The things that change when people get so full of themselves they forget they would never be where they are without others. It amazes me.
I have been working on a very important article concerning copyright infringement and how it has changed people’s lives. The simple truth is that people are greedy, self centered and ego driven when it comes to the groups who do things to purposely hurt other people.
I have been talking to many people who have had their work stolen. Make no mistake about it, when they use it without permission it is stealing. I have some serious concerns about some of the people as their lives have been turned upside down so another person or company can have their way and in many cases make millions off of it.
There are those who have the financial resources to wage what is really a class war against the large corporations who do this on what appears to be a regular basis. There are the others, the largest group by far that are living in one room apartments and struggling to protect their work. There is one in particular that has gotten under my skin for some reason. He is now working to become a fireman but his passion is still music. He has taken two years off from writing and performing. He is now working on doing it again as a part time thing at least for now. The alleged infringement would have paid a very large sum of money as the song that was used sold over a million copies for the cd it is on. Even if he just got a $1 for each cd he would be a millionaire instead of struggling in a studio apartment.
Others have filed lawsuits worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Their stories are not really unique at all as this is now the norm in our society instead of the aberration. It is time to get some of the people who helped do this to recognize the errors of their ways and if necessary to bring lawsuits and complaints against them.
I have met and talked to some amazing people who have been willing to put their money, their personal life and their work on the line not just for themselves but for the other independent artists. The future is cloudy for them and it is up to us to make it much clearer. The future is up to the people who will fight for it because the next generation artist are counting on us to help them protect their work Unfortunately, the 7th amendment to the US Constitution is under attack and in many cases it seems the aggressor is the federal court judges themselves. There are things being done by companies and others to circumvent the constitution in the need to expedite case loads and by terms of services that are taking away the right of US citizens to have trials to determine the outcome of complaints.
The copyright infringement issues are not just in the photography arena, but it sure has its share of them. I do hope the small claims type of systems gets off the ground so that places like Pinterest, Etsy and others clean up their acts. If the systems works like it should, the people who infringe on those sites will end up paying for the use of the work they took. Pin it as some call it will become the cry for the lawsuits.
The commitment of these people is shown in the time they have to put into the cases. The time is almost all in pre-trial motions, depositions and other legal maneuvering by the attorneys. Postponements, the extended time frames and of course the additional legal fees are the norm. Many of these cases started in the 2004-2010 era. It is now approaching 2014. The load is getting heavier and the courts are responding by dismissing cases at an alarming rate. This is not the case in all the districts but it is enough to cause some district judges to take notice. Some are handing out attorney fees to people that exceed a half a million dollars, in attorney fees alone. This seems to be a huge revenue stream for attorneys at the cost of the artists and in fairness to the infringers also.
The good thing for photographers is that there is very seldom a case of ownership or proof a similarity problems with images.
One way to get a dialogue going is to include those making rules for the courts. Some of that process seems to be behind closed doors now and we need to open them up. This includes bringing in Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justices of the Federal Court Districts and some others. There is a campaign getting started to do just that. I am doing that campaign. We need to hold people accountable for what we see as an abandonment of the 7th amendment in favor of being quicker and cheaper for the court system. I just do not see how that can be done as the constitution clearly states what the 7th amendment guarantees us, the citizens and the courts seem to think they can take it away from us. I do not personally think we should let them get by with it.
We have not even
I am not an attorney. These are my personal opinions and general information only. These are not legal advice and should not be used as such.