After SOPA… ACTA… and other copyright issues

So, following my post about SOPA but obviously in no way because of it, SOPA has been shelved… for now. And almost immediately we are presented with ACTA. If at first you don’t succeed, simply re-package and re-present until the dissenters are too tired and confused to retaliate. The Anti-Copyright Theft Act is potentially even more damaging to Internet freedom than SOPA, and I still don’t download illegal stuff!

At the same time, Twitter has come out with a statement to the effect that it will censor tweets in certain countries (read, any country as it feels the need, takes the pressure). This is a sad thing, considering how much the microblogging site has had to do with recent democratic upheavals around the world. There’s currently a petition site collecting names against this development… let’s see how it goes. I’ve signed, of course.

As a photographer, I was very drawn to this bunch of utter bollocks too…

It’s presented best in Amateur Photographer Magazine. The basic premise is that [edited for clarity and to avoid being sued for libel] the chairman of the copyright tribunal at the Intellectual Property Office [/edit] judge has affirmed that one photograph of a red London bus set against an otherwise monochrome scene of the Houses of Parliament is the same in terms of copyright as another photograph of a red London bus set against an otherwise monochrome scene of the Houses of Parliament. The actual pictures couldn’t in fact look less alike given the content. If this case stands, and I can’t see how it can, then any photograph may be seen to infringe the copyright of another ostensibly similar one.

So… here’s a picture I took yesterday. Not brilliant, but given the low winter light and the photographer, I’m quite happy with it. A Goldfinch, flying directly towards the camera. But, oh dear! Checking on the Internet, there appear to be many photographs of goldfinches… several of them flying towards a camera… and some of them for sale. If I were to offer my own, clearly more recent, print up for purchase or licence, would I / should I expect a call from a bunch of ex-ambulance-chasing solicitors?

Perhaps I should look to a job in the judiciary… couldn’t do any worse. lol

 

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