Posts Tagged ‘licensing terms’

Yes, You’re Able To, But Should You?

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 by

(First video in an ongoing humorous series about copyright law.)

As hard as it is to believe, we have actually heard these kinds of false statements about copyright, as repeated here by the male voice. Not just in private conversations, but in public forums when copyright issues are raised. And not just on the street corner or local pub, but in professional association meetings. Part of it is what we like to call hopeful ignorance, as in, “If I hope I don’t have to pay anyone to use their work then I can probably find a reason that supports that hope.” We’re not sure where some of these ideas started; if anyone has a clue, we’d love to know where you think these ideas came about.

Now, these kinds of statements are not just for the uninitiated (i.e. rookie mistakes). We’ve heard some veterans utter these claims, mostly to put off copyright holders who’ve caught them red handed. The most recent being the now infamous “Cooks Source” editor.

We thought it would be helpful to deal with this shockingly common situation in a humorous way, in the hopes that people would pass it along, thereby reaching a wider audience of viewers and helping to dispel the bad notions. Oh and don’t worry, we’ve got some from both sides of this equation. We’ve heard copyright holders make some outrageous statements too.

All in all, most people try to abide by the law, or at least what they think is the law…

Covering Your Assets

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 by

Since the advent of the Internet and digital technology, it has never been easier for someone to rip off your work. It happens every day, despite the parameters of copyright law, which give an author exclusive rights to his or her creative content. The idea behind this legislation is to give creators an incentive to create, thus benefiting us all by enriching our culture, economy and society as a whole. Without it, we might be faced with a world in which copycats rule, creativity is stifled and content has the same stale taste.

But even when your works are copyright protected, there is still potential for infringers to take advantage of that content’s accessibility and to use it without giving you credit or monetary compensation. We’ve partnered up with PicScout, which offers a service unique to this Internet dilemma. Its image recognition software combs the web for your image(s) and reports every usage on specific sites. This is where we step in and provide the legal component. We contact infringers, send out takedown notices or negotiate licensing terms and fees, obtaining the compensation you deserve. In a recent case, we were able to procure a nice chunk of change for a nature stock photography site that found out its images were being used on several sites without its knowledge and permission. And it’s not just the bigger image vendors; the same can be done for independent photographers. It’s one small step for your pocketbook, one giant leap for copyright enforcement.

Technology never ceases to amaze me. It continues to circumvent, challenge and redefine the laws attempting to maintain order in the Wild Wild Web. I understand how it can be daunting to take the law into your hands and track down the “bad guys” (or the blissfully ignorant — “I saw it on someone else’s web site. Doesn’t that mean it’s public domain?”). Stealing may be as simple as right clicking an image, but now there are ways to fight back, technology with technology.

Don’t Steal Content

Friday, January 15th, 2010 by

Most copyright infringements are not intentional but rather a lack of education on the part of the person using the content without permission.

Maybe they didn’t know they weren’t suppose to copy that image from Flickr onto their blog.  Maybe they thought because they bought the CD they could use it as a sound track for their commercial.  Maybe they didn’t realize that non-commercial Creative Commons license conflicts with their corporate website.

Even when the user does seek permission for use from the source there may be other issues present like additional rights holders that require model release or ambiguous licensing terms that would put the user in violation if they, say, used it in a print brochure in addition to on their website.

Education in the area of intellectual property rights will become increasingly important as more and more people publish works like blogs, podcasts, and video casts, and use creative content from sites like Flickr and YouTube.

We hope this blog can be a resource for some of that education for you.