[clug] Re: A most interesting read, most interesting

Paul Wayper paulway at mabula.net
Mon Jan 1 07:56:10 GMT 2007

Hash: SHA1

Sam Couter wrote:
> Michael Cohen <michael.cohen at netspeed.com.au> wrote:
>> If the news publishers decide to publish low quality amateur photos over
>> professional photos because they are cheap (as he is claiming) that reflects on
>> the quality of the publisher itself and in turn the audience who buy the
>> papers.
> That's the message I took from the article, too. If newspapers don't
> care about image quality and their readers don't care either, this
> photographer has no right to enforce whatever image quality standard he
> feels is appropriate on them.

To me that's totally missing the point of the article.  He concedes the point
that the world doesn't owe him a living.  But the point is that one the one
hand the newspapers are making millions off these images, and either ignoring
(using the images without any acknowledgement or payment) or abusing the
copyright system (by paying a pittance for the ownership of the photo) that
should mean those original photographers get at least something.  On the other
hand the newspapers - and all the other media - whinge and whine when anyone
else steals their content, and loudly decry the need for tougher restrictions
and penalties for this illegal copying.  They can't have it both ways.

The fundamental problem that this article points out is that any protection
for the everyday person in the world of big media and 'big' copyright (and big
patents, I'd add) is a complete fiction.  It's all really about who has the
biggest pockets - to buy the lawyers and the lobby groups, and to surveil the
use of 'their' copyrighted works.  This is exactly the same argument that
performing rights groups around the world (e.g. APRA) use to cajole people
into membership: "we'll make sure that some radio station isn't playing your
song without giving you a cut".  In reality the method they use to decide who
gets the money is ridiculously in favour of the big owners - Michael Jackson
and a few other people get this money (see
http://www.mjcafe.net/the%20legend%20speeches%20&%20faq/b4.htm for example).
They're no better than the mafia.

In calling this 'just capitalism' you're drinking the corporate koolaid,
analogy fully intended.

Have fun,

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