So sick of people whining about copyright theft/plagiarism instead of being proactive

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(unknown member) Regular Member • Posts: 330
So sick of people whining about copyright theft/plagiarism instead of being proactive
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I just saw the story that was posted the other day about the lawsuit involving the University of Houston. Years ago, I would've been outraged about how little copyright is respected and yadda yadda yadda. Now I'm more annoyed at what strikes me as a willful refusal to accept the realities of doing business on the internet and practicing due diligence.

It should've been obvious from the whole David Slater debacle that the internet is not your friend. The reason why is that everyone is exploiting the fact that it currently exists in a legal grey area, and that because this is the reality of the internet, photographers have little recourse if a multi-billion dollar corporation or a hack fine artist decides to steal or appropriate their work.

In light of all this, it still boggles the mind that photographers will:

  1. Put up high resolution, full scale images online that can easily be downloaded and printed.
  2. Put up their absolute best work (the stuff they can't really afford to risk getting ripped off or plagiarized because of how much expertise and skill it took to make it)
  3. Put up their work at social media platforms (Flickr, Instagram, Your Best Shot) in the hopes of "gaining exposure and work", even though all that happens is that they get copied to hell and back by other users or companies use their images as inspiration for in-house staff to replicate.

All of this, in spite of the following being the case again and again and again:

  1. If it's good enough--or useful enough--to be stolen, it will be stolen, regardless of watermarks, stern warnings, etc.
  2. If it goes "viral", you're *bleeped*.
  3. If it can't be stolen, it can be copied/replicated/imitated.

Why, oh, why, oh, why can't photographers get this? Until the law is finally fixed in favor of creatives, it does no one any favors to keep uploading their absolutely best work "for the exposure" at full-scale resolution, especially at some stupid photo sharing/social media platform. "Exposure" online rarely means, "Wow, I just got called by a major company/gallery/studio/celebrity to do some work!" It means, "I just gave away a high quality image for free that everyone else can rip off, plagiarize and appropriate."

It makes more sense to reserve--and promote--your best work via more traditional means, like print.

Thoughts?

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