life is like the tide…it comes and goes on its own time

copyright: endangered concept

while working at one of the largest online communities still in existence, one of our main, troublesome concerns was copyright infringement. whether or not intentional, recipes would ‘find’ their way from some other site to ours, posted as the member’s own. when we did issue a guideline, most members resorted to citing the source. however, is that really enough to keep you out of trouble? as we found out, no.

YouTube, Google video and other similar sites manage to skirt the copyright issue by also leaving the burden of responsibility upon the membership. after all. they’re not expected to be professional bloggers accountable for the material they publish. but, as the BBC wants to know: what’s up with the double standard, dude?

if the originator of the content uploads it to YouTube and enables the code grabbing feature so that you can embed it into your own space, where’s the infringement? you were invited to ‘copy’ the content.

copyright infringement is not limited to video content, however. we all know, at least if you’re old enough to have known how to type in the word, about the Napster experience. copy and pasting recipes from Emeril’s latest cookbook without his publisher’s permission could conceivably get you in hot water, but more likely result in a lawsuit against your host community (more at stake).

i know a soul or two who has proven to be incapable of original thought, throwing around buzz words as easily as you would toss salt on a potato, and posting other people’s writings as their own in a sorry attempt to present themselves as subject matter experts. enabling the ignore feature or simply not responding to the likes of these just encourages them to carry on.

well…i don’t feel like playing ‘copyright cop.’ (ars technica, “YouTube and the copyright cops: safe… for now? 7/16/2006 7:39:28 PM, by Ken Fisher“) i prefer to believe that we each have a conscience and willing to be held accountable for the error of our ways.

then again…taking a look at the world around me…i wonder…

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