Friday, April 13, 2012

The big Copyright...

I recently had a 'communication' regarding copyright.  Isn't it funny how differently people can take things.  For example, if I discovered that one of my images had been used by someone on their facebook page or blog, I would be happy that they liked it that much to share or use to get their message across.  I mean, how else are we to get ourselves and our art out there?  Don't get me wrong- If I turned on the television and saw one of my images being used to promote or sell something without my permission, I would probably kick up a bit of a fuss, but on the smaller scale, I am happy to oblige.  I would of course hope that my name be mentioned as photographer and most of my images have an embedded copyright message, but in the big scheme of things, the more eyes that see my work, the happier I will be.  The other alternative is that I embed my name and the copyright symbol on every image that I own but I just am not there yet- I think it takes away from a photo and If someone REALLY wanted to use an image as their own, they would just edit it out.

Ah Copyright.  It's such an interesting topic because nowadays, everything is available on the Internet and as we all know, copyright or not, it IS available.  So the big question is, 'Where do you draw the line?' 
What precautions do you take?  How much effort are you willing to put in to ensure that your art/writing/material/idea isn't used, robbed, sold...the list goes on.  On the other hand- you want to get out there and get your work and name known, so surely the more eyes that see it, the better? 

Catch 22. 

There are so many websites out there now for file and info sharing.  For photography, writing, music, art, the list is endless.  For photography, 'Flickr' for example is a popular one.  For writing, 'Authonomy' for Adult writers (and readers) and 'Inkpop/Figment' for Young Adult & children's.  For Art, for music...(I could keep going... but in the interest of time, I will spare you)

By using any of these websites, you are putting your work out there in the spotlight.  To be seen, read, listened to or critiqued.  All of which you hope to learn from and improve.  Yes, YOUR art and ideas are out there to be robbed by anyone who would want to, but really- would they?

In my opinion, 99% of developing artists out there respect other peoples art; whether that be music, writing, art, photography...whatever; and are happy for it to be out there in the world wide web for all to see, and hopefully learn and improve from.  They are a giant family of like minded people, always so helpful and encouraging to others and genuinely happy to see another becoming successful.

The 1% remaining are the paranoid and naive who think that their work is better than anyone else's on the planet and are waiting to be 'discovered' by that random big shot or agent who, remarkably enough, has to go looking for them because, well, lets face it, they are THAT brilliant.
Well, that's just my opinion anyway.  :)

I would love to hear your thoughts, if any on this topic as I am sure we have all had the 'copyright cloud' looming overhead at some stage.

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