Feeds

Stealing photographs for fun and profit – snappers respond

Adopt and die

Security for virtualized datacentres

Resale of stolen goods not equivalent to 'adopting orphans'

The Orphans Project questionnaire refers to people publishing or re-using someone else's work as the "creators" - not the original artist. Would life be easier, if they didn't have to ask the owner?

"Creators have few difficulties," Stop43 points out in its response.

"Thanks to Berne, as original creators we own the rights in the original works that we create. Those so-called 'creators' whose derivative works consist of the recycled IP of others, aka 'mashups', appear to us mostly to operate in general ignorance of copyright law, and often appear to have little respect for the creators of the original works they use, for those original creators' legal rights, and for those original creators' economic interests. They also appear to have few difficulties in obtaining rights or clearances in pre-existing works, because they generally tend to ignore them or treat them with contempt."

Stop43 continues: "Aggregators, curators, marketers and resellers, of course, find the current legal situation in general much too complex and costly. They would always prefer to have unfettered freedom to use and profit from the IP of others."

The questionnaire goes on to suggest proposals including giving publishers full exemption from liability, limitation from damages, and various registration schemes.

Stop43 proposes an interesting eBay-style trading market where sellers (creators) could meet buyers (people who want to their use their stuff) - privately funded. This requires commmercial users to register the stuff they use - with a voluntary obligation to register works by owners. Anything not identifiable can be used for cultural, not commercial purposes - but only for cultural purposes. If somebody wants to make money from an orphan work, they should jolly well share the rewards with the creator. This does not seem unreasonable.

The snappers' group also strongly opposes any new licensing authority.

"We see this as little more than a bureaucratic gravy-train," Stop43 points out, citing a history of collective agencies becoming captive to big business interests.

The questionnaire then suggests removing amateur user-generated material from the protection of copyright. The photographers point out that "many of the iconic news images of recent years (eg, the Concorde crash, the 7/7 London bombs, the Boxing Day tsunami) were shot by amateurs.

"Amateurs can rival professionals for artistic merit and technical execution, and as these images exemplify, for economic value to media organisations. There is no valid rationale to treating such images separately from traditional photographic images or the work of professionals and masters," says the group.

"Creators did not cause the orphan works problem and the solution does not lie in stripping creators of their rights," Stop43 concludes.

One issue unresolved is what constitutes an orphan. How hard must you look, and how quickly do you give up looking, for a work to be considered an orphan? Big Media would answer those as "not very hard" and "very quickly" – but if they were required to contribute data on works they use to a registry, the problem would cease to be a problem.

Without the backing of big businesses, photographers (both professional and amateur) and illustrators find themselves in the trench alone, here. There's no RIAA or IFPI to fight the corner of the individual creator, and the copyright academics are no help - few people have a poorer grasp of what copyright means in practice - especially if you're a "sole trader" or tiny business. Copyright academia now combines two ugly intellectual prejudices – "property is theft", and "authorship is theft". The Orphans Project is a nasty reminder of both. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.