Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blogger Beware: Copyright

YIKES!! =:-0  <---click here

I am so guilty, guilty, guilty!  I love putting funny pictures on my blog.  But I apparently, innocently, have possibly broken copyright law.  But as they say, ignorance of the law is no defense.  I will probably be starting the odious job of sorting through over 400 posts to make sure I'm not a scofflaw.  (Although the thought of three hots and a cot ... nah, won't go there!)  

We learned a great deal about copyright in library school.  I should have known better.  One of the best videos we watched in class was this one

It's so easy to assume that pictures found on Google are free for the taking.  I mean, practically every web page you read has a "share" button on it.  Maybe copyright law is losing its sharp edges in this day of the wide distribution of information, data and images.  I know the law is constantly changing as the formats with which we access information change on a daily basis.  I wonder what the powers-that-be are working on for tomorrow.  Only 20 years ago, my cell phone was the size (and weight) of a brick.  I remember the first time I looked at AOL (remember that awesome beeeee ---- brrrrrr ----- beeee ksssssh?)  I felt like I was looking at an alien from the planet Smorgashboroghagip.

Think about how much our lives have changed recently:  As early as 20 years ago, I never heard the term "Third Culture Kid".  Getting together with my classmates from all the schools I attended was just a dream.  Now we speak daily on a Facebook page.  Meetups in real life (IRL in textspeak!  See I can talk the talk!) happen all the time.  The closest group of girlfriends that I have was formed on AOL's MomsOnline.  We have been together over 15 years now, both IRL and IVL (I made that one up ... in virtual life).  And look how FAST things change:  I remember the wonderment that I had when (1) we got our first color TV, and (2) it had a REMOTE CONTROL!!  Wow!  The Jetsons' world can't be too far off!  We were the last folks on the block to have a microwave.  Now having a computer is commonplace (tell that to my mom who is still without) and people look at you funny when you say "I don't have e-mail".  Believe me: happens every day.

I guess my point is, if anyone notices that I have snagged and used an image of theirs, it was completely unintentional.  A friend of mine who is a photographer slapped me on the wrist when I shared one of her photos of my family, and I corrected that immediately.  I am a victim of the times.  But I suppose it's like seeing an armored truck driving along with money spilling out of the back.  I could just run along picking it up and think, "Wow!  Free money!" knowing full well that it's not mine, never was, never will be.  Photos can be someone's hard-earned livelihood, their art, their property.  And that's not free!

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