Copyright Trolls: A Reblog from Writer Beware

Copyright J. R. Cotner

Victoria Strauss over at the Writer Beware site has some important information if you use works of art or images not of your own making on your blog or other online presence. From her post:

“Here’s how Wikipedia defines a copyright troll: a copyright troll is a party (person or company) that enforces copyrights it owns for purposes of making money through strategic litigation, in a manner considered unduly aggressive or opportunistic[.]

This kind of copyright troll creates and registers copyright to content that they then make widely available online, to increase the possibility that people will re-post it without permission. Using search technology, they find infringers and use threats of litigation to shake them down for cash settlements.”

Here’s a link to her original article. Good read!  When the Copyright Trolls Came for Me – Writer Beware

One thought on “Copyright Trolls: A Reblog from Writer Beware

  1. Not that I, in any way, suborn piracy, only way they can find a pirated image is by its associated meta data. Without that data you’re in a situation of “similarity”. There are websites out there that will, for free, remove watermarks and other tell-tale embedded data. I’ve dealt with this for years in the music business. Unless it’s blatant and the offender is making money with it, it’s tough to prove. Example – Eddie Van Halen hears a tune, calls his manager screaming “That’s my brother’s snare drum!” Sorry, Ed. An inaudible but obvious under scrutiny edit of the sound’s fingerprint, along with “fair use” it could be one of thousands of snare drums. You can copywrite a song, but not a chord progression or an arrangement. Keith Emerson’s arrangement of Copeland’s “Fanfare” was used by the NFL for years. When Keith wouldn’t accept their deal they hired John Tesh to clone it. John got paid, Keith missed the boat. Photographs are the same. Given a new life with “artistic” treatment a pen and ink line drawing is no longer the original. The bottom line is don’t be a pirate. Don’t plagiarize, don’t steal. But be aware that we all subconsciously quote our influences. Something we learned from Bach or Elmore or Picasso. Maybe it’s filtered, but is it really different?

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