Friday, October 5, 2012

The Ugly Truth

Copyright Infringement….

In response to a situation that has unfortunately, come up several times in the last month for me here at NAP, I'm going to make this a public service announcement.

Folks, I would like to remind EVERYONE out there in the ocean of social media usage...... Snagging/Taking photos that have been shared publicly and cropping out a logo and using without permission from the author is THEFT. Plain and simple.

When a photographer {whether it's ME or any other photographer out there-} who is generous enough to share digital files with you personally or in the form of a sneak-peek on social media... you need to give credit where credit is due. Do not assume it is OK to copy/save/print/crop/alter in any way. That is why there is a share and tag feature on FB. That gives credit and track-back to the author of the photo/photos.

There is a reason why those images shared on-line have been reduced in size and watermarked.... when you attempt to use those images the quality is significantly reduced, resulting in a less than desirable result. It won’t give you a clean crisp photo that says “I care enough to hire a professional”. 

Trust me on this- on every level it is better to have hired the photographer and been granted usage of photos of yourself. (and yes- I did say USAGE- the photographer owns the image of created artwork.) And having obtained permission to use the images protects you- as the end user and the creator of the photos.


Is it legal to download works from peer-to-peer networks and if not, what is the penalty for doing so?

Uploading or downloading works protected by copyright without the authority of the copyright owner is an infringement of the copyright owner's exclusive rights of reproduction and/or distribution. Anyone found to have infringed a copyrighted work may be liable for statutory damages up to $30,000 for each work infringed and, if willful infringement is proven by the copyright owner, that amount may be increased up to $150,000 for each work infringed. In addition, an infringer of a work may also be liable for the attorney's fees incurred by the copyright owner to enforce his or her rights.

Whether or not a particular work is being made available under the authority of the copyright owner is a question of fact. But since any original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium (including a computer file) is protected by federal copyright law upon creation, in the absence of clear information to the contrary, most works may be assumed to be protected by federal copyright law.

Since the files distributed over peer-to-peer networks are primarily copyrighted works, there is a risk of liability for downloading material from these networks. To avoid these risks, there are currently many "authorized" services on the Internet that allow consumers to purchase copyrighted works online, whether music, ebooks, or motion pictures. By purchasing works through authorized services, consumers can avoid the risks of infringement liability and can limit their exposure to other potential risks, e.g., viruses, unexpected material, or spyware.

Let me highlight that for you- It can carry a fine of up to $150,000.00 dollars for EACH work infringed if the author chooses to pursue action!!!!

The moral of the story is … DON’T DO IT.

Thank you- that is all.