Have At You, Clip Art Pirates!

from the avast! dept

The Software & Information Industry Association is a great organization -- at least from a comedy standpoint. They got themselves some press a couple of years ago by offering a "bounty" for people who turned in vendors that sold them counterfeit software, but the offer was so full of fine print that it was completely pointless. They then showed a complete ignorance of the law by threatening to sue eBay because counterfeiters peddle their wares there, despite the safe-harbor provisions that protect platform providers. But perhaps the most entertaining story about the SIIA was the one about how their propaganda campaigns were driving people to turn away from proprietary software (you know, the kind produced by SIIA's members) and go with open-source software instead. Now, the group's adding to its comic legacy by unleashing a tidal wave of lawsuits against pirated clip art. The group's lawyer says the suits are "going to be big," while another SIIA exec says it is "making every effort in this challenging economic climate to protect the interests of both the software and graphics industries," adding that when stuff like clip art gets pirated, "everyone loses -- from individual consumers, to the economy as a whole." Since they're protecting the American economy and all, maybe they're just angling for some government bailout money?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    :Lobo Santo, May 11th, 2009 @ 10:28am

    Bail-Out is right.

    If the gov wanted the economy to flow, they'd stop wasting our (bleep) tax dollars!

     

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  2.  
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    Weirdness Herald, May 11th, 2009 @ 10:43am

    WTF?

    So... if this is really "going to be big", and all these people go to jail or are forced to pay ridiculous, unconstitutional fees, exactly who is it that's going to be paying for all of these bailouts?

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2009 @ 10:47am

    It will be interesting to see who the sue and why. Many people use clip art on web pages, presentations, email and documents. How do you prove if the clip art is legitimate? Is your use of purchased clip art limited? Are there restrictions to using clip art in commerce even when purchased? How do they prove you don't own a legitimate copy of the clip art?

     

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  4.  
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    Tgeigs, May 11th, 2009 @ 10:55am

    Aaargh, I'll make ye a deal, SIIA...

    If ye can beat me at insult sword fightin', I'll let yeh have all me clip art treasure...

     

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  5.  
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    Dana King, May 11th, 2009 @ 10:57am

    Clip This

    I guess they will assume that everyone is guilty before proven innocent. Sounds like a lot of Lawsuits for nothing. I wonder what master catalog of clipart they are using to base their suits on. There are only 5000 different packages(1-20 CDS Each) out there that you can buy, not even mentioning the free stuff you can find on the Internet. CRAZY I tell you CRAZY!!!!!

     

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  6.  
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    Duane, May 11th, 2009 @ 10:57am

    Silly AC they don't prove anything

    They send you a threat letter saying that they're going to sue you because of your illegal use of copyrighted clip art unless you settle for 1-2,000 dollars.

    Proving things take time and money and that's just not good business.

     

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  7.  
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    Ima Fish, May 11th, 2009 @ 11:05am

    All this course of action does is defeat their cause by belittling it.

    On one hand the content industry wants to equate copyright infringement to serious crimes such as theft, piracy, and terrorism. On the other hand, the content industry screams that copyright infringement is widespread and is out of control.

    The problem for the content industry is that the greater a percentage of a population that does an act, the less likely it will be viewed as a serious criminal act.

    Now they're calling soccer mom's criminals for downloading and using clip art in scrapbooks. It makes them appear small and extremely petty.

     

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  8.  
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    Guybrush, May 11th, 2009 @ 11:06am

    Re: Aaargh, I'll make ye a deal, SIIA...

    You fight like a cow!

     

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  9.  
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    alex, May 11th, 2009 @ 11:14am

    "SIIA exec says it is "making every effort in this challenging economic climate to protect the interests of both the software and graphics industries""

    Why does this sound exactly like the same tired rant offered by the RIAA that they're just protecting the artists while in fact not doing jack sh*t for them.

     

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  10.  
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    Tgeigs, May 11th, 2009 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Aaargh, I'll make ye a deal, SIIA...

    You're as repulsive as a monkey in a negligee

     

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  11.  
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    I stole clip art, May 11th, 2009 @ 11:38am

    Aaargh, I'll Make ye a deal, SIIA

    Dear anyone who posts crap on the internet, It's fair game... If you posted something, then someone is going to take it... That's like having the free penny jar and throwing you in jail for taking one... WAH WAH WAH... get over it and try to make money the legit way instead of suing people that can't even afford a house payment let alone a stupid piece of poorly drawn clip art... doesn't anyone work anymore? Seriously that is what is wrong with the american economy, people want money for reason... I'm going to buy this shitty house from the 1970's and in 30 years It'll be worth millions... no your shitty house should be worth less than a brand new house... So your shitty clip art you drew back in 1990 should be free... like your emotionless life force...

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2009 @ 11:44am

    copyright clip aaaaaaaart

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

     

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  13.  
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    Captain Jack, May 11th, 2009 @ 11:50am

    Yo ho...

    You fight like a dairy farmer...

    ... how appropriate mate, you fight like a cow.

     

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  14.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), May 11th, 2009 @ 11:59am

    Re:

    Why does this sound exactly like the same tired rant offered by the RIAA that they're just protecting the artists while in fact not doing jack sh*t for them.

    Because it is? (just said by a different worthless group)

    The internet is here. Adapt or die bitches.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2009 @ 12:06pm

    Can we report the siia.net ?

    I see on their site they've got a bunch of clipart, animations, ect that they are allowing anyone who visits to download, can we report them for distribution of copyrighted material ?
    Buttons: http://www.siia.net/images/design_images/siia_search_button.png
    Images: http://www.siia.net/components/com_fpss/images/c1_dct2_1_1.jpg
    Landscapes: http://www.siia.net/components/com_fpss/images/c1_ode.jpg
    Textures: http://www.siia.net/components/com_fpss/images/c1_bbl.jpg
    Historical Photos: http://www.siia.net/components/com_fpss/images/c1_wfic_1.jpg
    Icons: http://www.siia.net/images/stories/food/lock.gif


    And this is all on their main page.

     

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  16.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), May 11th, 2009 @ 12:06pm

    Re:

    My response would be that I found it on the internet. As we know, anything found on the internet is free right?
    If it wasn't it wouldn't be on the net. =)

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2009 @ 12:46pm

    Re: WTF?

    Actually, reading the linked article, they are going after companies, not individuals, so the penalties as written would make sense. This is what copyright law was for. Company vs company, not company vs individual end user.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2009 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Aaargh, I'll make ye a deal, SIIA...

    I dunno. There's some purty monkeys out there...

     

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  19.  
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    Mojo Bone, May 11th, 2009 @ 4:09pm

    So, they're suing businesses that knowingly violate copyright law for a profit? Move along, nothing to see, here. I put up images on the web that are free to download, cuz I'm takin' the pix anyway, they're digital and cost me only hard drive space and some battery power,and I certainly don't mind the fans that use'em for wallpaper or trade with their friends, hey bonus, if it promotes my band; same for YouTube videos. My buddy who's a professional photographer (I used to be one myself) has a real problem with copyrighted images and protecting his business-he has to put some of his stuff out there for people to see, but it's like people can just reach right through his display case and take what they want. Good thing he's not a jeweler, huh?

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2009 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Aaargh, I'll make ye a deal, SIIA...

    And your Mother wears corrective underweaaaaaaar....

     

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  21.  
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    Felix Pleșoianu, May 11th, 2009 @ 10:02pm

    Someone should point these guys at www.openclipart.org...

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    nasch, May 12th, 2009 @ 12:37pm

    Re:

    Sounds like he has a problem with his business. If he defined his business as "being paid to take photos" rather than "being paid to distribute digital files" he might do better. And he would never have to worry about protecting his photos.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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