Just so you know, copyright is not a “right”, but a legal fiction that exists because government says so. Copyright is a government backed monopoly that not only facilitates the control of culture, it allows censorship.
I take photographs of lots of things, but I started going out of my way to photograph politician since attending a Wikimedia Foundation meeting in Toronto. This became more mission than hobby when I had trouble getting permission to use the Creative Commons licensed photograph I had chosen to illustrate a blog. The creator didn’t understand the license she had chosen would allow someone to use of the image in a way she did not approve. Although I could have gone ahead and used the image anyway I respect the wishes of other creators, even if I disagree with them. My own thinking is if the government gives out such monopolies, and worse, allows the force if the law to fall on private citizens (which it never had before) at minimum the government owes it to the public to explain this law to citizens clearly and concisely. Most people don’t understand copyright issues because no one has. Every citizen who uses any sort of digital devices needs a crash course on these laws, because they law can be used against us. As a blogger I understand the value in using illustrations in my blogs, but as a free culture advocate, I am very much aware of the ease with which copyright law can be used to silence free speech. Especially political speech (which is, of course, why government is happy to grant this monopoly.
And so I photopgraph politicians and publish them on Flickr and Wikipedia to make them available as widely as possible.
As a creator, I especially hate what the ever increasingly onerous copyright regime is doing to culture. Although I’ve been busy working for electoral reform, whenever I can, I use social media to amplify copyright issues. This is one of those times. Apparently the EU is contemplating yet more copyright law to further constrain culture. This little video will give you an idea of just what this means:
This is a heads up to those of you in the EU, it’s time to step up and call your MEP to Save The Meme
Since this might in fact trigger censorship, here’s a plain text breakdown of the video
A new copyright reform is going on in the EU
It proposes to create an all mighty censorship machine
and forces Internet companies to be the Internet Police
Act now to defend your freedom of expression
freedom to educate
freedom to meme
freedom to parody
freedom to remix/mashup
freedom to GIF
Freedom to dance to music
Freedom to wiki
Freedom to quote
Freedom to gameplay
Freedom to play
Freedom to video cosplay
All this user content and many more could disappear
if the #CENSORSHIPMACHINE is created.
We can still prevent this from happening.
Tell your MEP to STOP the #CENSORSHIPMACHINE at https://savethememe.net
We deserve a copyright that respects our RIGHTS and FREEDOMS and doesn’t cripple the Internet
This mashup could also be censored by copyright
so please MULTIPLY & SPREAD
Art 13 of the new EU copyright reform threatens our right and freedoms.
Act now to STOP the #CensorshipMachine at:
Mashup video by: Xnet
With the support of: EDRi, EFF, La Quadrature du Net, Bits of Freedom and Open Media.
Music by Revolution Void.
PS: My one quibble in the video:
“We deserve a copyright that respects our RIGHTS and FREEDOMS and doesn’t cripple the Internet.”
As my old friend Crosbie would tell you, there is no such thing. You can have copyright or you can have rights and freedoms, but the former is the antithesis of the latter.