We’re here again. The censorship card is at the top of the deck, as the internet’s freedom to steal content faces one of its stiffest challenges yet. Just from the collection of manipulative voices spouting highly-charged phrases like “link tax” and “censorship machines”, we know there’s a copyright-related bill in motion. That bill, is the revised European Union Copyright Directive, and the reaction it’s whipped up is almost surreal in its level of distortion.
Whilst I’m discussing the new Directive in this post, I really want to send out a general counter-protest against the cyber giants’ relentless playing of a censorship card, every time the internet’s freedom to steal comes under threat. It happened with SOPA, it happened with Net Neutrality. And it’ll keep happening as long as we’re stupid enough to accept that policing Silicon Valley’s behaviour somehow equates to censorship. Continue reading The Truth About “Link Tax” and “Censorship Machines”
A while back, I wrote a post called Zero Guy
, which looked at a seemingly growing phenomenon of Twitter users unfollowing their entire friend list. I’d always assumed this was a deliberate action. But as I discovered in the course of the past week, it may not be the account holders who are unfollowing literally ALL of their friends. It may in fact be Twitter. There’s a suggestion that this might all be part of a ransom racket which has heavily damaged the accounts and public image of some users who won’t ‘pay up’…
Continue reading Are Twitter’s ‘Locked Accounts’ a Ransom Racket?
I must admit, when I heard last autumn that Twitter was experimenting with a higher character limit for tweets, my first thought was: “Probably won’t happen”. This was, however, quickly followed by a second thought of: “If it does happen, the site had better brace itself for the DMCA notices”. Now it looks fairly likely that the tweet character limit will be increased, that nagging issue of copyright infringement still looks to be one of the biggest talking points for the long term. But will this be an entirely negative debate, or could a higher character limit actually create better conditions for copyright holders in some cases? Continue reading How Will a Higher Tweet Character Limit Affect Copyright Infringement on Twitter?
An eye-catching picture at the head of a blog post. It’s the done thing. But where do these pictures come from? Well, like pretty much everything else on the Internet, some are originals, created by the author or an accomplice, whilst others are simply copies of pre-existing online content. Sometimes the copies are re-posted with the creator’s permission, and sometimes they’re just stolen. This image is an original, taken by the author of the post, but would you have known or cared if it wasn’t? Continue reading Originals vs Copies – The “Salad Tastes Good” Joke
If you’re a writer, but you don’t generally produce any images, you’re lucky. You may not think so, but in broad terms the Internet has your back. But if you produce images and don’t generally write, you’re in an entirely different situation. Unlike writers, you will receive little or no respect from the Internet, and that disrespect starts right at the top, with huge powers such as Google and the social media sites, who tacitly encourage what’s quaintly referred to as the “sharing” of other parties’ image matter. Continue reading Photographers: Don’t Blame The Content Thief
[UPDATE: Please note that this post is no longer valid. Due to Flickr’s Favorites leak, which serves favorited images to scrapers and search engines regardless of your settings, there’s now nothing you can do to stop your images falling prey to scrapers, with Flickr’s blessing.]
A scraper is an Internet thief who uses automated routines to steal unthinkable quantities of creative work, and the huge photo site Flickr is a scraper’s paradise. Not only does Flickr virtually guarantee scrapers usable, categorised and vetted content – it even gives them an official API tool which makes it childishly simple for them to gather it up and re-post it. Continue reading How to Stop Content Theft on Flickr