Copyright laws around the world are getting more draconian by the day, Witness the American DMCA,SOPA/PIPA/CISPA/TPP and Canada’s own Copyright Act, which was revised in spite of a decade of widespread Canadian opposition and against the public interest by the majority Conservative government in 2012.
Canada is not the first country, nor will it be the last, to crumble in the face of heavy handed lobbying by special interest copyright maximalists (MPAA, RIAA and here, supported on the ground by CRIA, SOCAN, and Access Copyright &tc) who want — and are getting — intellectual property law for intangibles to be more restrictive than physical property law. As a creative, I find this deeply disturbing because the cultural ramifications.
So I have decided that the best course of action is to never infringe copyright. That means the best course of action is, then, to default to non-use. Initially I was unsure about Tumblr “reblogging” any material that might in fact be construed as infringing copyright.
But Tumblr. says:
“What is reblogging?
“The same way YouTube embeds make it easy for a video to become a viral hit, the “reblog” button on all Tumblr posts allows a meme to spread rapidly across thousands of blogs with just a click.”
So Tumblr reblogging is intended to be equivalent to embedding, which is supposed to be similar to sharing a link, which is legal in Canada (thank you, Jon Newton!) Still, I will always err on the side of caution, and endeavor to lean toward blogging my own original work, released under creative commons license, and works in the public domain, or the works of others that are licensed for reuse.
Even so, reblogs of copyright “protected” works are in no way “free culture”, so beginning in September 2012 any reblogging of non-free work will be confined to a new blog dedicated for that purpose, Laurel Reblogs. Although public domain sculptures are themselves free culture, photographs of them are not unless so licensed. Which means I’ll be putting photographs of public domain three dimensional art here as well, tagged #notquitepublicdomain
visual laurel is now all Free Culture
Although I advocate free culture, I believe it is important to attribute work, even if it is, or maybe especially if it is, in the public domain. So when I reblog a public domain Tumblog post, the only thing I might change is to add my own comment or tags to a post, leaving all originator material intact, so the creator is attributed. Additionally, when I post or reblog art on the public domain, I will always tag it with the name of the artist if known.
All my own original artwork in this blog is now released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License