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Similar, but not copied, image found to breach copyright

By Richard Butler on Jan 25, 2012 at 02:52 GMT

Amateur Photographer magazine has published an interesting story about a copyright infringement case of similar, but not directly copied, images. The issue of copyright is thorny, contentious and often misunderstood but this case sheds some light on the current attitude of courts in the UK. Despite significant differences between the two images (there was no implication that the second image was a duplicate of the first), the court found that the second image copied substantially from the 'intellectual creation' of the first (that is the elements that can be protected by copyright in the original image, including a consideration of the composition, lighting and processing of the image).

Amateur Photographer quotes photographic copyright expert Charles Swan as saying: 'The judgement should be studied by anyone imitating an existing photograph or commissioning a photograph based on a similar photograph.'

Meanwhile, Jane Lambert - a barrister specialising in intellectual property law - has written an excellent blog post on the case, in which she concludes 'although I follow the logic I feel very uneasy at Judge Birss's decision in Temple Island. It seems to come very close to protecting copyright in an idea as opposed to expression.'

The judge concluded that the claimant (Justin Fielder)'s image is original and that the intellectual creation resided both in the compositional elements of the image and the contrast aspects. Specifically, Judge Birss QC highlighted two visual contrasts: 'one between the bright red bus and the monochrome background, and the other between the blank white sky and the rest of the photograph.'

He also took into account the evidence that Mr Houghton was aware of Mr Fielder's image (the two had previously been to court when they had failed to reach a licensing agreement over Houghton's previous infringement of Fielder's copyright), to conclude the similarities were causally related.

In the end, Birss  said a difficult decision hinged on a 'qualitative assessment of the reproduced elements.' He defined Fielder's image a 'photographic work,' as distinct from a simply a photograph, in that 'its appearance is the product of deliberate choices and also deliberate manipulations by the author,' and concluded that those aspects had been copied.

Judge Birss also said that a series of images showing buses on Westminster Bridge and of red London icons on monochrome backgrounds submitted by Houghton 'worked against them because the collection has served to emphasize how different ostensibly independent expressions of the same idea actually look.'

Justin Fielder's copyright in his image (top) was deemed to have been infringed by
Nick Houghton's image (bottom).

Comments

Total comments: 738
23456
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (Jan 25, 2012)

i remember that my grandpa (wedding photographer ) has done colorkey back in the film days.

i doubt that 2005 was the first time such an image was made.

i did one myself in 2003 at the same place but i can´t prove it. :(

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
DiscreteCosine
By DiscreteCosine (Jan 25, 2012)

From the ruling:

"The technique of highlighting an iconic object like a bus against a black and white image is not unique to Mr Fielder (he did not suggest that it was)."

Why do people feel the need to post when they couldn't even be bothered to read the thing they're supposedly commenting on? What makes you think anyone will be interested in your opinion when you display an obvious ignorance of the subject being discussed?

2 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (Jan 25, 2012)

listen kid... i read the court text.
but maybe you should read my posting more carefully:

i did one myself in 2003 at the same place but i can´t prove it. :(

so i explain it to you once more... i did a colorkey with a red london bus and a woman in a red dress on the same spot in 2003.
that is before 2005 when fielder took his picture.
i think i was not even close to be the first.

understood?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

Why do people feel the need to post when they couldn't even be bothered to read the thing they're supposedly commenting on?

grab your own nose... LOL

1 upvote
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 25, 2012)

@Gothmoth:
since my first reply to you is already buried far below, I'll repost it here, in an edited form.

It is possible that a sworn deposition would suffice. Or if you posted it on the internet before 2005 you might be able to find the time stamp on the web site.

Nevertheless, the judgment notes that there was no argument or contest that the defendant's *intention* from the start was to infringe on the Fielder's image, and that Houghton only introduced changes in order to avoid getting caught. In this context I wonder if the fact that you have not removed the sky would prevent your version from being a precedent, as the removed sky is one of the creative elements that was reproduced.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jan 25, 2012)

Yes - I have seen all about the intention. But - if I make my own photo for my own product - of course my intention is to not pay someone else for the same kind of photo. Thats 100% obvious and made all the time. If the original holder of the first image wants to protects his red bus he has to register a trade mark - for using a red bus in front of a B&W Big Ben. Then he might stop other that have similar products to use it. But - thats hardly a Copyright case.

1 upvote
Carl Sanders
By Carl Sanders (Jan 25, 2012)

The bottom photograph arguably better as it shows the whole bus. Now we know the world has gone mad if this sticks! Did the judge QC know anything about art and composition or the techniques that are used these days for spot colour. (Not needed if you are using a Nikon D5100 as it is one of the effects.

3 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Jan 25, 2012)

The judge in the ruling did mention the angle and field of view are different but still rule in favor of the plaintiff....

And I agree with you, I doubt the judge, the lawyers, or even the two photographers presented in this case know enough about photography to know what really makes two scenes different. For starter, two photos are shot with different focal lengths and probably different aperture settings. All those are artist's creative decision to make original art.

And I agree with you, the "copycat" version is better, compositional wise. But it's not a case about "which is the better photo" but who owns the scene (which I believe the Queen of England can sue them both).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
cononfodder
By cononfodder (Jan 25, 2012)

This the kind of crap we will get if an internet copyright bill is passed by Congress. This is as ignorant as the law suit filed aginst the late great George Harrison for my sweet lord sounding like she's so fine. I can hear hundreds if not thousands of riffs that have been lifted accidentally or purposefully (least likely case) from all the music that I hear daily. I feel these images convey a totally different emotional feel. It is undeniable they look like the same technique, however, what is it; same bird species, photos of celebrities,etc. The fact that the case was won is even more disturbing.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Dan4321
By Dan4321 (Jan 25, 2012)

Too broad of an interpretation, and too easy to abuse. He did not copy the work, he simply made his own substitute. If this was easily done, then there wasn't much value in the original work. A lot of pictures look similar, a lot of music sounds similar, and the reality that the pictures are created from is not owned by anyone. Allowing a photographic vision or a rendering of a scene to be copyrighted opens up a can of worms, just hope this interpretation never comes to to America.

5 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

http://tinyurl.com/7eh6e7j

http://tinyurl.com/7rkl9ma

http://tinyurl.com/7f7umhz

http://tinyurl.com/7wuckpm

http://tinyurl.com/7rw88fj

i think you get it as i could go on for hours....

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
filmluvr
By filmluvr (Jan 25, 2012)

How ironic. After viewing your photos, I see that the two under consideration by the judge are indeed much more similar than I first thought.

0 upvotes
tvnewsbadge
By tvnewsbadge (Jan 26, 2012)

Yep, the judge was right. Clearly a rip off

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

a true unique idea.....

http://www.jonbakerphotography.co.uk/Section377640_207697.html

http://www.colourbox.com/preview/2792457-424266-red-bus-and-big-ben.jpg

http://tinyurl.com/89dkobv

http://tinyurl.com/6nvnhe2

http://tinyurl.com/6qnzjae

http://tinyurl.com/7s9uvlm

http://tinyurl.com/7dnv6oc

http://tinyurl.com/7flgcnm

Comment edited 7 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
rondhamalam
By rondhamalam (Jan 25, 2012)

Idiot law

2 upvotes
rondom
By rondom (Jan 25, 2012)

They are both tacky and unoriginal...

2 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 25, 2012)

The second person did a lousy job. He could easily do better than the original.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

hey i have the copyright on unoriginal images... i will sue you all!!!

1 upvote
Mike Sandman
By Mike Sandman (Jan 25, 2012)

Note the commercial aspect of the case. No on is suggesting that a photographer shouldn't replicate the scene and the manipulation of the image. But Houghton replicated the artistic elements in order to avoid paying royalties to the original artist.

I think the judge got it right. Quoting him, "No defence of independent design being advanced" means that Houghton acknowledged that he was copying the concept in Feidler's photo to create an image for commercial use, not just to paste in his scrapbook or post on Flickr. That fits the definition of infringement in my (American) mind, as well as the definition under UK law.

Separately, I'm amused by the refreshing use of the vernacular in the judge's opinion. He refers to Photoshop as a "bog standard bit of software." I don't think US judges use such informal language, but based on this example, perhaps they ought to.

dPreview, thanks for posting the story.

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

again... im shooting lions this year and i will sell the images online.

now i KNOW that others have shoot lions sleeping under a tree before me. and they took these pictures to use them with an commercial aspect.

hell... i maybe even shoot a lonely tree against a sunset in africa.
im not sure but can i sell such a picture?

im not allowed to sell these pictures?
do my customers have to buy pictures from these other photographers because they took similiar pictures before me and now own the "idea/ composition" ?

please tell me!!! what are your american mind thinks about this?

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 25, 2012)

But what's wrong with "replicated the artistic elements in order to avoid paying royalties to the original artist". In this case, it is not exactly a replciation and I don't see the artistic elements being that original.

If one person takes a picture of London Bridge and sell it at $100, then another person cannot take the same scene and sell it at $50?

More importantly, it is not the "artistic elements" that is valuable here, in my opinion, it is this history district itself that is valuable. Both photographers are simply taking advantage of that here.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jan 25, 2012)

London Bridge is very boring, not possible to sell I would say. You must mean Tower Bridge.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (Jan 25, 2012)

@diy

I've been reluctant to drag the controversial acts intended to protect intellectual properties (SOPA and PIPA) into this argument, but they're related in this way:

Both the Internet acts and this British rule on photography are well-intended to protect copyright holders' properties, and I support that, since I probably don't want my properties get stolen. However, protestors of both questionable legal measures are made by people who are clueless about the center of the issue and made uneducated decision under the influence of lawyers and interest groups.

The protestors want freedom of exchange of ideas over the Internet, NOT "let pirates do whatever they want." I don't like this British ruling for similar reason.

But avoiding royalties though you already know someone had already made similar attempt, I do believe is illegal. But I don't see enough similarity in this case to rule in favor of the plaintiff other than the "special effect."

0 upvotes
Mike Sandman
By Mike Sandman (Jan 26, 2012)

The example of lions: Houghton started by copying Feidler's photo and using it commercially. Having been prohibited from doing so, he made an image that is identical in many important ways to the one he tried to steal. (And steal is the right word.) Even if the image he concocts isn't an exact duplicate, it uses Feidler's concept and produces something that's close enough to the original for it to be obvious to the judge.

It's not like you or I being inspired by someone else's photo of lions and trying to do something similar. Rather, it's an attempt to avoid paying copyright fees after having been slapped using the original image without permission. Take all the actions together and you have infringement

(The "American mind" remark in my post was bit of humor in response to a complaint that US posters were applying US copyright concepts, not UK concepts. No nationalism intended.)

0 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 25, 2012)

What I worried about is there is a tendency to interpret copyright too broad. That will simply hamper creativity.

We learn photography/photo processing from textbooks or from other photographers. Many start from mimicing other people's work, composition, ... If all those rules, ideas are copyrighted, I just cannot imaging how professional photographers can keep taking pictures.

In this particular case, it is a famous place, the trick used by the "original" photographer is not his own creation (the court document also mentioned Schindler's List), I just don't see he can claim originality for the "original" picture.

2 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 25, 2012)

1. I don't think there is a danger for the learning process. We know that many famous painters created studies of artwork that was famous in their day. Nevertheless, they did not try to sell those studies as their own original work. The judgment does not ban anyone from taking the picture, it bans the commercial use of an image with a design. The defendant never denied that he did in fact try to reproduce the design.

2. The original was not any single element, but all of them taken together in one piece of artwork. The defendant was not able to document any earlier examples of an artwork that would combine all of these elements together, although there were plenty of later examples. So the originality was formally established.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

no other images of a red bus in front of the parliament color keyed on a B&W backround?

well the guy must have had a bad lawyer......

3 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 25, 2012)

The issue is that the threshold for "creativity" or "originality" seems too low here. If you give me any two pictures of a similar scene, I sure can find many similarities between the two pictures.

Besides, the part where both pictures are really similar (red on black and white) is not original at all. Some other similaries are likely due to the nature of the place (not artist's creation).

1 upvote
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 25, 2012)

@Henry M. Hertz: "original" does not mean "the only." It means "the first." The criteria on which the images were judged are clearly outlined in the judgment. If you can find an earlier (before Aug. 2005) dated image that satisfies all these criteria then you can submit it to prove that Fielders image was not original. If you can't find an earlier example that satisfies *all* those criteria, then it stands as the original image.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

i know what it means and his images was nothing of it.

not first and not only.. period.

i remember seeing this made in the ANALOG FILM days and that must be in the 80s.
a red bus on the bridge before the parliament.
but from the left side of the bridge (left if you look at the big ben and parliament).

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 25, 2012)

@Henry M. Hertz: Hearsay is typically not accepted in the court of law. If you have a proof I will agree with you. The judge was not given any proof that Fielder's work was not the first such image, and this is what he based his ruling on.

0 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (Jan 25, 2012)

Vlad, i took a similiar picture in 2003 with my canon P&S.
nearly from the same viewpoint.
i converted it to black and white and only left a woman in a red dress and a red bus colored.

how can i prove i made it in 2003? it is an JPG not an RAW.

0 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 25, 2012)

@Gothmoth: I am not a lawyer, and I don't know what would be acceptable to the judge. It is possible that a sworn deposition would suffice. Or if you posted it on the internet before 2005 you might be able to find the time stamp on the web site.

I freely admit that the overall view is not unusual, and you even might find my posts where I say that IMO selective coloring is trite and cliche in general. Nevertheless, the judgment notes that there was no argument or contest that the defendant's *intention* from the start was to infringe on the Fielder's image, and that Houghton only introduced changes in order to avoid getting caught. In this context I wonder if the fact that you have not removed the sky would prevent your version from being a precedent, as the removed sky is one of the creative elements that was reproduced.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jan 25, 2012)

Vlad - I dont get this. Is this a Copyright case? I mean - Copyright is about copying. Ideas and designs you have to patent, e.g. trade marks. If you sell candy with a yellow unicorn on the package - then you can trade mark that - similar with a red bus. But - if I make another candy and use a yellow unicorn - no one will talk about Copyright - would they? Its trade mark - isnt it?

0 upvotes
IPCopycat
By IPCopycat (Jan 25, 2012)

If I may, I would like to clarify certain issues. (I apologise if I am repeating what has already been said)

The fact that the earlier photo was of famous landmarks does not mean it cannot be protected by copyright. Copyright subsists in the totality of the work. In this case, it is the red bus travelling in a particular direction in a monochrome Westminster. The composition of the photo can have influence but is not crucial when considering infringement (there are past case law supporting this). In the "Originality" section of the decision, the Judge succinctly points out when a photo of a famous landmark is protected and when it is not.

So, for this case, it is the fact that the later photo has a similar background, also edited into black and white, and has a red bus, travelling in the same direction that makes it a copy. Following this, the ikea photo referred to below is clearly not a copy of Fielder's photo.

0 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 25, 2012)

That is silly, what other direction can the bus travel? What other color can the bus have?

2 upvotes
DUMB4SS
By DUMB4SS (Jan 25, 2012)

Once again just google Parliament Black and white Red bus.
There will be at least 8 different ones.

0 upvotes
IPCopycat
By IPCopycat (Jan 25, 2012)

I would also like to add, there is no need for a claimant to suffer financial damage in order to bring an action of infringement.

Also, this case does not mean that any photo of a bus infront of Westminster is a copy.

0 upvotes
IPCopycat
By IPCopycat (Jan 25, 2012)

The bus could be travelling from left to right.

I know it's a London bus, but the later photo could have edited it to be in blue, green, or yellow. I suspect if they did that, it wouldn't have infringed.

Many seems to think that this decision will have a broad implication. The reason why the later photo was found to infringe is because there are many similarities, all adding up in totality to be a substantial copy. The emphasis here is "in totality".

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jan 25, 2012)

IPCopyCat - no the reason for infringement was that he deliberately avoided using the first image and as good as he could tried to make a similar. It was the intention that was the motivation. Maybe - if he had totally failed with his plan - then maybe he would have been found not guilty. But - then planning to do a crime is also a crime sometimes.

0 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 25, 2012)

I just want to add I don't like either of the pictures, especially the white sky (maybe because the pictures has been downsized and compressed?)

In the court document, it says the first photographer used 80 hours to take/ps it? Maybe he is not very skilled.

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

well he must be a PS noob if he spend 80 hours for THAT.

and what does it matter?

3 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 25, 2012)

I gave up reading that legal documents ...

I guess as long as I do not use PS, I should be fine? LOL

0 upvotes
Patrick J Burns
By Patrick J Burns (Jan 25, 2012)

Just found this
http://www.allposters.co.uk/gallery

Then I am going to take a photo of a New York Yellow Cab and have it copyrighted and then I am going to sue each and every tourist in the city with a camera

0 upvotes
diy
By diy (Jan 25, 2012)

This is outrageous and simply wrong.

If anyone can copyright the idea of using a red subject in front of a black and white background, it should be Steven Spielberg, he used it in Schindler's List (that was 1993?).

It is quite likely, people used similar idea long before that.

By the way, the (processed) white sky looks so ugly to me.

3 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

well it was done long before 1993.
mr. spielberg was just copying (using) the obvious idea.

0 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Jan 25, 2012)

Even in film Spielberg wasn't the first. I'd already seen it in European movies.

0 upvotes
FataMorgana
By FataMorgana (Jan 25, 2012)

I guess Google could sue everybody whoever took picture of every street or street corner in the world...oopss I should copyright the idea.

1 upvote
MDunka
By MDunka (Jan 25, 2012)

So, nobody will be allowed to ever photgraph a red bus in a black-and-white London,except Justin. Good for him. Now, can you ask him, am I allowed to make my London blue, or will he sue me? :P

0 upvotes
Gerard Hoffnung
By Gerard Hoffnung (Jan 25, 2012)

I think the judge weighed the previous relationship between the two litigants far too heavily. As Sosua suggested in an earlier post, I Googled london red bus black white. Multiple similar images show up including one that is almost identical being sold by a UK poster web site. I can't see this judgment standing up under appeal.

1 upvote
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 25, 2012)

It is likely that all the other images are formally speaking infringements as well. The reproductions of the original were sold on souvenirs at the Tower of London, where pretty much every tourist that visits London could see it, and it is not unreasonable to suppose that many would like to imitate it for their own collection. Especially, let's be frank, the original is practically begging for improvement. Nevertheless, nobody else is trying to make money off of it, so it was not worth pursuing the copyright case.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

they probably would feel ashamed to go to court for this.....

2 upvotes
lecoupdejarnac
By lecoupdejarnac (Jan 25, 2012)

"It is likely that all the other images are formally speaking infringements as well"

They only could be infringements as far as this asinine judgment is concerned, which is exactly the problem here. The judgment presents far too broad implications about interpreting copyright as the protection of ideas instead of merely the protection of works.

1 upvote
wmueller4711
By wmueller4711 (Jan 25, 2012)

what about this picture beeing sold from IKEA:
http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/40152586/

3 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

the photographer should sue Justin Fielder.
Justin Fielder may has visited IKEA in his life and saw this image.

2 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 25, 2012)

Have you actually read the judgment, or just imagining what it might say?

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

i have.. but have you used your brain?

it was NOT Justin Fielder´s idea or concept.... he just copied someone else.
he used an idea other had before him to sell his stuff.
but then complains that others look at his picture and do the same.

the difference is other people would feel ashamed to go to court.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Richard Ettinger
By Richard Ettinger (Jan 25, 2012)

that's insane!

3 upvotes
Will Kaiser
By Will Kaiser (Jan 25, 2012)

This will open commercial photography to the same games as Domain Name ownership offers. Just go out and photograph all the tourist attractions near you, apply some NIK filters, copyright it, and sit back to collect your gravy..

2 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

MAGNUM SUES BRITISH PHOTPOGRAPHERS OVER BEACH IMAGES.

no images on beaches anymore... magnum has the copyright for ugly british people on beaches!

also no images of people jumping over water!!
magnum holds all rights for such images!!

http://tinyurl.com/72633fg

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Ivan Lietaert
By Ivan Lietaert (Jan 25, 2012)

Am I the only one agreeing with the judge on this?
After skimming through the full judgement, it becomes clear that this issue is about commercial use of these pictures: Justin Fielder's image is sold as a poster/ postcard, while the second picture is used on the packaging of English tea, sold to tourists. I can understand that a professional photographer wants to see his creative products protected. The second image is obviously a (bad) case of plagiarism: rather than using the original picture, and paying the original artist royalties, someone at the tea company decided to use a cheap copy and hoped to get away with it.

5 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

ansel adams pictures are sold too.. so i can not sell a book with MY pictures from yosemite national park... give me a break.

because someone makes a bad poster from a public place... i can not take a similiar picture and sell MY stuff with it?

you are a lawyer? i mean to normal people that sounds strange...

you should tell that all the wildlife and travel photographers.... they should get a new job. judge or lawyer maybe....

how many unique pictures of a yawning lion can we make?
how many unique pictures of gepards sleeping on a tree?

i have three books here with a cover that show sleeping leopards/ gepards on a tree.. all from different photographers.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
DiscreteCosine
By DiscreteCosine (Jan 25, 2012)

If you took a photo of exactly the same part of Yellowstone, painted the sky white and turned the entire picture black-and-white except for one particular element (assuming Adams had done the same), and if he was alive, and thought you were trying to harm him financially (by selling "your" artwork to his potential customers), then yes, he probably could sue you.

This isn't just "a photo of a London bus". It's a photo of a London bus on the same spot, with the same background, processed in the same (non-trivial) way (blank sky, B&W background, red bus), just from a slightly different angle and with different cropping, meant to be used commercially.

Do you have any doubts that it was a deliberate attempt to copy the first photo, and profit from the first photographer's idea?

If someone published a story where the sequence of events was identical to Lord of the Rings, but changed it to a 1st person narrative, do you think Tolkien wouldn't be able to sue?

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

google "london red bus".

and it is trivial for everyone who used photoshop.
it is a 5-10 minute job, masking and converting to B&W.

even my 14 year old brother can do it.

so who was the first who photographed a yawning lion?
i have to ask him if im allowed to take such a picture on my next trip and sell it online.

writing is different to taking IMAGES OF THINGS THAT EXIST WITHOUT OUR DOING. the idea of color keying a red bus is not new nor is it mr. fiedlers own idea.
he is just the first who was not ashamed to sue another photographer for using this idea and take a similiar picture.

and yes nobody should write storys about a group of heroes fighting an evil guy and his comrads.
tolkien wrote that and even he copied the idea.....

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
DiscreteCosine
By DiscreteCosine (Jan 25, 2012)

Copyright isn't about how hard it is to make something. I could copy most of Mondrian's works in less than 5 minutes. That doesn't mean I can present that copy as my own work, especially if I had previously been using the original without paying any royalties.

You're just shooting in random nonsensical directions. Read the ruling (you clearly haven't) and stop making a fool of yourself.

2 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (Jan 25, 2012)

@DiscreteCosine

well maybe you should read what Henry is replying to!!
the ruleing says it´s "not trivial".

well when a child can do it in 5 minutes i would call that TRIVIAL.. or not?

0 upvotes
DiscreteCosine
By DiscreteCosine (Jan 25, 2012)

"Trivial" and "non-trivial" has nothing to do with how long it takes. It takes two hours to paint the walls of my living room, and it took Picasso 20 seconds to do some of his drawings.

You think it would be "trivial" for a child to take a photo combining 4 major London landmarks, desaturate the background, saturate the bus, and paint the whole sky white? All in 5 minutes? Without having seen it done by someone else first? Then please mention at least five children who have done that. What, you can't? One child then. Not even that? Your definition of "trivial" seems rather broad, then.

In fact the tea company admitted it took them 80 hours to take and manipulate the photograph until they achieved that look. If you had read the ruling (instead of wasting your time with multiple exclamation marks and UPPERCASE WORDS!!) you wouldn't even have used that argument.

Go read the ruling and stop being "outraged" at something you're not even informed about.

1 upvote
DUMB4SS
By DUMB4SS (Jan 25, 2012)

So any one of the numerous photographers who had previously done the same shot in the same way should now be able to sue the claimant for plagiarism and win

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jan 25, 2012)

DiscreteCosine. Of course you can copy Mondrians work, if you paint it yourself. No problems. You cannot claim that the paintings are painted by Mondrian though. That would be fraud, and have nothing to do with Copyright.

0 upvotes
DiscreteCosine
By DiscreteCosine (Jan 26, 2012)

@Dumbass:

Which photographers would those be? First you have to show an image created by someone else that shares those elements (red bus in front of Houses of Parliament, B&W background, white sky). Second you have to prove that the author of the first image had seen that one before creating his.

The guy who made the second photo had seen the first one (and tried to use it without paying the author), and set out specifically to create an image that copied the original one's look. Read the court's decision (link at the top).

@Roland:

Mondrian's paintings' copyright has probably expired, but if you had copied his work and used it commercially during his lifetime, he would have been able to sue you. Likewise, if you copy a book and try to sell it as your work (or record yourself singing someone else's song and try to sell it without permission), the author can sue you.

If you think that "has nothing to do with copyright", you have no idea what copyright is.

1 upvote
SheikYerbouti
By SheikYerbouti (Jan 25, 2012)

The "original" is a much better photo. It is well composed and the central object, although colorized, still remains firmly in its natural environment. The "copycat" is a strange and unnatural looking image. It's got a weird perspective and the colorized object reminds me of the cut-and-paste jobs that Terry Gilliam did in Monty Python's Flying Circus. Seen from that perspective, Terry Gilliam and many others might as well have joined and filed a class action against the defendant.

But none of this has anything to do with the issue at hand. I think the judgment is an outrage. It should be appealed and publicly fought at every possible level.

2 upvotes
SheikYerbouti
By SheikYerbouti (Jan 25, 2012)

I also think that everyone who was involved in writing the law, everyone who voted for the law in parliament and the judge who passed the sentence should be shot. The two photographers should be arrested and each of them should be held in solitary confinement for one year where Justin Fielder is made to read up on ethics and morality (Socrates, Plato, Augustine, Kant) and Nick Houghton is made to familiarize himself with the concept of "original idea" and creativity in general. He should also be forced to attend a photography class.

8 upvotes
kimvette
By kimvette (Jan 25, 2012)

And, this is exactly why so many call it "imaginary property."

Big Corp(TM) took a photo of a red bus with Palace of Westminster in the background, therefore no one else can!

Is there any wonder that pro-piracy groups and rampant willful copyright infringement is growing, not decreasing with moronic court actions and legislation? They have become so ridiculous with imaginary property legislation and litigation that copyright has ceased to mean /anything/ in the eyes of consumers.

2 upvotes
Alessandro63
By Alessandro63 (Jan 25, 2012)

exactly. It is a "treatment".

0 upvotes
RKGoth
By RKGoth (Jan 25, 2012)

The 'treatment' is not the salient point in this as a judgement on copyright infringement, it is merely an element of similarity.

0 upvotes
Alessandro63
By Alessandro63 (Jan 25, 2012)

apart from the treatment, do you think you can claim the intellectual property of an image of a red bus in that very place? Is it the white sky??? Sorry, I don't get any other real "similarity" if not that boring selective color treatment

0 upvotes
RKGoth
By RKGoth (Jan 25, 2012)

Read the judgement. The image is not actually the important bit.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

we have RKGoth..... but what you don´t get is that most here think it plays no role if the two know eachother or not.

i can sue you once... next time i sue you over a flower image you took you will know me... now prove you have not copied your "image idea" from me.

that´s plain stupid.

beside that it was NOT Justin Fielder´s idea or concept.... he just copied someone else.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
RKGoth
By RKGoth (Jan 25, 2012)

What most think is irrelevant. The law is pretty clear - this is a deliberate act of infringement, regardless of how original the claimant's work is. Again, I have said elsewhere that I feel a different defence would have seen the case dismissed, but the judgement is rational and logical.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

you make a good untertan. :)

in 1936 the laws in germany were pretty clear.. still wouldn´t we wish people had more common sense back then?

0 upvotes
Alessandro63
By Alessandro63 (Jan 25, 2012)

ok, now I get it. It's a story of (repeated) infringements between two companies, the images similarity has nothing to do with it. It's a different story.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jan 25, 2012)

RKGoth - I know that Copyright law is more or less cr@p, but there are some kind of limits - are there not? I mean - red buses in London! And English tea with a red bus! I was in London just some few months ago. And the souvenir shops and also everywhere else is just loaded with red buses, taxis, millennium wheels and Big Ben. I can probably go out and buy some other tea with a red bus and Big Ben, or at least coffee, or candy or biscuits. Its highly likely. The image idea is so common that it absolutely is in public domain since ages ago.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Ceesprof
By Ceesprof (Jan 25, 2012)

This verdict sends the copyright issue down a slippery road. Apart from a similar technique the two pictures have nothing in common. Copyright is about intellectual property. The similarity is technical, not creative not intellectual. The persons who use a similar technique do not intellectually copy each other. Two carpenters use the same brand of saws. Do they copy each other? The danger is that this verdict opens the road for the big picture and photo agencies to claim copyright on all photo's made in this world and so monopolize the whole photo business. That would not only hurt the photographers but also the industry serving them.

1 upvote
Alessandro63
By Alessandro63 (Jan 25, 2012)

So, not only in Italy judges are wasting their precious time.
Now, let's institute a prize for the worst taste copyright infringement...
Sorry, I have to add: we have cameras that can do themselves this sort of boring effects. Photographer sued can sue Olympus and others, perhaps...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Peter Galbavy
By Peter Galbavy (Jan 25, 2012)

Posters here are confusing the different aspects of Copyright law, especially the UK law, when it comes to this judgement. Copyright is not about duplication per se in this case, it is about the creative elements of the works in question. I especially like the (traditional) way posters from the US assume that their particular version of Copyright applies globally.

I recommend a good read of http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/contents and all the various updates since for the "real" issues in this case.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

well im not from UK or USA.

and i think it is stupid...

in these two pictures NOTHING is really creative..... at least nothing that needs to be protected. it´s a lame color key effect we all have done a zillion times.

i guess the judge has no clue about these things.
maybe he thought it needs some real wizardy to get that effect....

go sue scott kelby for teaching how to do this.
he gives tipps on his blogs to achive some famous image looks.

maybe he does this only to sue us later because we copied his stuff??

hell.... corey baker even teaches how to copy movie intro titles.
the hollywood lawyers will be after us......

Comment edited 6 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
swhs
By swhs (Jan 25, 2012)

Not really, the comments are that this should not be a breach of copyright law. It's quite clear that copyright law is not about just duplication, see for example works based on another work. However, when it gets so far that ideas/methods are being considered copyright, then you get into patent territory.

So you can have derivative works, which this is not, or similar works obviously inspired by something else. See the book 'Tanja Grotter and the magic bass'. However, this gets close to copyrighting a plot, which is a concept. Should this be allowed?

In both cases it should be a trademark issue, not copyright.

The other posters are right, with this sort of behaviour all sorts of types of photos are suddenly the exclusive domain of some companies. A photo such as shown is not complex enough to allow this, in my view.

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 25, 2012)

@ Henry M. Hertz: you guessed about the judge wrong. If you read the judgement you will see that the judge actually analyzes every single creative element of the images and considers other examples of their use. It was the combination of several intentional modifications of the OOC image that was the issue. The judge decided that the image has a specific and original idea, and the second image clearly tried to reproduce the same unique idea, introducing changes that would supposedly prevent the copyright violation. What the judge says, is that it is not particular shapes that are protected by the copyright, but the creative design in its essence.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

LOL "original idea".... yeah sure....

the "judge" should have analyzed pictures from decades ago who show nearly the same (similar) scene. they are even more creative as they are more complicated to reproduce as in the digital age.

and then he should have told Justin Fielder to get a life. ;)
he just claims an" idea" as his, that other people had long before him.

the judge must have no phantasie at all.
once you see a red london bus the idea is OBVIOUS.

and NOTHING in his picture is unique.
there is not a single thing that was not done before.

i have done it myself, without knowing mr. fielder.
from the other side of the parliament in 2008.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
tarnish
By tarnish (Jan 25, 2012)

"I especially like the (traditional) way posters from the US assume that their particular version of Copyright applies globally.

I recommend a good read of http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/contents and all the various updates since for the "real" issues in this case.
"
Well, the advice regularly flies in both directions, and sometimes each of us has a need for a fresh perspective.

Is there no concept of "the public domain" in British law? Could either party truthfully claim ownership of this fairly obvious subject treatment?

0 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (Jan 25, 2012)

The British civil justice system is degenerating into a farce. They call London a town called Sue. Essentially the legal process is being prostituted into a big money earner with many people instigating actions in Britain which have no connection at all with this country. Some American states give their citizens protection against the avaricious lunancy of British libel law which is essentially a shield for rich people to get away with mischief. It is a major threat to freedom of expression in this country.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

parents should tell their children not to become a lawyers.
the world would be a better place...

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
davidkachel
By davidkachel (Jan 25, 2012)

If this is a copyright violation then every wedding and yearbook photograph is also. So is every painter of the same school who followed the first painter in that school.
Obviously, photographer #2 stole the style of photographer #1. Stealing style is not a copyright violation. It is simply a violation of taste and the wannabe rule.

The judge is out of his mind; but then, we kind of expect that from the whole upside down leftist British system.

The judge should instead have fined BOTH photographers for poor taste and boring us with their photographs.

2 upvotes
DiscreteCosine
By DiscreteCosine (Jan 25, 2012)

I'm afraid that "stealing style and substance" (since the theme is also exactly the same) is indeed a copyright violation, if used for commercial purposes. Otherwise, virtually all forms of art would be impossible to copyright.

If you try to sell an album where you play and sing other artists' songs using slightly different instruments (and, naturally, with a different voice), the actual sound will probably be quite different, but you're still trying to pass off someone else's work as your own, and need permission from the original author.

Art isn't (just) its physical representation, it's its meaning and the creative process leading to it.

Same processing, same subject, same purpose. Even you admitted that the second photo is clearly an attempt to copy the first (for commercial purposes, to avoid paying the first photographer), so what more do you need?

1 upvote
Slava123
By Slava123 (Jan 25, 2012)

Go to any amateur astronomy forum or pick up a magazine, you'll see thousands of pictures of planets, galaxies and nebulae that look exactly the same. So what? How many times have you seen photos of the mountains at the Moraine Lake, Banff, Canada? They all look almost exactly the same. Same goes for any other frequently photographed landscape.

Also, I can't imagine anyone actually paying money for either of the two photos...

0 upvotes
_sem_
By _sem_ (Jan 25, 2012)

Judge needs a shrink

1 upvote
Cipher
By Cipher (Jan 25, 2012)

You should not be able to copyright anything that's viewable to the public. The Parliament buildings were not created by the photographer nor was the bus. Taking publicly viewable elements and putting them in a photo in a specific way should never be allowed to be copyrighted.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
doctor digi
By doctor digi (Jan 25, 2012)

What a naive comment...

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

no it´s not naive.
but people tend to be brainwashed by the media.

copyright is something from the last century. that´s why every legal system struggles with copyright issues.

it´s a system to make money for years from a single idea... no matter how simple and obvious the idea is. it´s like running for a claim in oregon.... you only have to be first.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Retro Joe
By Retro Joe (Jan 25, 2012)

It is pretty clear that the court is correct with the decision as the evidence is obvious that the offender attempted a way around the initial attempt to use the plantiff's image. The case outcome would have been different if no prior connection between the two parties was present and the second picture wasn't a blatant attempt to copy.

4 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

that is nonsens..... stupid nonsens......

as i and others wrote a million times before.. NOTHING in this picture is UNIQUE.

it´s a picture i have seen a hundred times before.
just google "london red bus".

that these two guys know eachother does not change a thing.

this fielder guy is also not the first who shot this kind of picture.
so because he (may) not know another person personally who shoot such a picture changes everything? give me a break...

if i want a picture like ansel adams half dome but can not afford an original.... i go shoot one myself. that is why i have my OWN camera.

if i sell a book with MY yosemite pictures i don´t want some morons sue me because they where there before me.... as if we had not enough copyright idiocy.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (Jan 25, 2012)

Companies shop around for the best prices all the time. 2 guys capable of producing the same type of image and they went with the cheaper one.

The company probably got a more custom image that they like better.

0 upvotes
Retro Joe
By Retro Joe (Jan 26, 2012)

To henry hertz: well, the Court doesn't fall on your side in this instance. Thankfully there is a system of justice...they get it right far more often than not. People can disagree with this decision all day long-changes nothing.

0 upvotes
AngryCorgi
By AngryCorgi (Jan 25, 2012)

This is bulls**t. The funny part is that (except for the yellow line on the side) Canon's P&S cameras have a color-isolate option in-camera. So now you can't take photos of red buses with a Canon P&S with the isolate tuned to red?? Total crap ruling. I understand there is hisory between the two "artists" that likely played a role, but this is a total misinterpretation of what Copyright law is intedended to do. If Ansel Adams was still alive, he could sue every twit that has taken a photo of the snake river from the same spot he took it?? Makes no sense, IYAM.

3 upvotes
doobob
By doobob (Jan 25, 2012)

The judge must be insane! These two images do not look alike. The only similarity is the location, subject and color. If this decision is held up, why take pictures anymore since someone probably already shot the same scene before you...

1 upvote
DiscreteCosine
By DiscreteCosine (Jan 25, 2012)

So "the only similarity" is... everything about the picture (except the cropping)...? I can see how they're totally independent photos...

1 upvote
Buchan-Grant
By Buchan-Grant (Jan 25, 2012)

The English law system triumphs again!

Hopefully this idiotic decision will be appealed and overturned as it would lead to the possibility of literally thousands of 'fraudulant' law suits and turn the copyright system into a complete nonsense!

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jan 25, 2012)

Infringement, piracy, or plagiarism are legitimate concerns. However, I'd have judged the difference between the two photos to be sufficient to conwsider the latter not to be a copy. In fact, it's better than the original, and Fielder should owe compliments to Hougton.

The scene in question is photographed by thousands of tourists or locals. Some may use mixes of color and B&W.

All sorts of music and jingles borrow motifs or themes. If two songs' lyrics mention "red roses," is one a rip-off from the other?

1 upvote
Nigel Pond
By Nigel Pond (Jan 25, 2012)

Folks first of all a few of you need to understand the difference between a copyright and a patent. Second, this was case at first instance, and should be appealed to the Court of Appeal. As a first instance decision it is of no value whatsoever as a precedent. A Court of Appeal decision would carry more weight, and if it ever made it to the UK Supreme Court, it would be binding precedent. So don't panic, it's a wrongheaded decision and let's hope it is appealed.

1 upvote
Antony John
By Antony John (Jan 25, 2012)

Well, whilst the people who were responsible for missing trillions of dollars that have harmed milions of people worldwide are still laughing all the way to the bank, their 'weekend getaways' or governmet positions without any form of punishment whatsoever, really puts this case into perspective.
The courts seem to be preoccupied with 'petty crimes' rather than making a meaningful difference to humanity - locally or internationally.

1 upvote
Derek Barrett
By Derek Barrett (Jan 25, 2012)

I photographed this scene hundreds of times back in the 1960's.I therefore claim copyright on all images of London Buses and The House of Parliament taken since then.

This action is utterly stupid. There must be hundreds of thousands of copies of this scene taken over the years. It is so much in the public domain that I'm very surprised that the Judge couldn't see this and throw the case out.

You can probably go to just about any stock photography site and find multiple variants of this same image.

3 upvotes
DiscreteCosine
By DiscreteCosine (Jan 25, 2012)

The question isn't what "scene" you photographed, it's whether or not you created similar artwork.

Did you paint the sky white? Did you turn everything monochrome except the bus? Did you use it commercially?

If so, you definitely have a case, go for it. Otherwise it seems that you don't understand what art copyright is or what it applies to, and should probably learn that before posting or classifying an expert's well documented decision as "utterly stupid".

1 upvote
j2fraser
By j2fraser (Jan 25, 2012)

My gosh Gretchen, thanks so much for that helpful news!!! I'm submitting my resignation for my current job right now! Where do I send you that cheque again?

0 upvotes
Ohnostudio
By Ohnostudio (Jan 25, 2012)

This means that any photographer who has used Selective Color can be called a criminal. Maybe that's a good thing.

5 upvotes
Lyle Aldridge
By Lyle Aldridge (Jan 25, 2012)

This is an interesting case that I think was wrongly decided - the judge ends up protecting what copyright law generally does NOT protect - the concept, general elements and process, rather than the expression itself. He seems way too impressed by a Photoshop technique that is ridiculously common. I don't know what kind of appellate system they have in the UK, but I can't imagine this decision being upheld. As precedent, it's horrible.

The obvious problem for the judge, though, was that the defendants essentially "confessed" that they intended to copy all of those features of the first image, and were doing it for a commercial purpose. That evidently didn't sit well in his mind. To me, though, the difference between the two images is huge, and really IS the artistic expression of the second. Houghton copied a concept and a process, to produce a very different work more suited for the use his client intended to make of the image. That's exactly what IP law is meant to encourage.

10 upvotes
keysmith
By keysmith (Jan 25, 2012)

as everything has been photographed in every possible way it is inevitable that there gone be 'collisions' (on purpose or by accident). This copy-write notion and the way it has evolved in our days is just schizophrenic.. Give freedom to the expression and art of photography.. I disagree with the court decision..

7 upvotes
Biggstr
By Biggstr (Jan 25, 2012)

Since perspective is an aspect of artistic expression in photographs, I assume this means that people in the UK, based on this ruling, can now copyright street corners or make their rounds of the standard tourist shots that every tour guide and cabby knows and (if the first to claim them) make them their own. Hope this infection stops in the UK and is overturned on appeal. It's absurd!

But things are almost as absurd in the United States. Our Federal Government is also allowing corporations to copyright and trademark ideas, language, and processes as common as air. Will there come a day when people are arrested for taking photos of landmark buildings because the building owner has a copyright on the image ... all images of the building? Are we close? Recall the incidents when photographers had been hassled for taking photos of the Transamerica Pyramid building in San Francisco.

3 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jan 25, 2012)

the really sad thing is that people are so brainwashed that they think this is right.....

0 upvotes
AndyGM
By AndyGM (Jan 25, 2012)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derivative_work

Quote:

"For copyright protection to attach to a later, allegedly derivative work, it must display some originality of its own. It cannot be a rote, uncreative variation on the earlier, underlying work. The latter work must contain sufficient new expression, over and above that embodied in the earlier work for the latter work to satisfy copyright law’s requirement of originality.

... the Second Circuit held that a derivative work must be original relative to the underlying work on which it is based. Otherwise, it cannot enjoy copyright protection and copying it will not be copyright infringement"

Yeah, ok so this is US law, but UK copyright law has a similar clause.

I'm sorry, but Justin Fielder's photo is about a derivative as they come (images using this Popping technique, with a London Bus on Westminster Bridge, with Big Ben in the background, is a cliche). Therefore, his photo should not have any copyright protection.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
jhumkey
By jhumkey (Jan 25, 2012)

I mostly agree, but, you raise an interesting question. Even the full judgement uses the phrase "iconic London landmarks". Is the real problem, not that the 2nd image violates the copyright of the first, but that the first image (using such well known iconic images) wasn't properly copyrightable in the first place? That it too copies something so well known and recognizable . . . ? Does Ansel Adams photos of FAMOUS Yosemite LANDMARKS block all subsequent photos?

0 upvotes
DiscreteCosine
By DiscreteCosine (Jan 25, 2012)

If he processed them in a particular and distinctive way, then anyone taking photos of exactly the same subject, from roughly the same angle, and processing them the same way (and selling them to the same potential clients) can be sued for copyright infringement, yes.

1 upvote
stevez
By stevez (Jan 25, 2012)

If you saw the two photographs side by side, would you assume they were from the same artist?

1 upvote
sirmaxx
By sirmaxx (Jan 25, 2012)

I would not be that quick to assume.

1 upvote
Dafffid
By Dafffid (Jan 25, 2012)

The current mass panic over copyright - in music, photography, film and writing - and the flurry of patent cases over technology, all only highlight the self evident truth: intellectual property laws are breathing their last breaths. They've had eminent opponents for 200 years (Brunel hated them), and they've caused more harm than good to many great people (they generally protect financiers and not creatives). In their current form they're unsupportable. The world has changed, the genie is out of the bottle, time to move on.

6 upvotes
Xbrc
By Xbrc (Jan 25, 2012)

Fully agree. These extremist decisions just make the case for copyrights harder to support. Hopefully we'll soon get rid of this business model and move to a somewhat better world.

0 upvotes
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Jan 25, 2012)

If you need another warning about how dangerous copyright abuse can be, just take a look at SOPA and PIPA.

In Shakespeare's day, I think people were actually proud if others shared or made derivatives of their work. It indicated that other people appreciated the work and like the idea.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jan 25, 2012)

China: "Intellectual property laws? Simple. The Party and State have a patriotic mandate, and unlimited power, to obtain every technology, good, or service that will accellerate GDP growth, increase national power, and beat the West at its game."

Courts: "No, you can't. If you do, you'll be sued."

China: "So?"

Courts: "Uh...."

0 upvotes
kg56
By kg56 (Jan 26, 2012)

Result China powers ahead and the West slides into a litigation abyss, fear to do anything without being sued, stagnation, and falling living standards.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 738
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