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back to article Tom Hanks NICKED my COPYRIGHTED PIC, claims Brit photog

Hollywood film actor Tom Hanks' WhoSay page is attributing copyright of a photograph to the millionaire rather than to the British photographer from Cornwall to whom it actually belongs - and the plucky Brit is now fighting for the recognition he deserves. The photo was taken by snapper Tim Martindale last year, and features his …

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JDX
Gold badge

Isn't Hanks one of the decent ones, and this is therefore most likely casual ignorance of the type "that's cool, I want to share it"?

Hopefully it will get a good outcome and my illusions won't be shattered :)

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"that's cool, I want to share it"?

but put a copyright logo and your name on it so noone else will share it?

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Gav

As the article notes, it was most likely the whosay website that added the copyright. Notice that they also splatted their logo onto the bottom right corner. Hanks didn't add that.

This is typical tactics on many websites. Lift content from elsewhere, add your own watermark.

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Thumb Down

Humbug

I note that Tim Martingdale stated on his website that he'd be wearing his dad's medals on Remembrance Sunday.

The official position is that you should not wear medals other than your own.

I suppose the moral niceties of attribution and rights only apply to your own works when you're a commercial photographer.

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Re: Humbug

>The official position is that you should not wear medals other than your own.

...... the official position is that they should be worn on the right.

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Re: Humbug

Aren't you a joyous individual. The man is proudly displaying and honouring his father's achievements and heroism. Not passing off as your sick suggestion would make him out to be.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Humbug

For your information Fink-Nottle regarding the wearing of a deceased relatives medals. Maybe read further than the first comment in an article.

Taken from www.britishlegion.org.uk

CAN I WEAR MEDALS BELONGING TO MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY?

"The Legion takes a pragmatic view and our Ceremonial Rules state:

The official rules for wearing medals allow only official awards to be worn. Unofficial purchased medals and foreign medals which do not have the Sovereign's permission to be worn are not allowed. Standard Bearers, Parade Marshals and other officials on Legion duty are bound by this ruling and unofficial medals must not be worn when on Legion duty.The medals awarded to a deceased Service / ex-Service person may be worn on the right breast by a near relative (mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, daughter and son). Not more than one group should be worn by any individual.

One thing is certain, no action will be taken officially if anyone wears a relation's medals. In the Legion this practice is banned for Standard Bearers and parade officials and as stated above for other members."

Taken from: www.rsl.org.au

The Wearing of Medals and Decorations

War medals may only be worn on the left breast by the persons upon whom they were conferred. The honour afforded remains with the individual and does not pass to a widow, parent, son or relative when the recipient is dead. Similarly, the same rules apply in cases where a posthumous award is made.

The policy as it stands is that on the death of a recipient, technically, any honours and awards revert to the commonwealth in the first instance. The reality of course is that family members have an ambient claim and the commonwealth would not seek to intervene in medals being passed on directly within the family.

Family members may wear their forebears medals on the right breast which indicates that they are not their own. There is no limitation or formal policy on what occasions they should be worn. In essence, the wearing of forebear's medals on the right breast is a convention passed down over the years that is largely dictated by the occasion and (ideally) a measure of decorum fitting the event. They should not be worn lightly or where it would be inappropriate to do so.

For uniformed personnel, on ANZAC and Remembrance days only, modification of normal service dress code is allowed whereby they wear their own medals on the left breast accompanied (if they wish) by their ancestor's on the right.

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Bronze badge

Gav- "This is typical tactics on many websites. Lift content from elsewhere, add your own watermark."

IP attorneys love it when people and organizations do that. It supports a claim of "Willful" infringement and the possible statutory fine can be $150K in addition to punitive awards and attorney's fees. It can be much cheaper to leave the original copyright mark on.

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Re: Humbug

From the British Legion's website:

"The official rules for wearing medals allow only official awards to be worn. Unofficial purchased medals and foreign medals which do not have the Sovereign's permission to be worn are not allowed. Standard Bearers, Parade Marshals and other officials on Legion duty are bound by this ruling and unofficial medals must not be worn when on Legion duty.The medals awarded to a deceased Service / ex-Service person may be worn on the right breast by a near relative (mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, daughter and son). Not more than one group should be worn by any individual."

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Re: Humbug

Officially you are correct, but these British Legion rules seem to be the most popular:

The official rules for wearing medals allow only official awards to be worn. Unofficial purchased medals and foreign medals which do not have the Sovereign's permission to be worn are not allowed. Standard Bearers, Parade Marshals and other officials on Legion duty are bound by this ruling and unofficial medals must not be worn when on Legion duty.The medals awarded to a deceased Service / ex-Service person may be worn on the right breast by a near relative (mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, daughter and son). Not more than one group should be worn by any individual.

I hope that one day my son will continue wearing the medals I have earnt serving my country...

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FAIL

Re: Humbug

> The official position is that you should not wear medals other than your own.

The official position is that your wear the medals you have earned on your left side. If you are wearing somebody else's medals then you wear them on your right side.

He has every right to wear his Fathers medals.

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Bronze badge

Re: Humbug

As Random Handle states, medals worn on behalf of someone should worn on the right. You wear your own medals on the left.

This is what Beckham got called out for at the Royal Wedding - he'd wore his OBE on his right, incorrectly as it was his.

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Re: Humbug

> Aren't you a joyous individual. The man is proudly displaying and honouring his father's achievements and heroism. Not passing off as your sick suggestion would make him out to be.

I did not imply that he was passing off his father's medals as his own. I am aware of the custom of wearing a family member's medals on the right breast on Remembrance Day and, as a number of commentards have pointed out, provision for this is made in the Ceremonial Rules of the Royal British Legion. Nevertheless, although the practice is generally accepted I believe it is not officially sanctioned.

The point of my previous post was that an analogy can be drawn:

It's unlikely the photographer would be aware that wearing his dad's medals does not conform with the letter of the law. Similarly, it is unlikely that Tom Hanks (or more likely a staffer) was aware that posting the image would fall foul of copyright law.

Also, just as wearing his father's medals is not an attempt by the photographer to claim them as his own, it is equally improbable that Tom Hanks intended to pass off the images as his own.

As the OP noted, this is more than likely a case of 'casual ignorance'; to claim that attribution has been stolen is unnecessary hyperbole.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Humbug

> For your information Fink-Nottle regarding the wearing of a deceased relatives medals. Maybe read further than the first comment in an article.

Taken from Veterans Affairs Canada

Can I wear my relative’s medals?

Medals may only be worn by the veteran. This is considered of such high importance that it is a criminal offense to wear military medals that someone else has earned.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Humbug

> It's unlikely the photographer would be aware that wearing his dad's medals does not conform with the letter of the law.

But it does conform with the letter of the law. It is not breaking any act of Parliament or any local ordinance.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Humbug

> Taken from Veterans Affairs Canada

He is British, not Canadian. He will be wearing the medals in the UK, not Canada. The medals were awarded by the UK Armed Forces not the Canadian Armed Forces.

This means he can even wear the medals in Canada since the Canadian law only applies to medals awarded by Canada and not to medals awarded by any other country.

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Re: Humbug.

Fink-Nottle, you're a cad.

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Re: Humbug

Gussie Fink-Nottle, after whom you no doubt have taken your nom de plume, was a nice character. I suggest you change your online name to 'Spode'.

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Re: Humbug

>But it does conform with the letter of the law. It is not breaking any act of Parliament or any local ordinance.

You may not like it, but the law is unequivocal. Wearing a decoration without authority contravenes 197(1)(a) of the Army Act of 1955.

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Gav

Re: Humbug

"Similarly, it is unlikely that Tom Hanks (or more likely a staffer) was aware that posting the image would fall foul of copyright law."

Tom Hanks is a highly experienced operator in Hollywood. His staff are running a high-profile website. It's not credible that they are happily oblivious of copyright law. But, as I said, I think it's more likely that the culprit here is whosay, a publishing outfit that should certainly know copyright law.

The practices (not laws) regarding wearing medals are far more arcane and a photographer has no particular need to know them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Humbug

> You may not like it, but the law is unequivocal. Wearing a decoration without authority contravenes 197(1)(a) of the Army Act of 1955.

You may not like it but the Army Act 1955 was superseded by the Armed Forces Act 2006 which has no such provision.

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Re: Humbug

"Gussie Fink-Nottle, after whom you no doubt have taken your nom de plume, was a nice character. I suggest you change your online name to 'Spode'".

Yeah, stick to the newts and leave thinking to others better equipped for it.

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Flame

@Fink-Nottle

If you dig deep enough, you may find some coal. Is that why you are doing this?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Humbug

> The official position is that you should not wear medals other than your own.

> Wearing a decoration without authority contravenes 197(1)(a) of the Army Act of 1955.

Even when the Army Act 1955 was in force it still did not prevent you from wearing the medals your Father earned. If you are given the authority to wear the medals then you can wear them.

It is highly unlikely that an organisation such as The Royal British Legion would actively promote breaking the law by encouraging you to wear a relatives decorations. I suspect that the authority to allow a person to wear another’s medals has been delegated to the Royal British Legion.

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"that's cool, I want to share it"

Fairly normal human response. Difference is, I just watched Saving Private Ryan and while I'd love to share it, it's a crime to do so.

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Re: Humbug

> You may not like it but the Army Act 1955 was superseded by the Armed Forces Act 2006 which has no such provision.

I apologise for my initial comment.

You are indeed correct. Since the repeal of the Army Act 1955 anyone is free to wear their relative's medals.

> It is highly unlikely that an organisation such as The Royal British Legion would actively promote breaking the law by encouraging you to wear a relatives decorations. I suspect that the authority to allow a person to wear another’s medals has been delegated to the Royal British Legion.

I believe the BL rules to be consistent with the special case of posthumous medal presented to next-of-kin. I suggest that the British Legion FAQ supports this reading.

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Facepalm

Isn't Hanks one of the decent ones,

A celebrity's public image can be the opposite of their real persona.

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Joke

disgraceful

tom hanks, like, actually took part in the american liberation of yerp at normandy. I think it is disgraceful to be attacking a war hero like this. #notcoolbro #whatwouldwilsondo?

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Copyright

Is an archaic and obsolete arts trade union/ guilds law that is no longer fit for purpose in the modern age. When an entire library can be held on a postage stamp and copied in an instant it makes our law makers and enforcers look foolish and stupid in trying to stop copying.

This case highlights the not very funny joke that is copyright and it's purpose to perpetuate a protected monopoly on the production and distribution of media by the incumbent and wealthy.

Good luck to Marindale using their own weapons against them and I hope he gets at least $1m dollars damages.

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Copyright

Yes, Tim like every individual needs strong law to protect his digital property rights. So justice can be done. I'm glad you agree that stopping copying is so important.

(The rest of your comments just reflects your intellectual confusion. But that's only really a problem for you.)

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Bronze badge

Re: Copyright

rm -rf, I can only guess that you don't produce any music, art, written words etc for sale outside your employer's environment, so you have never watched something you devised and spent a long time to create suddenly become 'free'. I do think that the antique ways that individuals can enforce copyright works against their interests. We need a lot more controls built into anything we release. I am not meaning DRM, but sort of 'who is using'?

When a short story of mine appears in an anthology selling for 49cents, grabbed by thieves and added to an ebook, or when someone grabs it and offers it as their own work online it loses all value for me, because people will not buy if they can use a pirated copy. I not only lose the tiny bit of money i would get, but the recognition for my work. And really, the recognition is important, because the money is something.

But I guess you'd say my stories want to be 'free' and that there can be no concept of my 'owning' them if I offer them digitally. I guess that leaves me with my paperbacks, and closed out f the modern world. Is this where you want to head? The little guy elbowed out of the creative arena?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Copyright

"Copyright

Is an archaic and obsolete arts trade union/ guilds law that is no longer fit for purpose in the modern age. When an entire library can be held on a postage stamp and copied in an instant it makes our law makers and enforcers look foolish and stupid in trying to stop copying."

What? Someone produces something (music, art, photo, a poem), therefore they have every right to profit from that work. Just because it's quick and easy to copy doesn't mean that copyright is obselete.

"This case highlights the not very funny joke that is copyright and it's purpose to perpetuate a protected monopoly on the production and distribution of media by the incumbent and wealthy."

Anybody can produce 'stuff', it's the publishing which is the difficult bit. In the old days it was the publishing houses, record companies, picture libraries which had the control, now it's Amazon, google and Apple. In the case of google, it's actually based on the back of piracy (half of youtube is someone elses copyright).

"Good luck to Marindale using their own weapons against them and I hope he gets at least $1m dollars damages."

Your logic has just done a 180 degree turn. Either copyright laws are obselete or they aren't. You can't start your argument in one way, then finish it with the contrary point of view!!

I think your desire to justify your own piracy has just crashed into your desire to 'stick it to the man'...

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Copyright

You seem a bit confused. Firstly lambasting copyright and then wishing the victim of copyright theft luck. Or is it me getting confused?

My dad is an artist and without patents and copyrights his livelihood would have been jolly rogered. It was hard enough growing up as the child of artists, with their Bohemian approach and two pennies to rub together. It would have been far worse without those pennies.

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Childcatcher

Re: Copyright

You can't start your argument in one way, then finish it with the contrary point of view!!

In a stunning example of cognitive dissonance, that is exactly what was done.

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Re: Copyright

I think he was attempting sarcasm, if so it was an "epic fail" as I believe the kids say today.

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Re: Copyright

I have sympathy with both views. As a society we wish to provide protection to the creators, however the copyright laws as they exist are based on the premise that copying is a difficult process so that anyone who does copy has willfully infringed.

I recently got accused of copyright violation because I copied an email to a blog, not realizing that the text was intended to become part of a book. My subsequent investigation into copyright law showed there are many misconceptions about copyright law and how easy it is to transgress.

Even when trying to do the right thing, trying to ascertain the copyright status of a piece of work is a minefield. To work out whether a photo is still in copyright in the UK you have to know the following(http://photographyformortals.blogspot.com/2014/05/copyright-or-copywrong.html)

When the photo was taken

Who by

Are they still alive? If not when did they die.

Was it published and if so when.

It is no surprise then that many face with the situation will just say bugger it and use the photo anyway.

Remember as well as allowing proper remuneration to the creators the idea of copyright is that the works eventually become part of the creative commons. Unfortunately the power grab by companies such as Disney (a company founded on ripping off historic work with little recompense) has meant that copyright law has extended the privilege with little given back to the general good.

Like I said I have sympathy for anyone who feels there work has been stolen with no recompense. On the other hand, copyright law as designed does little to protect the individual but does give huge power to the mega corps. It is a question whether we should be continuing the myth that copyright protects, and instead look at new ways to ensure the creators get there due recompense without the need for a law which pretends to be for eh public good, but in fact does the exact opposite

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FAIL

Re: copyright laws as they exist are based on the premise that copying is a difficult process

Copyright law has ALWAYS been premised on the fact that copying is easier that writing the original, hence the penalties and enhanced penalties.

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Re: copyright laws as they exist are based on the premise that copying is a difficult process

Well it's always been easier, but it was still involved a large industrial process and so was restricted. Now the barriers to producing a perfect copy are ridiculously low and open to virtually everyone.

On that basis enforcing copyright as originally defined is not really feasible anymore.

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Shurely if its digital its free...stands to reason innit...

oh wait...

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FAIL

"Martindale says he isn’t out for personal enrichment, but wants to raise awareness of digital property theft – a digital right that self-styled “digital rights” activists never seem to recognise, let alone defend."

Don't be a tool.. what is good for the goose is good for the gander.... its a crime just ask the FBI. An open and shut case $250k and 5 yrs in a federal prison.... it also funds terrorism so actually make that a cool $1 mill..

Nice pic BTW

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Anonymous Coward

"its a crime just ask the FBI. An open and shut case $250k and 5 yrs in a federal prison"

Yes, because despite not extraditing CIA terrorists who bomb airliners, clearly the US will make an exception to their unspoken 'we'll prosecute your citizens but we'll never help you prosecute ours' rule over a JPG. Not.

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Silver badge

I hope he sues. Whilst it's possible that Hank's never had anything directly to do with the infringement (most likely it was some agency hired to manage his internet image etc) the people responsible should be educated. As they are American a lawsuit and damages is the most appropriate way of doing that.

His 20 quid may be a little low. I assume from that he is talking about its value as microstock as opposed to selling it via an agency as 'macrostock'*. Given the resolution used, the quality of the execution and the strength of the original concept the licence would have been in the 500 to 800 region, well worth recouping. I'm not sure if he would be able to go for punitive damages, especially if the copyright wasn't registered.

The comment from the beeb is golden! I assume then they will not be claiming any copyright over any of the work they put into the public domain over the airwaves or via the internet? I think they may be confusing trademarks with copyright? Or just making it up as they go along.

*Microstock is basically where a SMWAC uploads thousands of pictures of their kids, their holiday to Skegness and half rotten fish heads on the beach to a website and maybe gets paid a quid or two for a very generic licence if they are lucky but in theory the volume of sales makes up for a decent total (there are occasionally some decent microstock images but in general its dross). Macrostock is where photographers place a more honed selection of images with an agency who sell more specialised licences for much higher sums. At the end of their career a photog might have thousands of images placed but they will placed an order of magnitude less that microstock photogs over the same timeframe.

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Bronze badge

The term "public domain" has several different meanings. And there is a distinct meaning in US copyright law which seems to confuse a lot of people elsewhere. In the UK, "in the public domain" means (mostly) that the work is widely known. It's nothing to do with copyright. It's about privacy and such.

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Bronze badge

Public domain in the UK seems to correlate with "published" in the US. That might only be in the eyes of the public. In law, most first world countries are party to the Berne Convention regarding copyright and I believe that "public domain" is the same for all, ie; a work who's copyright has expired, a work by a government agency that does not qualify for copyright protection or a work that the author has release all claims for (a tough thing to do as copyright is fixed upon creation).

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Unhappy

especially if the copyright wasn't registered

Not technically necessary, except in the US, as the granting of copyright is an automatic thing. However, in typical screwing-with-everybody-else's-laws: "The case Kernel Records Oy v Mosley found that registration is necessary for a lawsuit and that anything published online is considered a US work." [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_registration]

Accordingly, perhaps the best approach is to make a lot of noise about how "Tom Hanks, a fellow artist, STOLE my creation" and hope that either he or his agent come to some sort of arrangement to make the bad publicity go away, as the legal route is likely to be balanced heavily against the foreigner - - that bollocks about lack of registration removes punitive damages? The US is barely even bothering to follow the Berne Convention (witness the arbitrary messing with lengths of copyright protection in order to "protect" a stupid mouse).

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Silver badge

Re: especially if the copyright wasn't registered

Not quite :) Copyright is formed at the creation of the work and you can sue, but you can only sue beyond the value of the work \ your loss if the work is registered (at least in the US). i.e. no punitive damages unless it has ALSO been registered.

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Silver badge

Re: I hope he sues.

As a 'Merkin, I do too. The site should be primary with Hanks as secondary, letters as appropriate to both before filing in court. I expect Hanks to settle quickly which should expedite rolling over the website. And yes, he should apply for the enhanced penalties since they slapped a false copyright on it.

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Pirate

Not subject to copyright laws?

"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."

So is Pirate Bay...

:-)

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Re: Not subject to copyright laws?

Cute!

But the big difference is that the copyright holder is the one who posts the work to twitter... ;-)

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