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More on copyright

7 Mar

Discussions, discussions, discussions…

One of my favorite blogs–even if plenty of the commentary and more than a little of the posts are beyond my pay rate–is Popehat. I found it not that long ago via Dear Author, and have since enjoyed reading and even (though very rarely) commenting there.

There are a variety of points of view and interests reflected in the blog, as befits any group blog, but there is quite a bit of emphasis on freedom of speech, its challenges and its defense. It’s the posts on this topic that I enjoy the most, particularly because I love being witness to people who do put their principles before their likes/dislikes. Ken White in particular is very good about defending the law rather than siding with entities or people he may or may not have a beef with–to wit: Eat Less Totalitarianism.

The reason I’m mentioning all this here is because a more recent post–or rather, where the comment thread has wandered off to. The post gives some background about Prenda Law, a thuggish law firm (or shop) which seems to act much as the proverbial ambulance chaser for copyright holders. And in the best tradition of such fine representatives of the legal profession, they have mucked things up in fairly entertaining ways.

What made the whole bit all the more interesting to me is the conversation veering towards copyright law, infringement, piracy and the like. (Something those who have read the blog may have noticed I’m interested in.)

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Just because you wish it…

13 Jan

and just because you believe “it’s just fair,” it doesn’t mean it’s legal.

Yesterday, Kell Smurthwaite of Kincavel Krosses commented on my latest post on copyright, explaining her position (which boils down to, “why should others make money off my hard work” and “if I give them a gift, they should do with it what I tell them to do and no more”), and asking how I would like it, were it my designs that others used to profit from¹.

I know there are many crafters and artists who feel exactly the same as Ms Smurthwaite does–that was the point of the post.

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I don’t think you can do that…

12 Jan

I am not (by any means!) an expert on the limitations of copyright, but I’ve read a bit on the topic (see here, for example).

I’m always a bit puzzled by people’s attempts to direct what others can do when offering free patterns or charts. For example, Kincavel Krosses offers a free chart for a cross stitch project, with the following “permissions“:

  • This design is copyright to Kell Smurthwaite and Kincavel Krosses
  • You may use, copy and/or share this design, and you may change it to your liking for your own use
  • You may not sell this design or use it to make up kits
  • You may sell the finished piece for charity, but you may not sell it commercially

I have no quarrel with the first three–not only do they make sense but fall well within what I understand of copyright law: you can offer a chart or pattern, or even images, for use without a fee, yet you retain copyright of said pattern/image.

The last one, though? Not so much.

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Fall off the face of the earth, you old hag!

1 Oct

I admit to being old–particularly when compared to the eternal youth of a recent college graduate embarking on a first job–but I confess that even my usual lack of vanity winced a bit at the “hag” moniker.

Then again, if old inevitably means ugly, and if not giving in to temper tantrums makes me mean, then I guess that hag would apply.

What I’m going on about?

Ah, little grasshoppers, gather around and listen to a story.

(Be Ye Warned, all those who do continue reading: it’s longish, and quite likely not very interesting, as pettiness rarely is)

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A tale of the stupid: The Oatmeal, FunnyJunk and Charles Carreon (via Dear Author)

18 Jun
Reposted in toto with full permission from Dear Author (because I really can’t improve on it):

~ ~ * ~ ~

The Oatmeal is a satiric cartoon site run by Matthew Inman. About a year ago, he noticed that his content was being uploaded without attribution to a site called “The FunnJunk.” The FunnyJunk is a site that contains user generated content. This means that account holders post things that they like from all over the internet. Maybe a pre-Pinterest sort of site. The Oatmeal writes to the FunnyJunk requesting that the information be removed.

FunnyJunk took down the comics but proceeded to create a mirror image of The Oatmeal’s website. The Oatmeal responded by asking his readers what to do.

The FunnyJunk responded with a call to action to its own users asking them to inundate The Oatmeal’s inbox and facebook page. The FJ’s users responded in droves using their arsenal of retorts such as gay slurs and incoherently misspelled sentences to insult The Oatmeal and his biological predecessors for having the gall to procreate and, I guess, learn how to spell and draw.

According to Ars Technica, after the furor died down, the FJ admin acted somewhat responsibly, possibly realizing that its site could be in jeopardy due to all the copyrighted material illegally reposted there. Continue reading

So. On that plagiarism, apology, forgiveness thing? I’m more of a cynic than I thought.

23 May

For those kids who didn’t bother to read the meta page: many posts in this blog are reposted from Karen Scott’s blog. Deal with it. This particular entry was originally posted on May 22nd 2012 at 8:00 am London time.

Yes, I’m sure many here are tired of the topic, particularly since it seems to crop up regularly, all over the place.

Me, I’m one of those who believes that talking about it, keeping the perpetrators and their victims clearly separated, is the only way to reduce the instances of plagiarism. (Like racism, there are some people who don’t realize what it is–or that they are indulging in it¹–until someone points it out to them.)

But, onwards with today’s post.

On May 21st 2012, Jill Sorenson commented, over at Karen’s,  on my latest post on Kristi Diehm, plagiarist

My own reply to Ms Sorenson took me back to RRRJessica’s awesome post on the scandal (seriously, go and read the whole thing; it’s wonderful and full of win. The part about moral autonomy and women? Win, I tell you).

Upon re-reading the post, my mind, that horrible, suspicious, cynical fiend, fixated on the following bits: Continue reading

No, plagiarism doesn’t just “happen”

22 May

Back when the shitstorm surrounding Kristi Diehm, plagiarist, aka The Story Siren¹, broke out, I posted about apologies, and how I think it’s useless to expect–or indeed to receive–an apology from a plagiarist. Like many other offenders, said apologies tend to be of the “fuck, I’m sorry I got caught” variety. Or, much worse, they include so many excuses, explanations, rationalizations and justifications that in the end, to many an uncritical follower/fan, they read like a justification to hate on the victims of the plagiarist.

Well, that queen of chutzpah, Kristi Diehm, is at it again. The short hand for those who don’t go to the SmartBitches: apparently this plagiarist, who has still to apologize properly (as in, without excuses) to her victims, and who has failed to address her fans outright hounding of said victims, has decided to organize a week long event on plagiarism, designed to ‘educate herself’ (yeah, because that very pointed post she wrote on the topic, after allegedly being plagiarized herself, shows that she reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelly didn’t know what the fuck she was doing when she stole Beautifully Invisible and Grit and Glamour. Right.) Continue reading