The Copyright Clause and Me

When I started blogging over on Core last month, I wrestled with the issue of copyright infringement. It’s one thing to cite sources and use quotations, another to use images, in my opinion – even though copyright law allows for so-called “Fair Use”. But what happens when “Fair Use” overlaps commerce? The Core website receives income from advertising on their blogs. And that makes me somewhat uncomfortable. For that reason I made a deliberate decision to use WordPress over Google’s Blogger for this blog because the latter has built-in advertising functions. The grey area was looking more like an 80% cool grey.

Well, it appears this issue will now be taken up by the courts. The Guardian reports that the AFP news organization is suing Google over copyright infringement. Why is that important to reBang? Simple. You only have to visit the CGTalk forum, the Polycount model resources section, or a virtual sim like Second Life to see or read about IP violations of the 3D variety. On CGTalk the issue is often whether or not modelers who recreate and sell vehicle designs violate car company IP. On Polycount people routinely create models of recognizable IP (Simpsons, Star Wars figures, etc). And in Second Life people run virtual storefronts selling virtual clothes branded with recognizable real world logos. If I have issues with images, it’s a safe bet I have an issue with some of this as well. So in the near future when all this virtual stuff can be inexpensively made into real product by casual users through “fabbing” technology (and hasn’t Bruce Sterling been beating that drum pretty loudly lately?), IP ownership will become an increasingly slippery issue. So anything and everything regarding intellectual property is of interest to me; including my own decisions in regards to it. So expect fewer images as I make more deliberate decisions in what to appropriate for this blog.