Copyright: the ownership of and legal right to control all possible ways of producing a copy of an original piece of work, such as a book, play, film, photograph or piece of music.
Cambridge International Dictionary of English,
Cambridge University Press 1995
This word has been causing a lot of fuss for decades, even centuries. With the Internet issues regarding this concept are growing faster and bigger.
I’m going to tell you the story of photographer Lara Jade Coton.
Lara Jade took a self portrait at the age of fourteen then uploaded her photo on the Internet. TVX took her image and put it on a pornographic DVD. At the age of seventeen she found out that her photo had been stolen, and sued the company. After three years she finally won the case.
This is a big and important victory for everybody who creates Art. Literature, music, photography are products of an intense and hard work, and should be properly respected and valued. We live in a world that prefers profit to respect, where intellectual work is usually considered an idle hobby.
Internet is a source of connections, ideas, news; it promotes honorable values such as sharing and spreading knowledge among many others. But it is also a source of illegal uses of artworks and of stealth. As artists using the Internet we are well aware that our works could be used and stolen without us ever knowing it (or maybe not, words and news spread quickly online). Copyrights are often ignored, even when it is clearly indicated “do not use or reproduce without permission”.
Most people do not consider Art a work. They take for granted music, images, words, thinking it is so funny and easy to create them. Some others know but just don’t care, looking for quick profits.
It gets us all angry and sad. Mostly angry. That’s why we’ll go on fighting for our rights. From the simple ones of making people aware of the sweat it takes to create Art, to copyright and illegal uses.
Please. When you see, read or listen to something you like and would like to share/use/reproduce, contact the respective authors first. We’ll all grow as human beings.