The terrorist attacks in Paris hit me, and perhaps all of us, pretty hard. Just as the whole world empathized with New York and America during 911, the world is with Paris and France now. While these bombings were “over there,” it feels like this could have happened anywhere.
I’m grateful not to have any employees traveling in France currently. But we have friends and customers in France and all over Europe (and the world), and I think we are all likely to have a collective sense of vulnerability. The world is experiencing turmoil - Kenya, Baghdad, Syria - so we must recognize that our thoughts go out tall all of those living in fear. I expect that world-wide security concerns are going to take priority over individual rights. Travel is likely to become more difficult than it already is. Additional security may make commerce more difficult.
While the attacks are causing the disruption that the terrorists desired, the irony is that it will only pull together the whole world to aggressively go after and root out the extremists.
During 911, after the initial shock, people decided that the best revenge was not letting the attacks debilitate our economy and our lives. “Business as usual” may not be the most inspiring rallying cry, but I think there’s a lot to be said for determination and a stubborn rejection of what the extremists are trying to do.
We’ll all have different reactions to the attacks, and may be able to help each other process our way through. I hope it is OK to bring it to the forefront, not to ignore or suppress it. Meanwhile, I plan to reach out to European friends to give a few words of support.
There are a lot of crazies out there running for president, “a lot” meaning, as of today, 1030 on the Federal Election Commission list. You can include me in that group (18 alphabetical spots above Hilary, 35 below Jeb).
When I heard that anyone can register to run for president, I figured why not? And why not run on my personal obsession, namely copyright protection. That’s the only plank in my party’s platform. Well, actually, I don’t have a party, at least not a political one. Don’t talk to me about health care, foreign policy, or climate change, I’m a one-issue guy. You could say copyright trumps all other topics.
The campaign is a big joke, but copyright infringement is a serious problem. My hope is to bring a little more attention to the issue, which affects artists, companies and employees all over the world. Thanks to Art World News for their over-generous coverage, and to people with nothing better to do than check out the campaign’s Facebook page.
So far no debates have been scheduled against other officially registered candidates like Limberbutt McCubbins and Sydneys Voluptuous Buttocks. No matter who you vote for in the presidential election, always vote for copyright protection!
Recently there was a lot of panic and hysteria surrounding purported “Orphan Works” legislation.
Orphan works are those whose copyright parents, i.e. owners, can’t be located, and therefore receive something of a copyright “pass” in potential penalties. It turns out that the fears were overblown in several respects, as described in an Art Copyright Coalition sponsored white paper by Joshua Kaufman.
Under the Copyright Office’s current report (which is not legislation), a user must conduct a “diligent search” to find the copyright owner. This requirement, I believe, will go a long way to protect the art licensing & publishing industry. Not only are our artists and artworks easily searchable and identifiable by name or title, it is easy to search by the actual image.* There is no excuse for “Oh I couldn’t find the copyright owner,” or, as we hear so often, “Oh, I didn’t know it was under copyright.”
On top of that, copyright remedies remain in place for commercial uses of artistic works on any useful article. The proposed changes regarding Orphan Works specifically exclude art works incorporated into useful commercial products.
Fortunately for our industry, the Art Copyright Coalition is keeping a watchful eye on all potential legislation regarding copyrights and will meet with congressmen/women who will be framing any legislation.
*Go to google search, click on images, then click on the camera icon. You can put in an image url (not page url), or upload an image. It’s not searching the words associated with the image, it’s searching the image data itself. Similar reverse search functions can be found at Tineye.com