it’s so easy to love / it’s so easy to hate / it takes strength to be gentle and kind
Today I came across this article.
I advise you to read it but here’s an excerpt: “The Act contains changes to UK copyright law which permit the commercial exploitation of images where information identifying the owner is missing, so-called “orphan works”, by placing the work into what’s known as “extended collective licensing” schemes. Since most digital images on the internet today are orphans - the metadata is missing or has been stripped by a large organisation - millions of photographs and illustrations are swept into such schemes. For the first time anywhere in the world, the Act will permit the widespread commercial exploitation of unidentified work - the user only needs to perform a “diligent search”. But since this is likely to come up with a blank, they can proceed with impunity. The Act states that a user of a work can act as if they are the owner of the work (which should be you) if they’re given permission to do so by the Secretary of State and are acting as a regulated body.”
We all like to share images, most of the times just for the sake of sharing beautiful art and wanting everybody else to see it too.
Unfortunately some people download an image, remove copyright info, metadata, the artists’ name, apply some color/filters/convert to b&w/whatever and upload again - some reclaming as their own, some just don’t care and insert their own blog url as source. Even with TinEye and google reverse image search (how to use it), sometimes looking for the author can be a daunting task that most people prefer to overlook. And it’s wrong. Not only because of this but also because lots of images become orphans, making it almost impossible to trace its correct source. (Whenever I can I make that search and actually find it - sometimes requires a bit of time of course, but it’s rewarding. Lately I stopped sharing the ones whose author’s info I don’t know and can’t find. No matter how awesome it is and it would fit perfectly on my blog, I just don’t do it.)
Now, I know many of you are going to say ‘but that doesn’t affect me, it’s in the UK. I don’t care.’ I’m not going to argue much, I don’t have patience for it, especially about such an obvious situation. I leave it to you. How would you feel if your work (it doesn’t matter the medium) was ripped off and claimed by someone else? And they’d make a profit out of it? What if other countries do the same?
Artist or not, we all need art.