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Copyright, courtesy and ...
When we allow laws to get as out of sync with reality as modern
"intellectual property" laws, it does create friction.
An older generation, raised to respect the neighbors' goods is clashing
with a younger group that sees how evil the RIAA is in using those laws to
rip off both the artists and the customers. If I stole a melon, my
neighbor was clearly out one melon. If a kid dupes a tape or CD, the
originator can't find the place where anything is missing. It causes more
than a little moral confusion. [I know the corporate arguments, so don't
bother pointing them out to me.]
Patent and copyright laws were originally passed with good intentions,
like a lot of other "roads to hell."
When a huge consumer-products company ripped off my trade name, I was told
to bug off as they could afford more lawyers than I could. They were
[I got revenge by appealing to their honorable corporate chairman, but the
law was *not* there to protect the small guy. Simple courtesy and his
personal integrity solved that one, quite nicely.]
The AKA and most of the folks posting copyright fish pictures are in no
position to really enforce their rights under the law as it now stands. I
cringe whenever I hear someone claiming a "right" that would cost a
half-million dollars to defend, with the outcome highly questionable in
Violating copyright is not a crime. It is a civil tort and the state will
not take action to prosecute violators, AFAIK. Owning a copyright is
merely a license to sue, but the burden of proof is on you to prove
ownership and the violation and the extent of the damage. Large corporate
interests have found that it pays to make that process too expensive for
most, so they have.
I suggest we emphasize common courtesy and fairness, and quit claiming a
right we cannot possibly defend. I still use copyright notice on most of
my pics and articles, but I'm well aware that they are just a statement
that I'd like to be contacted before they are used for some other purpose.
I'll usually work out something reasonable, and I do appreciate the
courtesy when it is extended.
Like others, I don't put anything out on the web that I don't want stolen.
That hurts us all, IMHO, but will not be fixed until we get sensible about
how to treat creative processes under the law.
That's my $0.02,
Wright Huntley -- 209 521-0557 -- 731 Loletta Ave, Modesto CA 95351
[Not that I approve striking first,]
Ask France to join a coalition?
Might as well bring the Glee Club to a gang fight.
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