Copyrights, Internet OT

Kenneth Hixson
Mon, 08 Dec 2003 23:38:15 PST
Angelo, basically, anything you originate is considered copyright to you until
you give permission for its' use by someone else.  This includes text messages
you post, as well as pictures.  Even the sentence "It is hot here today" is 
copyright to you.  Someone else can also use the same sentence to describe
weather, and it would be copyright to them also, if referring to their
but they don't have the right to quote you.  There are exceptions, usually
a short 
sentence like that won't be considered to be of significant value, you can
people to illustrate a point, a viewpoint, to give examples of what a book or 
article is about, etc., provided you give credit for the quotes.  Any
use of material must have permission from the copyright holder.  The
courts' view 
usually is that if the use results in significant value for the use, then
use is forbidden without permission of the originator.
 	Your pictures are automatically copyright to you-with the understanding
that many people can take a picture of an object, and each can have a
on their picture-but they don't have the right to use anyone elses' picture
of the 
same object.  The problem is to prove it was your picture originally, and you 
didn't intend to give it away.  For me, the problem is, I may want to post my 
pictures in more than one place, and I don't want to involve the people I
the pictures to, in a lawsuit to determine who owns the pictures.
Retaining the 
copyright, while giving permission does away with that problem for the people 
to whom I post pictures/text.  Adding a copyright to your pictures is a
that they are your pictures, and you wish to retain the right to use them
as you 
see fit.  Allowing someone else to copyright your pictures means that they
prosecute you for the use of your own pictures.  It has happened.
	The concern of picture takers is 
1) I should be the person to profit from my work, not someone who steals
it, and 
2) A picture often implies authenticity, and nothing will stop a thief from
a picture from someone, and using it to represent something else.  Thus,
speciosus might be claimed to be Colchicum speciosus, to the disappointment
any buyers, who assume the picture is of what they are about to buy.  It
may well 
be that your pictures are being used to sell something far more common,
thus less 
expensive, than what is being pictured by the thieves.  It is a form of
fraud to 
misrepresent merchandise that way.  A thief who steals pictures probably
honest in other ways either.

>Indeed, I am not so concerned that someone use my photos, but they could
have been so kind, at least, to ask me for permission. I am not really good
with softwares like Photoshop etc., but I wonder what legal consequence
would make if I wrote across the photo i.e. Copyright© Angelo Porcelli or
similar. Is there anyone I should pay to obtain a copyright? 
	There are attorneys who specialize in copyrights, more for published material
than internet published material.  The cost of publishing notice of the
is part of what you pay for.
	There is software available which will automatically add text to a picture-
whether a name of the plant, copyright Angelo, whatever. Indeed, some
software will
automatically add the same caption to a whole folder of pictures if
desired.  Some
of this software is freeware, meaning you simply go to a website, download the
program, unzip (meaning decompress it), tell it to install itself.  Then
when you
click on it in windows, it will ask where the pictures are that you want
text added
to, or sometimes you drag a picture onto the program's icon, and the text
you specify
is added.  Save the resultimg picture to a new folder such as "Internet
ready pictures"
and go on with whatever you were doing.
	Unfortunately, there are also programs which will remove text from photos,
so a thief isn't very knowledgeable if they post pictures with copyright
still on the picture.
	If anyone needs such free software, email me privately, I would be happy 
to look up a website and provide the URLs to such programs, and an unzip 
program if needed.  Or, go to your favorite search engine and enter "Freeware 
Picture Labeling".  I'm not sure, but think newer versions of windows have an 
unzip program included.

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