Think Sometimes

Derek Powazek – Rule 1 for Collaborative Media: Ask First

Great post from Derek about how the internet can be both lazy and not smart. And don’t start about parody. Parody is no guarantee of fair use. Laziness shouldn’t be rewarded. Hard work and dedication to craft should be rewarded.

And thus ends the daily grump.

  • Pete Dunn

    I work in live parody. I’m here to tell you, parody excuses a lot. A LOT. But it never, ever, ever excuses using another’s work without permission. You may mock their work or taunt the artist. You may place a person’s characters out of context but you cannot use their lyrics, music, pictures or dialog without permission and compensation.

  • michael

    It’s a good grump.

  • laney

    Funny you should post this today. I was ranting about it yesterday after reading a post here:

    Apparently Fox used Carly Comado’s music for their Sunday night episode of the Homer Simpson parody of Noah Kalina’s Everyday Photos video without permission.

    Noah does post an update at the top of his blog about Fox’s snafu…but still.

  • Deva

    I majored in photoJ for a while and the one thing that they told us to do was to maintain rights over our photos and ensure that we did not use another’s work, image, dialogue, etc, without permission.

    what these guys did was plain stupidity.

  • Deb on the Rocks

    The only absolute is don’t represent the work of others as your own. Property use laws have never, ever worked for intellectual property or creative property, and they are stretched well beyond their limits now. As soon as people stop and think about it beyond their own investment, the mirrors inside the mirrors crumble. Did the photographer have the rights to photograph the image, and to what extent make money from it in which ways and to what extent give it away? Where can it be sampled and how? If a photographer can take a photo of a table to talk about the table, why can’t a videographer take a sample of a photograph of a table? What about the suit the man in a photo was wearing? The exterior of the building? There is no way to define creative property as though it were a beach house or an umbrella.

  • Anna

    [ed. note: off-topic comment deleted.]

  • witchypoo

    While I agree that it is entirely wrong to use someone else’s image without permission, I am not clear about using an image and giving credit. To me, permission means the artist approves of your use of their work.
    Just to give credit may still ruffle the feathers of the originator.

  • blurb

    @witchypoo, it is usually a given that when you use someone else’s work, you credit that work. When you read album credits or movie credits, a major portion of those can contain credits to other works. It’s also smart to cover your ass by getting permission and giving credit.

    @Deb on the Rocks, you can make those claims, but if you get sued or get a DCMA takedown, those are the breaks. It’s not as abstract as you make it out to be. Generally, photo releases are signed by subjects that grant the photographer the right to use or sell the image as they see fit. Licensing agreements generally don’t exist for clothing, so your suit issue is moot. Building exteriors are likely no big whoop unless a logo is shown. The biggest issue is how many people see a derivative work? If three people see it that is less of a big deal than if thousands or hundreds of thousands see it. Which is why movie producers go through the trouble of clearing music, film clips and TV shows they use in a new movie. A photographer can certainly take a sample of the photograph of a table, but the original photographer should be contacted, permission sought and credited. That’s how the music biz has worked for 20 years (you can argue it’s broken, but sampling and clearing tracks still goes on, as it should). I agree that intellectual property rights need to be re-evaluated, but if somebody stole something you made and used it in a money-making venture without your permission or without giving you credit, certainly that would upset you?

  • Jady

    Just wanted to add a little of awesome parody. Maybe you’ve seen i, Jon?

    It kinda makes me laugh uncontrolably.

  • Omar Fernandez

    I agree with the author… people just don’t respect and I find it very disturbing how people don’t think about what they are doing and how it might affect others…

  • witchypoo

    Jon, I’m sorry, I wasn’t very clear with my original comment. I would always give credit and a link. I am reluctant to use an image, however, without the permission of the artist. My site may be controversial to some, so permission is sought first. Not everyone wants to be associated with my particular brand. I had asked you for permission to use one of your images for my Christmas banner, and since I didn’t hear back, I just scanned a homemade card after a bit of a site rework. The image I wanted to use of yours would have fit very nicely in the original theme.

  • Jady

    I’m sitting at work right now, emailing historical societies for permissions and high-def copies of their images.

    It may not seem like a big deal to some, but I fully believe in credit and permission BEFORE the fact. Working at my former job in a bookstore, people constantly asked to use a copier, and of course, we couldn’t let them. People would get so irate at the idea that they couldn’t just make copies and use them as they wished.

    But now I make my living protecting other people’s work and making sure they get full credit for every single usage. They deserve the credit, and the choice to NOT let their work be used. I mean, why do you think the writer’s strike started in the first place?

  • MaddenWidow

    Thank you! Thank you so much for writing that. I deal with depression and I have anxiety issues. It’s so easy for me to ignore my husband when I’m dealing with one of my bad spells. Reading this really just reminds me that it’s not easy for the other half as well, and I have a feeling that he probably feels the same way you do. I need to work on being more conscious of my husband and I may print a copy off for when I need to remind myself.

  • Deb on the Rocks

    Thanks for responding to my comment. I was actually speaking theoretically, not legally, because I really wonder how we can expect that some frozen point in time when creative laws were set really can possibly be meant to hold up now. Actually those laws work against photographers, who legally are bound to arcane release laws that most other creators are not bound to. It just doesn’t work, and it doesn’t hold up to logic. I actually do support myself on several types of creative work, and if I ever am not happy with the deal I make on first publish, I don’t release the project. I don’t want someone to say it is their work, but if it quoted, sampled, reconstructed, whatever, it not worth worrying about because it’s going to be increasingly impossible to enforce reprint rights unless we reinvent the system. I think it’s fantastic you are inspiring discussion on this–we have to think about it.

  • kendra!

    This is a courageous piece, Jon. I especially appreciated the part about jerkiness, which, ironically, has nothing to do with therapy, but rather about working through those parts of us that can’t be medicated to fully expunge. Life and its relationships require work to net us the good stuff — and part of realizing the good stuff, in my experience, IS the act of working for it.

    I married a therapist and let me tell you — he would be really satisfied to have you as a patient. People always ask him what kind of advice he gives his patients. Those people have no idea what the function of talk therapy is. If it was all about advice-dolling, we could all just sit on the 1-900 lines and not have to leave our homes. Therapy is work, as is living with a therapist (as no one wants to make the mail carrier work on his day off, n’ah mean?). But it’s worth it. I hear ya barkin’.

  • kendra!

    I realize I totally responded to the wrong post, but I know you know which one I was responding to, and if I were not 9 mos. pregnant with a dented pumpkin for a brain, I’d expect no mercies except those of one human to another.

  • Mike Drips

    Yet another non-event for the inbred blogsphere members that lack genuine lives to fester over.

    I think that discussing whether or not to serve eggnog at one’s family holiday gathering is of much greater importance to the general populance.

    One A-list female blogger told me that this incident was important to “the open media web and women in tech”. Huh?

    The only conclusion I have come to in reading multiple endlessly boring stories about this incident is to never hire Lane Hartwell as a photographer.

  • blurb

    @Mike Drips, I’m wondering if someone like you would ever be in a position to hire anybody? And who would want to work with you if you were?

    Also, not such a nice comment for somebody in CRM. So far your relationship with this post is not so good. 😉