12 posts • joined 7 Dec 2010
Sadly, no mileage really.
To be effective, the watermark/metadata needs to be applied by the publisher (and any subsequent publisher) and not the creator. Most professional creators (i.e. those making IP that has actual value) are already smart enough to mark their property.
Think about what a picture goes through, commercially. It might get cropped, retouched, colour-corrected, flipped, scaled, collaged; it could be re-saved into a format that doesn't support EXIF or similar; or it could be embedded in a container such as PDF or SWF. But legally, it's still the same picture.
Any subtle watermark or metadata applied by the creator runs the risk of being deleted as part of a commercial production process; while any mark that is unsubtle is liable to render the work unsaleable in the first place.
One alternative to the database that's being proposed puts the onus on the publisher rather than the creator and goes like this:
All publishers need to be forced to publish a rights credit along with any picture they publish. And ideally that means a human-readable credit embedded on the picture; plus machine-readable metadata as well. And the definition of publisher needs to be extended to cover everyone (much as libel does), and not just the big players.
Some photo libraries such as istockphoto (owned by Getty Images) already have clauses in their Ts&Cs that penalise customers who pay for picture licences but publish the pictures without source/rights attribution.
It's do-able in law but not likely to happen because the Tories will bleat about "Red Tape" harming business until your ears bleed.
So instead the creatives get tied up in blue tape. Thanks, Dave.
Good article, Andrew!
@AC - "FIne By Me"
True to a point, my friend, but you and the two click-wits who upvoted your comment are missing the subtleties of the issue.
Like most pros, I _do_ watermark my photography exactly as you suggested. However, when someone licences that work for use, say as part of the graphic design on a web site or in an online PDF or whatever, they clearly _don't_ use my picture with the watermark in place. End-use doesn't work like that.
As you've probably started realising... if someone then extracts the un-watermarked picture from the client's product, and removes the metadata (easily done by accident or deliberately), then the photographer's traceability is seriously compromised. The work is as good as orphan.
And in anticipation of any tards who might say 'you sold it once, so suck it up': in most cases, photographers need to sell a picture multiple times to earn a crust. Why? Because the big picture libraries have spent the last couple of decades driving the unit costs of photography down to chickenfeed.
Wonder if they'll benefit from this new legislation?
The BBC's quote on this...
The Beeb news site's coverage of this story closes with this gem from our country's finest:
"Those thinking of engaging in such activities should be warned that hacking, creating or propagating malicious viruses or participating in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are not harmless fun," Cyber Crimes Commander Glen McEwen said.
Too right, DDoS isn't harmless fun. In the wake of donation-throttling following from the Collateral Murder exposé, some of the DDoS going down seemed like a civic duty!
PS: that gets me thinking... "is not" harmless fun; "are not" harmless fun.
Clearly one of us doesn't know their are's from their elbow. Hope it's not me ;-0
Plus another reason, perhaps...
I've been happily using and buying Apple product since the early 90s. However...
This year I DIDN'T spend at least $8000 AUD on a Mac Pro because Apple decided to not bother significantly updating what is already an old product line; I DIDN'T replace my waterloggged v4 iPhone with a v5 because the dis-benefits (new iOS "features" I dont want and a new connector that won't match my audio devices, etc) outweighed the benefits; I've STOPPED renting movies thru iTunes because Apple's servers often take literally hours to transfer the content to me over my metropolitan Melbourne ADSL2 line; and when my massive matte Apple Cinema Display finally dies (it's becoming unwell, sadly) I WON'T be replacing it with a glossy "mirror" screen.
Sheesh, I hope Apple knows what it's doing!
Secure ... up to a point
Yeah, my mother accidentally left her hand luggage at Melbourne airport a few days ago. It contained a passcode-protected iPad running iOS 6. The Australian Federal Police rang her to tell her they had it.
So how did they get her number? They told her they opened a "back door" on the iPad using some special software they've got and then went through her contacts app.
Now if law enforcement can do that then you can bet there's a whole heap of other people out there who can pull off the same trick. Let's hope MPs don't accidentally leave their devices in the cloakroom at some Embassy function, eh?
Footnote: The Feds apparently told her "Apple are very obliging". I'll bet they are!
Yet another reason to round up the IP trolls
Hmmm. If you look carefully at the two designs you'll see that Apple's designers have made efforts to differentiate their work from the SBB clock.
Almost everything is subtly different. Compare the length of the clock hands and also the way they taper on one design but not on the other. See the difference in the size of the minute marks. Note how one clock has text on the face but the other does not. Compare the thickness of the rims; and so on.
In fact the only significant similarity is the sweep (seconds) hand with the circle on the tip. And even the colour of that is an evolution of the iOS5 iphone clock icon, which is also black with a red sweep hand.
And that's without going in to the many features that both clocks share with the universal set of round-faced clocks.
If SBB reckon they own the global IP on a circle at the tip of a sweep hand then good luck to them. I'd love to see that getting thrashed out in court (especially if the defendant were to argue their sweep tip sported a sphere rather than a circle).
But, either way, for Apple the outcome's nothing but good PR. Good old Apple. What luck!
Vodafone? Now, that's ironic on a par with Blair becoming Middle-East Peace Envoy.
But who are the Real Crooks in this story?
Ah – Australia! The sporting nation where a backhander isn't merely a tennis shot.
As one user on the Vodafail site complained recently: "how is this company [Vodafone] allowed by the government to operate under a telecoms licence?"
But as with many consumer-rights clusterfucks, she poses an interesting question that the media doesn't seem to be asking.
And talking of things unsaid. All the retailers (and here I'm including everyone from the college mobile phone kiosk right up to the Apple Store selling you a Vodafone SIM with your shiny new iToy) do a three-monkeys routine with regard to the scale of the Vodafone network's unreliability.
In other words, they sell you product in the full knowledge that it's only going to connect to the network some of the time (and that could be less than 20%, going by my own Vodafone experience).
A mate of mine just signed a year+ contract with Vodafone, oblivious to the stampede of customers heading in the other direction.
Bloody shame the class action seems to have fallen on its arse. Legal aid, anyone?
Did the Reg's graphic designer have a fit over those pictures?
Did the author do his own illustrations, perhaps?
A dedicated graphics professional would at least have made sure all the pictures were flipped the right way round. And don't get me started on the speech-bubble typography.
Ironically, that Job's legacy. Empowering millions of semi-competent people to dabble in creative activities that are best left to those who actually know what they're doing.
To paraphrase Dennis Potter's Signing Detective: they think they can draw and write, "every busy little schmuck who can hold a pen the right way up."
Oh the bronzy...
I guess the anonymity thing is all about steering well clear of those chaps who provide the courtesy shuttle bus to Uncle Sam's famous holiday camps.
And I'll bet the "blocking access to websites" stuff is due to the asymmetrical nature of the conflict – it's probably in lieu of marching in to the capital and topping a bronze statue of whatever crook is in charge.
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