An interesting challenge...

Yesterday I received a very tender and helpful letter from a photographer who had just come upon my blog. He was very supportive and I was grateful for his note... but there was a problem. I had used one of his images - a beautiful photograph of a cross in the raindrops - and it is copyrighted. To make a long story short, he was concerned about protecting his artistic work and receiving proper credit - and I support him.

So here's the interesting challenge in the emerging world of the internet and the blogosphere: what are the new rules (to paraphrase Bill Maher - HBO Photos.) I consulted a reference from the University of Maryland (http://www.umuc.edu/library/copy.shtml) and their take is based on use of pictures, poems and prose in the classroom (with suggestions for the internet).

+ Always credit your source
+ Always use your sources sparingly
+ Always make certain that one source is not more than 10% of your message


Amy Cham offers some very good common sense guidelines, too at: (http://amycham.typepad.com/amy_cham_inside_my_head/2007/09/web-101-copyrig.html)

Answers/Yahoo suggests that non-profit use need only site the credits while this site (http://webnet77.com/webstuff/copyright.html) clearly prohibits using anything except in the public domain. Interesting, yes?

Clearly, every day use of internet images is a thousand light years ahead of legal precedent - and - artists need protection. It is clearly time for me to be much more careful and intentional about sharing artistic credits, yes?

(NOTE: so let me credit the really beautiful work of photographer, Gaylon Wampler, for his pix from Samoa. And let me invite you to check out his works at: http://www.gaylonwamplerphotography.com/)

I am grateful for this challenge and... wonder what your take on it all might be? Made me think of this golden oldie...

Comments

Di said…
It seems to me I've heard that song before...

(Why is it that we can tell our loved ones something a thousand times and they don't hear it, but a stranger can say it once and they hear it like it's the first time?)
don-E Merson said…
Ok, the song makes me think of the "ear cutting off" scene in Reservoir Dogs.
On the image, I will say viewing the image from it's original source (img src="wheretheimageisstored.jpg") is never a breach of copyright because the public html is a de facto reference to the orgin. If you take this image and copy it to your site and then reference it from your site without a reference to the creator then this is a copyright issue. The first one is no different that watching your TV play a station, you are only pointing to content that someone else (who is responsible for the copyright) is providing.
The sad record that has been the legal record on items that are related to the internet (Amazon holding a copyright for Buy It now being the absolute worst bit of law ever created-it is the logical conclusion of a public format), I hope this obvious decision holds forth in the future.
RJ said…
this is helpful... so, in effect, an image can be duplicated but must always be credited with a connection to the original sourse?
and the song is just fun...
don-E Merson said…
Also, it is very easy to allow your image only to be accessed via the original website. If you have followed a link from google and found out that the link to the url was not allowed, you have seen this in action already.
Same with a video, not that sometimes the "embeding" feature cannot be used on You Tube videos. Basically, this means you can only view that video from that site and cannot reference it from another site (which is basically what embedding the video is doing). So if a person is claming your img tag is violating his copyright I would advise him on how to protect his image by not allowing it to be referenced from another site.

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