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UK Passes "Instagram Act" 230

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-your-pics-are-belong-to-us dept.
kodiaktau writes "The UK govt passed the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act which effectively makes so-called 'orphaned' content posted on social media sites public domain. Corporations now only need to have made a "diligent search" to find the owner of the content before use. From the article: 'The Act contains changes to UK copyright law which permit the commercial exploitation of images where information identifying the owner is missing, so-called "orphan works", by placing the work into what's known as "extended collective licensing" schemes. Since most digital images on the internet today are orphans - the metadata is missing or has been stripped by a large organization - millions of photographs and illustrations are swept into such schemes.'"
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UK Passes "Instagram Act"

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  • hint.... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 29, 2013 @02:55PM (#43583625)

    don't post shit you want kept to yourself online

    • Re:hint.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by omnichad (1198475) on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:29PM (#43583949) Homepage

      No...it means don't allow anyone else in the world to find/scan/copy your work and post it online or they own it. You don't have to ever post something online yourself to be affected by this.

      • Re:hint.... (Score:4, Funny)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:42PM (#43584073) Homepage Journal

        This is why I post everything online with disappearing ink. When I close my browser it all disappears.

        Oh - wait - I guess it only works if we all close our browsers at the same time? Dang - that sucks!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jedidiah (1196)

        If it's not worth enough to go to the bother of registering it then it's not worth adding to the legal quagmire that is default copyright.

        Although the notion of "personal papers" has been lost in this modern era where every worthless scrap of paper is treated like some masterpiece. That shouldn't be the case at all.

        The current copyright regime really isn't useful for defending against the loss of personal data either.

        • Re:hint.... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by eth1 (94901) on Monday April 29, 2013 @04:58PM (#43584841)

          If it's not worth enough to go to the bother of registering it then it's not worth adding to the legal quagmire that is default copyright.

          The problem with this is that a picture I take might be worth something, but that worth is less than what it would cost me in time/effort to get the money out of it (as opposed to an established publisher or news organization), so I don't. This legislation basically lets those established players hoover up that stuff and get money out of it, but without ever having to compensate the author.

        • Re:hint.... (Score:4, Informative)

          by gsnedders (928327) on Monday April 29, 2013 @05:27PM (#43585063) Homepage

          There's no concept of copyright registration in the UK.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mwvdlee (775178)

        In fact, posting it yourself means it would be more likely to be traceable to the copyright owner.

        I just wonder what definitions of a "social media site" and "orphaned" they'll be using. Is your blog a social media site? Is a forum a social media site?
        For any site I'd consider social media (facebook, twitter, linkedin, google+, myspace, etc.), content is easily traceable to the copyright owner; it's the person posting it. It's only orphaned when somehow the profile is deleted yet the content remains.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        No... you should post it on your own web site with clear copyright information and metadata. That way there is no way any company can claim that they made a reasonable effort to find the owner and couldn't get the information.

        • Re:hint.... (Score:4, Informative)

          by Spamalope (91802) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:34AM (#43588133)

          No... you should post it on your own web site with clear copyright information and metadata. That way there is no way any company can claim that they made a reasonable effort to find the owner and couldn't get the information.

          Incorrect. In the US right now it's not uncommon for newsrooms to strip metadata and use photography even taken from professionals then claim ignorance or worse that they have a license (from a never specified third party). Corporations stealing photography for advertising, websites and promotional print media is common too.

          Media companies own the big stock photography houses. The purpose of this law is to devalue photography for anyone but themselves, and to make sure that perpetual copyright isn't a two edged sword for them. The same legislation has been floated in the US.

          • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

            The whole point of my post is that it doesn't matter if they strip metadata. They do a reverse image search and you site comes up, complete with copyright information. If they still decide to rip you off they won't have a leg to stand on in court.

    • Or make it so banal, stupid, tasteless or non-sequitur no one will want to rip it off. Oh, mission accomplished.
      • Or make it so banal, stupid, tasteless or non-sequitur no one will want to rip it off.

        I don't think advertising types believe in such a thing.

    • Re:hint.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 29, 2013 @05:11PM (#43584971)

      Anything I post is small and watermarked. It is a sad statement about our online society. This means I do not participate in sites like Flikr and many others - too many tales of stolen images, copyright nightmares, etc. A lot of the sites are one0sided in their terms - suddenly THEY own your pictures, forever.
      In October last year there was this article about this issue:
      http://petapixel.com/2012/10/10/what-famous-photos-would-look-like-if-their-photogs-used-ugly-watermarks/
      The UK has not made any friends by passing this law.

    • don't post shit you want kept to yourself online

      Also, don't be a photographer or a musician or filmmaker and put any of this on the internet.

  • by Reverand Dave (1959652) on Monday April 29, 2013 @02:56PM (#43583635)
    Now does this mean that big corporations can scoop up these so-called "orphaned works" and then place their own copyright on them, or do they stay in public domain in perpetuity? If so that wouldn't be so bad, other than "diligent search" sounds like sending my teenage daughter into the other room to find something sitting behind something else.
    • by narcc (412956) on Monday April 29, 2013 @02:59PM (#43583667) Journal

      Once it's in the public domain, that's where it stays.

        Copyright law isn't that absurd ... yet.

      • by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:07PM (#43583741)

        Not in the USA.

        Works may be moved back into copyright so sayeth SCOTUS.
        http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/01/scotus-re-copyright-decision/ [wired.com]

        Fritz Lang's Metropolis was one big one moved back into copyright by Congress.

        • by narcc (412956) on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:46PM (#43584123) Journal

          For clarity, in case no one reads your link:

          Congress has the power to take works out of public domain. You can't just re-copyright any public domain work you run across.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by SuricouRaven (1897204)

            Almost true, but there is a narrow exception: Even non-creative reproductions can qualify as a new work, in the right circumstances. So, for example, if you have a a long-expired piece of artwork hanging up, you can take a photo of it and copyright that - then you have effective copyright to the work, so long as you can keep the original securely locked away so no-one else can get a photo too. Similar situation with classical music: The composer might have been dead for a few centuries, but any performance

            • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 29, 2013 @04:12PM (#43584413)

              In the US, photos meant to reproduce a 2-dimensional out-of-copyright work cannot be copyrighted. Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp [wikipedia.org] established that even difficult reproductions of 2D works are not original (this does not apply to photographs of sculpture, which has some degree of artistry to it).

              Any classical performance and recording is a new work, but the original remains public domain. If you go secure some copies of the original sheet music (much of what is actually used today has been cleaned up more recently, and isn't actually out of copyright), you can perform any sufficiently old piece of music without any concern for royalties.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Darinbob (1142669)

          The issue there is about works that were public domain only in the US but were still under copyright in their foreign countries of origin. As a signer of the Berne Convention these works need to be treated as still under copyright, and treaties have force of law in the US. These are typically foreign works copyrighted after 1923. Nothing is going to re-copyright Beethoven's works for example.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        Once it's in the public domain, that's where it stays.

          Copyright law isn't that absurd ... yet.

        no, you can re-copyright it and license it forward.

      • The original file that was on Facebook, yes.

        The slightly retouched file from the big corporation, no.

        Sure, if you are the original owner of the file, and you find the use by the big corporation, you can sue and claim that the file is yours, but that only costs you a zillion dollars. Or you use the file from big-corp on your web site, and find that it's taken down by your host, and you have spend a zillion dollars to establish the file is still in the public domain.

    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      IANAL, but I suspect it's a case where a public domain work is still public domain, even if used in a copyrighted work, however the copyrighted work, including the disposition of the public domain items within it, is still copyrighted.

      For example, if you take each individual character or word, by itself, to be public domain, a copyrighted novel contains nothing but public domain bits, it's how they are organized that makes is copyrightable.

    • by FrYGuY101 (770432) on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:02PM (#43583699) Journal
      I imagine they would get a copyright on the derivative work, but not the original image. This seems to me like a good idea, with two caveats: 1 - If, after a diligent search, the owner comes forward and is able to prove they own the copyright, they should be able to receive a fair, standard rate compulsory license fee. 2 - If, after a search designed to not find the real owner, the owner comes forward, the compulsory license should have a much higher punitive rate. Also, keep in mind that just because you can use a picture, doesn't mean you have the likeness rights to the people in that picture. That's bit a few companies with Creative Commons licensing.
  • by RichMan (8097) on Monday April 29, 2013 @02:58PM (#43583657)

    a) find image you want to use at site X
    b) have someone strip the the image of identifying information and repost it at site Y
    c) discover image at site Y lacking traceable information
    d) do "due dilligence" based on image from site Y
    e) declare image from site Y as 'orphaned'

    f) PROFIT

    • My first thought, also.

    • by ericloewe (2129490) on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:00PM (#43583689)

      With some luck, Google's "search similar images" function may make that scheme much harder

      • by Loether (769074) on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:04PM (#43583709) Homepage

        I also like tineye.com for image search based on an image. The database size isn't the biggest but I like the engine a lot. It can find photoshopped images too.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          I'll have to post an image I made when tineye.com was launched.

          The error message it generated was something along the lines:

          "We are sorry, TinEye did not return any results for 'tineye.jpg'

        • by houghi (78078) on Monday April 29, 2013 @04:21PM (#43584513)

          Well, the point is not to find the real copyright owner. The idea is to NOT find the copyright owner. "due diligence" means a lot of things if you have enough money to pay lawyers.
          Shouting "Anybody here knows who this belongs to?" from behind your desk might be enough (again IF you have the right amount to pay lawyers. Don't try this if you are not a company.)

          • by Phillip2 (203612)

            Due diligence has many, many years of case law behind it. Before this bill, the likely damages to someone popping up
            and saying "hey that is my photo", after an organisation had made extensive searches for use of some material would
            be small. Especially compared to the damages to someone who, for example, had their photo taken, the metadata
            deliberately removed, then the image used without compensation.

      • With some luck, Google's "search similar images" function may make that scheme much harder

        It's almost like you think corporations (that have interest in declaring the item "abandoned") will do a diligent search. Google "search similar images" function will be helpful if the searcher is trying to find the owner.

        And if someone falsely declares an image to be "abandoned", what are the penalties, I wonder? Would the owner have to sue to recover his or her image ownership?

        The abuse possibilities (for someone who has a legal department at ready) are practically endless!

        • Yes, the legitimate holder would indeed have to sue. Just as they have to sue under existing law. The procedure might have changed a bit, but the process isn't fundamentally different.

        • by Golddess (1361003)

          It's almost like you think corporations (that have interest in declaring the item "abandoned") will do a diligent search. Google "search similar images" function will be helpful if the searcher is trying to find the owner.

          The way I read the post, it sounded more like ericloewe was suggesting that that would be a method the owner might use to prove in a court of law that due diligence was not performed.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          Would the owner have to sue to recover his or her image ownership?

          Yes. In that sense nothing has changed. If someone ripped off your work yesterday you would have to sue them. Now they have an additional defense of claiming the work was orphaned, but at best it might get them off the hook for deliberate infringement. They would still have to compensate you to the amount you would have received for licensing the image.

          For this reason I don't think companies will be too quick to start using random images they find online. The risk of being sued and having to pay out if the

        • There's laws around here about money that might be claimable. The people responsible are supposed to do a diligent search. Somehow, they often manage to not find any contact information for, say, "University of Minnesota". What this means is that there will be full uncompensated commercial use of any picture on the Internet not copyrighted by somebody with deep pockets.

      • "But your honour, we did a diligent search first. We used /bin/false, and found no results!"

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:10PM (#43583779)

      My first thought was that happening on accident. I've had text and code copied and posted with no attribution before, which would now make it public domain if in the UK? Doing that on purpose is easy though, and perhaps more of an issue.

      Does this only apply to works where the copy right holder (which must be unknown) is in the UK? If so, this law means nothing. If not, it violated the international copyright treaty requiring respecting the copyright in the country of origin. Seems broken either way.

      Anyway, someone please seed anonymized torrents in the UK. As long as its properly anonymized, we can all reseed it legally, since it a orphaned works from the UK, right? Just do a "diligent search", which finds no owner, and you're set!

      • by robot256 (1635039) on Monday April 29, 2013 @04:57PM (#43584827)
        That is a good point about the treaties. Thus the law is only applicable in the hilarious circumstance where they can say to a judge, "We know the owner is a U.K. citizen, but we don't know who."
      • by dave420 (699308)
        No, the work must be entirely anonymous - that is, no copy of it with attribution can exist within reasonable reach of the person looking for it. Just stripping metadata isn't enough if the work exists elsewhere with proper attribution. If you have made an awesome picture and have it on your blog - that's enough to protect it. If you make an awesome photo and upload it to some website anonymously with no contact information, then it's public domain. That seems fair enough to me.
    • by Synerg1y (2169962)

      can't you pretty much do the same thing nowadays anyways...?

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      surely this can't affect re-posting?
      aaanyhow. since it enables sub licensing of the content, then twitter is likely to install a notice on their content that _they_ own the UK content and will license it forward(of course you could argue that they know who the copyright holder is.. and come to think of it, twitter probably already has that rule).

      and it's just the britons who are fucked. it's not like you could take american content, download it in britain and claim immunity from court cases in USA. otherwis

    • Sounds to me like a pretty clear case where something like this really needs to be balanced by heavy penalties for stripping metadata without permission.

    • What's preventing us -- normal people -- from doing the same thing with corporate-created images? Just the threat of lawyers?

      It seems to me that watermarking is about to be much more prevalent. That's the only way to make metadata that can't easily be stripped off.

    • a) find image you want to use at site X b) have someone strip the the image of identifying information and repost it at site Y c) discover image at site Y lacking traceable information d) do "due dilligence" based on image from site Y e) declare image from site Y as 'orphaned'

      f) PROFIT

      While IANAL and my ignorance of UK law exceeds that of US law; I doubt such a scheme would work. Due diligence would require at least a reasonable amount of effort searching for ownership information. It would seem to me if someone went before a court and should how a Google search could easily locate the image with ownership info or a copyright registration it would be hard to argue you performed due diligence. This act should be named the IP Lawyer Full Employment Act since it will no doubt result in cour

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Look at it from a different angle. How is this very different from the people who've gone and declared some game as "abandonware" and decided that it's ok to pirate it?

  • lol wut? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:06PM (#43583737) Homepage Journal

    So does this go both ways... can individuals claim orphaned corporate content or do the corporates have YET ANOTHER special right?

  • Suppose I upload content that is copyrighted, and I do not own. I then orphan the account. Obviously, that cannot be brought into the public domain this way. Why should copyright be any different for content that I own and post. It just makes no sense. Wouldn't the person using this newly "public" content have to prove that the abandoned account was mine? This whole idea just baffles me.

    • by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:43PM (#43584079)

      It doesn't make any sense because The Register is full of shit as usual. This isn't a free for all. This is enabling legislation for one or more future (or present) licensing bodies to search for owners of apparent "orphan works" - works that at the moment cannot be used by anyone - and issue licenses.

      There's pros and cons to that. With the biggest question, does the licensing body charge for licenses, and if so who gets the money.

      What this is not is a law that will make it legal for any person, company or corporation to decide themselves that a work is an orphan, and so do what they want with it.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 29, 2013 @04:52PM (#43584793)

        http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2013/april/copyright-law-reforms-in-pipeline-after-royal-assent-given-to-enterprise-and-regulatory-reform-bill/

        "Under the Government's plans, organisations that wish to use orphan works would have to conduct a 'diligent search' for the owner of orphan works before they could use the material. The searches would have to be verified as diligent by independent authorising bodies. In addition, organisations would have to pay a "market rate" to use orphan works so as rights holders could be recompensed for the use of the works if they were later identified."

  • by zmooc (33175) <zmoocNO@SPAMzmooc.net> on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:15PM (#43583831) Homepage

    It's about time somebody legalized 9gag, failblog, kuvaton, fukung and all those other great sites that make up the apex of the internet;-)

  • by DigitAl56K (805623) on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:16PM (#43583847)

    How is it possible that copyright not only keeps being extended to prevent works of corporations from entering the public domain, but now other laws start stripping rights of the public for their own works for the benefit of corporations?

    • by Mitreya (579078)

      How is it possible that copyright not only keeps being extended to prevent works of corporations from entering the public domain, but now other laws start stripping rights of the public for their own works for the benefit of corporations?

      The article is rather vague on details, but I see no rules that make it exclusive to corporations. Wouldn't individuals be able to apply the same strategies??

      the Act will permit the widespread commercial exploitation of unidentified work - the user only needs to perform a "diligent search". But since this is likely to come up with a blank, they can proceed with impunity.

      I just performed a very short "diligent search" and Mickey Mouse does not appear to be owned by anyone. So... can I now use it commercially in UK?

    • by sconeu (64226)

      Isn't he cute? He thinks that the law is supposed to protect ordinary people. Well, corporations are people too, my friend. And they pay for those copyright laws. What have you paid for lately?

    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      Because people are typically not willing to erect guillotines over copyright law corruption
  • And yet... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PortHaven (242123) on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:22PM (#43583897) Homepage

    We can't get access to orphaned films that are not available for sale?

    I believe that should be part of ANY copyright law. In order for copyright to be maintained. A work of art must be available for sale within a 5 year period. Stop selling it, and you lose your copyright.

    • Re:And yet... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by sribe (304414) on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:36PM (#43584019)

      I believe that should be part of ANY copyright law. In order for copyright to be maintained. A work of art must be available for sale within a 5 year period. Stop selling it, and you lose your copyright.

      Absolutely. Especially now that advances in technology have made small-run distribution much more affordable, from on-demand printing to e-books.

    • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:44PM (#43584095)

      I believe that should be part of ANY copyright law. In order for copyright to be maintained. A work of art must be available for sale within a 5 year period. Stop selling it, and you lose your copyright.

      So, if I buy a one-of-a-kind painting and hold on to it for 5 years and one month, the original artist loses his/her copyright (since it's no longer being sold) and I can sell as many copies as I like?

      • by Xest (935314)

        Yes absolutely, if someone has sold you a one of a kind painting then it's yours and should be entirely up to you what you do with it then.

        If it's a painting that money can be made from by selling duplicates then it's not unfair on the artist if you do that - the artist could just as well have done it themselves but they opted to sell it you.

        I don't see the problem with your hypothetical scenario to be honest.

    • by realsilly (186931)

      But with that logic, if one person makes a purchase, then it stays copyrighted, there is nothing stopping the industry from buying the work of art from itself.

      • by Sloppy (14984)

        there is nothing stopping the industry from buying the work of art from itself.

        Of course there's something stopping them: laziness, knowing they have it and need to renew it, and finding their copy to sell to themself. Believe it or not, back when copyright used renewal, some works didn't get renewed! Why? I don't know, but it really did happen.

        If I wanted to sell myself a computer program that I wrote in 1986, I might actually have a hard time finding the media, or remembering to do it every 5 years. J

    • I would make one exception to that. I can refuse to allow my work to be published/distributed for seven years.
    • You'd be messing with the time-honored tradition of The Vault and all the panic buys that occur as a result.

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      Post the image frames of the orphaned films on the Internet. "Stumble" upon them while browsing. Job done.
    • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Solandri (704621) on Monday April 29, 2013 @05:16PM (#43584999)

      I believe that should be part of ANY copyright law. In order for copyright to be maintained. A work of art must be available for sale within a 5 year period. Stop selling it, and you lose your copyright.

      No you don't want that. If that's how the law worked, every open source project would lose their copyrights after 5 years, and the GPL, BSD license, etc. would become pretty useless. Likewise, if you and your wife videotaped yourselves having sex 6 years ago, and someone repairing your home found it and copied it, they'd be free to release it to the public with no repercussions because it was public domain.

      Copyright is for controlling distribution of a work you've created. Not necessarily making money off of it.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      That would disadvantage ordinary people without affecting corporations. Businesses would simply offer to custom print a one-off copy for $1,000,000. Most individuals never offer their work for sale at all, they just don't want other people making money from it.

      Imagine the ramifications for open-source. Copyleft relies on copyright ownership to work, yet the work is not sold in most cases.

    • by rsborg (111459)

      We can't get access to orphaned films that are not available for sale?

      I believe that should be part of ANY copyright law. In order for copyright to be maintained. A work of art must be available for sale within a 5 year period. Stop selling it, and you lose your copyright.

      When you have a kleptocracy ruling you, you don't get rights, you get thefts. Consider this a part of the current copytheft rubric, wherein the few connected players get to fleece the entire rest of the world.

      Of course, the UK is late to this party - the USA had a kleptocracy for many years now and look at all the wonderful employment-free recovery we've had here!

  • That's great (Score:4, Interesting)

    by guruevi (827432) <evi@smoking c u be.be> on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:23PM (#43583899) Homepage

    One can now post images of music, movies, software etc and have it be instant public-domain!

    No more copyright in UK which means ThePirateBay could legally operate there (if they jump through the hoops correctly)

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      Clever thought. Only downside is that, to keep it plausible, all the stuff has to be unlabelled or creatively mislabeled. If you download a bunch of MP3s with ID3 tags, you can't exactly claim they have no tracing information.

      But rip out the artist and publisher info, and you're back in business.

    • by jxander (2605655)

      Yup. Give it a few months to soak in, and everything on TPB will have the bumpers, credits and metadata stripped.

      So when someone downloads Adventure of Big-Chair season 3, the fact that it looks surprisingly like some HBO series is irrelevant if I haven't seen said series. I diligently searched for the name in question, and was not familiar with anything else. Thus I am free and clear.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    great.

  • by coldsalmon (946941) on Monday April 29, 2013 @03:35PM (#43583999)

    TFA's author uses only examples of corporations using content created by natural persons, but I see nothing in TFA so suggest that the law only operates in this direction. According to TFA, the law permits "commercial exploitation of images where information identifying the owner is missing, so-called 'orphan works'." This would also protect an individual or small business which innocently uses an orphaned image. The legislation makes it possible to use orphaned works, which otherwise would be impossible to use legally, as it is impossible to obtain permission from the copyright holder. Wikipedia's summary of the problem is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphan_works [wikipedia.org]

    This legislation could also prevent "copyright troll" situations like this: http://www.ryanhealy.com/getty-images-extortion-letter/ [ryanhealy.com]

  • .... some a$$hat took a photo of me, posted it on the web and didn't ask for my permission. Now it's potentially orphaned, and Wham I'm the face on the ads for selling selling A$$ cream for Joe Schmoe over in the UK and I can't stop it? /facepalm

    • by LihTox (754597)

      .... some a$$hat took a photo of me, posted it on the web and didn't ask for my permission. Now it's potentially orphaned, and Wham I'm the face on the ads for selling selling A$$ cream for Joe Schmoe over in the UK and I can't stop it? /facepalm

      Instead, Joe Schmoe can send a photographer out and take your picture as you walk down the street, and use your face to sell A$$ cream. It's not this law that's the problem (in this case).

    • Actually, in this case you can. Because in the majority of places (including, afaik, the UK), there are things called artist rights. Your image can't be used to sell or promote something without your permission. (Make sure to never sign a model release allowing the photographer to use the image for any purpose.)

      Well, when I say you can stop it, you can't. But after the fact you can spend loads of money to sue the corporation (and in the UK, if you win, you might even get all that money back!).

    • Or, worse, I post an image online. Someone grabs it, posts it to their Facebook account without attribution (no link back and perhaps any watermark cropped). Maybe they add some funny text to the image as well. Now, Person #2 likes that and reposts it to THEIR account with the "attribution" of "saw this online somewhere."

      Company X sees this image and decides it'll be perfect for their ad campaign. They do a "search" for the author of the image. (Where "search" = "does ti say on the web page where it's

  • So, I download the latest Hollywood blockbuster, re-title it giving it an absurd name, removing credits/publisher marks and maybe blurring/replacing the lead's face. Then I re-upload 'Deep Groat: Sub-Prime Deposit' (a.k.a Catwoman -it's a modern classic) on the Pirate Bay.

    Our good UK subject comes along, downloads it and thinks 'Never heard of this!?' No idea who made it, no way of finding out.

    That 'film' is now in the public domain?

  • Since locating the authors of any particular open source project is not always easy, one could claim very plausibly that they had attempted to track down the original copyright holder, and failed.

    On the plus side, it also probably means that abandonware effectively automatically becomes public domain. Whether or not the original entity still controls it.

  • So......when Google tries to publish orphaned works for everyone to read, copyright owners cry bloody river, but when user who doesn't know nothing about copyright law or how properly add copyright clauses adds a beautiful picture to social network, it's suddenly very legitimate for corporation to exploit this work.

    Ok, this will bring socialism faster than any previous attempts. It's amazing how greed makes so much people plainly stupid.

  • Since most digital images on the internet today are orphans - the metadata is missing or has been stripped by a large organization - millions of photographs and illustrations are swept into such schemes.

    Sure, that happens to be true for most of the digital images on the Internet, but what about all the other images on the Internet?

  • by Andy_R (114137) on Monday April 29, 2013 @07:15PM (#43586025) Homepage Journal

    As always when it comes to IP, the Register is wildly exaggerating to the point of trolling.

    What this bill will actually do is allow museums to use orphan works, but only if they put the market value of a licence to use them into escrow, in case the owner is found later.

    The details of how this will work haven't been published, but there's going to be a very interesting legal minefield in there.

    What's a fair market value for a modern image where CC0 alternatives exist?

    What they will do if an image is highly likely to be out of copyright? For example photo of Queen Victoria is almost certainly out of copyright, because the photographer probably died over 70 years ago. What's a fair market value for the rights to use one of the rare ones that isn't out of copyright because the photographer was young when he took it, and lived to a ripe old age, if plenty of public domain ones also exist?

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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