I'm already writing off January for numerous reasons, but the rest should be ok, I hope.
New Year was spent in Newmarket with Richard, which was very nice. Everyone needs to congratulate him on his mango chuckney making ways. Also at Rich's time was spent constructing my new computer.. and tweaking it within an inch of its life. It runs VERY nicely now. As way of a comparison, my old machine scored about 1600 3dMarks, this one is about 8300. So better by a long way huh? *grins*
Plus I think PhotoShop is going to lurve the new ram. Or eat it. Prolly eat it, PS is like that.
Oh and to start the new year off to a fine start on this journal I shall a) give it a proper layout. I can't be bothered to re-jig my current broken one, or make a new one, so s2 it is for now. b) Have a rant.
Yes, rantage time. The subject today is to do with copyrights and 'icon theft.' Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...
Here are some icons I have made for use on journals, they illustrate very neatly most of the different types of icons you'll get in regards to copyright and ownership of such things:
First up we have the original work. Not mine you understand, but the original creators (in this case it's Get Fuzzy). Even though I have cropped the work and saved out this image for use as an icon IT IS NOT MY WORK. Clear? Ok, moving on.
Second we have a bit more work being put into the icon. It has been altered, in fact all the colouring was done by myself. I'm quite proud of the colouring on this one, however it is STILL NOT MY PROPERTY. Why? Because all I have done is alter an existing piece of work, and really not by a huge ammount. This comes under a heading called 'derivative works' and I still have no rights to it. Ok.. onto the next one.
The Third icon is a bit less clear cut. I've not just coloured this one from a part of a strip, I've added in or shifted around elements to create the final icon. Nevertheless this icon is STILL NOT MY PROPERTY. I have no rights to it as it is derived from an original work. In fact I could have come up with my own sketch of Satchel the dog, and I would still have no rights over that image as my work would have been directly derived from an original work.
Starting to see a theme here? I thought so.
It is, however, amazing how many idiots there are out there claiming that the couple of photos of Paris Hilton they scored from some random website and turned into a crappy animated gif (to use one example) are in fact their property. That people can steal 'their work' by copying the icon and using it in their journal. Wrong! Even if you captured a segment of video, edited it, added your own text, changed the colours, put some pithy remark in it and then added Johnny Depp dancing in a tutu into it IT IS NOT YOUR PROPERTY.
The worst example of this is when the 'owner' of this icon has done nothing more thanconvert the said images into an icon. This does not merrit some kind of award people, its damn simple to do. The whole point of creating an icon is for it to be displayed and used. If someone uses your icon take it as a compliment. If someone grabbed any of those first three icons there would I be annoyed? No, I'd be flattered. It's always nice to have a credit in an icon description to show that SOME effort was made by myself towards them.. but who cares? Is it the end of the world? No.
The only time you have a ligitimate complaint is when it is an image that you have created from scratch, including photos. Then, AND ONLY THEN, do you have a legitimate compliant.
Which brings us neatly to the Fourth icon. Who's that dashing fellow there? Why I do believe its me, so there's no problem in obtaining the permsison of the subject. Is it a photo I took? I do believe it is, so I DO in fact have copyright over it. Note - just because I have copyright over photos I have taken doesn't mean I could use any of them without a subjects permisson, the only situation you can do this is when the subject is not the main focus of an image, or is not instantly recognisable. Even then its a grey area - do check.
So in fact the only actual ORIGINAL image there is the one I own copyright to. In fact United Comics could quite happily sue my pants off for the others. The reason they don't is that there is no point, and take it as free publicity. Some companies are not so forgiving (CLAMP anime for example, or Paramount have been known to file suit for fan-fictions). Could I sue if someone used my icon? Only to remove it, or give apropriate credit (whichever I choose) NOT for money. For money it would need to be a registered copyright, but all creative original works have copyright on them that protects the authors basic right for credit or control over where their work is shown.
So if someone tells you that they own an icon, and its just a deskmate animation, or some Buffy icon with a oh-so-funny witty remark photoshoped onto it.. tell them this from me: "Get a life you sad excuse for an artist, you are a moron. Go eat paint or something equally akin to your stature."
Ok done now.