Friday, June 29, 2007

Copyright and wrong

I would like to announce here and now that I am pro-copyright.

As people become more familiar with digital technology, I sense a growing disrespect for copyright protection of music, photography, artwork and anything else people can get their hands on. It seems that just because people are easily able to steal someone's property (yes, images, songs and other intangibles are property), this justifies the act. If I didn't lock my door at night, does that give someone the right to come in my house and steal?

I am of the philosophy that if you create it, you own it. You also have the freedom of charging whatever you want for it. If someone feels that you are overcharging for it then they have the freedom not to buy it.

I hope some young enterprising kid is working on a software solution to digital theft. As one photographer, I might pay up to $1,500 to license a piece of software that protects my images. Sounds like a ridiculous price to pay for a piece of software but I reckon I've lost many times that with digital theft of my images. Unfortunately the amazing leap in imaging technology has not included advances in image security. Even Adobe's Photoshop sets the default copyright status to "Unknown" in an image's metadata until it is manually changed by the photographer. Who are they serving by doing this? They know as well as anyone that an image is copyright-protected the moment the photographer presses the shutter button.

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