(NFR) Intellectual property

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by windtickler, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. windtickler Member

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    So, I didn't get to chime in on a recent post that for some reason got closed, but I did write a book on IP, so I thought I would make some remarks on that (as opposed to the specific case). Basically everybody who posted about (c) got it right. Copywriting would be the way to protect this particular type of IP (not (TM)). You have this automatically. As an aside, there are some new twists come about as a result of digital media, also covered in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). For instance, if you did take BY's picture, and manipulate it to put your face on it, is is new art????? Probably not if you just paste a face on it, but it might be possible to so change it that no aspect of the original is recognizable. What then? These things are not so cut and dried. In a job interview at Microsoft once I pointed out that as written, that just the technology that lets you cut-and-paste arguably breaks the DMCA, because it covers not just the act of piracy, but any technology that could enable it. There are subtle and deep questions here yet to be resolved.I digress.


    However the main point that did not get made is that having protection, and pursuing your rights, are two different things. The easiest way to protect your rights for photos is to watermark them. Like this:

    http://www.pbase.com/bhymmen/image/51192814

    (go visit, it will drive him nuts figuring why all the hits)

    This is easily done in Photoshop and darn hard to reverse engineer. If you post here, you may want to look into it. (This is one of many reasons lots of magazines still want film - they know they have the only copy.)

    I've had way too much experience regarding things getting stolen. One women went to my girlfriend's website, stole pictures of her art, made cards, and sold them on eBay. Another time, Porter Cable, a much bigger company than the one in the thread, reprinted one of my articles - including the byline - without permission. The first a friend of ours randomly found, and the second, I found only by doing a Google search on my name to replace to find some stuff I lost in the fire. The woman from eBay was a raving bitch and eBay was not helpful in resolution. Porter Cable on the other hand was very nice and paid up.

    I got lucky there. Just recently I did some work for a friend of mine. He said he convinced his wife to hire me by running a Google search of my name and he came up with an entire list of articles and videos of mine. I tuns out that these have been pirated by HGTV and some other big sites from the original sources. So far, I have not been able to pierce there contact structure to even find out who to bitch to through the site.

    Of course as a writer, the best possible scenario is write once, publish many times. I don't mind so much that it's out there, I would just like to be paid for it. So in this case I don't even want them to cease and desist, I want my money!

    Anyway, I just wanted to make that point: having the protection, and pursuing your rights are difficult. This is why you see so many things marked "patent pending:" once you actually patent it somebody can much more easily reverse engineer it, and if they have more money than you, you will never be able to prosecute your case and get your just dues. The world is full of examples of that. If your stuff is online here or somewhere else, it's vulnerable, and they more of it you have, the better chance it's been poached and you don't even know it.

    In fact an interesting thought just occurred to me: the gallery here could be a great FF stock photo site, where people actually came looking for pictures to buy.... that would solve a lot of problems.
  2. ceviche Active Member

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    NFR: Intellectual property

    Jon's situation with HGTV is provocatively interesting. Should he find a way to inform them of their violation of his copyright and they are still non-communicative, that doesn't mean that he hasn't managed to legally gain upon them.

    There is this case of some guy who had a beef with a cell phone company. Apparently, he filed notice of intent to sue by delivering his letter (summons?) to one of the cell company's mall kiosks. When the company failed to respond, the court awarded the guy. The reason the plainiff won was because the defendant's lack of response (or presence) in court was as good as an admission of guilt. It's a common law thing.
  3. windtickler Member

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    It's weird, I have to play it so they don't take it down, but do pay me. Just one more thing on my to do list to track somebody down who should have done something/paid me for something. Anyway, didn't really want to start a whole thread on this, just add my $.02 about the true "value" of IP protection.
  4. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    They may still want film but it's increasingly hard to find shooters who can give to to them. Virtually none of my photographer friends shoot film any more. One is currently selling all his Nikon 35mm gear on eBay and is thrilled to get about 10ยข on the dollar for it. Both Kodak and Nikon have announced that they'll no longer support silver halide technology, so the tools and raw materials for shooting film are all but gone except for the hard-core hobbyist.

    Like some of my shooter friends, my wife regularly works with home and lifestyle magazines (Country Home, Mary Engelbreit, Martha Stewart Living, BH&G, etc.) as a scout and stylist. She hasn't been on a film shoot for several years now.

    Not sure about how well it would work as a stock photo business given the number of clunker shots and the narrow subject focus.

    However, it solved a problem for me just recently. I needed a shot of a bull trout for a client's web site to replace the crappy one they gave me in the first place. I found one on the gallery and was able to negotiate a swap between the member and my non-profit client. They treated the image as a charitable contribution and gave him a tax-deductable receipt based on the fair market value of the image. Win-win-win.

    K
  5. windtickler Member

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    NFR: Intellectual property

    We're getting a little off subject here, not that I mind. The point about film vs digital was made as an example about the vagaries of intellectual property and it's ramifications, especially as it pertains to digital media (which is where the original thread started). As far as the DD debaucle, if either person could've whipped out a negative, the issue would've been easily solved. That's all I was saying. So if a magazine editor gets a slide, then they don't have to worry as much as a JPEG. Can you imagine if the same thing had happened but it had been an article in NWFF? The magazine would've been in a bad spot, and not necessarily because it intentionally stole anything, but just because it printed what an author delivered.

    As far as the film/digital tangent, I shoot more and more film. I just can't wrap my mind around digital. Generally, I shoot both because I don't know necessarily what my market will be, but I find film just so much more versatile. NWFF was film-only until recently, and magazines like Powder and its affiliates are still largely film. I saw Hank deVres shooting with a twin lens Rolliflex, and a Brook Veriwide (http://www.powdermag.com/gallery/alaska-devre/index.html) ! He just, grudgingly, picked up digital. So film is still there for a while for certain markets.

    Plus like your friend has found, film gear is cheap. I just got a 500mm film lens on eBay that was originally $2500 for $300. My whole MF set up - all 40lbs of it - came in the mail for $800 including postage! That's cheaper than my DSLR body.
  6. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    For some folks, the transition from film to digital can be harder than for others. When I bought my first DSLR, I was astounded by how many more options and settings the camera had than the 35mm film cameras I was used to or even the point & shoot digicams I'd had before.

    I can see that if you're a freelance writer/shooter and aren't sure where your stories might land, it'd make sense to shoot both ways.

    The main reason that so many pubs are switching to digital is economic. Since nearly all pubs have a digital workflow, digitizing images is a necessity to get them into Quark, InDesign or whatever software the pubs will ultimately be designed with. Digitizing transparencies at print resolution with a third-party drum scanner or even a high-end desktop scanner is an expensive proposition and takes time. Even after an image has been scanned it frequently needs to be manipulated.

    Accepting digital images cuts out all the cost and time lag associated with scanning. While today's digital cameras still don't have the contrast and tonal resolution of film, they're a lot closer every passing year. By the time a film image has been squeezed into CMYK, any inherant advantages that film had are lost, reducing the considerations to pure economics and efficiency.

    K
  7. windtickler Member

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    NFR: Intellectual property

    I use Canon, so I can pick up either camera and shoot and until I look at it, not even be aware it's my SLR, or DSLR. Most of the "features" are annoyances for me as I usually bracket in aperature priority mode and prefer to do most of the thinking for myself. This day and age though, it's not film or digital, but when your image goes digital. Many of the editors I've talked to still like slides on light boards. They have $100k in scanners and interns and don't seem to mind picking the right images and scanning them. One local photographer I know for Mt. Bike magazine develops all of his own B&W lith images and sends the images themselves in to be scanned. Film is not dead.

    But there is still lots of confusion out there. One editor won't take any film other than ASA 100, because he claims the grain is too noticeable (?!!) but takes digital images. (The point being that a 200, or even 400 ASA slide has more information than a digital capture, but its all moot since magazines usually only blow up a picture a few 100% and then print at 300 DPI anyway - scales and resolutions that make film grain moot. When I shoot for Fine Homebuilding its all 800 ASA, even for cover shots). You can't argue with people, you just need to deliver what they are willing to buy. (Which again is why I shoot some of each.)
  8. windtickler Member

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    If you can't capture the information, no amount of post processing can make this up. The biggest reason I don't like digital is that I lose about 2 stops (which means I can only capture 1/4 the amount of light!). This might not be such a big deal, but I like contrasty shots. You can see in my image gallery of Jason in the canyon how the digital shots totally failed, I couldn't capture either the shadows or the highlights. The other reason I like film is that I like to make the decisions when I take the shot, and not spend my time in Photoshop making up for a less than perfect shot. Photoshop befuddles me. It's a very personal preference against digital. Still, I do scan all of my slides for the day when I learn that program.
  9. Craig Hardt aka Nagasaurus

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    NFR: Intellectual property

    On the topic of watermarking for those who do not have PhotoShop there are applications (some free) available for doing this.

    One example: http://www.picture-shark.com/
  10. alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    It's funny too how when a publisher really, really wants a particular image, all of a sudden their "standards and requirements" go out the window. I've had a bunch of images printed in magazines up to 2-page spread size where they didn't even wait for me to send the raw or tiff files, instead just using the 300dpi jpeg proof I initially provided.
  11. windtickler Member

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    Are you writing for STS? :)
  12. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    Absolutely.!

    The publishing business in general is study in contrasts. They frequently take forever to make up their minds about stories and wait until deadlines are looming before making a decision. Then it's 'right f--king now!' to get it shot and written.

    Their 'standards and requirements' are highly subjective and based in large measure on prior experience: "Because we've ALWAYS done it that way." But when a deadline looms, those standards are quite negotiable.

    All of the large publishers my wife works with take ONLY digital images for their magazines and books as do about half of the retail catalogs. Given the economic sense that a total digital workflow makes, I'm surprised that the small pubs with smaller gross profits aren't quicker to embrace it.

    K
  13. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    No Question about it.

    That hasn't been my experience. I shoot a new Nikon D-200 and an older D-100 as a backup. The files from both are right on the money as far as exposure. In wonder if you're using an older camera or perhaps a setting has been adjusted incorrectly?

    Photoshop's learning curve looks like the face of El Capitan. But I only know one pro who doesn't use it. It's almost replaced the darkroom in professional photography.

    The biggest problem though is that most people (and even some pros) don't bother to calibrate their monitors and then make critical color decisions assuming that every other computer in the world will display that image the exact same way. Which could be the reason your digital images look dark . . . !

    K
  14. windtickler Member

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    My DSLR is calibrated fine, I just can't capture the same dynamic range as my SLR. My friend shoots a D70, and in the same conditions, I have a lot more control over either shadows or highlights.

    If it helps you understand me any better, I'm building a darkroom in my new house. I spent 6 hours printing this image the other day: http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=16251&cat=500&ppuser=1887

    Of course that's B&W. PS is the way to go for color.
  15. P.Dieter Just Another Bubba

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    Windtickler,

    I think that if you look at what was posted in the DD thread about metadata and familiarize yourself with the details of metadata you will come to understand that the proof of original property is very tangible in digital as well.

    Folks need to make sure that there camera has the needed information stored in it.
  16. Davy Active Member

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    wasn't there a short news story last week about a federal judge in Texas that has ruled. for now, that linking to other sites is illegal based on copyright law. I think the article was titled; " The law that could destroy the internet".

    It appeared on CNN's website last week I believe, but the ol memory is foggy. Just wondered if any of you had heard of that thing. I would think the appeals on that will be endless. It involved some racing business linking to racing video belonging to someones elses racing business.
  17. windtickler Member

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    Actually I did, but:

    1) Only if the metadata is posted with the print (which I don't see in these galleries)
    2) MD is editable
    3) MD is probably not going to stop somebody from taking a print in the first place, which is why I suggest watermarking.
    4) As you say, you have to capture it in the first place.

    So it might help you in your fight, if you went to court, but I think it would be just as hard to establish that your MD was "original" as it would be to verify that your copy of the image was, and it wouldn't have stopped the original problem.
  18. Davy Active Member

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    so how do you watermark a digital? Ain't we supposed to keep um dry? I know, I know, but I just moved here from Kentucky yuh know?
  19. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    That's a beautiful image - thanks for sharing.

    In a similar vein, here's a link to the site of only pro I know who still shoots on silver: http://johngkelley.com/ with an old Mamiya C-330 TLR. As close as he gotten to digital was trying to figure out how to use Dreamweaver to build his own site.

    He's been playing with a Holga lately and turning out some striking images.

    K
  20. windtickler Member

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    You want to talk about manual, I stood in the water and counted that exposure (30s) off on my fingers.

    Actually, that is just a scan of the negative. Getting a print from that is a whole other thing. I got a Holga for Christmas from a friend who figures I might as well have something that improves from abuse, considering how hard I am on gear.