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back to article BBC explains 'All your Twitter pics are belong to us' gaffe

There are some subjects on which giant media companies need to be ultra tippy-toe cautious. When, say, the majority owner of a satellite broadcaster uses its newspapers to lobby for a change the law, we should remember it is not a disinterested party. It may have an agenda. Similarly when the BBC covers copyright, or "net …

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Pirate

Sauce for the goose

It's nice of them to make clear that by their 'logic' everything on the BBC web site is in the public domain.

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Facepalm

By this standard, iPlayer too?

So, if they were to have stood by this logic it would have turned the iPlayer into a massive copyright-removal machine.

That would have been hilarious.

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Happy

Awesome!

And really, everything broadcast over the air, because that's just another means of distribution, like the Internet.

I feel so much less bad now about torrenting episodes of Top Gear because I don't get BBC America with my cable subscription.

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Joke

BBC vs RIAA MPAA et al

By their own logic home taping is no longer killing the music industry but liberating arts from the greedy claws of evil corporations!

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Happy

turn... the iPlayer into a massive copyright-removal machine...

er... that's how I use it.

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Pirate

Lorem ipsum

""Twitter is a social network platform which is available to most people who have a computer and therefore any content on it is not subject to the same copyright laws as it is already in the public domain"

As it happens, I've found a fantastic platform which is available to most people who have a computer at http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts - can we assume that its content is in the public domain?

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Cage fight

The two bêtes noires of Register commenters, the BBC and Andrew O, step into the ring...

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Anonymous Coward

Only if you are desperately tribalist

I quite like the BBC. I often disagree with Andrew O's views on them.

However, on this I agree.

Of course that doesn't mean other commenters won't be desperately tribalist "My writer/corporation right or wrong" some people aren't able to form their own thoughts and opinions.

It would have been nice to have seen the views and actions of other media/news organizations represented. But AO is a blogger/columnist rather than a journalist so perhaps to be expected.

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Black Helicopters

Blogger/Columnist?

He's actually a real journalist. He goes to press conferences, asks questions and gets responses from industry groups and companies and generally does a lot of journalism stuff. I'd say he is far more active in that regard than many staffers at larger publications whose only differentiation is the fact they still use trees to report their stories.

I often disagree with Andrew's views on things as well, and his sometimes holier than thou writhing style tends to piss me off, but that doesn't take away from the fact the guy is actually going to events and participating in "the news" - unlike most bloggers who just sit in front of their computer and want to pretend they're on the pulse of things. Give credit where it is due. Andrew is a journalist.

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Mushroom

Exactly my reaction

The potent combination of Andrew Orlowsky and the BBC, each with the power to ignite the Reg masses with the heat of a hundred burning suns (and a few torches and pitchforks) garners only 51 comments? Pfah! I must have tuned in too early . . .

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Be careful of what youwish for

"therefore any content on it is not subject to the same copyright laws as it is already in the public domain"

I'm happy with that. Once a programme has been broadcast on the BBC and been seen by millions more than would see a twitter account then it is in the public domain and free to be copied.

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FAIL

Title? Don't need no $%F4974ng title in a reply...

Couldn't agree more! it's either IP for everyone or no-one! it can't be IP in one case and not another - just at the whim of some big media corporations!

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Thumb Down

Hypocricy

They wouldn't be slow in suing if I rebroadcast a BBC programme without paying them, especially if I was making money doing it.

Yet that's exactly what they do every time they use someone's image without so much as attribution, let alone payment.

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Am I wrong but...

Isn't it one of the BBC's T&C's that if you make a submission to them of text, audio or video it becomes their's to use as they see fit? If you write in or send a comment then the BBC can use it without attribution?

Isn't the same true of a letter or photo submitted to a newspaper or other media?

If I slap 'copyright protected' on it then the chances of it being published are nil. Unless it happens to be exceptional and unique.

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Anonymous Coward

@Maurice Shakeshaft

You're assuming it was submitted by the copyright owner, rather than copies simply being taken and used without permission - or even knowledge? - of the copyright owner. I suspect that this sort of occurance is far less unique than the likes of the BBC would have us believe.

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education

Any feel like setting up a copyright FAQ site or know of one that exists?

Might be useful to educate the masses who are quite happy to steal mp3's that their own pictures and other works they may have posted online are liable to be used without their permission when they could be making money off it, might change their views.

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Happy

The UK copyright service

Has much useful info and links.

http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/

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Anonymous Coward

or

http://www.stop43.org.uk/faq/faq_us.html

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Tax payer's money

Well, since the BBC are funded by the tax payer, surely whatever lowers their overheads is in the public interest?

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FAIL

Indeed Tom 15

...and as soon as the leases run out on the BBC pool cars, they are coming around to your house to take yours.

It will lower their costs, and is hence in the public interest. Bad luck...

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FAIL

@ Tom 15

I'd be minded to agree with your somewhat specious logic but you've completely failed to realise that our license fee hasn't gone anywhere but up in recent years so the lowering cost agrument is complete tosh.

The quality of the Beeb's output has plummeted in recent years, their website is a grammatical nightmare, their coverage reduced to pilfering material from social networking sites rather than any salient attempt at decent journalism and now they're flouting the very copyright law they'd hang YOU by if you started infringing upon them.

Examples like theirs go some way to explain some of the reasons for the recent rioting i.e. if the BBC, NoTW etc can wrecklessly break the law, then why can't the rest of us?

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Pint

Free beer for Bristol!

No need for the car when the BBC can simply take your money.

Regardless of how 'state' public information providers are supported, they provide excellent value for the money. That is a huge accomplishment for a social support service.

Public, state and open-source information services provide excellent value-for-money because IP is replicated and distributed millions of times over. The greater value is achieved by giving it away to the fullest possible extent.

The function of 'copyright' is to protect the investment in the venture of replicating and distributing information. It protects the publisher's, manufacturer's and franchisee's substantial investment and risk to profit from replicate&distribute. Without copyright protection, a ruthless vendor could sit back and wait to see what was in popular demand before tooling up and rushing in to make a killing on the cream of the business.

"Care to buy a quality imitation Gucci bag at a mere fraction of the cost of the real thing?" The reason it's wrong is not because your are being sold a deceptively shoddy item. Rather the clone vendor has rushed in on the coat tails of the business who previously took the risk of providing an unknown product which has subsequently been demonstrated to be reliably profitable.

The BBC obtains IP with the reliable expectation that it will be distributed to millions of households. The cost of replication and distribution by electronic publication is minor. The worth is contingent on millions of households receiving and experiencing the delivered product.

Free beer for Bristol! The claim's worth in contingent upon the number of people who indulge in the offering. Virtual eBeers are a throwaway.

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Bronze badge

tax payers' money?

The BBC is funded by the TV licence, not from taxation.

Though the licence fee is effectively a tax, just not nominally a tax.

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WTF?

The finger!

When I take a picture and I uploaded it, unless I surrender the copyright to the site ( dream on! ), it's mine and mine alone to decide what to do with! If I find Auntie or anyone else for that matter, ever pinches one of my pictures AND starts making money from it I'll happily see them in court!

A recent story in Amateur Photographer where a gentleman took a picture of a lifeboat then found that an organisation had used his picture without permission. The organisation had obtained the picture through an agency that had pinched it off the photographer's website without permission and started selling it! The photographer took the lot of them to court and got a settlement in his favour.

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BBC steal for fun and profit

This is nto the first time the BBC have used otehr peoples ciontent without permission.

To anyone who has had thier images stolen the going rate for commercial use is 3K per image use for TV broadcast.

You need to threaten legal action (small claims?) to get your dohs form the BBC.

Thieving gots assume most people will not bother - and it is true only the pro's or semi-pros seem to take umbrage.

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Headmaster

A title is not required.

Is this a crude attempt to mimic Andrew Orlowski's use of faux pidgin?

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"and it is true only the pro's or semi-pros seem to take umbrage"

Because they recognize the value of their work and that the value is measured in coin, not worthless "exposure" or "credit".

Most people don't bother because they don't realize their image has value, or they don't care because "OMGWTF I'm on the BBC!" or they're still naive enough to think that this will somehow be their "big break", or they've swallowed the "all information wants to be free" line without critically examining *who* it is that's pushing that agenda.

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3k figure

The 3k figure for TV use is generally considered the high water mark and is used as a tool to negotiate with. Real world payments for TV usage for stolen images are usually about $250 (US obviously) for still photos and $600 for video less than 20 seconds long.

No professional photographer thinks most any single image is worth 3k, and neither do the courts. If that was the case photographers would be living the high-life snapping a few dozen images a year. It's very true that big companies steal peoples photos all the time and they should have to pay for them, but to expect a a huge payout is silly.

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@Solomon Grundy

"but to expect a a huge payout is silly."

Why is it silly? Is it any sillier than the RIAA demanding thousands of dollars per song copied over a P2P network? If the MAFIAA can charge ridiculous amounts for copyright infringement, why can't the common man?

Also, in Australia at least, the standard penalty for copyright infringement is $50,000 AUD per offence for individuals, and $250,000 AUD per offence for companies. If the ABC (Australia's version of the BBC) were to infringe my photographs or 3D renders I'd not only be suing them for thousands, I'd be asking the court to levy the maximum fine as well.

If I am to be threatened for using bittorrent to download my favourite TV shows then the copyright cartels can bloody well be threatened tit for tat. What this shows is the brazen, in-your-face pissing on the common man - do as we say, not as we do.

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@Steven Roper

As far as I could tell, Solomon Grundy was talking about standard prices for the right to legally use an image or video, whereas you are talking about penalties assessed in court proceedings for copyright infringement. Obviously these are two very different matters, and the payments involved have nothing to do with each other.

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Facepalm

@Steven Roper

While ignorance of the law is no excuse, the fact that the BBC is a professional media organisation should mean it has a duty of care to respect copyrights, and penalties against a world spanning organisation should be at a level to force compliance.

I'm not sure that Aus$250,000 is the right level (whatever that is in real money), but it should certainly be at a level that buys more than a couple of nights out to discourage casual use.

This is a diversion from me, as I'm normally arguing that the duration of copyright is far too long. But I've no objection to 20 or 30 years as incentive to get material into the public domain.

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Anonymous Coward

quid pro quo

I've just sent an email to an entirely made up address at the BBC asking if I can use a lot of material on the iplayer as it's in the public interest.

If I don't get a response in the next ... oooh ... 7 days. I'll assume it's ok to go ahead.

I don't take this decision lightly. I am a (self appointed) senior editor as well !

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Joke

Twitter

That was quite the headline on tweetz!

http://i.imgur.com/2GJA2.jpg

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Coffee/keyboard

What have you done Aunti!

"So were taking yours. Analy..."

Thats far too sinister but I dont want the BBC taking things from me in THAT way!

I need a new keyboard, and a scrubbing brush for my mind

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Thumb Up

Similar Experience

As a professional photographer, and creator of other not-so-professional arty things, I licence all my photos/music/etc under a specific Creative Commons release that allows for the editing, reproduction etc of them, as long as it's not for a 'commercial purpose'. This is partly because it doesn't do me any financial harm, but also because I grew up with the excitement of the new, open, collaborative format of the web (which was fresh at the time), and want to recognise that.

However, I did have a conversation with the BBC after they used a video posted by my flatmate and I to Youtube. I politely asked them who had given permission to broadcast it, and said I would send an invoice for the daily press rate. Other papers and channels (the Sun, STV etc) all admitted to using it without asking and paid up, the person I spoke to at the BBC indignantly told me that I "shouldn't have posted it to the internet then".

He didn't even see the double standards when I asked if that meant I could go and reproduce the BBC's own content that they have hosted on Youtube.

The Editor later accepted the invoice without complaint, but I was amazed at the lack of knowledge of staff on the ground, as well as their arrogance when challenged.

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One problem

Don't the T&C's of most of the IP theft aka Web 2.0 crowd mean you to agree to transfer the copyright of anything you type or upload to them.

If anyone could sue the BBC in this case it would be Twitter not the original owner.

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Yes and no

In most cases, all the T&Cs do is make explicit that because you've uploaded a picture to their site, it's going to be made available on the internet to anyone with the URL. Some sites, however, opted for the cheap lawyers, and the T&Cs reflect that.

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Silver badge

actually

Most do not require a copyright assignment, only that you provide a non-exclusive, perpetual, and fully paid license. (or something to that effect)

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Pirate

Well seeing as the programs have been aired and therefore seen..

..then this makes me free to torrent the jaysus out of the Beeb's back catalogue.

Avast me heartys.

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Coat

Slight attitude adjustment

"If only all ownership worked this way, I would have an enviable collection of very expensive sports cars by now."

No, Andrew, you'd have the USE of several very expensive sports cars by now. As soon as you parked it in plain view, it's new 'owner' might drive it away. Unless you plan to keep them in a locked garage — that would be theft, man!

BTW, the Dutch tried this with bicycles — witte fietsen (white bicycles: Google translation of description at http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=nl&u=http://uitvindingen.nationaalarchief.nl/uitvinding/witte-fietsenplan&ei=Fm9KTsyWJunz0gGf7p3rBw&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=11&ved=0CGUQ7gEwCg&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dwitte%2Bfiets%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dseamonkey-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:unofficial%26prmd%3Divns). Unfortunately, people kept stealing them and repainting them...

Ik heb de vieze regenjas....

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Devil

twitter images owned by twitter?

I wonder what the twitter T&C says about uploading content and copyright. Wouldn't surprise me if they assert co-ownership or that the work become public.

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Silver badge

why wonder when you can just look?

but since you appear to be lazy to be arsed, I'll look for you:

"You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed)."

-- http://twitter.com/tos

so, no co-ownership, and it doesn't "become public (domain)." They just require you to license it to them. IF a media organization has a partnership with them, the license would appear to extend to that group. IF i saw something I posted where to show up on the beeb (unlikely, as I dont use twitter), I would invoice them and let them produce a valid license from twitter.

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@Oninoshiko

"...you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy..."

Think about that for a second. "Right to sublicense" means in plainspeak, "You give us the right to sell and profit from your work with no further payment to you." This is why I don't use Twitter at all. They could take a photograph of mine and sell it for a million bucks to a newspaper and I wouldn't receive a cent. Furthermore, "...process, adapt, modify..." means they can use your image in advertising or in any derivative work they might come up with, again with no attribution and no payment.

Fuck that for a bloody joke.

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Bronze badge
Facepalm

Otrageous Grammar!

Pedant Alert:

It should, of course, read "All your Twitter pic are belong to us".

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Watermark?

Perhaps twitter can give the option of adding the username as a watermark when uploading a pic.

Most online viewers wouldn't care about seeing a watermark but it would obviously not be broadcast or print quality and so if the meedja wanted the original they'd have to get in touch with the creator.

Such a simple solution that it's probably already patented in the U.S. by Apple...

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JMB

BBC explains 'All your Twitter pics are belong to us' gaffe

I wonder if it would be possible to put a copyright notice in both the EXIF and IPTC data with a statement that there is a standard fee of £10,000 for any use without prior agreement.

Or send a letter to the head of each of the organisations most likely to breach copyright and tell them what you charge for use of any of your copyright images.

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WTF?

oh yeah, I need a title

I don't think you do upload images to *twitter*. You generally put them online somewhere and link to them in a tweet.

I wonder if one of the more restrictive image hosting companies might like to talk to the news companies? A couple of months ago, TwitPic seemed to have TOS which would allow them to do so, at least according to Glenn Fleishman..

http://boingboing.net/2011/05/12/all-your-pics-are-be.html

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not clear

twitter do now do their own image hosting, but the chances are the images were hosted elsewhere and merely linked via twitter

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Holmes

BBC are so asking for a kicking

Images on twitter and other hosting sites are NOT public property. The original owner is, by uploading it, giving someone like Twitter permission to display it to the world. This means unless you upload it elsewhere or give someone else permission to use it, only Twitter can show it.

Same goes for self hosted image galleries and photo sharing sites such as flicker.

If you remove the image from any site, e.g. Twitter you are essentially revoking their right/permission to display this image to the world.

The BBC and anyone like them are walking on extremely thin ice so they better tread lightly.

The car/bike/lawnmower analogy applies perfectly in this instance.

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IT Angle

Is it?

"Coverage rarely, if ever, explains that creators' rights are a universal human right, that these are automatic, and that large media companies must ask permission for your stuff."

Fair enough on the latter two points but a universal human right? It's a right granted to creators by society as an expedient method "to promote the progress of science and useful arts", as the US constitution puts it, no? It's not a right granted as a natural entitlement to all human beings.

Or is it right up there with the right to a fair trial, in which case, where is it in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, European Convention on Human Rights and/or the Human Rights Act?

It would be interesting if you were to make the claim that it comes under the right to own property, making the BBC's copyright infringement a human rights violation.

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