I couldn't make a better headline than Arstechnicas Bugging out: How rampant online piracy squashed one insect photographer. Photographer Alex Wild who has made photographing insects his speciality writes about the pros, and giant cons of the rampant infringement on the internet and his experiences.
For a concise idea of what could go wrong, let me indulge in a list of recent venues where commercial interests have used my work without permission, payment, or even a simple credit:
Billboards, YouTube commercials, pesticide spray labels, website banners, exterminator trucks, t-shirts, iPhone cases, stickers, company logos, eBook covers, trading cards, board games, video game graphics, children’s books, novel covers, app graphics, alt-med dietary supplement labels, press releases, pest control advertisements, crowdfunding promo videos, coupons, fliers, newspaper articles, postage stamps, advertisements for pet ants (yes, that’s a thing), canned food packaging, ant bait product labels, stock photography libraries, and greeting cards.
Yesterday evening, while Googling insect references in popular culture, I discovered that a small Caribbean island helped itself to a photograph I took in 2008. My photo shows a slave-raiding ant, a fascinating species that survives as a parasite on the labor of other ants. But the image had been imprinted on the back of a commemorative one-cent piece. Perhaps symbolically, this is one cent more than I received for my part in bringing the coin to the public.
The time spent on tracking down infringers eats up the time that could have spent investing in his photography. You should read the article in full, it explains very well what anyone in a creative business has to deal with today - be they photographers, illustrators, musicians, writers, even programmers - and there is no amount of t-shirt sales that will help this issue. The old trope "don't post it on the internet" is rebutted too.
“If you don’t want your work infringed, don’t post it.”
Of all the varieties of infringement-related comments, the “stay off the Internet” refrains are the most toxic. In one go they both acknowledge that infringement is bad for artists while also showing no concern for the Internet, which would be poorer for their absence. “Don’t post it” is the ultimate nihilistic diss.
Worse still, too many artists heed this advice to their (and our) detriment. Too little copyright protection carries a pervasive chilling effect of its own, one that is common but nearly invisible. We simply do not see the creative works that are not shared.
At my workshops, I invariably meet people who bring fantastic images. Stunning katydids. Rare behaviors of parasitic wasps. Artfully anthropomorphized arachnids. You will never see their efforts online, though, because fear of infringement keeps many of them from uploading. This self-censorship is common, and the result is bad for everyone.
The Internet, as rich as it is in content, is less rich than it could be. If we ever needed an incentive for copyright reform, this is it. New laws and new technologies should, of course, grant greater flexibility for non-commercial sharing, provide stronger fair use guidelines, and shorten the bizarrely long copyright terms. But reforms need also provide concrete assurances to artists, reassurances that the mere act of participating online won’t force them to choose between bankruptcy and chasing infringers through the rabbit hole of ineffective copyright enforcement.
More artists online will make for a better Internet, and we all could use an Internet with better stuff.
We were a bit shocked when we recorded the podcast this week as it was the day we saw tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombs. We know many in Boston, our main muse Caffeinegoddess lives in Boston, so like so many other people that day, we were frantically sending texts to check on everyone. If we found information that could help other people, we tweeted it from @adland. This became our first topic on the podcast, how brands behave in the wake of tragedy, and how should they? Like Agencyspy posted today silence is golden. Like Kidsleepy said the day after, when he realized that Oreo hadn't tweeted anything that day: "Restraint shows an incredible amount of class and tact." Indeed.
Evan Brown ACD at Saatchi LA is our very first guest on the podcast. As a copywriter he's worked with quite a few famous musicians, and I've always wanted to know how do you put words in someone elses mouth, while Noah wants to know how do you sell the Crazy that is Bootsy Collins to a client. We learn much as we pick Evan's brains, and I hope you will enjoy this too. We discussed writing this ad, 'Ice Cube celebrates the Eames' , which brought home a chunk of awards last award season.
Pacific Standard Time - Ice Cube celebrates the Eames - (2011) 2:15 (USA)
Back to the start of the show, this is an example of what @adland tweeted on Tuesday. This is the type of information that is suitable for the channel Adland as you readers are ad-folk. Edward Boches, being an individual in Boston who also happens to head up an agency, could be more Boston-informative so I pointed to him for those who wanted more info. Apart from the obvious news sources, it's interesting to follow real people who are actually there.
— Adland (@adland) April 15, 2013
Remember you can subscribe to the Ad Brief on iTunes like the cool cats do.
Welcome folks, to another Ad Brief Podcast hosted by moi and Noah Rosenberg of Happymedium. Play now with the button above or you can subscribe to it on iTunes like the cool cats do. In this episode we talk about arrogant students, and the failed stunts they drag with them, bad April Fools jokes, the manifesto ad generator, the Artists vs American Eagle response stunt to Ghost beach's Artists vs Artists and much more. Including 1990s Apple Tango adverts like this one: For more Apple Tango fun check Seduction / Night shop and Home with flu / Run away run away We also got serious and spoke about Google Glass' privacy issues, along with other solutions that could offer consumers more control over their data such as mature products like App.net, and the graph database neo4j, which since it's a thousand times faster than relational databases can revolutionize how we develop social applications. Leigh Cadwell's The Psychology of Price: How to use price to increase demand, profit and customer satisfaction gets a shoutout too, as we ponder why all K-mart's look like a bomb hit it and which state one calls it soda, pop or Coke.
Jet lagged out of my mind we managed to talk about everything from Jenny Nyström's Santa Claus later made world famous by Coke, to Black Friday as a day off and where bacon& egg breakfast comes from.
Fans of the twilight saga should shut their ears around the Florida chat and the woman wearing the shirt reading "Mrs Cullen". Good thing Noah Rosenberg, the co-founder and head of product over at HappyMedium wasn't as jet lagged as he could keep me on topic, sort of. And as always, the ad brief podcast is available in iTunes if you fancy subscribing.
Sure enough after the release of the first episode of the Ad Brief Podcast we simply had to do it again. and after a bit of schedule bending, Noah & I sat down to yap about what makes an ad, an ad. Or rather how you do it. How do you write a brief? How do you start a start-up? How do you create an app? And what twisted sort of person wants to be creating ads, apps, startups and other things out of nothing?
We speak about the new Leap the 3D motion technology widget and what this may mean for the future when interacting with our computers, and what possible apps may this birth. Why can't we screenshot our TV yet? How do you come up with ideas? How do you pitch a company? How many questions can Dabitch ask in an hour? Who should we ask to join us next time? :)
Hello World it's time to figure out just how Swedish my accent really is (A: not very).
Update The ad brief podcast is now available in iTunes so if you fancy go tell us how much we suck over there too, ie; rate us! ;)
Well, you might have heard my voice before, either on the advertising show, or more likely Bob Knorpp's Beancast which I frequent often, or perhaps when I had the Cannes wednesday voice when I was on Adverve.
But you might not have heard my mate and co-host Noah Rosenberg's voice before. Noah is the co-founder and head of product over at HappyMedium, and we've been yapping about advertising via the magic of the intarwebs since the 90s. Yes, we are twisted. One day we just thought, why not record it? This is our baby-steps, our first podcast complete with a lot of injokes and the occasional f-bomb from yours truly. The offspring made three dollars in the swear-jar off this episode and says she's saving up for a Quadcopter.
Noah and I talk about case studies, real and fake ones. There's the fab case study about the Zoo, the advertising sign at the deepest part of the ocean, the red light district stunt and many more. We veer off into a discussion about PR and somehow at the 45 minute mark we end up playing you a really good ad, Disclaimer Guy, created by Clemenger BBDO Melbourne as a treat for you for hanging in there until the end. Welcome to our first, rough around the edges, bleep-less podcast The Ad Brief.
This idea probably formed faster than anyone can say "Vista", this comeback was practically handed to Apple on a silver platter - summation: Microsoft spends more money on advertising Vista than fixing it. Ha ha ha....
In Stockholm 7-11 are currently running ads promoting their hot dogs. Someone should have told them what their headline means in french .........
Bite Sale! literally means dirty Cock in french.
Wonder if the girls parents knew.... I'm sure she can excuse herself with the classic: 'I was young, I needed the money'...
photo © Lars Hultman