"99% of the photos here are taken by me. If anyone rapes me, and calls them their own, I will find you and etch plagiarist on your forehead with jagged glass. They are digitally signed...."
So says destiny. Those words, I think, are more effective than any "small c in a circle" I've seen. With the internet being one free-for-all medium, nobody seems to respect issues of copyrights (or copylefts?) out here. I find people constantly infringing others' copyrights by efortlessly picking out images and photos reproducing them on their own blog. While the really depraved go on to pass it off as their own work, one need not necessarily plagiarize to indulge in copyright infringement. Reproducing someone's work without permission is an unlawful act in itself.
Today, Google (and Google-image-search) is all it takes. So it has become really easy to go out and find the perfect photograph to accompany your writings or make your point. And most of the time, it doesn't even cross one's mind to give credit where it is due. Let alone go through the formalities of requesting permission from the owner of the photo, most people do not even acknowledge the source. And this blatant copying without acknowledging is what bothers me.
There are two aspects to the whole thing, one is the legalities involved and the other is pure and simple courtesy and appreciating another's creation. I am not a huge fan of the first, although I do believe that the laws exist for a reason. I like and support all things open source. Some can argue here that the hassles of acquiring copyrights, blah, are all impediments in the creative pursuits of blogging, and most times, nobody really cares if you "implant" a random photograph on your blog that was taken by someone else. It's free publicity, say some. Well, it's publicity for them only if you acknowledge them. Even so, it's unsolicited and they may not want it in the first place. Unless something is explicitly stated as being in the public domain, it's not. And ask yourself, would you be allright if your thoughts/writings were reproduced blatantly, without your permission, and without your reference? A photo is not so much different.
Unfortunately, it would be a waste of resources for an internet police to be tracking down every copyright violation that is made out there. And perhaps pointless. So it is left to us to follow the honour code. Be nice. Acknowledge your sources. And if you don't want to get into trouble with the law, ask. Anyone who's taken a basic writing course has been taught that. Just like the final proof-reading after writing, seeking permission and acknowledging the original sources should be considered as part of the job.
And that is why reading satya's post on the Lordi celebratory gig made me happy..although I can't stand that kinda music!!! ;)