Thursday, 18 February 2010

Copyright or Copy, All Right?...

I know I haven't been around much, not even doing a lot of scrapping, so I apologyse, but my health has not been the best this past week and I have been wrestling with new kind of pain (or extreme discomfort, as the UK's welfare reviewists like to call it), which makes it impossible to do any kind of anything.

This post today was inspired by a wonderful lady I came across whilst browsing someone else's Scrapblogs and the decided to follow her WordPress blog.
Her name is Leslie Sigal Javorek, but some of you may have come across her as IconDoIt, as she gives out freebies which make beautiful embellishments for scrapping.
This morning one of the first things I got in my inbox was her post about the Copyright thing and this is an issue which has been in my mind a lot lately.
I suggest you read her post, to understand better what I'm talking about (she is a delight to read too).
In there she talks about how Copyrights can be restricting creativity, how many wonderful pieces have spanned of other authors,and particularly of Don Quixote de la Mancha, Miguel d Cervantes' great work.
This touched me especially because my father would quote Cervantes a lot in educating us. She also posted this video by Nina Paley, one of the artist at the Question , the site yo go to get more knowledgeable about the subject.

I have mixed feelings on this copyright thing, having been victim of stolen ID which I may have never know if it wasn't for a few friends of mine up north (in the UK) who talked to someone online who was using my photos as herself....poor girl did not know how much I traveled around...but there is also the thing I'm most passionate about, regarding music.
I was a performer for 33 years and have seen so much of it, is scary.
Not even going into the depths of piracy or plagiarism, I m constantly having to show my daughter original versions of songs by Stevie Wonder, Chaka Kan or other less acknowledge (and sometimes less talented) are putting out there without not even a simple mention of the artist...
In the Uk we had a few years ago a bunch of kids going around with Eternal Flame *by Atomic Kitten* did these kids ever knew about Siouxie and the Bangles? me thinks not,unfortunately.
I went to my daughter;s school to teach the kids how "As" was written by Stevie Wonder and NOT by Mary J.Blige, and so on.

And then we come to the part that maybe more familiar to the scrapping community, and this is why this subject is such a difficult one for me
I love digital has become a pain relief therapy and a creative outlet .
I don't get much around the net, but enough to be able to say that very, very few people read the TOU, and of those who do, very few really acknowledge the artist... even the designers themselves: I am amazed as how many times I got the same cluster frame in different designers kits, which I thought was the marvelous creation of one person but it isn't. And try figure out who first created it?
Well, their designers themselves only acknowledge the name of the people they bought things from in a very, very small print, and don't really say who made what.....
I know some people may think scrapbooking a minor art....if an art at all, but this is what I know about these days,and what makes me reluctant to have an opinion in which I can passionate about in the Copyright thing...

I'm going to leave this in here, as my mind doesn't go very far in the mornings, but there is something I have been thinking a lot about and is related to this issue too, which is the attitude of the designers and how much can this influence the way you (one) respects their work, and I really, really want to elaborate about it.

And as I cannot finish this post without a LO, here is something I made with one of my most loved freebie girl: Rosemarie Pixel, of Pixel Scrapbooking. This template plus kit was given as a freebie by Rosemarie a couple of weeks ago, as she is following the 365 Project. I only changed color I think, in a couple of elements and added something *derivating* of her elements :)
This was our last outing, to a dear Brazilian friend of mine's house. She is married to a marvelous Finnish International (like he likes to describe himself) and that day made a Feijoada, our typical Brazilian dish of rice and stewed black beans.
Have a great day!

For the next one I used a kit from one of my newest finds, Julie Marie Designs, a kit she started as a freebie, then made a full kit which I HAD to go back to buy,luckily it was on one of those sale days, plus a coupon she wonderfully sent me for 30% discount after I bought from her on a U$1 dollar sale at GottaPixel.


Barner said...

One simple reply:
Picasso famously said:
"Bad artists copy, good artists steal." Open to interpretation. Norbert

Anonymous said...

As a writer I've experienced both those who post my work on the internet with a credit back to me (which I always find delightful and decent, too)and those who copy it with no mention of where they got it. Google Alerts with the proper wording help me find these people if necessary, but I haven't yet felt "plagerised enough" to make any kind of fuss. Most artists who have any sense of pride won't plagerize, but others don't care how they hit the spotlight- if it means stealing form another artist, so be it. This was a very thought-provoking post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for continuing the conversation on your blog - I think that just waking up people's mind to the subject, getting them to think twice, is where real education starts.

Like Patricia, I feel honored when someone takes inspiration from my work and attribution is the greatest "Thank You". If they end up profiting from work I gave away, they are in fact earning fees as a result of their marketing skills and business savvy, as much if not more than on the back of my work and I should take a lesson from that. But I do think that it's still unethical not to give the original source proper credit. And as an honest capitalist, I value ethics more highly than profit.

Anonymous said...

BTW, Don't know if this is due to some conflict with Firefox or something else but thought I'd pass along this heads-up: In the comments section only of your posts, the only way I could read the comments were to drag my mouse through the text (black text on black background). If this is not as intended you might want to check it out.

MrsPeel said...

Thanks everyone for the input...I'm very tired now, so I ll come tomorrow with a fresher mind to continue the convo.
Leslie: yes, I noticed the comments thing, I ll sort that out tomorrow too :) Thanks for leting me know...

Karl Fogel said...

Very glad you liked Nina Paley's video!

One of the most destructive myths about copyright is that it somehow protects from plagiarism, and therefore that reforming or diminishing copyright restrictions would increase plagiarism.

Copyright is a monopoly on copying, and that's all. It's not about attribution -- that is, it's not about theft of credit or identity. Someone who claims credit for your work isn't going to be stopped by copyright anyway, because if they're claiming they're the author then they're claiming they have the copyright too.

Notice how in the open source software world, where code circulates freely under basically free copyright licenses, there is no plagiarism problem. In general, the more your work circulates freely on the Net, the harder it is for anyone else to plagiarize you, because they have to compete with all those easily findable, properly attributed copies out there. Their lie would be quickly exposed.

Unfortunately, one of the favorite tactics of the copyright lobby is to confuse copying with plagiarism, pretending one is the other. This tactic is understandable, since misattribution is a much greater moral offense in the public's than properly-attributed-but-unauthorized copying would be, but it's still a bogus equation. A classic example of the tactic can be read about at .

IMHO, if someone passes of your art as their own, or uses your art as part of theirs and fails to give proper credit, then you are not dealing with a copyright reformer or a well-behaved remix artist -- you are simply dealing with a fraud, and should feel free to treat them accordingly. But please let's not taint the noble cause of copyright reform with the unrelated behavior of plagiarism :-).

By the way, I also have the black-on-black text problem in the comments area. Hope you can get it fixed soon.

MrsPeel said...

I m trying to fix the comment color thing....just testing

MrsPeel said...

dunno, can't find the way to fix it, there is no setting for the comments text color? Anyway: Karl, thanks so much, it is easier to understand the way you put it, I ll have a better read through...what I was trying to say is that I'm confused by laws, especially the copyright ones...and I was more critisizing the people who create laws which cut your creativity in half even though you payed for their stuff, and then they dont do what they preach...I know my writing may be confusing even more, sometimes I start writing one thing and in the end I read and I have deviated into something completely different...the thing about being medicated :( Annemarie (MgGrad) just found another law that made me cringe: the one where they want to take away our right to link.......wthell?
Thanks so much everyone,