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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


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Old August 12th, 2005, 08:52 AM   #16
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Parsh
Yeah, it's also illegal to jaywalk, download music, download movies, download software, rip the damn tag off of your mattress. Yet, this is still stuff that thousands upon thousands of people are doing everyday of their lives. Let's be realistic, for every kid you here about being dragged into court over some little stuff, there are thousands more doing the same thing not being bothered. I bet that everyone saying that this is going to get you thrown in jail have risked there own freedom a few times getting that song off of the internet that they like so much. I'm not in here for a moral debate or to debate the law. In my opinion, if this guy used these pictures he would be just fine and nothing will ever come of it. He would win the lottery or get struck by lightning before getting dragged into court over using these pics.
You're overlooking something vital. If he was using the pictures in his own personal production to be viewed only by his immediate friends in his own home you're probably right. While technically illegal, who's going to know? (Though there's at least one case I'm aware of where a couple were showing their wedding video at a party and one of the guests turned out to be a copyright attorney working for the very company that owned the rights to the musc the videographer had used illegally - guess the result? You never know who will see it when you go public!) But the question was posted regarding using these images in a demo reel. That kind of says that it's going to be circulated to lots of people, probably lots of people in the industry. The odds are really good that someone is going to blow the whistle. Even if not, just from a practical standpoint would YOU hire someone to entrust with your intellectual property who has already clearly demonstrated in their job application that they're a scofflaw when it comes to respecting other people's copyright?
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Old August 12th, 2005, 09:01 AM   #17
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Jesse,

If I understand you correctly, it is okay to create a copy of the professional photograph and use it in a demo reel, without actually paying money to acquire it. IN other words, using the picture has REAL, TANGIBLE , MEASURABLE value to you... it is needed to get work in order to make more money... and that's okay. That's what you are saying, right?

So it would be okay for me to make perfect copies of REAL MONEY, to pay my rent. It's not like I'm TAKING any money away from the bank. I'm not breaking into someones account and diminishing their bankroll. All of the govt's money is completely untouched... and besides, I need it to pay my rent. Where's the harm in that? Heck, I even spent good money on the ink, paper and engraving tools...

Jesse, we're not being contrary. This is a board full of people who make their living creating and selling intellectual and artistic properties. Intellectual property IS 'real' property. Patents, copyrights, trademarks, tradenames, licenses... these 'ideas' have REAL, TANGIBLE, MEASURABLE value... they are bought and sold and increase and decrease in value just the same as a piece of paper called stocks and bonds, or tangible real estate.

Theft is theft. Sure, we understand that there might be mitigating circumstances in any crime. And the law takes those into account during the trial and prosecution. But it's the judge/jury that gets to decide if your situation is mitigated by other details, not you.

We understand that you are addressing the 'likelyhood' of getting caught. That's something everyone does when pushing eight miles per hour over the speed limit. Yeah, you're right.... probably everyone here has 'broken the law a little bit'. Nobody's a saint.

But what I object to, is the notion that it's somehow "okay" to take someone else's work and use it for yourself. It's not okay. It's a crime. It's a crime that's especially offensive to those who make their living dealing in IP. So don't expect to get flowers and candy from a board of professionals when you advocate the ease and acceptance of theft of their work.

In fair disclosure... I'm married to a copyright/trademark attorney. She'll say the exact things that Paul Tauger says. (Paul is VERY generous of his time and comments on this board, we're gratefull whenever he jumps in.) I can also state, with CERTAINTY, that companies do read boards just like this one, looking for test cases to prosecute. 'Nuff said.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 09:13 AM   #18
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One more comment. It is possible to USE the copyright images on a 'trial' basis. Many of the Royalty Free sites, offer low-rez or watermarked versions of their pix and footage. You are ENCOURAGED to download and use these while cutting together your footage, to see how it fits in. Show it to the client, or test audience. Get feedback. THEN pay for and download the Hi-Rez or UNwatermarked version for use in the final cut.

These sights really do make it easy to work with them on staying 'legal' with the least ammount of monetary commitment.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 09:18 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Parsh
...
. "Stealing" a picture is something else. I understand that people make there money from these photos, I fully realize this. But, if this person was not planning on buying the photos anyway than the photographer is not losing anything. That person still has their picture after it is "stolen" so nothing is acutally lost. If this person has the money and was planning on buying the pictures and decided to take them for free anyway, than I can see where that would be more of a problem. ...
.
Sorry, the "I only stole it because I couldn't afford to buy it" argument just doesn't cut it. It doesn't justify using pictures and music any more than it justifies "borrowing" a BMW.

Download the pictures for your own pleasure, by all means. Here in Canada the Supreme Court ruled not too long ago that even music DOWNLOADS and the possession of copyright songs that had been illegally posted on file sharing networks didn't violate the law - it was the uploads and the persons doing the posting that violated copyright but not the downloaders. But to actually USE the images and music to one's benefit and gain, such as in a demo reel, crosses a major line in the sand. I'll be the first to admit I haven't personally purchased every single piece of software I've installed on my home PC to familiarize myself with over the years and I've had access through my clients to borrow a wide range of products. But as soon as I began to actually use them productively in my work, I've bought legal copies, even when I already possessed a fully-functional borrowed copy, except when my work was legally covered by a client's site license. We are producers of intellectual property ourselves and it just seems fundamental that the very first rule we must follow to claim any legitimacy to our own work is to scrupulously respect the intellectual and creative rights of others. If we exploit others it gives the world blanket permission to exploit us when it can get away with it and that's just not the sort of world I want to live in.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 04:00 PM   #20
Obstreperous Rex
 
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Jesse, for your own benefit I am locking this thread. Just about everything you're stating while trying to support your position is so far out in left field that it's actually crossed the foul line. Now I can't change the way you think, but for the benefit of others who may not be clear on this topic, I'm going to dismantle your arguments here step by step.

Quote:
I am saying that chances are he will not get in trouble if he did use the pictures.
Sorry, no, actually the chances are very high that he will get into trouble, especially if he resides in the same country as the source of those images. More attention is being paid now to intellectual property theft, and within the USA it's not as difficult to go after IP thieves as it used to be. It's more expensive to pursue them if they're in a different country, but more nations are cooperating together in tracking down and prosecuting IP thieves. Images on sites can be tracked fairly easily these days... often they are electronically watermarked, and putting a pirated image on the front page of a website for the whole world to see is just like waving a big red flag, asking to get busted.

Quote:
Besides, stealing solid real life property like computers and jewelry is one thing. "Stealing" a picture is something else.
No, it is not something else. Stealing is stealing, period. Stealing intellectual property is just as much of a crime as stealing physical property, because whether or not you choose to acknowledge it, intellectual property *is* real property. The theft of intellectual property is just as morally bankrupt as any other kind of theft, too. In your case this is a fundamental misunderstanding of extreme proportion, which to me is quite concerning.

Quote:
I understand that people make there money from these photos, I fully realize this. But, if this person was not planning on buying the photos anyway than the photographer is not losing anything. That person still has their picture after it is "stolen" so nothing is acutally lost.
Dead wrong. You are absolutely, fundamentally incorrect. First of all, stealing something that you weren't planning to buy is just as wrong as stealing something that you were planning to buy. The type of criminal who steals what they weren't planning to buy is known as an opportunist, and unfortunately this is by far the most common type of criminal in the world.

Second, what the victim loses by having their intellectual property copied by someone else is its uniqueness. It has been clearly established by law that the creator of a work of intellectual property has the right to choose who else can have it and who cannot. The owner assigns those rights through a process called licensing. When intellectual property is copied without permission, it loses its uniqueness and therefore its value. So obviously yes, they are indeed losing something.

Quote:
If this person has the money and was planning on buying the pictures and decided to take them for free anyway, than I can see where that would be more of a problem. But, this person was not looking to spend any money.
The last time I checked, stealing something just because you don't feel like paying for it is still very much a crime. You are confusing the intent with the act. The intent does not matter in this case. Only the act matters. Intention may or may not become a factor in the lawsuit or the trial which follows, but that's a defense after the fact, not a justification for it. Sort of like the "fair use" argument, which itself is only a defense in an infringement case, and not a license to infringe.

Quote:
Maybe they are on a tight budget and it was an option of paying rent for a month or buying these stock photos.
Sorry, not a logical argument. You are confusing necessity with desire. These are skewed priorities. Any perceived desire to "buy stock photos" does not equate to the necessity to pay the rent, or feed children, or pay the electric bill.

Quote:
But, they still need this demo to get a business going, to in turn make money.
A person who is too short on money to buy a stock photo should never attempt to start their own business. Starting a business is a risky venture with a very high failure rate. If they can't afford to pay for something simple like stock photos to put on their web site, then they should most definitely not be attempting to start a business. They should instead seek out gainful employment somewhere until they're earned enough to start a business or can qualify for a small business loan from their bank.

Quote:
You never know someone elses circumstances. Maybe everything is black and white in the dvinfo world, but that is not real life.
DV Info Net is what real life should be. Thank you.

Our goal at DV Info Net is to present the best possible advice and solutions to the technical matters of digital media creation and their associated business aspects. To that end, our best possible advice is do not steal other people's work. If there is a grey area in that statement, then that is your problem, and not mine. As the final arbiter of what transpires on this message board, it is a clear-cut case of black and white to me and therefore is presented as such, with absolute permanence and finality.

Quote:
Remember that not everyone has the same "right and wrong" meter as you. Some of us can see that not every situation is the same.
The fact that not everyone has the same "right and wrong" meter is the very reason why we have laws, attorneys, civil courts, and a criminal justice system, which constitutes a "right and wrong" meter for society as a whole. Although it may vary slightly depending on which city, state or nation you're in, that social "right or wrong" meter says that intellectual property theft is still against the law pretty much everywhere you go.

Quote:
There are grey areas in life.
There are no grey areas in this particular matter, though. The theft of intellectual property by the act of uploading it to your own site is very clearly the wrong thing to do. DV Info Net is a practical community of digital media content creators who regularly generate intellectual property, the majority of whom do it professionally and for a living, so you will find absolutely no sympathy for your side of the argument here.

I'm glad I could step into this thread and lock it before some of our more colorful and tempermental members joined in to really let you have it. You certainly got off easy; I just hope you learned something here. Either way, case closed.
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