Copyright Fearmongers

Lock your doors AND windows as there are thieves about. The above video comes courtesy of B&H Photo, whom I have done business with personally, and have recommended purchases at UMW. The photo and video “superstore” has for the most part provided very informative presentations. There are a ton of great videos on their YouTube Channel.

Now I’ve seen many presentations on copyright both in person and online. I was intrigued by the description of The Copyright Zone Guys because they were supposedly funny and had a “light touch”, and they would also “rock [my] world”. I’ll spare you much of the theatrics of this video, but the bit that is particularly laughable starts at the 1:20:30 mark. It manifests itself in their myth busting section and is in regards to Creative Commons. I never realized it but CC is apparently a dangerously evil syndicate that “pisses off” the presenter (Jack Reznicki) because photographers defend them. Their licenses are confusing, and deliberately so, according to Mr. Reznicki.

He then goes on to recommend an article written by Mark Helprin in the Wall Street Journal (from 2009)entitled “Copyright Critics Rationalize Theft“. As Helprin writes about “public interest groups” check out this key bit:

The Creative Commons organization, for example, is richly financed by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Mozilla, Sun, the Hewlett Foundation, and others of type [sic].

Public interest groups like Creative Commons:

serve the new information super powers, the Standard Oils of our age, whose interests would be advanced if they did not have to bother with permissions and payments for what they call “content.”

The rest of the information in this presentation is in many cases equally laughable. I’ll let you judge for yourself whether much about this presentation is enjoyable, including Mr. Reznicki’s sidekick.

Look, I get when you are self-employed as a photographer, you want to protect any possible income. However, conjuring up consipracy theories regarding a supplement to copyright like Creative Commons is pure non-sense. The presentation bills itself as “Everything you want to know about Copyright and other legal issues, but were too scared to ask.” I’d be surprised that anyone watching this (and believing it) wouldn’t also be very likely to invest in a home security system and a car alarm. It’s not information. It’s scary. And they get paid.

So in an effort to be constructive, I would be happy if the Copyright Zone Guys would contact me, and I’d be happy to explain Creative Commons and their licenses. I know they want to get it right. Right?

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