by Kolby Solinsky
Editor, White Cover Magazine
It used to be a commonplace thing. Anyone who wanted to keep the always changing thing called intellectual property going would simply slap a slightly see-through logo on all their photos — a Watermark. It would let everyone know, “Yes, other dogs. I peed here first.” And, it basically rendered their spreading of it useless unless 1) they paid you for it and you removed it, or 2) they wanted to splash your photo on their website.
That trend went down. Why, we’ll never know. But, it’s come back.
The questions from users who used to copy and paste everything without thought or worry, of course, will come out as more and more news organizations finally clue into the fact that they cannot possibly monitor all of the thievery going on right in front of their face. There are too many users, too many bloggers and, frankly, nobody cares about their plight.
But, times are changing. More and more news”papers” and TV “stations” are beginning in infancy on the Internet. They are used to the challenges, because they’re doing the exact same thing.
Take Tunisia Live‘s photo set today of their president Marzouki and his visit to the UK:
I’m going to bet that I’m free of persecution posting that because it was a screenshot from Facebook (and I’m guessing that even if it’s still not legal, I can confuse them with social media jargon and simply shout, “Hey, free Internet, dude!”) and I know that Tunisia Live respects my struggle for irony (I hope).
And, hey, I linked to their album.
Finally… someone is taking a stand against having their own sh*t ripped off and sold like one of the other meth dealers on Breaking Bad.
Only Walter White can make Blue Sky, fools.
Normally, I’m all for Internet piracy. Why? It’s the name of the game. If you put something, don’t expect it won’t be used. And, better yet, you should form your business model around making money off people spreading it. That’s why YouTube has an Embed button, and all sites have one now. It’s why you should be happy when somebody quotes you or uses the quote you found… as long as they link to you.
And, Watermarks are part of that.
Of course, this new report that some fringe IP address-watching company has collected the names of 1,000,000 Canadians who have illegally downloaded or shared torrent files and copyrighted movies and music?
Well, if you really so good, you would have found all 33 million of us.