It’s Sunday. I experiment. Or, I go photograph a second line parade. I’m too still sick to go out in the street and work. I thought I was better yesterday. But, this damn flu just won’t let go. I haven’t been able to really work in a week. It’s making me crazy. But, it is giving me some time to read. I usually only pay halfway attention to social media. For the past couple of days I’ve been reading it too much. I’ve come to the conclusion that it should be heavily regulated. People who can’t read should not be allowed to post.
There is a 16 month old story about Facebook trying to claim the rights to just about everything we post and being able to monetize it in advertisements, marketing and so on. When that story was published, the creative members among us went to war. Our trade groups united and wrote to Congress. I doubt they would have done anything. After all, they don’t do much. But the folks at Facebook didn’t want to face any kind of Congressional review so they backed off. They have not attempted any sort of end run. This doesn’t mean they won’t do so in the future. But, for now there are other battles to fight.
Some newbie just read the old story. He didn’t bother to read the date. He just posted it under the “Oh my God” category. In the echo chamber that is social media this started getting passed around like it was breaking news. It isn’t. Read what I wrote above. Of course, that was followed by a meaningless quasi-legal bit of boiler plate that people have been posting on Facebook that generally says, “Hands off.” Read what I wrote. It’s meaningless. It prevents nothing. The people who over reacted should be regulated. Maybe they shouldn’t be allowed to post for a period of time. I’m not a big rules guy. But, stop passing around bad information.
It just gets better. One of my blogging colleagues sees it and starts yet another discussion on Facebook. I just had to know how she was defending herself from online theft. I went to her blog. I opened a picture. Guess what? It was 5097 x 3400 pixels at 300 ppi. That’s a full frame Nikon produced file. Oh sure, she put her watermark on the picture. Guess again? All I had to do was drag and drop (right mouse click on a Windows machine) and put it on my desktop. If I wanted to, I could have removed her watermark and claimed that picture as my own. I would never do that. It’s HER picture. But, you get the point.
The least — the very least — she could have done was make the picture smaller for web use. I make these pictures around 1800 x 1200 pixels at 72 ppi. Not only does it limit the usage to web only if somebody steals it, but it makes it a lot faster to upload. Besides, there is no computer LCD that can “see” at more than 72 ppi. Some people say that new LCDs can see as large at 96 ppi. That may be, but it’s not 300 ppi which is the quality you need to make a large paper print or publish in a book or magazine or somewhere.
Bottom line. Do everything that you can to protect yourself. Acknowledge that the internet is the wild west and people think all art should be free. They will steal it if they can. Just limit the damage. Oh yeah… if they manage to steal something bigger and use it and you see it, without a doubt be ready to drop a huge legal hammer.
Back to what you came here for… pictures. I made this in The Bywater facing the sun. In the summer. It is really golden and pretty. But, I just wanted to see what it looks like in black and white. Besides, I really don’t want to make my illness worse by going out and enjoying a very nice day. We are heading into winter. It’s 77 degrees out, Sunny. No heavy humidity. Why ever would I want to go outside and enjoy that?