Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Copyrights and "Sharing"

For years, I've seen plenty of people who believe that digital files are theirs to do with as they please.  Many of these files have been photos, some of which were my own, but they also include software, music, and videos made by professionals.

It isn't just an individual or group of individuals who feel entitled to take--Facebook has been consistently holding onto their rights of your uploads.  If you agree to any private network's terms, you usually give up all rights that would normally be yours in a free society.  Free speech doesn't necessarily exist, but people seem to think that because they live in a country which gives them rights, so should a social network that may not exist in that country.

People were upset that Facebook was using their photos in advertisements.  Perhaps, these same people were ripping off photographers and musicians, and had no regrets but felt that they were being used when their photos showed up in advertisements.

I saw a bit about Apple being on trial for using DRM that prevented "sharing", that the DRM was illegal.  If it prevents sharing music or music videos--an illegitimate act--how could it be illegal?  Apple needed such DRM to make agreements with the various music companies.  Was it not important to protect the companies from people who were not paying for music?

Do I think that the music companies were charging too much?  Yes.  Do I think that their promises of cheap CD prices were mysteriously forgotten once the startup of the technology was over and CDs were commonplace?  Yes.  Do I think that the RIAA was a group of out of contact with reality?  Yes.

Do I think that things would be the same right now if Apple didn't apply DRM to satisfy the music companies?  Yes.  The world somehow benefited from the situation, even if it didn't seem that way.  Now, music is DRM free in general and Blu-Ray discs (and DVD to a certain extent) are the real DRM target.

For every person who has taken one of my photos without permission, I'd love to have a digital method to make them pay for it or have it disintegrate.  The owner of the digital files should be in charge, not the people who want them.

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