SOPA and PIPA ARE NOT THE ANSWER…SO WHAT IS?

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Last night I changed my profile photo on all of my main social networks to this image in protest of Internet Censorship. I also closed down my blog for the day to make my voice heard to those that follow my work.


Say No To Censorship

However as an artist, I know full well that copyright infringement is the 1000lb gorilla in the corner of the room that we will all have to eventually deal with. As a photographer, image theft is an issue, but the glaring hypocrisy of other photographers calling foul when their image is taken is the fact they they themselves might download music, movies or tv shows from the net.

So where do we go from here? What ides do you have to help prevent the theft of intellectual property? Is there an answer?

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  • https://plus.google.com/107782362418835857529 Greg Scratchley

    It is the content creators who will crush these ill-conceived bills. If creators don't support the bill it is serving the wrong purpose.

  • https://plus.google.com/112839235076296992708 Jean Suttle

    I hate that if not careful Google uploads photos from phone!

  • https://plus.google.com/117668392750579292609 Eoghann Irving

    Preventing it is impossible. At this stage we really can't even make it difficult.

    However, if the copyright system was seen as being fair (and not just a tool for Disney etc. to print money) and if there were easy to use methods to obtain and consume media (photos/music/movies etc.) I suspect many or most people would not take the risk of piracy.

  • https://plus.google.com/112320628180065667680 Ireneusz Adam Jankowski

    Always negative voice for Censorship in ART and THINKING

  • https://plus.google.com/101592027198836565679 Katong Edan

    wew

  • https://plus.google.com/117668392750579292609 Eoghann Irving

    +Jean Suttle You can easily turn the instant upload option off and those photos are not made public unless you manually share them.

  • https://plus.google.com/102909547289727561969 jared ropelato

    If I had any followers I would do the same. :o)

  • https://plus.google.com/113455290791279442483 Colby Brown

    +Jean Suttle – I actually have the setting turned on for all my Android devices and I love it. It makes everything so much easier. The biggest thing to remember is that NO ONE can see those photos until you choose to share them. They are just sitting in a private photo album waiting for you. I can take a photo of my kid or a product I will review and in 15 seconds, it will be waiting for me online to share if I want.

  • https://plus.google.com/101464987453115581344 David Deas

    Piracy is a problem on the internet and one that needs to be worked out but the current structure of the internet does not allow for an easy technical solution. SOPA/PIPA is certainly not the answer. All we are doing at this point is creating a rift between the technical people who could actually solve the problem and the content creators who need the solution. Instead of helping them work together our government is pitting them against each other and starting a war that will likely last for years. These bills do nothing to stop piracy and instead just hinder innovation. This is a sad day.

  • https://plus.google.com/103584919855072207333 Casey Grimley

    +Eoghann Irving +Jean Suttle You don't need to turn instant upload off to keep them private. They are always private unless you share them.

  • https://plus.google.com/106819868808219486793 Tasha Schmidt

    One of the things I think is important is making the content available in inexpensive, reliable, and easy ways. I have no need to download a movie or TV show that I can watch on Netflix or Hulu. I don't listen to much music except through Pandora and YouTube. Cable is not the way of the future; shows should be available online the next day.

    No solution will ever stop it 100%. Those who still pirate content that can be viewed/listened to elsewhere for either very cheaply or free with ads should be prosecuted.

  • https://plus.google.com/117224563889483927727 Susan Blakeley Lambert

    Part of the problem is the craziness in obtaining a copyright to intellectual property. The only ones who prosper are the lawyers! As an artist I now plaster my name across any photos of my work that I post online.

  • https://plus.google.com/101028761244286045194 Don Denesiuk

    At least one alternative has been suggested. It's called OPEN. http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/202627-twitter-facebook-and-google-endorse-alternate-online-piracy-bill?utm_campaign=HilliconValley&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
    But the usual suspects don't like it because litigation through the ITC takes too long. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/sopa-alternative-is-blasted-by-music-industry-group/2012/01/06/gIQAPdd8eP_story.html

    For them it's not justice unless it's swift justice and if the internet gets screwed up and everyone's rights are trampled that's just too darn bad.

  • https://plus.google.com/108995140982020387989 Richard Posey

    You're right, but we cannot surrender Free Speech as the price of solving the theft problem. That's the crux of this.

  • https://plus.google.com/109821038180443243017 Florence Chan

    I think the whole 'may he without sin cast the first stone' argument is a bit of a fallacy and casts a huge assumption upon the content creator and his or her usage habits. It casts people who do not use pirated material in with those who do and with that attempts to discredit everyone. Yes, piracy is a problem. But it needs to be dealt with on a one on one basis and due process needs to be adhered to, particularly if there is the possibility that a false claim is being made. Let's not forget here that the big music and movie companies are not blameless when it comes to piracy either. SOPA is less about truly stopping the piracy problem and more about putting more power in the wrong hands.

  • https://plus.google.com/117668392750579292609 Eoghann Irving

    +Casey Grimley I never said you did need to turn it off to make the photos private.

  • https://plus.google.com/102407652944250345399 Cathy Cook

    +Colby Brown There are a number of ways IP can be protected. One is having governments work together to strengthen commitments in the GATS (WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services) and then ensuring those who have signed on to abide by the commitment (the US has) actually do so. There's actually a lot the government can do via pressure on other governments. Another is to encourage content providers to make it easier for people to legally download their goods. I know that photographers have been doing this for eons but the movie industry still insists we purchase 24 hour viewing "permission" via a cable company. Why is there a need for a middleman? Why can't we download directly from the movie company to own our own copy? This said, nothing will ever stop the determined pirate or person intent on not paying for something. That's the nature of the internet.

  • https://plus.google.com/113455290791279442483 Colby Brown

    +Susan Blakeley Lambert – If you are talking photography work, it is actually very easy and cheap to register your work with the US Copyright office.

  • https://plus.google.com/112995143488289161068 Mary M

    SOPA will not be passed, why is everyone so gloom & doom? Be happy, you woke up today and you were able to log onto the Internet.
    1) You must have a job to pay your Internet or phone bill.
    2) Millions of peeps do not have jobs or homes any longer.
    3) Why doesn't the Google, Wiki, the other major players on the Net and all social network peeps put forth this kind of effort to protest DC not passing a budget, not creating jobs and to quit spending our money for their benefit!?!
    4) Have a continuous black out until they pass a budget with spending cuts in it, not higher taxes.

  • https://plus.google.com/103584919855072207333 Casey Grimley

    +Eoghann Irving Sorry, misread your post, still trying to wake up.

  • https://plus.google.com/107213813872748015663 James Finstrom

    The problem is copyright like patents and other protections were put in place to protect the little guys from the big guys. Now the roles have been reversed and companies with millions of dollars are coming after kids for tens of thousands of dollars. We need to rework both the copyright system and the patent system and get them in check.

  • https://plus.google.com/100662758486338431135 Douglas Sandquist

    I've been thinking about this as well… I'm definitely against these laws, but I do believe that content producers have rights. This is a battle of new vs old. New means all of us can be content producers therefore we all have claim to copyright, even though most of us can't afford to protect our rights. Old means the few old time content producers, who claim copyright and who are used to setting their price for their content. The deep pockets is the Old. Ultimately piracy is here to stay, because there are always people that will steal if it's easier to do so, Piracy will get less as technology makes it easier to purchase legitimate content.

  • https://plus.google.com/108354384487405950405 Skand Hurkat

    The issue with copyright laws is that they make over half the population felons.

    I believe the only way to deal with copyright infringement is to rethink infringement laws so that they focus on intent, rather than action. Personally, I feel that the use of CC licenses, allowing fair use of copyrighted material is the way out of this mess that we have created.

    Consider the fact that I cannot store on my computer the movie I bought on DVD last week. The DVD is locked against ripping. Now, I have paid money to buy the DVD, you surely don't expect me to carry 10 DVDs with me whenever I travel?
    And how on earth does lending a DVD become illegal? Yet, companies don't hesitate to mention on their DVDs that lending the disk is illegal.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not against copyrights. I believe that creators should benefit from their creations. However, in case of digital media, the issue is complicated by the zero cost of making copies, and the fact that every share creates a copy.

    +Colby Brown, you will agree that it is extremely easy for me to download an image from your website for almost nothing. I could set it as my wallpaper and no one would know. As long as I do not sell prints for a profit, my act does not make an iota of difference. Even if I were to sell prints in India, or any country where you would not ship prints, it would not make any difference to your business. The only wrong done by me is that I've made profits based on your talent, without sufficiently compensating you for the same.
    Even if someone were to insert a watermark on an image, an easy inpainting algorithm will erase the watermark.
    If you plan to sell digital copies of your artwork, how do you propose to prevent me from sharing those files with my friends? DRMs? They can be circumvented, broken, or otherwise manipulated.

    The real danger is the people who directly harm the business of a copyright holder and make profits on his work without compensating the holder based on a mutually agreed rate. The other instances of piracy are just sham with big companies seeking a lucky hit by suing random people with the hope that they pay.
    As an example, consider Lenz vs Universal Music (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenz_v._Universal_Music_Corp.). Those figures of money lost due to piracy, forget them. They are overrated.

    The irony is that the only people who lose because of the current copyright laws are the artists whom the law purports to protect.

  • https://plus.google.com/112995143488289161068 Mary M

    SOPA would not be an issue if Jammie Thomas ceased and disisted in 2005 when the RIAA asked her and several others to stop; they were downloading songs they did not pay for. The others stopped but Jamie would not instead she downloaded more songs and sent more than 1,700 copies out, either purposefully or by seeding.
    Since then they have had trials from the lowest court to the Supreme Court now. So not only did she steal from the musicians that work a lifetime to record those songs, in addition to the money it cost the artists, producers and labels to market them but she also cost us taxpayers millions of dollars in taking up the court's time and my time too! Way to go Jammie!!!

    BTW, read the Bill, there is due process and peeps will go to court, if it was ever signed into law, which it will not be.

  • https://plus.google.com/108354384487405950405 Skand Hurkat

    Oh, +Mary M is probably an astroturfer, she had hijacked a previous thread by +Scott Jarvie too.

  • https://plus.google.com/112995143488289161068 Mary M

    Colby, am I an astroturfer? I don't even know what that means and I didn't hijack anything. If Scott didn't want me talking on his thread, he would have removed me. Why is it always peeps that like to hijack other's works that give me grief?

  • https://plus.google.com/108413983945330924884 Håvard Bartnes

    Sorry, cannot help it. Kind of off topic, but still proves the point: http://mashable.com/2012/01/12/sopa-sponsor/

  • https://plus.google.com/101464987453115581344 David Deas

    +Mary M You are just showing that you don't understand what you are talking about. There is a lot to read out there on the subject and you should probably spend some time on that before making sweeping comments.

  • https://plus.google.com/112995143488289161068 Mary M

    It's not a sweeping comment, I did Case Studies on the RIAA v Thomas and on SOPA back in October, have you read up on either?
    And you can read the real Bill rather than other people's opinions, then form your own.

  • https://plus.google.com/103667648659294389419 Michael Babcock

    +Mary M everyone has a right to a legal defense. Telling someone not to defend their actions is just incredibly audacious. What's really sad about the Thomas case and other RIAA cases is that someone thinks seeding 1000 copies of a song equates to 1000 lost sales in the first place. Even so, the fine isn't commensurate. At $1.25 a song on iTunes at the high end, that's a $1250 loss. No, I believe in Copyright but even the current laws are draconian and horrifying.

  • https://plus.google.com/112995143488289161068 Mary M

    First of all I am not sure if it was seeding, they never specified if it was and all court docs say she distributed more than 1,700 copies. I have never heard of anyone seeding downloaded music, it was a speculation. Her refusal to stop downloading after she was caught is what drug the case out for years and was still going on three months ago. I do not want anyone stealing work I do, just like these photographers do not want theirs ripped off, so where does it stop? The record industry will stop putting music online if that is the only alternative. I am not pro-SOPA by any means, just lots of peeps repeat what they read or hear and never bother looking at the original document, why? +Michael Babcock They adjusted that fine of 1.25 a couple court cases ago. And there is due process in the Bill, you get a court date, just read the Bill, not random sources.

  • https://plus.google.com/103667648659294389419 Michael Babcock

    The case dragged out because justice takes time. You asked for her not to defend herself, that's just horrifying. As for due process, no it doesn't exist. The bill allows for censorship first, just like the DMCA. Both are horrifying and draconian. I'm glad I live in Canada, where downloading is legal and artists get paid too. Haven't met a starving artist yet who was upset by people sharing their work — it means someone likes it.

  • https://plus.google.com/112995143488289161068 Mary M

    No one asked her not to defend herself, in fact, last I heard she was on her second attorney because the first one got fed up and moved on, if he thought she was innocent I imagine he would have stayed the course to get all the kudos, win or lose. It drug on so long because every time she lost, she appealed, maybe she likes the attention?

  • https://plus.google.com/101464987453115581344 David Deas

    +Mary M You are making an assumption that people haven't read it. I'm not sure of your background but I have spent my entire life working with technology. I write web based applications for large scale Electronic Medical Record systems. I am also a photographer. In looking at the document it is monumentally flawed. This post was pointing out that a lot of photographers, and other content creators, simply don't understand the technology well enough to see the dangers in this legislation and you seem to fit that mold.

    I am pro-copyright. I don't want work being stolen. But this is not the answer. It tinkers with the inner workings of the internet and perhaps more dangerously builds a platform that the government could use to censor other internet sites in the future. I am not willing to support a poorly written bill with the promise that the MPAA and the RIAA will do the right thing because they have a long history of pushing things much further than they needed to go. I do not trust our government to do the right thing because we have reached a level of corruption where that is laughable.

    This bill must be stopped and we need to start looking for some practical ways to fix the problem without empowering the RIAA, the MPAA or the US Government to censor the internet.

  • https://plus.google.com/108127039931400009413 Pam Chalkley

    You can (and should, in my opinion) digitally watermark and track your images. If you find them online in the U.S., you can file a DMCA Takedown Notice. I realize that isn't international protection, but it's something, for now. There's a site that will search for photos and recognize them based on the image, if you haven't digitally watermarked … but I can't find it. I thought I had bookmarked it.

  • https://plus.google.com/103667648659294389419 Michael Babcock

    +Mary M I'm tired of arguing with you because you simply don't seem to care about the facts; YOU said she shouldn't defend herself here — "would not be an issue if Jammie Thomas ceased and disisted in 2005". Why should she have? One wonders where women's rights would be if you just gave up when asked by an authority to do so. When you disagree with charges in a democratic society, you stand up for yourself and defend yourself and sometimes the laws are seen to be disgraceful and changed.

    Here in Canada, a judge told off the recording industry and said that file sharing is like a photocopier; they can be used for good or bad but that doesn't make them evil all the time. Most of our Internet providers also stood up to the industry and refused to give up subscriber information in their witch-hunts. I'm always impressed by people who stand up for justice, even if I disagree with their views.

  • https://plus.google.com/113354894241935228773 Nathan Zhang

    +Michael Babcock Methinks I'm moving to Canada… Life seems to be more wise northside. I'm already thinking about disavowing my US Citizenship. Anyway, my cousin lives in Canada, so I'll be closer to family there!

  • https://plus.google.com/112995143488289161068 Mary M

    I didn't say she shouldn't defend herself here. She should have told them she would stop stealing music but she openly refused and continued taking music without paying for it. That is the case and it is not in Canada.

  • https://plus.google.com/114190498705300724940 Elian van Esch

    ANTI-ACTA – What can you do? but done in secret by people who do not represent the people, YOUR, well-being Check the video out and get informed about ACTA a.k.a Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

  • https://plus.google.com/100484181000890741377 René Lara

    Nice Profile picture, I'm telling everyone to change their profile pictures for the one I have, let there not be faces in social networks, just one Message STOP SOPA, in the future this comment could look like that:

    ███ ████████ ██████ ██████████ ██ ████ ██ ████ ██████████ ██. ███ ███ This comment has been found in violation of H.R. 3261, S.O.P.A and has been removed.

  • https://plus.google.com/103667648659294389419 Michael Babcock

    Pst as shared by Adam Savage in his rant against SOPA: http://www.stanfordlawreview.org/online/dont-break-internet

  • https://plus.google.com/113455290791279442483 Colby Brown

    Everyone has the right to their own opinions and everyone does not have to agree either. +Mary M is not an "Astroturfer" (totally had to look that up), but just has a different point of view.

    This thread is about finding a better solution to the copyright issues, both real and made up, that we as artists face on a daily basis. Nothing more…nothing less.

  • https://plus.google.com/112995143488289161068 Mary M

    +David Deas I am not pro-SOPA, I read it in October, I asked what is the answer to protect artist's work? But if you are going to debate, look at both sides other wise you can not form an opinion. Mine is SOPA is dead in the water and the point I originally made was, "Why doesn't Google, Wiki and the other major players on the net as well as all the peeps in social networks put forth this kind of effort to pass a budget and create some jobs?" That was what I said and everyone jumps on me because I read actual bills not opinions listed on Wiki and other sites. Jobs, we need jobs or we can't afford Internet, it's common sense.

  • https://plus.google.com/113455290791279442483 Colby Brown

    We also need to feed the starving children of the world, the subjective nature of importance will get us no where….lets come back to the point of the post for everyone :)

  • https://plus.google.com/112995143488289161068 Mary M

    Yes, what is the answer?

  • https://plus.google.com/113455290791279442483 Colby Brown

    no idea :)

  • https://plus.google.com/110480044561494428983 Steve Bottoms

    SOPA, PIPA, OPEN, all are excellent examples of money (RIAA, MPAA, etc) and ignorant legislators driving useless legislation that will effectively damage a free and open internet, not to mention free speech. First, if piracy is hurting (for example) the music industry, why are their revenues higher than ever? Second, without significant revamping of the US Copyright laws, anything "they" try to fix will just get even more onerous.

  • https://plus.google.com/112870233271447799154 James Percy

    +Skand Hurkat ….that is probably the most thought out and sensible thing I have ever heard concerning the SOPA issue. +1,000 if I could. I agree, the answer is to look at intent. I am in a similar situation with my DVD and Blu-Ray collection. I purchased a media streamer for the sole purpose of ripping discs to my server and playing them on my home theater system without risking damage to the discs. Now, the movie companies are concerned that I might take that copy and sell it or give it away so they protect it. The only thing that has done is prevented me from enjoying their media in a manner that I want to do it. I am not stealing any money from them as I have already paid for the disc. Quite honestly, I only want the movie and really could do without all the previews and fancy menus that they are forcing me to buy with the movie to begin with.

  • https://plus.google.com/103667648659294389419 Michael Babcock

    It would be nice if we could actually have a productive conversation as citizens of the world about the valid length of Copyright. Currently it is insanely long (thanks Disney et al), and the value of pushing works into the public domain as they age is being forgotten. If we focus on this — the creation of NEW works and the protection of those, and allowing old works to become free as they ought to, then we'd be getting somewhere. Instead, every reform I see is going to apply to a 125 year old jingle just as much as a brand new photo taken today.

  • https://plus.google.com/112995143488289161068 Mary M

    Their revenues are not higher than ever, I live in Music City, many places have shut down, bands cannot get gigs because so many fans cannot afford to go and see them now. And this is not all about music, lots of work is stolen online, much of it from foreign entities, which is one aspect of SOPA, to stop sites that promote theft of U.S. works, including software and tech stuff. Online piracy is not only about song downloads and Youtube videos or even photographs for that matter. there is much more going on and pirates hack into our major networks every day. N Korea can shut down our technology right now, do you want the link to that?

  • https://plus.google.com/100484181000890741377 René Lara

    SOPA = CENSORSHIP It's has nothing to do with Piracy and please don't make this anti-SOPA a fight of America Vs commies Pirates it is not

  • https://plus.google.com/112995143488289161068 Mary M

    It is about piracy, here is the Bill.
    thomas.loc.gov
    BTW, the Google box is working, they didn't shut down only added the black box, unlike Wiki that did follow through and shut down.

  • https://plus.google.com/101464987453115581344 David Deas

    +Mary M You have an agenda that is different from the meaning of this post. Please feel free to make your own post that you and your followers can discuss, but you keep pulling this one off the rails. We are discussing SOPA/PIPA, not balancing budgets and solving the problems of the world. We understand the scope of online piracy. We understand hacking and issues with other countries. Let's stick to the topic at hand why don't we?

  • https://plus.google.com/112432969881159901664 Janet Wilken

    I agree Michael. Artist do not complain over the amount of money they receive from records or making movies. How greedy do they want to get.

  • https://plus.google.com/100484181000890741377 René Lara

    you simply don't have enough knowledge evilness to see the terrible things they could do if this law passes

  • https://plus.google.com/112995143488289161068 Mary M

    I don't believe you can ask me to leave, that would be Colby's call, who do you think you are King David?

  • https://plus.google.com/113833981853420314126 Karl Williams

    The theft of intellectual property, in this internet age, is, regrettably, something we have to live with. Of course, it might be prevented by "policing" the internet – which is, for a myriad of valid reasons, a definite no-no. On the other hand, we ourselves could prevent it by never posting anything on the internet – at all – ever. That would be self-defeating. Thus, in answer to Colby's question: there is no answer.

    Incidentally, I always find it interesting that many of those who complain most vehemently about image theft are those who would give away worldwide rights to their stuff for 50 bucks without turning a hair!

  • https://plus.google.com/113354894241935228773 Nathan Zhang

    I run a corporation (no, not the kind that screws regular people – I see regular people as my direct customers, so that would be idiocy), so, I was wondering, can I use my corporation as a legal asset to "sue the SOPA supporters with their own law" (i.e. IF SOPA becomes law, to use SOPA to bring down the websites of the folks and supporters whom made it law to begin with) so I can bring pain to the pains-in-the-fannies? Or should I just create a toolbar that blocks all their websites from external access, and disables their shopping cart checkout-buttons, until someone uninstalls my toolbar (provided it's a legal move)? I'm hoping to use my single-person-comic-book-corporation's legal advantages (i.e. limited liability, etc) to cause great harm to those already doing so to others!

  • https://plus.google.com/100962871525684315897 Scott Jarvie

    I'd much much rather have my images occasionally stolen by unprincipled people rather than have the whole internet be muzzled. Punish the criminal and don't limit the system.

    I'd rather they do nothing rather than they try something and do it wrong.

  • https://plus.google.com/112870233271447799154 James Percy

    I tend to think that we should become less dependent on Copyrights. If I am an artist and create a piece of work, if someone steals it and starts to profit from it, I should be able to bring charges against them with my original piece of work as all the evidence I need to prove my ownership. However, if I never learn that someone has stolen my work, what damage was really done? I suck as a photographer and couldn't make a dime off of any of my work. However, if someone else can and I don't know about it, I am not hurt. If I do learn about it, I should also be able to ask for some compensation/reimbursement for the money they made.

    Maybe there can be some hardware changes that could be made that permanently puts the camera S/N into the meta-data. If I was concerned enough about piracy, I could purchase one of these cameras, register it somewhere, and then be protected if a picture with that meta data shows up somewhere that I did not authorize.

    Sorry for rambling on a subject that I really do not know that much about.

  • https://plus.google.com/113455290791279442483 Colby Brown

    No need to apologize +James Percy. You make valid points.

  • https://plus.google.com/115494461848613522089 Eng. Jorge Santana

    ██ ███████ ██ SOPA ███ PIPA!!!

  • https://plus.google.com/101464987453115581344 David Deas

    I'll stop feeding the trolls now. :) Great points +James Percy I think taking the long view of this issue is important. There may be technological solutions that will take time. I certainly don't want to see artists hurt but censorship is hardly the answer. There has to be some sort of middle ground that can be achieved with people working together. i did just see an interesting video on TED discussing this though. They hold to the theory that the MPAA and RIAA don't really care about the piracy provisions and what they really want is the side-effects. Essentially they want to shut down sites like YouTube and FaceBook so they can once again control the distribution of media. I don't know if I am quite that jaded yet but it is interesting.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/defend_our_freedom_to_share_or_why_sopa_is_a_bad_idea.html

  • https://plus.google.com/108354384487405950405 Skand Hurkat

    +David Deas It's interesting you mentioned TED. I remembered this video by +Lawrence Lessig :
    http://www.ted.com/talks/larry_lessig_says_the_law_is_strangling_creativity.html

  • https://plus.google.com/103064455661925506034 Derek Hannah

    The ONLY answer, is to change the perception of piracy. It has nothing to do with regulation. i think that it is hard for the average person to wrap their mind around piracy in general. It is not a crime that immediately effects them, and it is not a crime that most people experience detrimental effects from in their normal lives. Even myself, as a photographer even though I am anti-piracy, often times think of piracy as a sort of petty thing, until I pause for a minute and remind myself of my own personal intellectual property and the ramifications that it has on me. There needs to be a massive campaign geared towards changing the general public's perception of things. Until people associate piracy with things as morally wrong as stealing, domestic abuse, vandelism etc., nothing is going to change, no matter how many websites you shut down. You can take the entire internet away and people will just bootleg DVDs like they used to bootleg VHS tapes.

  • https://plus.google.com/103064455661925506034 Derek Hannah

    +James Percy You CAN use your original work to prove that you created the art (assuming you have some sort of evidence of your work being created first). Copyright and Registered Copyright, are not the same things. Everyone automatically owns the copyright to every piece of their intellectual property. Hence it is a "RIGHT" afforded to you by law. However, the scope of what you can seek as retribution is limited without registering a copyright. As an artist, you have the right to do whatever you please with your work, and ignore any amount of unauthorized use that you choose. However, should someone use your work in a way that is detrimental to you, having a solid Registered Copyright can protect you and allow you to recoup some if not all of the damage or potential damage that was done.

    With that said, copyright is not strictly about making money. This is where many people turn it into a social class/economic issue which tends to make it easier for people to rationalize their breaking of the law. Lets look at two scenarios that offer a different look at it.
    1) I write a deeply emotion play about the holocaust. Someone, for whatever reason, decides to take that play and make a jazz stepping comedic musical out of it. I as the artist would be deeply offended and angered that my work had been perverted into such a disgrace. I should have the right to not only stop that work, but to receive damages for the harm it does to me when I then try to market my play and have it taken seriously.

    2) An artist's parents died of lung cancer caused by cigarette smoke. When flipping through a magazine one day, they notice a picture of a cowboy on a horse, advertising Marlboro cigarettes. The artist immediately recognizes the photo as one he took at a local rodeo. Should he not have the right to stop this use as well as seek monetary damages (if for no other reason than to punish the cigarette industry?)

    This is what Copyright and Copyright registration affords you as an artist. Its not just about making a buck although that is what has caused this issue to become such a hot topic. (which I say is a good thing to a degree)

    Also, I am not sure how well it works, but if you drag one of your images into the Google search bar, it will find any copies of it on the internet. There are several other software options that supposedly use metadata to track the camera as well. How well they work, I do not know.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/181361/finding_your_photos_online.html

    http://tineye.com/

  • https://plus.google.com/102926180441346782513 Eloy Sanchez

    The industry isn't really looking to end piracy its looking to preserve their business model.

    Well while piracy is an issue it affects small businesses and creators much more than it hurts big companies.

    No type of stealing should be condoned but the fact remains that piracy while huge does not affect majors as much as their antiquated thinking.

    They are now resisting the internet because it is their last stand they've had to compromise and give up more control (money) as technology progressed. Majors biggest flaw in their thinking is making pirated=not sold. Basically they assume that all the people that watch the movie online would have bought it instead and they get their loss numbers from that. What they fail to see is that this was only true when they control distribution completely in times long gone now the majority of people that view movies online would not have chosen to buy a single physical copy.

    Having a ten dollar service that streams movies/shows, along with the normal free but with ads and rent model works on the internet the equivalent of Netflix and Redbox (just picture a streaming redbox) would be used because of convenience. Netflix is so popular because people have all this content available when they would otherwise only be able to pick a very small amount for the same price.

    The single biggest thing that the music and film industry can do in order to combat piracy is to stop the draconian act and accept the internet will not go away and adapt to the new accepted model otherwise they will only see their profits go lower and lower as they fight to hold on to a dying model and eventually end up with much less than they would if they had led rather than try to stifle innovation.

  • https://plus.google.com/101464987453115581344 David Deas

    +Skand Hurkat Thanks for that link. That TED talk was fascinating and it was extremely relevant considering it was from 2007.

  • https://plus.google.com/106930933794139848428 Carl Donohue

    +James Percy of course you are hurt if someone steals your work and sells it, whether you find out or not. Think about all those CDs and DVDs burned and sold illegally around the world; those artists are never compensated for their work, which hurts.

    I haven't read the details of SOPA closely, but I do agree with the sense of responsibility that it implies. If google, or anyone else, sets up an infrastructure that encourages content sharing, google has some responsibility to protect copyright holders, IMO. I'm not sure of the best way to work out those details, but they should absolutely be motivated to discourage copyright infringement.

    That's exactly why Napster were sued; they didn't illegally share any files, but they were a portal that promoted and encouraged that stuff.

    We forget sometimes that just because we can doesn't mean we should.

  • https://plus.google.com/106930933794139848428 Carl Donohue

    +James Percy of course you are hurt if someone steals your work and sells it, whether you find out or not. Think about all those CDs and DVDs burned and sold illegally around the world; those artists are never compensated for their work, which hurts.

    I haven't read the details of SOPA closely, but I do agree with the sense of responsibility that it implies. If google, or anyone else, sets up an infrastructure that encourages content sharing, google has some responsibility to protect copyright holders, IMO. I'm not sure of the best way to work out those details, but they should absolutely be motivated to discourage copyright infringement.

    That's exactly why Napster were sued; they didn't illegally share any files, but they were a portal that promoted and encouraged that stuff.

    We forget sometimes that just because we can doesn't mean we should.

  • https://plus.google.com/112870233271447799154 James Percy

    +Carl Donohue I think there is a difference between someone selling my "work" and the work of others. In my case, my livelihood is not dependent on any artistic work that I do. Therefore the damages that I would incur if someone were to steal my work is much different than if someone were to steal the work of someone who's livelihood is dependent on their work. Since my livelihood is not dependent on the work, I would not put the effort into finding stolen copies. Someone who is worried about their intellectual property could and should spend time ensuring their work is not stolen. This is where I think there would be a difference in the damages that are sought and awarded. I would not seek damages (in most cases) where someone else might. Anything awarded to me should be limited as I would not have incurred many damages where someone else might get significantly more as they incurred more damages.

    One thing that always gets me is that this wasn't a problem 30 years ago. When I was a kid, I used to sit with my radio (especially during the weekly top 40) poised to hit "record" when one of my favorite songs came on. Wasn't I pirating a copy of that song? I don't remember a big deal being made about me and everyone else that were dubbing tapes to give to their boyfriend or girlfriend. What has changed? The argument today is that we are preventing the studios and artists from making additional sales. Wouldn't the same have been true 30 years ago?

  • https://plus.google.com/112870233271447799154 James Percy

    +Carl Donohue I think there is a difference between someone selling my "work" and the work of others. In my case, my livelihood is not dependent on any artistic work that I do. Therefore the damages that I would incur if someone were to steal my work is much different than if someone were to steal the work of someone who's livelihood is dependent on their work. Since my livelihood is not dependent on the work, I would not put the effort into finding stolen copies. Someone who is worried about their intellectual property could and should spend time ensuring their work is not stolen. This is where I think there would be a difference in the damages that are sought and awarded. I would not seek damages (in most cases) where someone else might. Anything awarded to me should be limited as I would not have incurred many damages where someone else might get significantly more as they incurred more damages.

    One thing that always gets me is that this wasn't a problem 30 years ago. When I was a kid, I used to sit with my radio (especially during the weekly top 40) poised to hit "record" when one of my favorite songs came on. Wasn't I pirating a copy of that song? I don't remember a big deal being made about me and everyone else that were dubbing tapes to give to their boyfriend or girlfriend. What has changed? The argument today is that we are preventing the studios and artists from making additional sales. Wouldn't the same have been true 30 years ago?

  • https://plus.google.com/117790840794305820313 Matej Rajčan

    Yes there is… where i live- movies cost 50 euros, lets think that its roughly 40 dollars. Would you bought it? Would you rather buy 4 movies for 10 bucks? I would. 40 is too much, and thats why people dont want to pay for movies. (normal people here make 300-400 euros per month, so buying movies? They'll pass.

  • https://plus.google.com/117790840794305820313 Matej Rajčan

    Yes there is… where i live- movies cost 50 euros, lets think that its roughly 40 dollars. Would you bought it? Would you rather buy 4 movies for 10 bucks? I would. 40 is too much, and thats why people dont want to pay for movies. (normal people here make 300-400 euros per month, so buying movies? They'll pass.

  • https://plus.google.com/111970847929160034487 David Tuthill

    One question, as companies have the right to protect their intellectual properties, why don't individual have the right to pay or not pay for the value that the intellectual property offers. In other words, why does a company have the right to charge up front $17 or $20 so that you can view their movie. If it's a bad movie that's not worth the money paid, the majority of time one doesn't have the ability to get ones money back. Or if one did, it's such a hassle to get it back. Instead one should have the right to decide what the movie is worth after we view it, not before. This is true for music (being forced to buy an album for one song), software (not being able to return it once the package has been opened) and cable tv (having to subscribe to 1000 of useless channels). These are the issues that will go a long way in resolving piracy, not restricting people’s use of the internet.

  • https://plus.google.com/103064455661925506034 Derek Hannah

    Why does everyone feel so entitled to decide what a business charges for its goods and services? If someone disagrees with prices, they should boycott. Just because someone feels that a price is not fair, is not a license to steal. I am not ENTITLED to watch The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. New Line cinema made a product and if I wish to view that product and partake in that entertainment, then I need to pay what they are asking. Not scoff and steal it instead. Whether they want to place that movie in a Netflix like service, or charge $1000 for some special new-fangled bluray.

    I want a Bugatti Veyron, but I am not going to complainabout the price and decide to steal one out of the showroom instead.

    I also don't agree with the notion that people who pirate things would never have bought them anyway. Take Photoshop for instance. Sure, someone pirating it may never purchase a professional grade software for over $500. However, Adobe offers many other levels of software. Perhaps someone would buy Elements for $50, or Lightroom for $200. That is not as much money, but SOME profit is better than NO profit. Its the same with movies. Sure someone may not go out and spend the money to buy a the 100s of DVDs they bootlegged. However they may, in turn, rent a DVD, or maybe save up and go out to the movies more often if that was the best way for them to see a new release. Again, some profit, is better than no profit.

    As for draconian practices, again this is irrelevant because it is a businesses prerogative to sell their wares for whatever price, and through whatever avenue they wish. That is not for anyone else to decide but them. However, this argument is getting old considering the huge success of iTunes and Netflix and yet people are STILL pirating DVD and mp3s in large numbers. Also, with the constant advancement of technology, it would be easy to use the "draconian" excuse to no end. I mean it wasn't many years ago that there wasn't even the ability to stream movies over the internet, yet people were still pirating movies. The movie companies could not embrace the technology until it matured. How is that their fault?

  • https://plus.google.com/102926180441346782513 Eloy Sanchez

    Ok so I don't know where/who the companies can't set their own price argument came from but that is in no way the message that the anti SOPA movement is trying to send. People may tag along and throw that in there but its not to be confused with the true meaning.

    Owners can set whatever prices and distribution channels that they wish. No one says that this is not true. The problem is not that people are entitled to paying only what they want. But the companies behind the bill are giving out reasons and numbers that have been proven false or plain contradictory to the truth.

    Notice they may keep their draconian system as much as they want the problem is when they try to impose their reality on others through lobbying. That's the problem companies and people against SOPA aren't saying that companies aren't free to do what they want with their product they're saying that they can not through influence force others to conform to what they want.

    My response was that if companies led innovation rather than stifle it they would come up with better results than by trying to keep their old model alive. Refer to VHS, DVDs, MP3 and now the internet. Also people pirating most commonly do so in an individual product at a time. If you see how much people pay for cable is the main reason Netflix is so successful because it has the ability to replace cable without antennas and cable. Convenience drives people its the reason iTunes and Netflix exist and right now like times before the industry refuses to embrace innovation. They do not wait for tech to mature but only go along once they have no choice and each time lose more and more ground and now they're trying to take on the internet. If you ask me their stupidest move yet

  • https://plus.google.com/117847588207782767896 Sarah Fitzpatrick

    I don't see why there has to be a huge government involvement in this. It should be settled between the offending and offended parties, and the copyright infringing material should be removed, or worked into a deal with the owner..not the entire site blacklisted from the internet. This is just RIAA and other industries' way of targeting specific sites like TPB under the blanket of an all-encompassing blackout, instead of finding a way to take those particular sites down.

    Even if they did..you'll never stop piracy, I don't even know why people try anymore. As it has been said above, instead of trying to destroy the problem, work WITH it…offer the things we want at an affordable rate, easy to obtain, and without a legal maze that we have to navigate.

  • https://plus.google.com/100962871525684315897 Scott Jarvie

    Now if only your face was censored always. Ouch Burn!! ;)

  • https://plus.google.com/113354894241935228773 Nathan Zhang

    I wonder if I can get an equally nonsensical law passed that would allow me to have certain groups sterilized or destroyed because they possess a genetic sequence I find offensive or which I believe to be infringing upon my rights… and I think that in this day and age, if I could successfully get the necessary quota of name and sigs for a petition of that nonsensicality to pass, some big industry corporation would actually lobby for the law and some deranged congressman would actually pass it! Sorrowful is the state of the Union today! :(

  • https://plus.google.com/113354894241935228773 Nathan Zhang

    Not saying I'd actually try making such a BS law. I'd get screwed by it too.

  • https://plus.google.com/101029556168978645439 Kimvar Liang

    Interesting and unbelievable. you are in US not in China, who made this bullshit law.

  • https://plus.google.com/117790840794305820313 Matej Rajčan

    +Derek Hannah Tell me one thing, why cinema ticket costs 4 euros, and movie 40? If that shiny piece of plastic they call blueray cost that much, sell it on tapes. But i wont pay for movie on any medium 40 bucks, i wont see it 10 times anyway, so why 10 times the price? Cinema does not show movie i want… Cars have nothing to do with it.
    I am willing to pay the price, if its worth it. I pay for ps3 games, because i know i will have 100+ hours of fun with one game. With movie, its only 1 hour.

  • https://plus.google.com/103064455661925506034 Derek Hannah

    +Matej Rajčan It does not matter one bit what the cost is. If a company wishes to charge $5,000,000 for a DVD, then that is their choice. It is your choice as a consumer to not purchase that DVD. The problem is that everyone wants to push the blame for piracy onto the companies. How about we start to see it for what it is? People taking things that do not belong to them. Until that begins to sink in as being dishonest, piracy will continue to be as large of an issue as it is. Movies, music and computer software have become so ingrained in people's everyday lives that there is this mentality that having those things is some inalienable right and if a company puts those things out of reach, you should have the right to take them. That is hogwash. Do I think certain policies lead to stoking the fires of piracy? Sure I do. Just like antagonizing or angering someone may lead to them inflicting bodily harm on a person. However, that in and of itself does not justify the act of inflicting bodily harm.

    This is not specifically about SOPA, but SOPA is a direct response to an ongoing issue. SOPA is a wake up call. Even if it is defeated, similar attempts may not be, and I assure you that those attempts are not going to just suddenly subside because of some websites going dormant for a day.

  • https://plus.google.com/104241567849916091297 midori chan

    +Derek Hannah very well written, I cannot agree with you more on this! Even I myself might want to go to Youtube or other sites to listen to music and watch some movies, or even share some of these music, it does not make my act right and those companies who would protect their copyrighted materials wrong..they have invested a lot of money in their projects and production, and they are losing a lot of money because of copyright infringement…HMV in Japan , for example, is closing down, the big store in Shibuya is gone, replaced by Forever 21..simply you can download any MP3 you want, why bother with buying a CD? If this keeps up, someday, in the distant future ( or not so distant) we will have very little music and very poorly made movies because NO ONE can afford to do it for free..and many of this production are very expansive.
    +Colby Brown I do agree with you, while this censorship idea is not good, we do need to find a way to stop or lessen piracy. Japan is currently arresting uploaders for certain share network, this seems to work well, for those networks with arrested cases,the number of upload decreases significantly..but then there would be other networks, other means, I am certain these issues would need to be addressed if we would like to continue enjoying good music, movies or software. Thank you for sharing your input.

  • https://plus.google.com/101043248483916114039 Enyon Eugenisu

    what if we all learn to donate to producers of stuff we like instead to paying for it in advance? I rather donate then pay…

  • https://plus.google.com/112644019243323153245 Christian Teupe

    Well if they hunt for your amazing photos I call myself Kermit …
    You are the most peaceful photographer I know on this site here

  • https://plus.google.com/110845441428499536036 Kim Anglin

    Coming to the conversation when it is over – however – I wanted to follow up on a comment by +James Percy which was:

    "I tend to think that we should become less dependent on Copyrights. If I am an artist and create a piece of work, if someone steals it and starts to profit from it, I should be able to bring charges against them with my original piece of work as all the evidence I need to prove my ownership."

    One of the things about Copyright law is that if you place a copyright notice on your work such as ©2012 James Percy for instance, this provides legal notice to any would be thief. When you register your work – which is very inexpensive – you can establish a prima facie case and are entitled to damages for losses. Thus the present copyright system is favorable to artists including photographers and enables you to be able to show the world that the work belongs to you. Thus there can be no innocent infringement. Moreover, you would be entitled to damages. If there were any. That being said it makes it easier to prosecute copyright infringement. In essence Copyright law is your friend. It helps you to enforce your intellectual property rights and helps you to collect damages. Having no copyright means that you have to prove ownership of the intellectual property, you have to prove that you created the work before another (if there is a dispute about similar work) and you have to prove damages without a presumption of damages. Although this is a general discussion of the law, I think we should remember that Copyright law is already on the books and can be very helpful to artists in protecting their work and establishing rights of ownership. I don't think the answer is to forgo copyrights on your work.

    I appreciate your thoughts on this issue +James Percy. I just wanted to use your comment as a starting point to discuss this issue since sometimes people don't necessarily understand what a copyright means to them in terms of benefits and prevention. I hope you don't mind.

    Additionally with regard to enforcement – when one registers a copyright – oftentimes a cease and desist letter will accomplish what is needed. No one is going to be able to enforce every violation of copyright. There is a certain amount that will always be out there. Partially it is a cost of doing business. Also there may be issues with international enforcement and jurisdictional issues. So to a certain extent there will be limits on what can be done. Another question I think is that even with enforcement would a person have purchased from you? Maybe, maybe not. The main thing I believe is that you have to concentrate on building relationships and business connections with persons and entities who will pay for your time and talent and intellectual property. That is where you need to concentrate your time if you are a small business person. Worrying about some infringement that might happen is pointless and generally non-productive. At the present time I believe we have laws to assist most artists already on the books. One questions would be – do we need more? And, if so what do we need?

    Kim