Google Dennis Rito | Blog: Copyright is for Losers

13 February 2009

Copyright is for Losers

Got an interesting post by Rupert Gray (Swan Turton Solicitors) over at ShahidulNews...

... Banksy’s schizophrenic approach to copyright symbolises the conflict, the tension, between the desire for artists to find their way into the minds of all people, and the need for those artists (and their agents) to maintain a monopoly in order to earn a living. This question, how society produces and distributes its information, literature and art, goes to the very core of freedom. It is an international issue - who gets to say what, to whom? Who has access to it, who gets paid? The answers determine political outcomes. They determine wealth. They determine the extent to which an individual is able to play a central role in altering his or her own life. All this is governed by the law of intellectual property.

... Policy makers and their advisors regarded the ownership of intellectual property as they did motor cars: you owned it exclusively, and when you lent it to somebody else - or granted a licence if it is was copyright - it was on strict terms. The thinking was that the more it was protected the more artist & writers would produce their works.

Thus, Rupert Gray concludes:

It is now critically important to ensure that your name is tagged to every one of your images on the web. Your paternity right is now more valuable than your copyright. It is the key to the management of your reputation as a photographer, and it is that reputation which will generate your income; by the same token, and equally important, tagging your name will prevent it becoming an orphan work.

Secondly technology. Not my field, to say the least of it, but programmes (on subscription) are now available to trace your image wherever it appears or is accessed on the web. They use advanced identification and algorithms to identify your images by the composition of its pixels, so its appearance on the internet sends an instant notification to the owner of the copyright. In theory you can then ask for a fee, but the real point is that it works the other way round: publishers can use it to identify copyright holders, and will need to if they are to take advantage of the orphan works legislation.

Thirdly new business models are arriving on the scene. On-line agencies aren’t just stock agencies; some of them commission work and actively engage with publishers. As the number of bricks & mortar agencies (and publishers) dwindle, undercut by fast-moving & shrewd on-line players with minimal overheads, the market-place is changing. In change there is opportunity. And more the point, it does not matter whether you are here in Dalhmundi Bangladesh or in London’s Covent Garden. The only thing that matters is the quality of your image and the content – and accuracy – of your text.

Continue reading here.

Found via Shahidul News

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