Sunday, July 13, 2008

Copyright Purges (Saturn in Virgo again!)

The following is yet another reflection of Saturn in Virgo : Saturn = restriction, laws, regulations. Virgo = precision, order, attention to detail, striving for perfection.

There's a purge going on at YouTube to take down any videos which infringe copyright laws. This may have been proceeding for some time, but I wasn't aware of it. It apparently is a consequence of a $1billion lawsuit by Viacom Inc. accusing Google Inc's YouTube of enabling copyright infringement. There could well be some dead links or blank spaces in my archived posts where I used YouTube videos which have since been purged. Photobucket, too, now has copyright detection on their upload tool.

In past months I've used videos, some of my own, some from YouTube, to illustrate something astrological, or to show how the work of a particular artist fitted their astrological makeup. I do believe I used them under what's called "Fair Use" or transformative use - to illustrate a point, or as educational tools, but terms of Fair Use are not crystal clear. I make no money from my blog, display no advertisement of any kind, offer no services and seek no donations. My blog, to me, is a kind of scrapbook, from which I derive much pleasure, and hope that a passing visitor might occasionally find something of interest too.

Anyway, in view of the current climate, the only video compilations I shall make in future, if any, will contain photographs by my husband or myself and music which is in the public domain.

I can't help but feel a little sad about such tight restrictions. I appreciate, of course, the need for copyright laws (Saturn). The banning of use of very short clips, though, typically 3 or 4 minutes, which do little but help the flow of creativity around the internet, and out into the real world, seems to me to be nitpicking in the extreme (Virgo). Short clips containing a music track or a few minutes from a movie or show would seem to me to be acting as an advertisement of the creator's skill, rather than doing them any harm, as long as the creator/artist is credited, of course, that goes without saying.

But what do I know?

There's a clear explanation, "Copyright Explained" at Smashing Magazine, some of the comments bring up additional points, for instance pointing out that copyright laws vary from medium to medium and country to country.

My blog from now on is likely to be a desert of text then, with no eye candy unless the product of camera or paintbrush belonging to himself(with permission!)or me. And/or I'll buy a CD Rom containing royalty free clipart.

A side issue from all of this, but worth mentioning, is that a Federal Court judge ordered YouTube to disclose its viewership logs, so any privacy protection of YouTube viewers has disappeared.

Big Brother is drawing ever closer.


anthonynorth said...

I think it was inevitable that harsh laws would eventually catch up with the internet. We have to be very careful that they don't go too far.
Personally, I think a hint of freedom will always arise here through various ingenious ideas. At least, I hope so.
Mindst you, that said, some copyright laws are essential. For instance, some bloggers have used other people's work and claimed it as their own. I know in one instance, there was such a reaction by fellow bloggers that the culprit was humiliated.
Bullying or acceptable protection by the community?
There is so often a thin line on the internet.

Twilight said...


Oh yes, I do realise that copyright laws are essential. I had some of my own posts copied without proper credit not long ago, and was annoyed, especially as in some cases the blogs using my stuff had adverts and attempted to profit from my work (good luck with that!!) ;-)

Maybe in future years, if the internet survives as a medium, specific rules and guidelines might be worked out - for bloggers in particular. At present we come under what seem unrealistically draconian laws, especially for those who blog as a hobby and not a means of making money.

As you say, it's a thin line, and the general public is more often than not on the wrong side of it.