Sunday, November 25, 2012
Swirls of Color and Stealing Light
I was surfing the web the other day when I came across a website done by some poet who was uploading images to go with her poetry and writing. As I browsed her site, I noticed that she had used one of my images. The image in question had my name beneath it, but she had never asked permission to use my image, nor had I gotten any email or anything indicating she used my image. She also directly linked to the image on Flickr, which is a big no-no.
Then, I had gotten a link to somebody's portfolio. The artist in question made a nice portfolio, even setting it to music and posting it to YouTube, making it look like a video (it was, in actuality, a collection of stills set to music.) You probably recognize these, as I do these a lot myself. They look like movies but are actually just a series of stills set to music. The problem is, if you upload anything to YouTube, you cannot use music that is Copyright another artist. Even if you own (legally) the CD (or purchased the download from, say, the iTunes stores) you did not purchase legal rights to redistribute the copyrighted material. You have to get permission from the artist for doing that. You can upload movies (as I do) to YouTube using Copyright free music or you can ask (and obtain permission) from musical artists to include their music in your movie. You're not supposed to just take some music you own, like say Prince, and set your spiffy new images to the Prince music and then upload the entire thing to YouTube to show off your slide show for your friends and family. This is copyright infringement and the artist in question (in this case Prince) can legally sue you, not to mention it's a big no no if you want to be taken seriously as an artist.
Bottom line? Please be careful what you upload and download. Always give proper credit to the artist in question, even if that artist is a model, musician, photographer, writer, etc. and you are not. Stealing is stealing, even if it is just digital reproduction without one's knowledge.
In other news, I've gotten a comment or two about the "robot words" on this website. Since I get attacked by spammers a lot if I remove them, I'm forced to leave them in place. Comment moderation is not an option for me and so that leaves me with the choice of either disabling comments altogether or turning on the robot words. Since I don't get a heck of a lot of comments here regularly, I thought about disabling them but then thought I might leave comments here enabled with the robot words in case somebody really does want to leave me a note. Most of my readers leave me comments on Facebook or send me email directly and that's fine. I would like to make it as easy as possible to leave comments but I cannot be attacked with spam. Comment moderation is not an option for me, so that leaves either turning off comments on the blog itself or leaving on the "robot words." I'll try it for a few days with the "robot words" enabled to see how that goes. If I don't get much of a response either way, I'll disable the comments on this site and re-direct you to either Facebook or (direct) email, as most of you respond to me that way anyway. Sorry, but with about 1500 readers a month, most of you photographer or artist friends, students, and the like, who bump into me anyway, keeping up with deleting spam is not an optimal solution for me and the blog sites tend to attract a lot of spam. (I got over 20 spam style emails the other day, when I had turned off the "robot words" for just one day.) Likewise, comment moderation is not a potential solution for me either, so it's "robot words" or no comments at all for this site, at least for now anyway.
Until next time...