Monday, November 15, 2010

Online copyright and ethics

Online copyright problems just continue to be sore spots. While still thinking of how the always-heavy handed Recording Industry Association of America smashing yet another teen stupid enough to be downloading music without paying (I'm not condoning it, just commenting on the huge settlements asked by the RIAA, which certainly seems to relish its role as bully), along comes a blog on how online editors continue to believe that they can just copy about anything that's been on the Internet without permission or payment. It included this comment by the editor of a cooking magazine called on the carpet by an author whose material it had ripped off: "But honestly Monica, the web is considered ‘public domain’ and you should be happy we just didn't ‘lift’ your whole article and put someone else's name on it! …" I hate to dump on the ignorant, but the editor's comment fits with the rapidly-eroding ethics of the Internet, which seems to be following talk radio into irrelevancy. If only writers and photographers had stables of lawyers to threaten businesses.