Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Copyrights or Copywrongs

Whilst the majority of the social web is just ignoring the issue of personal IP (intellectual Property) creative commons have updated their licences. So what is Creative Commons about? Like its older (pre-net cousin Copyright the “All Rights Reserved” identity) to seeks to defined just how your intellectual property can be accessed and used. Un-like the copyright message it allows you to set the conditions under which your works (photographs, blogs, songs) can be share, reshared or reused. All in relatively easy to understandable English (or a lot of languages).

I have long championed using creative commons licencing when posting photos (and infact any content on the web).  Unfortunately it has not really helped me much in the two problems I have encountered, that’s more to do with the organizations involved, which are google & yahoo (via flickr). However I do see that creative commons is a very sound method. It is not time to throw the baby out with the bath water. So here for those that missed some earlier post is a short history of some bad behaviour on the net and lacl of action by those that should know better.

  1. I received a take down notice via yahoo but supposedly from the DCMA to remove a photo mosaic of my own eye (shown above) claiming I had modified the original (owner was not identified) and reposted it. Well the photo mosaic was definitely my own (compare it to my buddy icon) and it was posted on flickr in my wallpaper set, back in 2007. It had also had over a few  thousand views and I did expect others to download it (for personal use on a screen saver) but even reposting it via flickr was fine as well, because the normal sharing process does embed a link back to your photo. Using Tineye I was able to find that there where a lot of repost of the image, several modified, infact one location was used as the background image for a notorious hacker cooperative. I was able to email them and have the image removed without any DCMA threat. Happy ending, seems there is honour in the Hacker community. However in trying to reply to Yahoo I got nowhere. If my emails where received they where ignored. Not such a happy ending, infact no ending.
  2. For a while whole sections of my blog where being scrapped and reused in the faux camera review web sites (I won't give names as I don't want then to get any traffic from me). I tried tracking them down but it was a complex multi-national goose chase. So I embedded some "hidden links back to my stories". That was ok for a while but they soon wised up and deleted all my carefully crafted links. The actually acknowledge me by approximately the right name but with a link to what I presume where their sites. All these site were running ad-sense, so I tried to contact google, because they where presumable paying these guys for the traffic my content was attracting to these sites and that would definitely violate my non-commercial condition in my Creative Commons licence. Well despite approximately 9 months of trying a never got an answer, again I gave up getting no answer.
  3. I’m very dissapointed that google+ photos no longer display the creative commons licence conditions for photos, although it is still possible to add such licence to an image in the underlying picasa web albums.

So why am I still recommending Creative Commons? I am actually convinced that over legalistic behaviour (particularly associated with publishers and record companies) has created the paranoia and misinformation about copyright, which has contributed to the general public just ignoring it and assuming anything on the net can be copied. I would prefer a world where I can share my creativity, knowledge and perhaps innovation, providing I am acknowledge as the original source and on the extra condition that my work is not sold by others for a profit. I like that others choose to do this too, we can share a better world. Luckily there is a way to notify the wider net community of these conditions using a creative commons licence (see below and on the right hand panel of this blog)

Creative Commons License
Wandering in the Light by imageo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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