An Opinion on Copyright.
I’ve spent more time than usual on the blogs and the forums these days, watching a number of youTube video presentations of photographers in action, studio set-ups, and multi-media presentations. As always the quality goes from good to mediocre – but what the majority of these presentations share is an unabashed willingness to use the music of VanHalen, Peter Gabriel, U2, and a host of others.
Folks, if we want our copyrights protected and defended, it starts with us. No ifs, no ands, no buts. I’m the first to admit to being an idealist, so I’m ok with the reality that what I am about to say will be dismissed by many of the readers here. But if you willingly violate another artist’s copyright, you have no business asking for protection of those self-same rights. Strong language, I know. I’m not trying to be a downer here – but if the photographic industry persists in this hypocrisy we’ve already lost.
The thinking that no one will notice, that it doesn’t hurt anyone, that it’s just cheaper this way – that’s the same thinking that will be going on in the mind of the person who “borrows” your images, photoshops out the watermark, and posts it online or uses it in lieu of spending a buck at CheapStockPhoto.com.
Copyright guarantees us the right to say who uses our art and who doesn’t, who pays for it, and who doesn’t. And it guarantees that right to the musicians we keep ripping off. It’s time for a little integrity here, folks. There’s plenty of royalty-free stuff out there, and everyone knows a struggling band or musician who’d be happy to get some airtime – do the right thing and we’ll all win.
I will now climb off my soapbox.