Why Is The Copyright Office Celebrating That All Our Cute Pet Photos Are Locked Up Under Copyright?

from the promoting-what-progress-excactly? dept

This past Saturday was (apparently) "National Pet Day." I have pets and was unaware of this, but I'll survive. Anyway, the US Copyright Office thought that this would be a good day to tweet out this utter nonsense:

On the off chance the Copyright Office comes to its senses and takes down that tweet, it shows a (cute!) picture of a sleeping kitten, and then says in the text of the tweet:

Happy #NationalPetDay from the Copyright Office. All 10k of the photos you took of your cat while asleep are protected by copyright from the moment they are created.

You'd think that someone at the Copyright Office would have enough sense to recognize that this message just makes basic copyright law appear to be the insane mess it truly is. Remember, under the Constitution, the sole reason that Congress is allowed to enable copyright protections over creative works is to "promote the progress of science and the useful arts." In short, copyright in the US (under the Constitution) is designed as an economic right in order to create an incentive for the production and distribution of creative works.

Now, who the hell takes 10,000 photos of their pet because of the copyright granted on those pictures? The answer is basically no one -- with the possible exception of a few professional photographers who sell images of animals. Most of us don't need the 10k photos of our pets locked up under copyright for the rest of our lives, plus an additional 70 years.

Indeed, this tweet by the Copyright Office succinctly reveals the absolute insanity in American copyright law post-1978 when we moved from a copyright system of "formalities" (i.e., you need to register your works to get the copyright) to automatic copyright, where everything that meets the low bar of creativity gets an automatic copyright at the point of fixation. Even if you believe in the necessity of copyright for protecting professional creators, authors, artists, etc., the idea that you're happy and excited and bragging over the fact that it covers the kind of artwork that needs no such incentive, is not intended for economic purposes, seems pretty messed up and really raises questions about the Copyright Office's understanding of the underpinnings of copyright law in the first place.

Oh, and it gets worse. Someone on Twitter responded to the Copyright Office by asking "what is the legal position on retweeting this?" and the Copyright Office gave really bad advice:

In case you can't see that, it says:

All government created work is part of the public domain, meaning you can freely use and reuse it. As cat people, we'd welcome it.

But... that's wrong. Specifically, it's wrong in that the photo in question is not a government created work. As the photo itself shows, the photo is from photographer Alena Ozerova, a Russian photographer, and the image is available to license via Shutterstock. Odd that a Copyright Office that is gleefully claiming that photos of cats are covered by copyright, then freely (and incorrectly) suggests that the image it's tweeting is in the public domain, when that absolutely does not appear to be the case -- and that's not even getting into the question of whether or not retweeting copyright-protected material would be fair use or infringing.

Either way, the whole sequence of events seems like an abject lesson in how screwed up American copyright law is that even the US Copyright Office is both gleefully celebrating unnecessary copyrights that appear to go against the Constitution, and then claiming an actually copyright-protected image is in the public domain.

Update: Hilariously, many hours after giving the misleading advice regarding public domain materials, and after multiple people pointed out on Twitter that they had given an incorrect explanation, the Copyright Office then came back to clarify its earlier misleading tweet. Which brings up a neat follow up point: when even the Copyright Office can mislead the public about copyright in such a way that it has to come back and qualify its earlier incorrect tweet, how the hell are every day people expected to not accidentally infringe?

Filed Under: cats, copyright, economic rights, incentive, national pet day, personal photos, pets, us copyright office


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  • icon
    rw (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 8:11am

    I wonder if the photographer will use the Copywrong office? Oh, wait, doesn't fair use apply here?

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    • identicon
      Bobvious, 15 Apr 2020 @ 3:18pm

      Re: Fair use

      Is it fair use if I share a photo that my sleeping kitten took of a monkey?

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 17 Apr 2020 @ 1:34am

        Re: Re: Fair use

        "Is it fair use if I share a photo that my sleeping kitten took of a monkey?"

        Depends. Do you have enough money a copyright troll might feel compelled to toss an extortion letter your way? If so it's not.

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  • icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 8:48am

    You could've gone deeper, Mike…

    As the subject says, you could've dug deeper, and found out why in 1976 we left an "opt-in" system of copyright to an "opt-out" system of copyright: The Berne Convention. Most nations signed onto it, but we were the last one standing not to sign it…until 1976, when we signed it and then almost everything we made was copyrighted once it was fixed in a tangible form. Going back to formalities (or at least an "opt-in" system) would be a start, but we should aim higher and renegotiate the Berne Convention to

    1. make copyright an opt-in system, and
    2. once you opt-in to copyright, the copyright applies worldwide. But if you don't opt-in, the public domain status of your work should also apply worldwide.

    Reforming the Berne Convention should be our brass ring.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2020 @ 11:33am

      Re: You could've gone deeper, Mike…

      once you opt-in to copyright, the copyright applies worldwide. But if you don't opt-in, the public domain status of your work should also apply worldwide.

      That doesn't work very well if you create something (and it is by definition in the public domain since you haven't yet opted in to copyright), it gets used by the public, and then you opt in to copyright protection. Now the courts are full of cases where the copyright owner is suing everyone who used the creation during its "public domain" days. Once something is in the public domain there is pretty much no way to reverse that.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 11:39am

        Once something is in the public domain there is pretty much no way to reverse that.

        The United States legal system will find a way to do exactly that.

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

      • icon
        Mike Masnick (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 11:57am

        Re: Re: You could've gone deeper, Mike…

        Once something is in the public domain there is pretty much no way to reverse that.

        The Supreme Court in Golan v. Holder disagrees...

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

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 1:29pm

          Irreversible public domain

          Yeah, we need a publicker domain, a place were material is permanently outside of the rent-seeking racket that is IP law. Is that possible?

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      • icon
        Samuel Abram (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 12:02pm

        Re: Re: You could've gone deeper, Mike…

        That doesn't work very well if you create something (and it is by definition in the public domain since you haven't yet opted in to copyright), it gets used by the public, and then you opt in to copyright protection. Now the courts are full of cases where the copyright owner is suing everyone who used the creation during its "public domain" days.

        That's why I propose that there be a five-year statute of limitations between the time of creation (i.e. when the work of authorship is finished) until the end of the fifth year when the creator can copyright a work. Otherwise, the proverbial train has left the station.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 8:50am

    ... and?

    Why yes, thanks to an incredibly stupid change of copyright law that changed it to 'copyright by default' every picture created is covered by copyright, whether you want it to be or not, but as I imagine very few if any of those ten thousand photos were created because of copyright that statement is as meaningful as saying that all of those photos were taken by some sort of camera, during a moment in time, and is in either digital or physical format upon being taken.

    That is to say, not at all.

    I'm really not sure whether their post is more funny or sad really, as it positively reeks of attention seeking and/or trying to validate their agency's existence by putting out a tweet using a potentially infringing photo(because if they botched their response badly enough to suggest it can be freely shared I wouldn't put it past them to have forgotten to pay the license as well) and trying to tie taking photos of pets with copyright.

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  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 10:17am

    It would be funny if Shutterstock and/or Alena Ozerova sued them for infringement. Especially if it went to court and they'd have to either admit to not understanding copyright themselves, or explain how a government agency merely sharing a work puts it in the public domain (to be then hopefully followed by a resourceful disgruntled public employee sharing whatever he gets his hands on).

    Sadly, it would never get that far, it would just be a settlement along with an excuse about how the intern running the Twitter account wasn't really representing them, but it's fun to imagine.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2020 @ 10:26am

    Copyright office providing invalid advice?

    So wait, if I take a picture while I'm asleep (say I roll over and hit the camera button which happens to be sitting there), that meets the "low bar of creativity" to grant a copyright?

    I thought there had to be some form of creativity (now I think I'm very creative when I'm asleep and snoring, but I don't think that qualifies as putting creative thought and action into the photo I'm taking while asleep.

    Oh, they meant when the cat is asleep... well they weren't very clear there...

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  • icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 10:42am

    Added an update

    Amusingly, many hours later, after multiple people tweeted that the Copyright Office was wrong in its tweet about the public domain, they did tweet out a clarification of how copyright and the federal government works. I've added an update to the post.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2020 @ 11:36am

      Re: Added an update

      To be fair, it's hard to be clear within the limits of a tweet, particularly about something as complex and convoluted (and insane) as copyright law.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 11:41am

        it's hard to be clear within the limits of a tweet

        And that, dear coward, is why we still have archaic websites known as blogs.

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

      • icon
        techflaws (profile), 16 Apr 2020 @ 2:51am

        Re: Re: Added an update

        Oh, come on! The Copyright Office was clear in their tweet. Clearly wrong.

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Apr 2020 @ 3:47am

        Re: Re: Added an update

        "To be fair, it's hard to be clear within the limits of a tweet, particularly about something as complex and convoluted (and insane) as copyright law."

        No, it really isn't.

        The massed paragraphs of contemporary copyright law could realistically and factually be condensed to "Because lawyer belong us beat lawyer belong you all your stuff belong us. All Hail Copyright without which, sky would fall and eldritch horrors eat your babies. Herp Derp." without losing any significant aspects in translation.

        The complexity only arises because all of the stakeholders, including those tasked to guard the insanity in question, are greatly motivated to NOT ever formulate the concept in clearly understandable terminology.

        If a law can not clearly be understood without great effort then that's usually a very good indication that it's really a con job meant to unreasonably profit vested interests.
        Same way you can tell how shady a contract is by the amount of effort you need to invest just to know what it really stipulates.

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

    • icon
      Zane (profile), 16 Apr 2020 @ 11:59pm

      Re: Added an update

      The followup tweet says:

      To wrap up, it’s ok to RT this image and text, because it’s a combo of public domain and licensed work paired to use on twitter. But it’s not ok to use this image separately from this tweet, or outside twitter, say as a cover for an upcoming album 4/5

      Makes sense to me. I don't see an issue. The guy you mentioned did query about retweeting, and that answers it. Twitter is Twitter, you only use do many characters

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 17 Apr 2020 @ 12:07am

        Re: Re: Added an update

        "Twitter is Twitter, you only use do many characters"

        Yes, and people who only saw the first tweet and not the entire thread will now have been misinformed by the copyright office as a result.

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

        • icon
          Zane (profile), 17 Apr 2020 @ 1:20am

          Re: Re: Re: Added an update

          Well the first tweet said:

          Happy #NationalPetDay from the Copyright Office. All 10k of the photos you took of your cat while asleep are protected by copyright from the moment they are created.

          Which is fair enough, saying the default is that images are copyright protected But yes, the following comment about public domain could perhaps have been better worded. But it was in response to sharing on Twitter, so in context wad correct. People looking at Twitter generally appreciate the context of what the reply was from, and character limitations. It's clutching it draws complaining about this, it feels like looking for an opportunity to criticise as opposed to legitimate confusion about the messages.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 17 Apr 2020 @ 2:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Added an update

            "People looking at Twitter generally appreciate the context of what the reply was from, and character limitations"

            Some do, a lot don't, even the ones who are not deliberately misconstruing things to elevate their troll ego.

            "It's clutching it draws"

            I assume you meant clutching at straws. But, you are doing something the same to a certain degree. The main thrust of the article is questioning the actual value of having instant copyright on every random snap everybody takes, with the argument being that there is zero under the original definition of the purpose of copyright. You've not addressed that at all.

            You have argued with a brief aside about how in the original context the tweet about public domain could be misunderstood. Now, you're attacking the original article, whose context has changed since it was written in the same way the context of the original tweet has changed.

            I understand what you're saying but honestly if you're depending on people on Twitter taking things in context and in good faith to ensure messaging is correct, you're in for a bad time.

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            • icon
              Zane (profile), 17 Apr 2020 @ 9:05am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Added an update

              Apologies for the typos! To be fair the controversial tweet is fine all by itself, nothing wrong with what it says in isolation. So you would need to look at the earlier one to see that there was even a photo anyway, so anyone concerned would have to look at the context. In which case, they would have seen the actual question. How we answer questions, depends on the actual question. The article could have at least put the final tweet in the text where they explain the situation. It seems a little unfair to complain about it, and not mention that the guy explained the situation. We all have our biases, but there are limits to missing out the other point of view.

              The main thrust of the article, concerning the value of copyright. I think we could all write a good few pages for and against. The article only touched on this.

              Do I care if somone uses a picture of my cat without permission that I took. It depends, in most cases no, I don't care. I may or may not want acknowledgment, I would think it was polite to get permission. If it's being used as a link image to advertise a bestiality site, then yes I'm glad I can ask them to remove due to my rights as a copyright owner. If it's being sold on an image site, and people are making profit I want a share, or simply removed. If it's being used in a story on a newspaper that I absolutely hate, like the Daily Fail, then no, I don't want them using my work.

              Let's face it, unless there is big money it is always a case of somone just removing the content if the copyright owner objects. Or often just adding a link and ackowledment us what many people want. We can all take our own photos of a cat anyway. Can't we? So shouldn't the focus be on stopping laziness. Take your own photo, or use a photo which is copyright free etc. It's not hard.

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              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 20 Apr 2020 @ 1:36am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Added an update

                "Can't we? So shouldn't the focus be on stopping laziness. Take your own photo, or use a photo which is copyright free etc. It's not hard."

                ContentID begs to differ. Consider that any photo taken of a cat sufficiently similar to the one you took can be considered infringing.

                And whether the copyright holder of the other photo is a sane person is irrelevant when there are a thousand copyright trolls in the form of shady lawyers out there ready with an extortion letter.

                It's not about being lazy. It's about copyright being so easy to employ as a weapon that thousands of amateur youtubers have to waste several hours daily to keep re-filing their claim to their own work because a hundred trawler bots keep sending unfounded takedown notices on behalf of copyright enforcement agencies.

                And it's about an entire segment of the lawyer industry finding that mass-mailing extortion letters without evidence is EASY money since paying the protection money is cheaper than bringing your innocence to court.

                "unless there is big money it is always a case of somone just removing the content if the copyright owner objects."

                That just isn't true. As Prenda and assorted other shady outfits have demonstrated.

                Your entire argument reads as frantically trying to pick out the few possible advantages from an otherwise unacceptable situation. The covid pandemic has, in a similar manner, brought down carbon dioxide emission. That doesn't mean it's ok to call it generally beneficial.

                Copyright is all bad, both in principle and practice. The alleged benefits you refer to have never been demonstrated to work - only the harmful side effects of contemporary interpretation.

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                • icon
                  Zane (profile), 2 May 2020 @ 12:58am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Added an update

                  "unless there is big money it is always a case of somone just removing the content if the copyright owner objects."

                  That just isn't true. As Prenda and assorted other shady outfits have demonstrated.
                  Your entire argument reads as frantically trying to pick out the few possible advantages from an otherwise unacceptable situation

                  I prefer to think of it is as injecting a bit of objectivity/reality to the discussion.
                  Prenda is a particularly bad example. One of them get 14 years for his actions. So I would be surprised if these actions were repeated by others. It's like saying murder should be lawful, just because someone was framed or encouraged another to do the deed. You can still think murder is wrong.

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  • identicon
    Crafty Coyote, 15 Apr 2020 @ 11:41am

    Well, you COULD just leave your pet photos and just assume that people could use them consequence free? Who would go to the difficulty of accusing someone who liked a post of a cat doing cat things of theft?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2020 @ 12:12pm

      Re:

      Are you familiar with Grumpy Cat?

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Apr 2020 @ 3:52am

      Re:

      "Who would go to the difficulty of accusing someone who liked a post of a cat doing cat things of theft?"

      Any copyright, trademark or patent troll seeing the opportunity to leverage bad information control law to effortlessly extort a hundred thousand people for 10-20 USD, that's who.

      Are you seriously asking that question in ignorance of just HOW shameless, fraudulent and borderline criminal people can be in an era which still has the terms "ambulance chaser" and "snake oil salesman" in its vocabulary?

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  • identicon
    Crafty Coyote, 15 Apr 2020 @ 11:53am

    Actually, without the financial motive copyright providers, how would pet owners have any reason to continue posting pictures of their beloved animal companions onto the Internet for the world to see? Fluffy the Maltese may be cute and adorable as she sniffs an Easter egg, and Macaroon the Japanese Bobtail may look adorable wearing a Santa hat but the natural question is- how can I make money off of this?

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  • icon
    Chris-Mouse (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 12:57pm

    Just out of curiosity, the the US Copyright Office pay the licensing fee for that picture before tweeting it in the first place?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2020 @ 1:11pm

    But if those pictures aren't copyrighted, where is the incentive for those kittens to fall asleep again?

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  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 1:25pm

    Can I put all my photos of my cat in creative commons?

    I take a lot of pictures of my cat (mostly to share with family who like kitty pics). Do I have to do something to put them in creative commons or copyleft?

    Why is copyright opt-out?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2020 @ 2:31pm

      Re: Can I put all my photos of my cat in creative commons?

      Do I have to do something to put them in creative commons or copyleft?

      Yes, you have to specify the license where you post the video, wikipedia has this useful quick guide

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Apr 2020 @ 3:57am

      Re: Can I put all my photos of my cat in creative commons?

      "I take a lot of pictures of my cat (mostly to share with family who like kitty pics). Do I have to do something to put them in creative commons or copyleft?"

      Yes. And if your post here had a few more lines to render it something someone a lawyer could call an "original work" then you could in theory start threatening people with lawsuits for quoting you. As you could for anyone quoting you sufficiently verbatim in a conversation.

      The insanity of copyright is shown in how it needs actual fair use exceptions just in order to not shut human society down completely.

      "Why is copyright opt-out?"

      Short answer; The Berne Convention.
      More salient answer; Biggest Red Flag Act in modern times.

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    • icon
      Zane (profile), 19 Apr 2020 @ 2:56am

      Re: Can I put all my photos of my cat in creative commons?

      Do I have to do something to put them in creative commons or copyleft? Why is copyright opt-out?

      You don't have to. Good news is only the copyright owner can take action against any misuse. So if you don't care about anyone using your cat image, then you don't need to do a thing. No-one can take action without your permission. Creative commons is something you can use if you want to make it clear to others under what if any circumstances the image can be used. It could be a requirement to be accredited, or fine for all use except non-commercial use. Or make it completely copyright free.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Apr 2020 @ 5:20am

        Re: Re: Can I put all my photos of my cat in creative commons?

        That is bad advice, as the copyright owner can become the estate of the creator, and they do not have to respect such a relaxed approach to copyright enforcement. Similarly if the creator received and accepted an offer for the copyright, those who prior to this made use of the image are unprotected.

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        • icon
          Zane (profile), 19 Apr 2020 @ 8:41am

          Re: Re: Re: Can I put all my photos of my cat in creative common

          Sure, after death - the copyright still exists, and the creator is dead - so obviously can't stop who ever has inheritited the pet photos taking action they might not have approved of! So yes you are correct. In that instance, you can't do anything about it (being dead obviously). The question was regarding personal pet photos though, so it is probably very rare that someone who inherits will explicitly even know about such photos, never mind discover that someone didn't seek permission to use such photos.
          Bad advice? I think that's taking things a bit too far in the context of the actual question regarding personal pet photos. But yes if you are talking about something you want to ensure is in the public domain after you have died then do use creative commons or something similar. Which I basically said. And I covered the other point, it's a given if you give or sell the copyright others can take action. But that is up to the creator.

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  • icon
    Tim R (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 1:29pm

    [w]hen even the Copyright Office can mislead the public about copyright in such a way that it has to come back and qualify its earlier incorrect tweet, how the hell are every day people expected to not accidentally infringe?

    Or, taken another way, if I retweet that, then the copyright office comes to their senses and follows up with a clarification and correction, does that mean that I'm considered liable under proposed "fake news" laws in this or other countries, since I just retweeted something that was objectively false?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2020 @ 2:05pm

    But... that's wrong. Specifically, it's wrong in that the photo in question is not a government created work.

    What? You haven't referred to any photo "in question" till this point, only a textual tweet by a government employee. I don't see any relevant "img" HTML tag here and I'm getting a 403 from Twitter.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 2:37pm

      Re:

      I most definitely did refer to the picture, which still appears to be there. I wrote: "On the off chance the Copyright Office comes to its senses and takes down that tweet, it shows a (cute!) picture of a sleeping kitten, and then says in the text of the tweet:"

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  • identicon
    Rekrul, 15 Apr 2020 @ 4:05pm

    There's a user in one forum I frequent, devoted to old computers, who thinks copyright shouldn't have any limit whatsoever. He thinks perpetual copyright would not only be morally right, but that that's what the original purpose of copyright was intended to be.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2020 @ 5:54pm

      Re:

      That's... not exactly amazing. Here at Techdirt we have several!

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 7:25pm

      The intended function of copyright...

      Copyright maximalists around here seem to agree, that IP should be without limit.

      It lends weight to the hypothesis (by others) that promoting science and useful arts was simply a cheesy justification for a rent-seeking scam favored by our Constitutional framers (as it was in strongly favored in Old England). This, in turn gives weight to Marx' point that capitalism ultimately leads to olde thyme feudalism and has to be crushed or otherwise once again lead to a stratified caste system.

      (And in fact, many of our Neofeudal overlords are in their positions of great wealth and power due to their strong IP holdings.)

      Either way, it comes down to IP law having tremendous overreach and making criminal many activities that shouldn't be (as well a suppressing massive amounts of science and useful art). The question isn't whether it's doing what it was originally intended, but whether IP law should be reformed, abolished entirely or annihilated in a bloody and fiery revolution.

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Apr 2020 @ 4:03am

        Re: The intended function of copyright...

        "The question isn't whether it's doing what it was originally intended, but whether IP law should be reformed, abolished entirely or annihilated in a bloody and fiery revolution."

        It's not even a question. Imaginary property law relies on as unreal a principle as medieval church blasphemy law wherein ownership of an unprovable intangible is upheld as a justification to rob relatively powerless victims of money, property and/or life.

        As such I don't really see it as reformable. The only two options we realistically have is peaceful abolition or fiery revolution.
        Since you really can't enforce copyright law without abolishing a great many civil or human rights as side effect it's still up in the air whether sanity will prevail in time.

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    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 16 Apr 2020 @ 2:52am

      Re:

      but that that's what the original purpose of copyright was
      intended to be.

      So, he can use computers but has a bad reading comprehension problem?

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 16 Apr 2020 @ 2:57am

      Re:

      That's almost impressive, fractal wrongness condensed into a person like that. Have you tried pointing out that if perpetual copyright were a thing that it would basically destroy culture as nothing could be remixed or created based upon past works without permission, and/or that if perpetual copyright was the intended goal then it's certainly odd that it was vastly more restrictive when it was first implemented, or at they a total lost cause?

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

      • identicon
        Rekrul, 16 Apr 2020 @ 8:17pm

        Re: Re:

        That's almost impressive, fractal wrongness condensed into a person like that. Have you tried pointing out that if perpetual copyright were a thing that it would basically destroy culture as nothing could be remixed or created based upon past works without permission...

        I and others have tried, but he considers that a perfectly desirable outcome. In fact, he has stated that he and many other authors/creators actually don't want their older work circulating and being used. He believes it should be his absolute decision whether or not he wants something that he's created to disappear forever.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 16 Apr 2020 @ 11:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Lost cause it is I see, a pity. Well, if he's really insistent that he keeps total control of his works then he absolutely has that ability, all he has to do is simply never publish or make public anything ever again, and best of all with a mindset like that I'm pretty sure nothing of value would be lost from doing so.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 17 Apr 2020 @ 12:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "He believes it should be his absolute decision whether or not he wants something that he's created to disappear forever."

          He essentially has that power - all he has to do is never offer it to the public. If, however, he wants the benefits of offering to the public, such as offering it for sale or licencing, he has to accept the whole contract with the public, which includes expiry, fair use and the public domain.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Apr 2020 @ 8:10am

      Re:

      "He thinks perpetual copyright would not only be morally right, but that that's what the original purpose of copyright was intended to be."

      It's pretty telling that most copyright maximalists have the moral compass of a psychopath, but to be fair he's exactly right about the original purpose of copyright.

      It was always meant to be the replacement for the blasphemy laws which did the catholic church of medieval times such profitable service.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2020 @ 8:31pm

    Why Is The Copyright Office Celebrating That All Our Cute Pet Photos Are Locked Up Under Copyright?

    Same reason why PETA released "Pokemon Black and Blue" in the early 2010s, and why they put up an image macro of a sheep Pokemon saying "I'm not your Wooloo sweater" - both attempts pissing off fans, of course. A sad attempt to leverage something trendy to salvage their reputations.

    Now, who the hell takes 10,000 photos of their pet because of the copyright granted on those pictures? The answer is basically no one -- with the possible exception of a few professional photographers who sell images of animals.

    I think you're missing out the bigger question here, one which the Copyright Office has never been able to answer - why would a photographer take more animal photos if copyright lasted for 95 years after death instead of 70? Why would they take less photos if it was 50 years after death instead of 70? Some of the maximalist trolls here would argue this is the case with no statistics to back it up. You'd think that the office in charge of copyright would be able to give an answer, but no.

    Odd that a Copyright Office that is gleefully claiming that photos of cats are covered by copyright, then freely (and incorrectly) suggests that the image it's tweeting is in the public domain, when that absolutely does not appear to be the case -- and that's not even getting into the question of whether or not retweeting copyright-protected material would be fair use or infringing.

    Techdirt already has plenty of examples where the RIAA and other pro-copyright politicians regularly use non-free stock images or photos to push their agendas. And receive no punishment or penalty whatsoever. This behavior is expected from them, honestly, because most authority can't be fucked to practice what they preach.

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  • icon
    Zane (profile), 16 Apr 2020 @ 11:38am

    So what

    If you created it, you own the copyright. Many people are fine with others reusing their content, some may prefer a credit and a link back, others may not want you to use the content in certain situations, others don't care how you use it. It's not hard to simply ask the content owner, or just take your own photo of a cat if you can't be bothered.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2020 @ 1:52pm

      Re: So what

      It's not hard to simply ask the content owner,

      I presume you know how insane it is to make contact details public in this age of spam, so many individuals take steps to make sure that they cannot be contacted easily, so no it is not easy to contact people, except through the site you found the content, if that is possible and/or you do not mind the contact being public.

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      • identicon
        Zane, 16 Apr 2020 @ 11:14pm

        Re: Re: So what

        Individuals who are happy for their images to be used without restriction will put a redistribution notice to say so, or what the requirements are. See creativecommons. If there is no notice, and no contact details, then you don't know if they are happy. It is possible that your source just stole it from elsewhere and ignored whatever redistribution and contact details were provided. It is just the decent thing to do, noone likes a thief. Many people will be happy, but would like an acknowledgement and maybe a link back. If someone is making profit they may want a share, they may object if it used on a site against their moral, political or religious beliefs. If you don't have permission, just create your own photo.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2020 @ 10:59pm

      Re: So what

      If it's not hard to simply ask the content owner, why didn't the Copyright Office ask the owner of the photograph they used for their tweet?

      Hell, why didn't they credit the owner?

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      • icon
        Zane (profile), 16 Apr 2020 @ 11:35pm

        Re: Re: So what

        It seems they paid for a Shutterstock image, and their licence allows them to use the image in certain circumstances such as tweeting. Indeed people subscribe and pay for images from the likes of Shutterstock so they don't have to credit, that is what the payment is for. It all, very normal and perfectly legal.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 17 Apr 2020 @ 12:05am

          Re: Re: Re: So what

          Yes, but they then went on to say that it could be freely redistributed by other people, while implying the because a government account tweeted it, it was now public domain. That's the issue here, not whether the original photographer was paid

          To be fair, the original source is still visible on the photo as well, but the point is the copyright office should not be muddying the understanding of copyright like this.

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          • icon
            Zane (profile), 17 Apr 2020 @ 1:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So what

            Well there was a question:

            What is the legal position on retweeting this?

            And then there was a reply to the question:

            All government created work is part of the public domain, meaning you can freely use and reuse it. As cat people, we'd welcome it

            So the context was about retweeting. Sure it could have been spelled out. But the character limits and the fast pace of Twitter means that tweets could often be clearer. In any case, he/she clarifies:

            To wrap up, it’s ok to RT this image and text, because it’s a combo of public domain and licensed work paired to use on twitter. But it’s not ok to use this image separately from this tweet, or outside twitter, say as a cover for an upcoming album 4/5

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  • identicon
    Naughty Autie, 16 Apr 2020 @ 11:52am

    Thanks for the information, USCO. I'll make sure to write a copyright notice that includes a license for others to use my pics so no individuals get sued on my 'behalf'.

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    • icon
      Zane (profile), 16 Apr 2020 @ 11:53pm

      Re:

      The only person who could take action is the copyright owner. So you don't need to worry about anyone getting sued on your behalf. It is not possible.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2020 @ 3:17am

        Re: Re:

        Unless Getty decide they like the Image and add it to their collection.. Oh that's right they sue on their own behalf.

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        • icon
          Zane (profile), 17 Apr 2020 @ 5:08am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If getty buy/acquire the copyright then yes. But that would only be with the consent of the original copyright owner.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2020 @ 6:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Getty does not always obtain the copyright before suing as shown by this search

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            • icon
              Zane (profile), 17 Apr 2020 @ 8:25am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I'm not sure which case you are referring too. The links seem to be about people suing Getty, not the other way around. But no If you don't give/sell the copyright to getty or anyone else, it is you and only you that can take action against copyright infringement. Of course anyone can try and extort money out of somone else, and even threaten legal action, but that is a different matter.
              I can steal a laptop, and threaten to sue them if they don't pay a fee for "looking after" their property. It doesn't mean a court will side with me though, it would be bizarre if they did!

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2020 @ 9:41am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                And, so here was Getty Images claiming that it held the copyright on these photos, demanding that Carol Highsmith pay up for using her own photograph, which she had deliberately donated to be used freely. link

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                • icon
                  Zane (profile), 17 Apr 2020 @ 10:16am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Reread what I wrote. The article you link to isn't relevant to the point. Highsmith was suing Getty, not the other way around. She gave the images to Getty, but with certain conditions. Ones which they breached. As I noted, any of us can threaten legal action, it doesn't mean we have any right to sue, or even if we do that we will be successful. I'm looking for a case where Getty sued for copyright despite not owning the copyright. That was my only point that:

                  The only person who could take action is the copyright owner. So you don't need to worry about anyone getting sued on your behalf. It is not possible.

                  Happy to be proven wrong, but I can't see how it's possible

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2020 @ 11:12am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Go and read the history of that case, because Highsmith was suing Getty after they had threatened to sue her over her own images, which she had made free to use. She had not transferred the copyright to Getty, and so Getty unanimously decided to add them to their collection, and then tried to sue the copyright owner for using her own images.

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                    • icon
                      Zane (profile), 17 Apr 2020 @ 1:02pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Anyone can threaten to sue anyone. We all have the power to write a letter and say absolutely anything. But that is a million miles away from somone actually suing somone! In order to be sued, It has to go to court, and a judge has to find in favour of Getty. Think of it like saying you are going to be an astronaut. It doesn't mean you are an astronaut.
                      Yes I read the case, it's not relevant to this thread.

                      1. Getty didn't sue Highsmith (it was the other way around. Highsmith tried to sue Getty, but the case was dismissed/settled out of court)
                      2. So my original assertion still stands. Only the copyright owner can take action against others foŕ copyright infringement. So, somone who owns the copyright does need to worry about an outsider going against her wishes.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 17 Apr 2020 @ 6:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You seem to be under the mistaken impression that how things should operate are the same how they do operate.

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            • icon
              Zane (profile), 17 Apr 2020 @ 8:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I'm happy to be proven wrong. Just cite a case where somone who didn't own the copyright successfully sued somone for copyright enfringememt, against the wishes of the copyright owner.

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              • icon
                Federico (profile), 19 Apr 2020 @ 6:21am

                Re: Copyright lawsuits against the wish of authors

                Easy: Elsevier vs. Sci-Hub.
                https://www.nature.com/news/us-court-grants-elsevier-millions-in-damages-from-sci-hub-1.221 96

                In the trial, Elsevier didn't even have to prove it had copyright. Authors of the works involved objected to the lawsuits and sided with Sci-Hub.

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                • icon
                  Zane (profile), 19 Apr 2020 @ 9:02am

                  Re: Re: Copyright lawsuits against the wish of authors

                  Nope, when authors submitted their articles they agreed to transfer the copyright. So Elsevier owned the copyright. Obviously there were so many articles that they couldn't assess all of them, they used a representative sample of 100 infringed works. Btw, I'm totally in favour of going down the open access route, or at least having an embargo to allow free access at a later date.

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                  • icon
                    Federico (profile), 21 Apr 2020 @ 7:17am

                    Re: Re: Re: Copyright lawsuits against the wish of authors

                    Can you prove that? Because Elsevier didn't.

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                    • icon
                      Zane (profile), 26 Apr 2020 @ 1:07am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright lawsuits against the wish of authors

                      Yes authors have to sign a form to transfer the rights. Even the link you have states that they Elsevier own the copyright.
                      "The Dutch publishing giant holds the copyrights for the largest share of the roughly 28 million papers downloaded from Sci-Hub over 6 months in 2016".
                      Only a sample of 100 was used, and it is legally impossible to sue for copyright infringement if you are not the copyright holder. As for authors complaining, well that's fine - but if they have transferred the copyright to Elsevier than that is their fault. I would always encourage authors to make their research open access, or at least have an embargo

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  • icon
    Federico (profile), 18 Apr 2020 @ 2:13pm

    New York Times doubles down

    You cannot make this up:

    Intellectual property theft has always been a problem, but it has never affected as many people as it does today. If you’ve taken a photo, recorded a song or written a letter, you’ve likely created a copyright.

    https://www.nytimes.com/article/copyrights-trademarks-patents.html

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  • icon
    Zane (profile), 18 Apr 2020 @ 11:23pm

    Why Is The Copyright Office Celebrating That All Our Cute Pet Photos Are Locked Up Under Copyright?

    They're only locked if you the creator wants them locked up. If you're happy for someone to use your picture of fluffy for absolutely anything, then you need to absolutely nothing, nada, zilch. So only locked up if you want it to be locked up. Personally l like the fact that if somone puts my white cat Fluffy as the main image on a White Power site, I can assert my right to ask them to stop using it using my rights under copyright. Sounds good to me! But if I don't care I do not have to assert that right.

    Now, who the hell takes 10,000 photos of their pet because of the copyright granted on those pictures? 

    I think that's the wrong question. I guess I would ask who the hell expects a picture of their cat to be used by anyone for any reason. Why should a publisher be using a photo of Fluffy and making profit in his cat book, instead of just taking his own photos or paying to use the photo. If you own the copyright and don't care, then you don't have to do anything about it. But maybe you dislike this particular paper or website. Maybe you think they earn enough profit, and they should be paying photographers for the content they use.

    Most of us don't need the 10k photos of our pets locked up under copyright for the rest of our lives, plus an additional 70 years.

    Most of us don't need to use other people's pet photos either. There are plenty of sites with copyright free Images, and there are plenty of pets and cameras, meaning we can create our own content. Again, we don't need to assert our copyright rights, it's just their if we want to. It's there if we decide there is a "need". The "need" can be defined after creation.

    the idea that you're happy and excited and bragging over the fact that it covers the kind of artwork that needs no such incentive, is not intended for economic purposes, seems pretty messed up and really raises questions about the Copyright Office's understanding of the underpinnings of copyright law in the first place

    Even if the work wasn't created for economic purposes, it doesn't mean others won't use it for economic purposes. That's sort of the whole point. But again it's only the copyright holder who can take action anyway, and in most cases they don't want to.

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    • icon
      Federico (profile), 19 Apr 2020 @ 6:17am

      Re:

      They're only locked if you the creator wants them locked up.

      Wrong. Copyright is automatic. Moral rights in several countries cannot be waived.

      If you're happy for someone to use your picture of fluffy for absolutely anything, then you need to absolutely nothing, nada, zilch.

      Wrong. You need to release them under CC-0, otherwise they'll have a debt of 150,000 dollars hanging on their head for every single use.

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 19 Apr 2020 @ 10:31am

        150,000 dollars fine for every single use.

        That is absurd and that this would hold up in court is an indictment of copyright as a rent-seeking shakedown, as well as an indictment of the courts being biased toward power.

        In any stratified society, those not on the top are peons and suckers and will ultimately be regarded as such.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 19 Apr 2020 @ 10:06pm

      Re:

      They're only locked if you the creator wants them locked up

      This is false, and ridiculous. Because for most people they won't know what kind of mindfield they're entering into, the images are as good as locked up.

      I guess I would ask who the hell expects a picture of their cat to be used by anyone for any reason.

      That's got literally fuck all to do with the purpose of copyright. If you want to stop people's creativity, that's on you.

      Personally l like the fact that if somone puts my white cat Fluffy as the main image on a White Power site, I can assert my right to ask them to stop using it using my rights under copyright.

      You're making a moral rights claim. That's actually outside of what US copyright is designed for (it is allowed in the EU).

      Sounds good to me!

      You suggest a single, impossibly rare, category of works you do not like and because of that decide it is okay to lock up nearly all of human culture. Fucking hell.

      Why should a publisher be using a photo of Fluffy and making profit in his cat book, instead of just taking his own photos or paying to use the photo.

      You again choose a very specific scenario -- one that is rare and unlikely to happen, ignoring how much other creativity is stifled under this system.

      If you own the copyright and don't care, then you don't have to do anything about it.

      This is wrong. As others have pointed out to you, estates can get in the way, or simply people won't be willing to make use of your works because of a fear of getting sued. "You" have nothing to worry about... except for the fact that it will scare people off. How selfish are you anyway?

      Most of us don't need to use other people's pet photos either.

      So what? WHY DO THE PHOTOS NEED COPYRIGHT? We lock up ALL CREATIVITY for around 100 years, despite no economic value in doing so. That's truly messed up. It's messed up for culture. It's messed up for society. You seem to think only in specific commercial terms, and that's not how this works. If I see a cute cat photo that someone took online, and I want to share it with my friend who likes cats -- why should I have to get permission or pay a license fee? That's insane.

      Even if the work wasn't created for economic purposes, it doesn't mean others won't use it for economic purposes.

      So what? If someone uses a work you didn't create for economic purposes, why should you care? You weren't going to use it for economic purposes in the first place, so why does it matter?

      That's sort of the whole point.

      To grift off someone who decided to try to make money where you explicitly chose not to?

      You're very very confused.

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      • icon
        Zane (profile), 2 May 2020 @ 12:46am

        Re: Re:

        "They're only locked if you the creator wants them locked up"
        This is false, and ridiculous. Because for most people they won't know what kind of mindfield they're entering into, the images are as good as locked up.

        Not ridiculous at all. It’s up to the copyright holder if they want to have their images “locked up”. They can make them copyright free, put them under creative commons or something similar, or simply ignore any copyright infringement they discover. The default is that they can be protected under copyright, but the copyright holder does not have to assert that right. Many people don’t assert that right, or make it clear that their works are copyright free. Or often just want to have control of where the work can be used and the circumstances. Indeed, to strengthen protection – copyright holders can register their work.

        "I guess I would ask who the hell expects a picture of their cat to be used by anyone for any reason"
        That's got literally fuck all to do with the purpose of copyright. If you want to stop people's creativity, that's on you

        It’s exactly what copyright is for, allowing the copyright holder to decide who uses his work, and if he wants to stipulate restrictions. Saying “fuck all” every now and then, doesn’t strengthen your argument. Stopping creativity? Well, it depends. If it means a website or book pays a photographer for their work, then that means people can make a living in that industry. If there was no copyright restrictions, why would any publisher bother paying for content?

        "Personally l like the fact that if somone puts my white cat Fluffy as the main image on a White Power site, I can assert my right to ask them to stop using it using my rights under copyright."
        You're making a moral rights claim. That's actually outside of what US copyright is designed for (it is allowed in the EU).

        Copyright is designed to give control to the copyright holder. The copyright holder needs to prove an infringement, the reason for them asserting their right isn’t at all relevant. So yes, even in the US it is highly likely that someone will assert their copyright for certain sites that they disapprove of, and not bother about other sites. You take away copyright, then you take away that control. Unless you put something else in its place, but then things become even more confusing and controversial. Of course we can make our work copyright free too, or licence it with certain conditions like in Creative Commons licence, or individually respond to requests.
        If what you say is true and the USA doesn’t have moral rights claims in addition to copyright, then that just strengthens the need for copyright.
        Although this case springs to mind:
        https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2010/09/28/the-lara-jade-cotontvx-case-the-full-story/

        " Why should a publisher be using a photo of Fluffy and making profit in his cat book, instead of just taking his own photos or paying to use the photo."
        You again choose a very specific scenario -- one that is rare and unlikely to happen, ignoring how much other creativity is stifled under this system.

        Not rare at all, actually a fairly typical example of cases that actually make it to court. Often it’s only worth suing those who can be shown to have made a profit from the infringement, and are likely to have the funds to pay. Saying that, publishers will almost always make sure they have the copyright permission. And why is that? It is because they don’t want to be sued for copyright infringement. If it’s perfectly legal to use any content without permission, then many publishers will not pay for content, and it will likely to become a common occurrence. The incentive to gain permission is gone, as it is not needed. It’s always good to look at the likely consequences of changes.

        "If you own the copyright and don't care, then you don't have to do anything about it."
        This is wrong. As others have pointed out to you, estates can get in the way, or simply people won't be willing to make use of your works because of a fear of getting sued. "You" have nothing to worry about... except for the fact that it will scare people off. How selfish are you anyway?

        You criticised my other point (rather unfairly in my view) of being “one that is rare and unlikely to happen”. But then suggest this, which lets face it, probably has never happened. I struggle to take seriously that anyone would think that the inheritor would even be aware, recognise, or pursue a copyright infringement claim of some pet photos. Even I’ve gone through old photos, and have no memory of taking them, or struggle to recognise my cat from 20 years ago – so a relative is unlikely to even know some years, decades later. Indeed, they would have to prove that they owned the copyright in order to sue, and unless it is listed in the will, or a copyright notice has been filed – then that isn’t going to happen. The problem, takes care if itself.
        Yes, your second point has some weight- it should put people off using material which isn’t copyright free, or where it is against whatever licence exists, or where the person hasn’t asked the copyright holder. But that is what copyright is designed for. Is that selfish, or is it selfish to use others work without permission (outside of fair use)?

        "So what? WHY DO THE PHOTOS NEED COPYRIGHT? We lock up ALL CREATIVITY for around 100 years, despite no economic value in doing so. That's truly messed up. It's messed up for culture. It's messed up for society. You seem to think only in specific commercial terms, and that's not how this works.."

        It’s not locking up “all creativity”. Again, it’s up the copyright holder if they want to make it copyright free, or allow others to use in certain circumstances.

        If I see a cute cat photo that someone took online, and I want to share it with my friend who likes cats -- why should I have to get permission or pay a license fee? That's insane

        It depends how. Again, if it is copyright free, or within the terms of the licence, you can – no problem with that. If you retweet, then that is absolutely fine. The person who uploaded should be sure that he has the right to do so though. If you just email, or share through facebook that’s locked down- is anyone ever going to know? Or maybe you just send a link to the actual image you saw online?

        "Even if the work wasn't created for economic purposes, it doesn't mean others won't use it for economic purposes."
        So what? If someone uses a work you didn't create for economic purposes, why should you care? You weren't going to use it for economic purposes in the first place, so why does it matter?

        The point was that sometimes we decide later to try and profit from our own work, or again it may be an organisation that we disapprove of. Or perhaps we think the commercial sector should be paying for the work they use to increase creativity, meaning that artists can make a living and produce more work. Why can’t they just use work they have permission to use, be it copyright free, or licence an artist?

        To grift off someone who decided to try to make money where you explicitly chose not to?
        You're very very confused.

        “Explicitly choosing not to”, would be if you offered your work as copyright free, made your wishes known through Creative Commons, or gave permission in some other way etc. Which is the opposite of what you have been saying. Not confused at all – just trying to inject a bit of reality into the topic.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Apr 2020 @ 1:08pm

      who expects their cat to be used by anyone...

      When I write a casual blog piece (announcing life stuff or lamenting how much things suck) I'll post a nice cat pic rather than a specific relevant image. It's easier on the brain that way. Sometimes I try to make something about the cat image (emotions, cats on tech, cats looking out rainy windows, etc.) related to my lament.

      No, I don't ask for permission, and generally such posts are fairly inoffensive. But yeah, I may be setting myself up for litigation, or at least a C&D nastygram. It hasn't happened yet across five years.

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Apr 2020 @ 1:11pm

        Oh and that said...

        Cats are more popular than porn on the internet, or were for a while in the aughts. I haven't checked if that's changed.

        Cute animals are very popular on the internet, and may be the largest volume of content. I remember there being some statistics to that effect, particularly when it surpassed porn.

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  • icon
    Zane (profile), 19 Apr 2020 @ 9:21am

    Wrong. Copyright is automatic. Moral rights in several countries cannot be waived.

    Yes copyright is automatic, that wasn't the point,or particularly relevant. The context is talking about someones pet photos, they don't have to assert their copyright rights, they can do nothing, nada, zilch if someone uses their photos. So it is NOT locked, unless they want to take action.

    Wrong. You need to release them under CC-0, otherwise they'll have a debt of 150,000 dollars hanging on their head for every single use.

    I was talking from the point of view of copyright holder. Which is what this piece was all about. The copyright holder doesn't have to release under CC, it might be better if they did if they want to encourage others to use. But they do not have to. Yes someone risks action if they do not have permission if they use a piece of work protected by copyright, BUT only if the copyright holder take action (lets face it it will be a takedown request and not even a fine 99% of the time). But again, that's the responsibility of the person not getting permission or seeking copyright free material. It is only the copyright holder who can take action. So if they don't care - they wont take action.

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    • icon
      Federico (profile), 21 Apr 2020 @ 7:22am

      Re: What authors need to do

      Hey, it was your premise, not mine:

      If you're happy for someone to use your picture of fluffy for absolutely anything [...]

      An author who wants other to use their work for absolutely anything cannot just sit down and do nothing, as you suggest: to have their wish fulfilled, such authors need to proactively license their work with adequate legal tools, specifically the CC-0 for the kind of usage you suggest.

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

      • icon
        Zane (profile), 2 May 2020 @ 12:16am

        Re: Re: What authors need to do

        Sure, I felt I covered this in my above comment. It's the difference between "need to" and "want to". They don't have to do anything, but if they want to encourage and get their worked used widely, then it would be sensible put in CC or something similar. There is not an obligation to do this. Some in the thread wrongly felt that an outside party could sue, when it can only be the copyright holder.

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


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