So the fundamental question is: Do others have a “right” to your things?
To me, having a right is unquestionable, you are allowed to do something without repercussions. So, if you own a car, do I have the “right” to borrow or take it without you knowing and give it a new paint job, add my own personal touches to it, and make it my own?
Because it’s mine, stupid!
This is how I feel when one of my photographs is taken from me, used on blogs, websites, commercial work, sold for profit, or manipulated into someone else’s work and claimed as their own.
Sometimes I get a “credit”, or a link back to my website, flickr, etc… But I would generally not know that my work was taken until these stats show up. Most of the time, I just get over it - you know. If it gets reblogged or blogged a lot, it’s exposure, and I’m all about sharing - until Ive seen my work misrepresented, manipulated, or changed.
Dude, that is NOT cool. I dont care if it was an “improvement” or an artistic movement or whatever. That was MY WORK, unless you had prior permission, seriously, thats like the car analogy I stated above. It really freaking hurts when that happens. You feel disarmed, almost violated.
And all this could have been avoided with a simple: Can I please use your work for blah blah blah etc…?
Whats the worst that can happen? I say No.
about 98% of the time, I say yes, sure thing, have at it - make sure to credit me or link me. The only 2% that I’ve said no to was for when my work is being used for something I dont believe in - like creepy fetish websites (it has happened)
It’s not hard to ask for permission, don’t be so hung up on one photo, there are plenty of other great artists out there that will probably say yes if others say no.
It’s called RESPECT to ask for permission - even if it is licensed for Creative Commons
RESPECT for the time and effort the artist put into the work
RESPECT for the copyright laws - nationally (USA) and internationally
RESPECT for another human being.
Don Giannatti said it best in his post and reply: http://wizwow.posterous.com/why-i-think-education-is-failing-todays-artis-0#comment
And for just some clarity regarding the 25 year copyright credit etc… that the international Lady said: It’s 75 years AFTER the copyright owner dies.
You, as the artist, don’t need to feel helpless in your quest to protect yourself. You have a RIGHT, because it IS YOUR RIGHT, to protect YOUR THINGS.
No one has a “right” to YOUR THINGS, unless you let them. Thats why there are different types of licenses you can place on your work. (more on that later).
You may feel like you are alone, but there are others out there that are bringing awareness to the copyright laws and issues.
One thing I did learn from college was the meaning of civil engagement. Provide something that helps others, that “has legs and can keep running on”.
One of the biggest civic engagement activities you can do is educate the public. With knowledge, people have power, people understand and can navigate their environment better.
We need to educate the public regarding OUR rights as ARTISTS - because then people will understand what they are doing is considered STEALING and is a moral sin and unlawful injustice. Also, we need to help educate each other so that we can be aware of what is happening with copyright and to protect OURSELVES.
United we stand, divided we fall.
Education is power, use it, harness it, and educate others.
Here is the article that infuriated a lot of people and brought me Don’s article: http://pdnpulse.com/2010/10/at-vimeo-festival-a-call-to-relax-copyright-laws.html