
    • CommentTimeJan 9th 2008
     (472.1)
    Hey, Isn't That . . .
    People Are Doing Double-Takes, And Taking Action, As Web Snapshots Are Nabbed for Commercial Uses
    By Monica Hesse
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, January 9, 2008; C01'

    Washington Post article

    This was the front page of the style section of the Washington Post today. It makes me think twice about posting photos online if companies like Virgin Mobile are going to use them as stock images. Even though the individuals are in the right here, there's a good chance they won't bother to take it to court because it will be too costly and time consuming, which is the conclusion that the band Minor Threat and Discord records came to when they were Ripped Off By Nike.
  1.  (472.2)
    Yeah, this is going to be a major issue in the next few years.

    Register those copyrights people.
    • CommentAuthorZeebo
    • CommentTimeJan 9th 2008
     (472.3)
    In the same vein, but perhaps slightly more comical is the Atlas of Creation by Harun Yahya, who is apparently a famous Turkish creationist writer. The first thousand glossy pages are shoddy comparisons between fossil and modern animal morphology. For example, he claims a caddisfly in amber looks much the same as a picture of a modern caddisfly. Unfortunately, his picture of a modern caddisfly has a large fishing hook protruding from its abdomen. After that was discovered, many of my coworkers have made a game of locating his image sources on the internet. None of it was credited.
  2.  (472.4)
    In the same vein, but perhaps slightly more comical is the Atlas of Creation by Harun Yahya, who is apparently a famous Turkish creationist writer. The first thousand glossy pages are shoddy comparisons between fossil and modern animal morphology. For example, he claims a caddisfly in amber looks much the same as a picture of a modern caddisfly. Unfortunately, his picture of a modern caddisfly has a large fishing hook protruding from its abdomen


    *sigh* Creationists...

    Anyway, this is a good heads-up. And there's apparently no defense against it. Even if they create a code for the user to disable the "copy" or "save image" commands for a specific picture via ANY source (even if you try to copy the thumbnail on Google Images), you can simply press the "Print Screen" key.

    But I suck at coding of any kind, so If I'm wrong please tell me.
  3.  (472.5)
    JTraub - Copyright is automatic, no need to 'register'. Trademarks on the other hand...
    •  
      CommentAuthorV
    • CommentTimeJan 10th 2008
     (472.6)
    @JTraub - How does it generally work? Is it that you have the copyright automatically, but registering it makes the legal process easier if an issue around it comes up? Is it true that you can register your copyright even a number of years after publication (as opposed to having to do it right at that moment)?
  4.  (472.7)
    JTraub - Copyright is automatic, no need to 'register'


    I'm a soft IP lawyer. Following is US biased obviously.

    You have 5 years, after which point if you end up in court (you will need to register anyway to have standing in court), your are limited to actual damages. There is nearly no way to make your money back at that point for court costs. Thats what happens over and over. Registering in that 5 year grace period means treble (triple) damages and attorney's fees are statutory reward against infringement if claimed. That means you can go to a lawyer, get a demand letter written and probably get paid.

    Vanessa, you can register at any time at all. And again you just if you ever need to to court. Its some paper work, and fairly cheap.

    About going to a lawyer...

    Through out the US, (and one I know in Canada) are organizations called VLAs. Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. I interned for 2 years at the one who hosts this list.
    These are non profits (why I can mention them unsolicited without ethical issues) who educate and provide free or cheap legal support to artists.

    They are the white hats defined.

    Vanessa (after I clicked map info) for you specifically: registration forms, and the link I know of in Canada. I can't with any certainty say what registration in Canada does or does not do under Canadian law.
    •  
      CommentAuthorV
    • CommentTimeJan 10th 2008 edited
     (472.8)
    @JTraub - Thanks a bunch for the info. I have a lawyer from when I incorporated (such a handy thing to do), so I should probably bug him for details. Actually, he has explained it to me before .... it's just that I have no ability to remember how any of it works as this type of thing is just not my area of strength. Which I suppose is why I have a lawyer in the first place.

    I tend not to be great at things that are ... you know ... useful in the real world. Hee.
    I read through your explanations every time you post about this topic though. I'm hoping it sticks eventually.
    ... maybe I can build some kind of neural network to retain the concept for me ..... la la la .... meanwhile, I'll be in that cloud over there....
    •  
      CommentAuthorAlexis
    • CommentTimeJan 10th 2008
     (472.9)
    I've copy-written things before and the problem is it's gets expensive, around $30 last I did it. Way too much money to protect every photo you put on the internet, though I would recommend it for, say, a self-published collection of photos. These corporations are stealing snapshots, which no one would bother to copyright, and hoping that no one will bother to take them to court. (ex. Minor Threat, which defiantly copy-wrote that image, but felt like the fight was going to take more time and money than it was worth.)
  5.  (472.10)
    Alexis- you can do several photos or pieces together as a collection; I don't remember the full limmitations on it, but you can do 'em.
  6.  (472.11)
    This might make some engineers have flash backs: I am not giving formal legal advice here. No attorney-client relationship has been formed officially or by implication. I recommend you contact a member of your local bar for such needs.
    I further recommend you contact a lawyer you have an existing relationship with or a group listed in my post above if you have any question about doing this correctly.

    Alexis, that said, Root is correct. You can register photos in one large group as a single registration, so that $30.00 goes a long way. It used to be you had to register published photos one at a time, that is no longer the case. This is the "newer" form for published photos as a group.

    This is a decent article on it from Findlaw to help you on that. This is good too.
  7.  (472.12)
    @Jtraub-
    There's a short-form something-or-other for groups of artwork, too. I think the max is 15-25 pieces as a single group.
    Not sure. The forms I have are in the next room over...
    •  
      CommentAuthorAlexis
    • CommentTimeJan 10th 2008
     (472.13)
    The point I'm trying to make here isn't about learning how to properly copyright your work. This isn't about "register those copyrights, people." Every artist knows to protect their work, but these corporations are victimizing teenagers and people who like to dress up their dogs. The photos that were used were snapshots, not art, images that no one would bother to copyright. Do you copyright your myspace albums? Or facebook? It's not even so much about stealing someone's artwork as violating their privacy. The only real way to 100% avoid this is not to post anything online. It's things like this that make me scared of the internet.
  8.  (472.14)
    Speaking of the Minor Threat thing, I came across this at Coilhouse:

    http://coilhouse.net/2008/01/10/mcdonalds-nin-ripoff-or-homage/

    There's too much synchronicity in the air today, I need to go lay down somewhere....
  9.  (472.15)
    Every artist knows to protect their work, but these corporations are victimizing teenagers and people who like to dress up their dogs. The photos that were used were snapshots, not art, images that no one would bother to copyright.


    I can understand the privacy issue, plenty of people put things they do no care about on-line and are now having it swiped like the Internet is a huge slush pile.

    My position is that corporations are in part getting away with this because people do not protect themselves and the big boys know it. The copyright office does not care about art after all, only that its a fixated creation.

    And it is easy and very cheap to register every photo on your hard drive, and suddenly stealing from you is a big risk. Slap a registered (c) on those images, no matter where you put them and it might be worth someones job to swipe it.
  10.  (472.16)
    JTraub - I stand corrected.

    While Copyright is 'moral' and natural, registering it does give the benefit of proving that you thought it up first.

    There is a similar thing in the UK, and using the 'usual' conversion rate between dollars and pounds, it costs £35. Twice as much. Also I don't believe that there are any of the same incentives as in the US.

    Having had my work published without my knowledge in print media, I can fully emphasise with the feeling of being a little fish. (Link is the second time it happened, but I can't find the other time it happened to me).

    I love this forum, I learn so much.


    (Some of it I wish I hadn't learnt, but what can you do?)
  11.  (472.17)
    Having had my work published without my knowledge in print media...


    That's a point... you mention about Creative Commons in the post, and suddenly I'm wondering if anyone has tried to enforce Non-Commercial Creative Commons licenses in court yet. Does one have any legal recourse to peruse commercial use of your Non-Commercial CC licensed work?

    That is of course assuming that is partially what they're there for... and I get the feeling I never read these things quite well enough.
  12.  (472.18)
    Well, I do not know of a case.

    But when it gets down to it a license is a license, and the ability to control distribution includes the ability to grant use under any conditions you specify, provided the conditions do not conflict with another law. So if you grant an open license to use your work in a non-commercial environment and someone uses it commercially thats infringement.

    The problems will be in the wording, and that would be on a per instance basis.
  13.  (472.19)
    I didn't push it because, well, they have bigger lawyers than me and I have no money. Or lawyers.

    But so far I haven't heard anyone suing anyone for breaking the terms of the license in the way that happymrlocust describes.

    The problems will be in the wording, and that would be on a per instance basis.

    The wording of the license? If so then I believe that the CC licenses were drawn up by clever lawyer types and so *should* be as watertight as practically possible.

    But like most things, until tested in a court it's meaningless, right?
    •  
      CommentAuthorBrand
    • CommentTimeJan 12th 2008
     (472.20)
    This is a problem I have at work all the time. I'm a web designer and they are business people. When they say they like a look of a website and to use it for one I'm making, they don't mean changed it up, they mean copy as is. And I've gotten in the argument with them that you can't use someone's art from the web for a project. God, this makes me like my job even less...

    I can't wait to find a new one.