13 posts • joined 7 Apr 2010
Re: My Precious bollocks
Yes. It would be far more efficient to simply TWOC any car you fancy, to get where you want to go. It's not as if you are stealing the car, just using it. Of course some car owners will object that they are paying for someone else's convenience, but they must adapt to progress. If they can't adapt and cars become uneconomic, who cares, there are always bicycles. And if bicycle owners can't adapt, there are always shoes.
I did an audit of a few of my photos on my public site last year. Infringing uses outnumbered legit uses 14;1. From that I can estimate I have 6,000 or so infringing uses happening, enough to keep me in paperwork for the rest of my life. None of the infringements I found link back to me, none retained my metadata, often they claimed copyright belongs to the pilferer. And quite a lot are used in contexts that are obnoxious, that deprecate people I have photographed, that I would never have agreed to at any price. Much of my work has been based on subjects trust, often for charities. I can no longer keep those promises thanks to thieves..Once we get orphan works and extended collective licensing, I won't even have the ability to say "no".
Obviously if I was SonyEMI or Getty I'd have a roomful of vicious lawyers hunting down the infringers and biting their arses, but as a sole trader it's just death of a thousand cuts. I put this stuff up to share for public interest, and education but sharing means "look at and hopefully enjoy". It does not mean "take and use for whatever fuckwittedly egregious purpose you like without even having the manners to ask, let alone pay".
I've been a pro photographer for 32 years and it is now over aside from occasional commissions for a couple of specialist clients for whom I run private image libraries, Last year I closed my public site that has been online since 1996: it's now like trying to run a gallery in a neighbourhood of looters. Even taking all the photos offline hasn't stopped the abuse, I found a dozen more infringements last night thanks to freetards stealing from freetards. No, the world does not owe me a living, it never has - as a lifelong freelance this is crystal clear. But I don't owe the world free work and investment with no return except damage.
So dear freetards: I can't afford to run a car anymore, and I'll be round to borrow yours, and, once the Government have destroyed IP for all but large companies, squat your house. Who could possbly object?
Re: Conspiracy to steal?
Removal of metadata is a criminal offence under the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003. The trouble is that you have to prove it was done with the intent of infringing copyright. They always say "it;s the software". No case has ever been brought, yet the IPO insists this rubbish law is perfectly adequate protection for photographers
If you are publishing on the web, having a clue what you are doing can avoid a great deal of trouble. Unless explicitly stated as free to use in your context (perhaps by Collective Commons licensing), It is safe to assume that any photograph taken since about 1915 is someone's copyright material, and it is up to you to obtain permission..
"Royalty free" does not mean, and has never meant "free to take and do what you iike". It means that once you have licensed your use of the image from the copyright owner, you may re-publish that image without further royalty payments to the rights owner. And to protect yourself, keep a copy of the licensing agreement. It cannot be invalidated by any subsequent licensing terms.
Re: That's going to be a problem
Nice idea but extradition for copyright infringement isn't going to happen. However, arrivals are screened for outstanding warrrants. Anyone who visits the US having failed to satisfy a US court judgement against them is likely to have a bad day. Non-payment of fines and costs is contempt of court , a misdemeanour that will get you arrested and can result in gaol of up to a year,, and of course you still have to pay the outstanding amounts.
Re: This could work, but it wont.
You are right to draw attention to the implementation, but it is worse than you think.
Current proposals indicate that each entity that operates ECL will need to run a searchable database. We don't know how many of those will ultmately exist, but the IPO said during Digital Economy Bill consultations that 20 separate organisations had expressed an interest in operating ECL.
In order for any photographer anywhere to check whether any of their work has been used they will either have to:
- visually browse each entire collection. Perhaps possible if it is a few dozen images. Not possible if it is a few hundreds or thousands
- search the database, but how? Their name is useless, by definition. Visual match is the only way, a slow and resource intensive method. Since you can have no idea which of your images may have been orphaned and licensed, you have to upload all of your images in order to see whether any have been used.
So in order to find out whether someone somewhere has licensed themselves to use your work at the price they deem reasonable, every photographer in the world will have to upload everything they've ever published to maybe 1, maybe 20+ different sites, and then they'll have to do it again and again every 6m or so.
All this in the name of efficiency for publishers and cultural organisations who whinge about the difficulty of clearing rights. It simply throws the problem back at the creators who make and own the stuff they want to use. Yet those very publishers and cultural organisations have bitterly resisted any duty of care to record and publish the bylines of creators so that work does not get orphaned in the first place..
The IPO and Government have been told loudly and repeatedly that this is insane, unworkable, wrong and just plain illegal under international treaties, in numerous submissions and discussions over the past 5 years since Gowers, by every photographers organisation.
What we have here is an impenetrable wall of hubris surrounding the clueless scheming mendacity of the IPO.The very things this US creators letter state were put by me to Quilty in a 2010 meeting prior to DEB. I am not allowed to quote or attribute his response under Chatham House rules that were imposed on the meeting, but some blithering IPO clod responded airily "Well, we'll just wait for the court cases then".. They don't care. it's all underwritten by the taxpayer anyway.
Re: Wishing into existence
"Nothing has been taken".
Sanctimonious exploitative bilge.
You could equally say we should not pay the man who digs a ditch, because he still has his arms and his shovel. What is stolen is the value that the photographer should have had for his work to make the photo, and needed to have in order to eat and make more photos.
I am sure you will say "what work? It only takes me a second to take a photo". Then you don't need other peoples' do you?
In one small respect I agree with you. Copyright should not be a property right for individual creators, it should be an inalienable civil right on the European model.
After 35 years as a pro photographer, on the web since 1996, I have closed my public website. All I ever get from it is people and companies stealing from it, and mostly using photos in ways I would never agree to at any price. Invariably they strip my details. Usually they claim it as their own copyright. I was happy to share whilst people were fair, but it's now like trying to live in a neighbourhood of rapacious muggers.
This idiot law just seeks to make theft legal. "Free" is what the voting public wants, and ibeing able to help themselves is certainly what the big publishers and aggregators want to fatten up their profit margins. The radical ant-copyright lobby and the monopolist corporates are the flip sides of the same coin. Both carelessly emasculate individual creators, as if there is an endless supply. We treat fish better than that.
Make your own photos, music, art, movies, books, software, news articles, Try living at the other end of your "nothing is taken" proposition. Tell us how you get on.
Perhaps you need to get out more.
Try Google Images. Pick any subject. I've done this and on my sample about half were orphans - no metadata, no contactable real person to pursue.
Even Flickr is pretty good. Mpst people there use pseudonyms you'll never deconstruct and many are unresponsive. Perfect.
Alternatively, just go to the BBC site and watch one of the most efficient orphan generators known to man. Crowdsourced images in one end by the thousand, anonymised out the other. By the time they've been nicked, blogged, tweeted a few times nobody will ever know who stole what from whom. and nobody gives a flying f*ck who the copyright owner was.
I've audited a sample of my own work. Google Search by Image is good for this. Stolen versions outnumbered legit 14:1. All of the stolen versions had metadata stripped, about 20% were passed off as someone else's copyright, just 4% had links to me or mentioned my name. Most of the thieves were insulated by pseudonyms and nicknames that I'd need a court order to get ID's. About a third were in jurisdictions that are out of reach.
The web is one vast photo orphaning machine.
Curse of the Olympics?
Hang on. Wasn't O2's Olympics mobile network due to go live this week? Maybe that explains things - O2's version of games lanes. Or possibly the M4.
Re: Contract fine, PAYG broken
Nah, the fuckup is equal ops. and apparently extensive to judge by the howls of annoyance on Facebook. We have 3x O2 contract phones here (W7 London). All show good signal on O2 but connect to nothing. There's a tri-tone beep when dialling other mobiles. Oddly one attempt to call landline worked, once, then didn';t.
I think you want to look a bit more closely at what caused the credit crunch. It wasn't just people irresponsibly taking out mortgages that were beyond their abilities to repay.
Had that been the problem, it could have been solved by rescheduling and/or direct subsidy that would have been much, much cheaper than the bank bailouts. That would have been politically repellent in the US, so may never have been possible. But what blew up was the chained successive fraudulent transactions, derivatives and insurance liabilities and ratings scams that followed on from the (often missold) initial mortgage. That managed to leverage a limited potential liability for bad debts into a financial catastrophe of unknown dimensions.
You cannot blame innumerate ex-trailer-park optimists who failied to read the small print for that. Nearly destroying half the world's banks took the vast perfidy of expert professionals, as they Ponzi-schemed dodgy crap into a bonus-winning mega-wheeze.
I mean, JPMorgan, who invented CDI's, knew it would blow up and got out in early 2007. Goldman Sachs shorted their own customers who were silly enough to buy their fake-rated derivatives. These cynical bastards knew what they were doing and just thought so long as someone else got stuck with the downside, that was fine. The US public, and the great recession [tm] as it turned out.
The poverty of theory
The spot price of oil rose from ~$82 to $102 and then today settled back to $85 over the 18 day period of the Egyptian revolution. That wasn't caused by any significant real disruption to supply nor change in demand..Something is missing from your idealised picture.
I think it was Roubini who assessed a decade ago that the volume of money exchanged daily in the worlds various stock, futures, derivative, bonds and forex markets (then) exceeded by a factor of 10,000:1 the worldwide volume of actual, real trade for goods and services. As he said "that is the economics of the madhouse. All those unreal transactions generate fees and loan interest for banks and brokers that can only be passed on to the real economy one way or another - either as price inflation or currency debasement or debt that must be repaid by someone somewhere.
Unpredictable scarcity is profitable; the more volatility, the more trades and the more profit there is to be made from fees. Specially as the banks have access to basically unlimited almost-free stake money via QE programmes, a speculative bubble here, a small crash there as the majors game the markets. TBTF, they know that if they f$ck up it's our problem and wallets at risk. Far from zero sum, this is now an end game as wealth inexorably flows from the poor to the rich by multiple routes - commodity prices, debt interest, taxation, asset and currency devaluation. All of which chokes real growth which is the only way out of this mess. It will end badly, and it won't be long..
Never mind Heisenberg, just think of the FTL networking based on Bell's theorem. http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/kenny/papers/bell.html
re Moral copyright
The European copyright system is based around copyright as a civil right - an automatic right of the person who creates something, that is inalienable, and has inalienable moral rights. It is most developed in Germany, where the additional protection of unfair contract law can be applied against rights grabs. Basically German law only permits licensing, not assignment of copyright, and moral rights (to be identified as the author, to object to distortion etc) cannot be waived. This puts creators in a more equitable position and helps prevent the market degrading into bullying.
UK and US copyright are common law property rights that can be bought and sold, and in a market where dominant corporations offer deals you cannot refuse, has led to exploitation. Especially as UK has no unfair contract law that applies to IP. Rights grabs are everywhere thanks to sign or starve propositions that benefit only publishers.
Of course neither address market value declining due to oversupply, but this "droit d'auteur' EC framework does go some way to ensure creators retain some of the value in their work instead of none, and it does help to ensure their work is not anonymised or misused..
Photographers in particular have been asking for this reform for many years, through each of the successive copyright consultations, and have been ignored. Moral rights were hobbled in the 1988 Act by publishers pleading that ID'ing creators was costly and onerous. 30 years on, they're still saying the same thing.
Orphan licensing and extended collective licensing, proposed by S43 of the DEB, have brought matters to a head. Much of the orphans "problem" has been caused by absent or weedy UK moral rights that allow use without attribution. EG see the BBC website, hundreds of images with no attribution nor metadata, an OW factory, and then they complain that OW are hurting their ability to produce work...
As for ECL, that's eventually the nail in the coffin of copyright, stripping away the remnants of control of who may use and at what rate, with "opt out and starve" the only option, and all the costs and hassle of licensing transferred to the author.
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