Thursday, August 13, 2009

Copyright Laws Make Me Crazy

Pardon me while I rant.

I'm an artist. I create images. Sometimes I would like to be able to create images from other images. Despite the internet, it is STILL really hard to find free domain images. Even the Library of Congress says it isn't responsible for the images it posts. Then tell me why again that people can be arrested for uploading music?

When I started on Squidoo there was the Flickr module. You could put in a search term and it would show any images from Flickr that matched. That lasted for about three years. Recently Squidoo has decided that unless the person uploading the image to Flickr has designated an image as Creative Commons - Commercial Use Allowed it won't show up on the Flickr module. And even more recently Flickr or Squidoo (don't have time to go find it) decided there will be no loading up of images to the module by search term anymore.

But wait, there are more levels of inconvenience! This means I can't even use my OWN art because I'm not about to designate it commercial use allowed because that means somebody can take it and sell it to somebody for whatever amount. Why would I want to do that?? (And by the way, yes, I have been paid for my work and quite well. On the other hand, derivations are okay - see below.)

I know there's nothing stopping me from just plugging in the HTML and loading them up that way but that takes so much more time. I don't want to waste that time when for years I didn't have to.

That is, if I can even get the images. There are public domain images listed on Flickr that the uploaders refuse to list as commercial use. WTF??? They don't want them to be made into collage sheets. It's. Not. Their. Copyright. They make a big holier-than-thou point of not claiming copyright, so why do they care? Don't upload anything then.

This kind of b/s has been driving me crazy since I first got interested in artsy rubber stamps ten years ago and found out that some rubber stamp companies didn't want you using their rubber stamped images on work for resale, even hand stamped. What, you're going to pay $10-12 for a stamp that you're just going to use a few times to send cards to your friends? Are you kidding me?? Then don't make rubber stamps!! Again...WTF?

And the whole no derivation clause of the copyright law. Look, if somebody seems my work and wants to make something like it, go right ahead. Every piece of art is a derivation of something. It's pretty hard to make a pure piece of art uninfluenced by something we've seen at some point in our lives. It's called being inspired.

Oh..and...if an artist sells a painting and then person who bought it sells it for a profit, does the artist get any of that money? No! They retain copyrights but they don't get any of the money. So why the hell do magazines get to say you can't use images in them to make collages out of for resale? It should be that once a magazine is sold, that is the end of their rights to any monetary gain. It's ridiculous!

I just want to make art. But I've just about had it with trying to make money from it.

No comments: