Last week I put a good amount of miles behind me driving a Hybrid Toyota Camry across the Mid & Northwest which for all intents and purposes could have also doubled as an oasis of silence, shielding me from the constant flow of information that we are all bombarded with on a constant basis through various media outlets. There is a lot to be said for tuning out, but I opted not to as I jumped from destination to destination. On my long drives, some as long as 850 miles in a single day, I passed the time enjoying extended stretches of silence to brainstorm creative ideas while intermitently listening to NPR radio and other local stations. The funny thing about having a little more time to think while traveling as I did is that subtle events and not so subtle events have a way of adding up to more clearly take form as a larger thought or issue.
Just before I left on my trip I received a comment on Flickr from Patrick Smith, a photographer here in Northern California, commenting on the merit of my watermark and how image theft is overblown. I shared my experience and moved on. After all even I would rather talk about other things than taking safeguards against image theft. Then while on my trip news broke of a family photo sent out as a Christmas card that somehow was taken off a family blog and used in a large commercial advertisement in Europe
- NPR report – Text and Audio
- Dear Social Media – the photographs take on the situation
- A Mom Goes Viral, Attracts Haters – more photos of the store front
Then days later I heard DJ’s on a pop radio station in Utah discussing this, one DJ noting that “if it’s on the Internet it’s free.” Lastly to come full circle I read a blog entry titled Creativity! by Patrick Smith upon my return about how one of his photos was being used in a “Photoshop This” thread on Fark.com.
So my question to you, “Did you get the memo that your online content is free?”
Clearly I’m a believer that my content is not free if it is placed online and I’m consistently appalled that people continue to claim others content online as being free. For some reason I find that people who do not create content whether an article, a photograph, etc. have a tough time wrapping their head around the concept of “Intellectual Property”. It’s much easier to just assume the world is their oyster… it’s all there for the taking. One other observation I’ve made is that those who are broadcasting types (TV and Radio) do think of online content as being free far more than say writers or photographers.
I’ve written plenty on this subject and I think all of you know very well how I fall on this subject. For those of you that are new to my blog you can find my past thoughts on the following topics here: copyright infringement and photo watermarking.
What is your take on this mythical culture of free that people seem to errantly propogate in relation to your online photographs or writing?
I almost forgot… this came out on Sunday:
[tags]Photography, Copyright, Photo, Watermark[/tags]