Time to debunk IP in digital art and photography once and for all

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
JamesMortimer
Senior MemberPosts: 1,492
Like?
Re: Time to debunk IP in digital art and photography once and for all
In reply to Mikhail Tal, 8 months ago

Mikhail Tal wrote:

JamesMortimer wrote:

If you took a photo and turned it into a Monet-style digital painting, a judge might say that you've altered the image beyond the intent of the IP laws.. but it's still "might".

And therein lies the problem. If you make a "new" image and it is impossible for you to know whether it is different "enough" from the original from which you were inspired, then it is patently unfair to prevent use of this image.

True there - you might think it's changed enough and some moron judge decides not..

The honest person doesn't even need to ask about IP law definitions - he/she knows if he's doing the wrong thing.

Fair enough, the situation I despise is when I honestly feel I have made enough of an edit to someone's photo for it to be considered transformative or unique, and then some judge bans me from profiting from it because his personally disagrees, just as a matter of opinion. I can handle a trial in the court of public opinion because then I state my case or how it is transformative and have only ostracism tao deal with if I am found guilty.

.. as you said there.

The other thing to think about is intent - the use of the image.

If you take a photo and make it into a digital painting then you are unlikely to fall foul of IP laws.

If you take a photo and edit it, add a few things in, blended background stuff, and reprint it as a photo.. it would fall foul.

There was a famous case a few years ago, someone took their OWN photo of a London red bus and made a B&W with spot colour and got sued because it looked like someone else's - they copied the idea, not the photo..

So, you're right - percentages are for lawyers to fart about with, not really to discuss..

And they shouldn't even be for that.

Lawyers should be for burning in a crashed bus at the bottom of a 400ft ravine!

Oh.. wait.. you were talking about the percentages..  hehe..

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
57even
Senior MemberPosts: 4,914Gear list
Like?
Re: Time to debunk IP in digital art and photography once and for all
In reply to Mikhail Tal, 8 months ago

Mikhail Tal wrote:

57even wrote:

Mikhail Tal wrote:

57even wrote:

Mikhail Tal wrote:

57even wrote:

Mikhail Tal wrote:

57even wrote:

Ask a copyright/patent lawyer. IP is a legal concept not a moral or logical one, so your argument is a complete waste of energy.

What exactly do you think the law is based on if not morality or logic? My argument is that IP laws are logically bankrupt. You are welcome to attempt to refute my argument.

I long ago gave up second guessing how lawyers would interpret such a situation. Logic and the law don't always have much to do with each other.

Let's simplify this into a syllogism: Laws are supposed to be based on morality or logic. Some laws are not based on morality or logic. Therefore disagreeing with these laws is a complete waste of energy completely logical and appropriate.

Generally when I look into these things, there is some reasoning behind them, however laws regarding creative rights are pretty daft. Doesn't mean you should be allowed to make derivative works without some kind of acknowledgement, financial or otherwise.

Every work is a derivative work. You derived all of your work from others' work that you saw, even if you didn't copy it directly.

But there is a difference between writing a new arrangement of a song, and writing a new song in the same style, no?

The only difference is in degree, and it is impossible to define with objective parameters. There will always be songs that some consider new arrangements and some consider new songs in the same style, and the dispute is impossible to resolve because these are subjective interpretations. That is why IP cannot logically exist: because it cannot be accurately defined.

At which point it becomes a matter for a jury.

Either you want no IP at all, or you have to accept some ambiguity on the borderline. That's life, get over it.

 57even's gear list:57even's gear list
Fujifilm X-Pro1 Nikon D800 Fujifilm X-E1
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Mikhail Tal
Regular MemberPosts: 281
Like?
Re: Time to debunk IP in digital art and photography once and for all
In reply to 57even, 8 months ago

57even wrote:

Mikhail Tal wrote:

57even wrote:

Mikhail Tal wrote:

57even wrote:

Mikhail Tal wrote:

57even wrote:

Mikhail Tal wrote:

57even wrote:

Ask a copyright/patent lawyer. IP is a legal concept not a moral or logical one, so your argument is a complete waste of energy.

What exactly do you think the law is based on if not morality or logic? My argument is that IP laws are logically bankrupt. You are welcome to attempt to refute my argument.

I long ago gave up second guessing how lawyers would interpret such a situation. Logic and the law don't always have much to do with each other.

Let's simplify this into a syllogism: Laws are supposed to be based on morality or logic. Some laws are not based on morality or logic. Therefore disagreeing with these laws is a complete waste of energy completely logical and appropriate.

Generally when I look into these things, there is some reasoning behind them, however laws regarding creative rights are pretty daft. Doesn't mean you should be allowed to make derivative works without some kind of acknowledgement, financial or otherwise.

Every work is a derivative work. You derived all of your work from others' work that you saw, even if you didn't copy it directly.

But there is a difference between writing a new arrangement of a song, and writing a new song in the same style, no?

The only difference is in degree, and it is impossible to define with objective parameters. There will always be songs that some consider new arrangements and some consider new songs in the same style, and the dispute is impossible to resolve because these are subjective interpretations. That is why IP cannot logically exist: because it cannot be accurately defined.

At which point it becomes a matter for a jury.

Either you want no IP at all,

Correct. The only exception I would consider is stole or gained impermissible access to REAL property in order to gain the intellectual property. So if I hacked into your computer and stole your image, you may have grounds to sue me for damages in addition to pressing criminal charges. But if you grant someone even so much as viewing or listening access then all bets are off, even if there are rules against recording, which are of course completely ridiculous because you can't ban someone from recording with their brain.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Chris59
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,621
Like?
Rubbish.
In reply to Mikhail Tal, 8 months ago

Mikhail Tal wrote:

My contention is that it is impossible to objectively and reproducibly distinguish between an original work and a derivative work on a digital medium. Therefore I can take someone's original work and apply edits in such a manner that it looks the same but is still an original work. Any claims to the contrary would be entirely subjective and arbitrary in nature.

Here is a hypothetical example. Suppose I started with a digital image I found on the web at its native resolution that was copyrighted with the most exclusive legal protection possible, and I adjusted every pixel by one unit of value in any direction on the color gamut. So for a pixel that read 24,174,39, I randomly add or subtract 1 to one of those numbers. The resulting image I'm sure would commonly and legally be considered at best a derivative image, if not an outright reproduction, since it would look virtually identical to the naked eye and still very similar even at full magnification. So if I tried to use this image commercially, I'd probably get sued and lose.

Now suppose I started over with the same original image but this time I randomly changed each pixel's values by a random combined total between 1 and 762 in either direction. In other words a 0,0,0 pixel could change to 254,254,254, or it could become 0,0,1. Assuming 4 - 5 = 255, if I edited the image in this manner, it would be technically be a derivative image, but the end result would look as though I just randomly assigned a value to every pixel and there would be no indication that I began with an existing copyrighted image.

In both cases I edited the image the exact same way, the only difference being the distanced I moved each pixel along the color gamut compared to the original. Yet visually the results are in complete contrast. So the obvious question is, how much must I change the pixel values for it to no longer be considered a derivative image? What if I changed the value of each pixel by a random combined total of between 1 and 50 in either direction, would that be enough to render my image unique?

You can't answer "I know it when I see it" or "it depends if you've changed the image's concept or introduced a unique perspective" because that's subjective and arbitrary and therefore an impossible standard to uniformly reproduce across multiple different cases. One person might say yes, I changed the idea, another might disagree. Ideas cannot be defined by sensory perception so they are not constitute valid evidence in a fair arbitration. On the other hand, if you give me a number of pixels I must change by a certain combined value, that's still arbitrary, not to mention a logistical nightmare to enforce given different methods of color management and the lossy nature of jpegs. We haven't even gotten into the vagaries of adjudicating changes in resolution and dimensions that can also add or subtract pixels or modify their values.

So here I have proved it impossible to objectively and consistently distinguish a derivative image from a unique image, therefore any attempt to claim IP for any digital image is logically bankrupt. You can claim an image FILE as non-intellectual property because it exists within definable parameters on some physical server somewhere, but as soon as you permit someone else to access that file or the image it renders (by posting it on the internet or even just by privately sharing the image in a private setting) then the image itself is fair game for anyone to attempt to reproduce and use as they see fit. And don't tell me I wouldn't like that if someone did that to my image because I'd gladly accept that possibility in exchange for the legal right to modify and reproduce the images of others at my own discretion.

The oldest digital technology of all, writing, has been getting by with the current copyright laws very nicely thank you.

There is no way of objectively deciding beforehand what is an original or derivative work whether it is a photograph (digital or otherwise) or a piece of writing, or music for that matter - it is all in the "eye of the beholder" so to speak.

How many letters or words or paragraphs do I need to change or add in or leave out of Shakespeare's works to call them my own?  How many notes of Beethoven's ninth?  Would it make a difference if each word or note was of a different colour?  What if I just deleted the vowels?  What if I just changed the musical notation but kept the values the same?  What if I photographed a painting?  What if I painted a photograph?

What if I invented an original kind of code?  I would own the intellectual property that is the code, but if I copied someone else's work using the code I am in breach of copyright.  Indeed the words "intellectual property" imply not only that an intelligence created the work but that it requires an intelligence to decipher it.

To say that because a digital work is made of discrete numbers and that because they can be changed to other discrete values there is no way to determine an original or "derivative" unless it is subjective and therefore "arbitrary" is just nonsense.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Chris59
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,621
Like?
Re: Off topic at the Off-Topic?
In reply to Diopter, 8 months ago

Diopter wrote:

I believe it is the worst forum to place your concerns.

Maybe the magicians from the Retouching Forum would have more response to that.

By the way:

Susan Sontag wrote the entire book on photography without supporting it by any image but her own mug shot on the back of the cover.

I think you can blame her publisher for adding that image...

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Morris Sullivan
Senior MemberPosts: 3,702
Like?
Most (maybe all) laws are subjective.
In reply to Mikhail Tal, 8 months ago

We convict people of murder every day. Sometimes with no witnesses. Even when there are witnesses, they could be lying.

Same with assault. At what point does bumping into someone become an assault? In crowds there are always people pushing and bumping into each other, but if you ran full speed into someone or shoved them hard you may be charged. Is there a set velocity?

Car accidents? We call them accidents because they aren't intentional, but intention is subjective. There is no way to measure it. If it's determined (subjectively again) that it was intentional, you would be charged completely differently.

We have freedom of speech, and everyone uses the "fire in a crowded theater" example. But what if you whisper? What is "crowded". Is there a decibel limit? Language?

My question for you is, why do you feel its so important for you to repeatedly walk close to the line of derivative works? If you're doing it for fun, not profit, then you have no legal worries anyway. If you're doing it for profit, then get permission or take your own photos.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Mikhail Tal
Regular MemberPosts: 281
Like?
Re: Most (maybe all) laws are subjective.
In reply to Morris Sullivan, 8 months ago

Morris Sullivan wrote:

We convict people of murder every day. Sometimes with no witnesses. Even when there are witnesses, they could be lying.

Same with assault. At what point does bumping into someone become an assault? In crowds there are always people pushing and bumping into each other, but if you ran full speed into someone or shoved them hard you may be charged. Is there a set velocity?

Car accidents? We call them accidents because they aren't intentional, but intention is subjective. There is no way to measure it. If it's determined (subjectively again) that it was intentional, you would be charged completely differently.

We have freedom of speech, and everyone uses the "fire in a crowded theater" example. But what if you whisper? What is "crowded". Is there a decibel limit? Language?

My question for you is, why do you feel its so important for you to repeatedly walk close to the line of derivative works? If you're doing it for fun, not profit, then you have no legal worries anyway. If you're doing it for profit, then get permission or take your own photos.

Okay okay, I'll take my own photos - of others work! You see what I did there? MY OWN PHOTOS!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Morris Sullivan
Senior MemberPosts: 3,702
Like?
Re: Most (maybe all) laws are subjective.
In reply to Mikhail Tal, 8 months ago

Mikhail Tal wrote:

Morris Sullivan wrote:

We convict people of murder every day. Sometimes with no witnesses. Even when there are witnesses, they could be lying.

Same with assault. At what point does bumping into someone become an assault? In crowds there are always people pushing and bumping into each other, but if you ran full speed into someone or shoved them hard you may be charged. Is there a set velocity?

Car accidents? We call them accidents because they aren't intentional, but intention is subjective. There is no way to measure it. If it's determined (subjectively again) that it was intentional, you would be charged completely differently.

We have freedom of speech, and everyone uses the "fire in a crowded theater" example. But what if you whisper? What is "crowded". Is there a decibel limit? Language?

My question for you is, why do you feel its so important for you to repeatedly walk close to the line of derivative works? If you're doing it for fun, not profit, then you have no legal worries anyway. If you're doing it for profit, then get permission or take your own photos.

Okay okay, I'll take my own photos - of others work! You see what I did there? MY OWN PHOTOS!

And I'll take a photo of you, and use it to sell butt plugs. Once I change every pixel by a value of one, it will no longer be a photo of you. It will just look like one.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads