Creative Commons Champion, Ed The Editor!

By: James Crichton

Copyright according to Ed the Editor

As an on-line satirist it is hard to keep a straight face, but seriously, folks, we strive to abide by copyright laws. In fact, we champion the ethos of Creative Commons licensing and will aim to deal fairly with creators of multimedia material. It isn't hard to be fair with material that is out in the public domain or exists with some fair and reasonable licensing restrictions, such as an attribution and/or non-commercial license.

To cover attribution, we would send an email and/or place a link back to a "commercially oriented" page on the author's website where they can make money off their own back.

For non-commercial use, we would "pay" with a bio/profile webpage and lots of google-friendly keywords to drive traffic from our website to the creators' commercially-oriented web site.

Anything beyond that, we aren't interested in, or capable, or willing to cow tow to the copyright system. Copyright, whilst important, has become a web of deceit in many cases, and we can't play games, we have the pee to take.

Less seriously, but valid.

Original material we can access on the www without a password should be deemed freely available. We should be allowed to use and reproduce it, as is, without a need to pay up.

Plagiarizing or taking something as our own, without the consent of the copyright holder is different - we arent clever enough to do it ourselves - and we don't condone it either.

Copyright should not be a usable weapon after the fact!

If you don't want a photo to be reproduced on the internet without permission, please publish it behind closed doors or as thumbnails, in the first place.

We say this because most owners of photos never had any commercial use or intentions for photos placed in public galleries. So by definition, no copyright should really exist forbidding an enterprising website owner from simply copying (not altering, or taking it as their own, just copying) that DIY image or creation and placing it on their own website, to use as part of their own material.

Crediting the creator, not themselves, for its existence, would be the correct thing to do in this case, of course. What doesn't strike us as correct is for that DIY-er to claim commercial costs if someone else tries to be creative and in the process makes the DIY-er's snapshot famous.

Fair Use

A copy of a blockbuster movie found on the internet is not original material, so that breaks all copyright law and should not be distributed by anyone - in its entirety. But published snippets should come under Fair use, because those snippets are a crap product, like selling chicken bones without any meat on them.

It shouldn't be a legal requirement either, to pay if you want to post images or video snippets of films or TV shows. That should be deemed Fair Use too of another basically crap, incomplete product. Links back to the copyright holders' full value-for-money offering should be sufficient compensation, especially as highlights tend to wet people's appetites for more of the real thing, creating a new customer for the TV producers.

Unfair world

Of course what should and what does happen are miles apart. People can't be trusted to even post links to MGM, let alone recognise the efforts of some obscure photo-blogger in China. So we acknowledge there is no place for anarchy or the trust system, hence our belief in Creative Commons Licensing.

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