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UK Passes "Instagram Act"

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the all-your-pics-are-belong-to-us dept.

United Kingdom 230

kodiaktau writes "The UK govt passed the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act which effectively makes so-called 'orphaned' content posted on social media sites public domain. Corporations now only need to have made a "diligent search" to find the owner of the content before use. From the article: 'The Act contains changes to UK copyright law which permit the commercial exploitation of images where information identifying the owner is missing, so-called "orphan works", by placing the work into what's known as "extended collective licensing" schemes. Since most digital images on the internet today are orphans - the metadata is missing or has been stripped by a large organization - millions of photographs and illustrations are swept into such schemes.'"

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hint.... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583625)

don't post shit you want kept to yourself online

Re:hint.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583629)

or... post it for the lulz?

Re:hint.... (5, Insightful)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#43583949)

No...it means don't allow anyone else in the world to find/scan/copy your work and post it online or they own it. You don't have to ever post something online yourself to be affected by this.

Re:hint.... (3, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#43584073)

This is why I post everything online with disappearing ink. When I close my browser it all disappears.

Oh - wait - I guess it only works if we all close our browsers at the same time? Dang - that sucks!

Re:hint.... (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#43584305)

If it's not worth enough to go to the bother of registering it then it's not worth adding to the legal quagmire that is default copyright.

Although the notion of "personal papers" has been lost in this modern era where every worthless scrap of paper is treated like some masterpiece. That shouldn't be the case at all.

The current copyright regime really isn't useful for defending against the loss of personal data either.

Re:hint.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584331)

What keeps you then from just taking a properly tagged image, downloading it, removing the tags, re-posting, and then calming as your own?

Re:hint.... (2, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#43584451)

In fact, posting it yourself means it would be more likely to be traceable to the copyright owner.

I just wonder what definitions of a "social media site" and "orphaned" they'll be using. Is your blog a social media site? Is a forum a social media site?
For any site I'd consider social media (facebook, twitter, linkedin, google+, myspace, etc.), content is easily traceable to the copyright owner; it's the person posting it. It's only orphaned when somehow the profile is deleted yet the content remains.

Re:hint.... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43583991)

Or make it so banal, stupid, tasteless or non-sequitur no one will want to rip it off. Oh, mission accomplished.

Re:hint.... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43584083)

Or make it so banal, stupid, tasteless or non-sequitur no one will want to rip it off.

I don't think advertising types believe in such a thing.

This could go both ways (5, Interesting)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about a year ago | (#43583635)

Now does this mean that big corporations can scoop up these so-called "orphaned works" and then place their own copyright on them, or do they stay in public domain in perpetuity? If so that wouldn't be so bad, other than "diligent search" sounds like sending my teenage daughter into the other room to find something sitting behind something else.

Re:This could go both ways (4, Informative)

narcc (412956) | about a year ago | (#43583667)

Once it's in the public domain, that's where it stays.

  Copyright law isn't that absurd ... yet.

Re:This could go both ways (5, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43583741)

Not in the USA.

Works may be moved back into copyright so sayeth SCOTUS.
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/01/scotus-re-copyright-decision/ [wired.com]

Fritz Lang's Metropolis was one big one moved back into copyright by Congress.

Re:This could go both ways (4, Informative)

narcc (412956) | about a year ago | (#43584123)

For clarity, in case no one reads your link:

Congress has the power to take works out of public domain. You can't just re-copyright any public domain work you run across.

Re:This could go both ways (2, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43584195)

Almost true, but there is a narrow exception: Even non-creative reproductions can qualify as a new work, in the right circumstances. So, for example, if you have a a long-expired piece of artwork hanging up, you can take a photo of it and copyright that - then you have effective copyright to the work, so long as you can keep the original securely locked away so no-one else can get a photo too. Similar situation with classical music: The composer might have been dead for a few centuries, but any performance and recording is a new work.

Re:This could go both ways (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584413)

In the US, photos meant to reproduce a 2-dimensional out-of-copyright work cannot be copyrighted. Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp [wikipedia.org] established that even difficult reproductions of 2D works are not original (this does not apply to photographs of sculpture, which has some degree of artistry to it).

Any classical performance and recording is a new work, but the original remains public domain. If you go secure some copies of the original sheet music (much of what is actually used today has been cleaned up more recently, and isn't actually out of copyright), you can perform any sufficiently old piece of music without any concern for royalties.

Re:This could go both ways (1, Informative)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#43584623)

The issue there is about works that were public domain only in the US but were still under copyright in their foreign countries of origin. As a signer of the Berne Convention these works need to be treated as still under copyright, and treaties have force of law in the US. These are typically foreign works copyrighted after 1923. Nothing is going to re-copyright Beethoven's works for example.

Re:This could go both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583743)

In the USA it's called the bedrock principle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golan_v._Holder

Re:This could go both ways (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43583781)

Once it's in the public domain, that's where it stays.

  Copyright law isn't that absurd ... yet.

no, you can re-copyright it and license it forward.

Re:This could go both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583783)

That is not [mediabistro.com] entirely [duke.edu] true.

Congress has the power to take works out of the public domain in the US.

Re:This could go both ways (2)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#43584053)

The original file that was on Facebook, yes.

The slightly retouched file from the big corporation, no.

Sure, if you are the original owner of the file, and you find the use by the big corporation, you can sue and claim that the file is yours, but that only costs you a zillion dollars. Or you use the file from big-corp on your web site, and find that it's taken down by your host, and you have spend a zillion dollars to establish the file is still in the public domain.

Re:This could go both ways (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year ago | (#43583683)

IANAL, but I suspect it's a case where a public domain work is still public domain, even if used in a copyrighted work, however the copyrighted work, including the disposition of the public domain items within it, is still copyrighted.

For example, if you take each individual character or word, by itself, to be public domain, a copyrighted novel contains nothing but public domain bits, it's how they are organized that makes is copyrightable.

Re:This could go both ways (4, Interesting)

FrYGuY101 (770432) | about a year ago | (#43583699)

I imagine they would get a copyright on the derivative work, but not the original image. This seems to me like a good idea, with two caveats: 1 - If, after a diligent search, the owner comes forward and is able to prove they own the copyright, they should be able to receive a fair, standard rate compulsory license fee. 2 - If, after a search designed to not find the real owner, the owner comes forward, the compulsory license should have a much higher punitive rate. Also, keep in mind that just because you can use a picture, doesn't mean you have the likeness rights to the people in that picture. That's bit a few companies with Creative Commons licensing.

Re:This could go both ways (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584595)

This goes no way at all for me. I don't care. All work is public domain in my eyes. I have since long stopped caring about the law in this area.

Re:This could go both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584771)

As someone with little creative ability and even less original thought, I support this message.

they are doing it backwards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583647)

they are supposed to make more content privately owned! not the other way around... silly brits.

Great an image laundering scheme for big business (5, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | about a year ago | (#43583657)

a) find image you want to use at site X
b) have someone strip the the image of identifying information and repost it at site Y
c) discover image at site Y lacking traceable information
d) do "due dilligence" based on image from site Y
e) declare image from site Y as 'orphaned'

f) PROFIT

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (2)

master5o1 (1068594) | about a year ago | (#43583687)

My first thought, also.

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (4, Interesting)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year ago | (#43583689)

With some luck, Google's "search similar images" function may make that scheme much harder

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (4, Informative)

Loether (769074) | about a year ago | (#43583709)

I also like tineye.com for image search based on an image. The database size isn't the biggest but I like the engine a lot. It can find photoshopped images too.

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (2, Funny)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about a year ago | (#43583773)

I'll have to post an image I made when tineye.com was launched.

The error message it generated was something along the lines:

"We are sorry, TinEye did not return any results for 'tineye.jpg'

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (4, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#43584513)

Well, the point is not to find the real copyright owner. The idea is to NOT find the copyright owner. "due diligence" means a lot of things if you have enough money to pay lawyers.
Shouting "Anybody here knows who this belongs to?" from behind your desk might be enough (again IF you have the right amount to pay lawyers. Don't try this if you are not a company.)

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (4, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#43583925)

With some luck, Google's "search similar images" function may make that scheme much harder

It's almost like you think corporations (that have interest in declaring the item "abandoned") will do a diligent search. Google "search similar images" function will be helpful if the searcher is trying to find the owner.

And if someone falsely declares an image to be "abandoned", what are the penalties, I wonder? Would the owner have to sue to recover his or her image ownership?

The abuse possibilities (for someone who has a legal department at ready) are practically endless!

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43584215)

Yes, the legitimate holder would indeed have to sue. Just as they have to sue under existing law. The procedure might have changed a bit, but the process isn't fundamentally different.

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (1)

Golddess (1361003) | about a year ago | (#43584285)

It's almost like you think corporations (that have interest in declaring the item "abandoned") will do a diligent search. Google "search similar images" function will be helpful if the searcher is trying to find the owner.

The way I read the post, it sounded more like ericloewe was suggesting that that would be a method the owner might use to prove in a court of law that due diligence was not performed.

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584735)

Yes. Use any of the various image search engines and if the owner can be traced within first 1000 results, due diligence was not performed.

Also, even if due diligence was performed the violator should have to pay reasonable royalty fees. If dues diligence was not performed, then they have to pay punitive damages on top of royalties. /dream

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584113)

With some luck, Google's "search similar images" function may make that scheme much harder

No problem, just make the new image "sufficiently different" so Google's bot doesn't see the connection. Cut off something you weren't going to use, add a stupid frame into the jpeg itself . . .

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583725)

exactly. how could anyone not realize this was the intent?

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583767)

English people aren't very smart.

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583727)

Same, this is exactly what came to mind.

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583779)

My first thought was that happening on accident. I've had text and code copied and posted with no attribution before, which would now make it public domain if in the UK? Doing that on purpose is easy though, and perhaps more of an issue.

Does this only apply to works where the copy right holder (which must be unknown) is in the UK? If so, this law means nothing. If not, it violated the international copyright treaty requiring respecting the copyright in the country of origin. Seems broken either way.

Anyway, someone please seed anonymized torrents in the UK. As long as its properly anonymized, we can all reseed it legally, since it a orphaned works from the UK, right? Just do a "diligent search", which finds no owner, and you're set!

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43583791)

can't you pretty much do the same thing nowadays anyways...?

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583885)

Yes, but when you're found out, the author can collect his license fee from you. With this scheme, the license is paid for collectively and the author can only recover a pittance from the collective licensing agency, and has to become a member of that organization to get anything at all.

It is now pointless to publish works if you're a small artist. This only leaves the option of working for hire.

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583795)

No, brahs, you're getting it all wrong!

Sharing is good. Copyright is bad. Everything is a remix! Sharing is the future! Copyright is extortion! They haven't robbed you of anything, they've just made an "unauthorised copy!" Why would you want to deprive the viewer of your images of the right to re-display that image in any other context?!

Or did you think all of this bullshit applies ONLY when we're talking about software?

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (1)

parkinglot777 (2563877) | about a year ago | (#43584353)

Sharing is good. Copyright is bad.

I half agree with you. The problem is that you assume that everyone will give in an equal (or close) amount in the sharing. In reality, this rarely happens and it usually ends up some taking advantages of the situation -- only take but not share or mostly take and very little share. The Copyright is supposed to protect from those who only take (or steal). Again, nothing is perfect. A few others found a loop hole and exploit the Copyright protection -- trolls -- and that is the issue we are facing anywhere right now.

So complaining about copyright is purely bad is extreme; whereas, saying copyright is totally good is the other extreme. I believe copyright is neutral but good or bad comes from how people use it to their own advantages.

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43583823)

surely this can't affect re-posting?
aaanyhow. since it enables sub licensing of the content, then twitter is likely to install a notice on their content that _they_ own the UK content and will license it forward(of course you could argue that they know who the copyright holder is.. and come to think of it, twitter probably already has that rule).

and it's just the britons who are fucked. it's not like you could take american content, download it in britain and claim immunity from court cases in USA. otherwise I have some t-shirts to print.

Ban on stripping metadata? (2)

TimTucker (982832) | about a year ago | (#43583833)

Sounds to me like a pretty clear case where something like this really needs to be balanced by heavy penalties for stripping metadata without permission.

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (1)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | about a year ago | (#43583909)

What's preventing us -- normal people -- from doing the same thing with corporate-created images? Just the threat of lawyers?

It seems to me that watermarking is about to be much more prevalent. That's the only way to make metadata that can't easily be stripped off.

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (1)

ron-l-j (1725874) | about a year ago | (#43584119)

Take a screen shot of the image. Now save as 1.jpeg, and you could start a hobby of taking pictures of pictures.....

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about a year ago | (#43584617)

a) find image you want to use at site X b) have someone strip the the image of identifying information and repost it at site Y c) discover image at site Y lacking traceable information d) do "due dilligence" based on image from site Y e) declare image from site Y as 'orphaned'

f) PROFIT

While IANAL and my ignorance of UK law exceeds that of US law; I doubt such a scheme would work. Due diligence would require at least a reasonable amount of effort searching for ownership information. It would seem to me if someone went before a court and should how a Google search could easily locate the image with ownership info or a copyright registration it would be hard to argue you performed due diligence. This act should be named the IP Lawyer Full Employment Act since it will no doubt result in court cases. I would venture most big corporations would be hesitant to rely on it to avoid any lawsuits. It is more likely the cheap ripoff artist companies that would try to use it as a defense and since they already rip off Luther's material I see little practical hangs if this become law.

Re:Great an image laundering scheme for big busine (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#43584659)

Look at it from a different angle. How is this very different from the people who've gone and declared some game as "abandonware" and decided that it's ok to pirate it?

instagram act (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583665)

the gayest fucking shit ever conceived - now politicians can feel important about themselves - *Claps retardedly*

lol wut? (3, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#43583737)

So does this go both ways... can individuals claim orphaned corporate content or do the corporates have YET ANOTHER special right?

Re:lol wut? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583821)

They've doubtless included large registration and insurance fees to price it out of reach of individuals. It isn't so much that the corporates have special rights, it's that those rights have been priced out of the hands of the masses due to the requirement that you have a staff of lawyers on hand in order to access these rights.

Re:lol wut? (3, Informative)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about a year ago | (#43583825)

Basically, if you don't know the source then you wouldn't know if it is a corporate work or a private work, that's an orphaned work.

Re:lol wut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584105)

Nope, if it belongs to a big corporation, you should have known. Big Corps are not going to let the laws take any of their rights.

See, there is a registry of copyrighted works that you have to sort through. Big corps will always register their images/videos/writings and even if they don't, can argue that their work is so well known that the user is merely claiming ignorance (e.g. try sharing some mp3s with the metadata stripped off).

Single obscure contributors to the internet on the other hand, frequently don't bother to jump through the hoops to get their stuff registered and can not claim that a corporation should have known who made it, and will therefore not be able assert rights over their content when it gets used without their permision.

It looks like sharing is going to be rather directional to me.

All your base are belong to whom? (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43584627)

So how would one go about looking up who owns the copyright in Zero Wing, a video game published by Toaplan, which is now a defunct company?

Re:lol wut? (4, Interesting)

Simply Curious (1002051) | about a year ago | (#43584457)

I would love to see this used as a legal basis for abandonware.

Does this work for individuals too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583745)

Can a user use "orphaned-works" from companies too?

Reverse image search (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583747)

This is going to get so many people and companies in trouble.

So many of them won't even bother, or won't even know how, to do a simple reverse image search which can typically find out the location of any random persons image.
I found an image from a screencap of a FLASH FILE earlier today. How was I to know that there would be a picture of that exact scene on any site?
You can find damn near anything with reverse image search.

And there are quite a few sites that do it now, so they'd have no excuse.

Shall be interesting to see the first case of this. And likely hilarious.

This just makes no sense (1)

dmomo (256005) | about a year ago | (#43583801)

Suppose I upload content that is copyrighted, and I do not own. I then orphan the account. Obviously, that cannot be brought into the public domain this way. Why should copyright be any different for content that I own and post. It just makes no sense. Wouldn't the person using this newly "public" content have to prove that the abandoned account was mine? This whole idea just baffles me.

Re:This just makes no sense (5, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43584079)

It doesn't make any sense because The Register is full of shit as usual. This isn't a free for all. This is enabling legislation for one or more future (or present) licensing bodies to search for owners of apparent "orphan works" - works that at the moment cannot be used by anyone - and issue licenses.

There's pros and cons to that. With the biggest question, does the licensing body charge for licenses, and if so who gets the money.

What this is not is a law that will make it legal for any person, company or corporation to decide themselves that a work is an orphan, and so do what they want with it.

Re:This just makes no sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584755)

This agency will eventually be piratized, so the loot will go to the poitically connected CEO

Re:This just makes no sense (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584793)

http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2013/april/copyright-law-reforms-in-pipeline-after-royal-assent-given-to-enterprise-and-regulatory-reform-bill/

"Under the Government's plans, organisations that wish to use orphan works would have to conduct a 'diligent search' for the owner of orphan works before they could use the material. The searches would have to be verified as diligent by independent authorising bodies. In addition, organisations would have to pay a "market rate" to use orphan works so as rights holders could be recompensed for the use of the works if they were later identified."

Great! (2)

zmooc (33175) | about a year ago | (#43583831)

It's about time somebody legalized 9gag, failblog, kuvaton, fukung and all those other great sites that make up the apex of the internet;-)

Breach of Berne convention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583845)

Basically seems that unless you register your work, you get no copyright.

What the hell is going on here? (5, Insightful)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about a year ago | (#43583847)

How is it possible that copyright not only keeps being extended to prevent works of corporations from entering the public domain, but now other laws start stripping rights of the public for their own works for the benefit of corporations?

Re:What the hell is going on here? (2)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#43583971)

How is it possible that copyright not only keeps being extended to prevent works of corporations from entering the public domain, but now other laws start stripping rights of the public for their own works for the benefit of corporations?

The article is rather vague on details, but I see no rules that make it exclusive to corporations. Wouldn't individuals be able to apply the same strategies??

the Act will permit the widespread commercial exploitation of unidentified work - the user only needs to perform a "diligent search". But since this is likely to come up with a blank, they can proceed with impunity.

I just performed a very short "diligent search" and Mickey Mouse does not appear to be owned by anyone. So... can I now use it commercially in UK?

Re:What the hell is going on here? (1)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#43583977)

Isn't he cute? He thinks that the law is supposed to protect ordinary people. Well, corporations are people too, my friend. And they pay for those copyright laws. What have you paid for lately?

Re:What the hell is going on here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584209)

http://youtu.be/vajWsEBQ-D8

Corporations are people. Greedy, cynical, evil people.

Re:What the hell is going on here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584225)

Because it's cheaper to bribe a representative than all of his constituents.

And yet... (5, Interesting)

PortHaven (242123) | about a year ago | (#43583897)

We can't get access to orphaned films that are not available for sale?

I believe that should be part of ANY copyright law. In order for copyright to be maintained. A work of art must be available for sale within a 5 year period. Stop selling it, and you lose your copyright.

Re:And yet... (3, Interesting)

sribe (304414) | about a year ago | (#43584019)

I believe that should be part of ANY copyright law. In order for copyright to be maintained. A work of art must be available for sale within a 5 year period. Stop selling it, and you lose your copyright.

Absolutely. Especially now that advances in technology have made small-run distribution much more affordable, from on-demand printing to e-books.

Re:And yet... (4, Interesting)

c (8461) | about a year ago | (#43584095)

I believe that should be part of ANY copyright law. In order for copyright to be maintained. A work of art must be available for sale within a 5 year period. Stop selling it, and you lose your copyright.

So, if I buy a one-of-a-kind painting and hold on to it for 5 years and one month, the original artist loses his/her copyright (since it's no longer being sold) and I can sell as many copies as I like?

Re:And yet... (1)

realsilly (186931) | about a year ago | (#43584145)

But with that logic, if one person makes a purchase, then it stays copyrighted, there is nothing stopping the industry from buying the work of art from itself.

Easy work-around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584203)

Any publishing company would just print up a few copies every year on a laser printer, put them on a shelf in the warehouse, and price them at $100 on their website. Voila, it's "still available for sale".

Re:And yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584357)

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Re:And yet... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year ago | (#43584419)

I would make one exception to that. I can refuse to allow my work to be published/distributed for seven years.

*cough* Disney *cough* (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#43584643)

You'd be messing with the time-honored tradition of The Vault and all the panic buys that occur as a result.

Re:*cough* Disney *cough* (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584777)

You'd be messing with the time-honored tradition of The Vault and all the panic buys that occur as a result.

Does that still seriously happen? Or do I just not see the advertisements that would bring it to my attention?

"That', in this case, includes both Disney using that strategy AND the resulting panic buys.

Re:And yet... (2)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year ago | (#43584763)

Post the image frames of the orphaned films on the Internet. "Stumble" upon them while browsing. Job done.

That's great (3, Interesting)

guruevi (827432) | about a year ago | (#43583899)

One can now post images of music, movies, software etc and have it be instant public-domain!

No more copyright in UK which means ThePirateBay could legally operate there (if they jump through the hoops correctly)

Re:That's great (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year ago | (#43584125)

Clever thought. Only downside is that, to keep it plausible, all the stuff has to be unlabelled or creatively mislabeled. If you download a bunch of MP3s with ID3 tags, you can't exactly claim they have no tracing information.

But rip out the artist and publisher info, and you're back in business.

Re:That's great (2)

jxander (2605655) | about a year ago | (#43584329)

Yup. Give it a few months to soak in, and everything on TPB will have the bumpers, credits and metadata stripped.

So when someone downloads Adventure of Big-Chair season 3, the fact that it looks surprisingly like some HBO series is irrelevant if I haven't seen said series. I diligently searched for the name in question, and was not familiar with anything else. Thus I am free and clear.

Re:That's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584565)

I've said it all along: the future of sharing multimedia files of questionable legality is going to be a giant repository creatively mislabeled and stuffed with 99% white noise. Those on the 'inside' will have hashbooks to determine what Adventure of Big-Chair maps to, and if they want to watch it or not.

Publish anonymously = get exploited by corporation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43583907)

great.

Oh! Oh! Music and videos too, please!!! (1)

ehartwell (615432) | about a year ago | (#43583935)

This totally makes sense, but not if you restrict it to photos. When you find an audio or video file online where information identifying the owner is missing, all you have to do made a "diligent" search for the original owner and it's yours for free to use, resell, or whatever. No more lawsuits! Everybody's happy!

Protects individuals from copyright trolls (3, Insightful)

coldsalmon (946941) | about a year ago | (#43583999)

TFA's author uses only examples of corporations using content created by natural persons, but I see nothing in TFA so suggest that the law only operates in this direction. According to TFA, the law permits "commercial exploitation of images where information identifying the owner is missing, so-called 'orphan works'." This would also protect an individual or small business which innocently uses an orphaned image. The legislation makes it possible to use orphaned works, which otherwise would be impossible to use legally, as it is impossible to obtain permission from the copyright holder. Wikipedia's summary of the problem is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphan_works [wikipedia.org]

This legislation could also prevent "copyright troll" situations like this: http://www.ryanhealy.com/getty-images-extortion-letter/ [ryanhealy.com]

Re:Protects individuals from copyright trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584255)

No, it does not. Individuals who fall victim to copyright trolls don't do "due diligence" before reposting stuff online. They will be as vulnerable as ever. This is indeed a get-out-of-jail-free card for corporations, you know, the ones who "repost" for profit. And that is why the law is how it is: To keep the money flowing upwards.

Personally I have lost all respect for copyright. It's a rigged game.

So my image may be sold because... (1)

realsilly (186931) | about a year ago | (#43584207)

.... some a$$hat took a photo of me, posted it on the web and didn't ask for my permission. Now it's potentially orphaned, and Wham I'm the face on the ads for selling selling A$$ cream for Joe Schmoe over in the UK and I can't stop it? /facepalm

Re:So my image may be sold because... (1)

LihTox (754597) | about a year ago | (#43584467)

.... some a$$hat took a photo of me, posted it on the web and didn't ask for my permission. Now it's potentially orphaned, and Wham I'm the face on the ads for selling selling A$$ cream for Joe Schmoe over in the UK and I can't stop it? /facepalm

Instead, Joe Schmoe can send a photographer out and take your picture as you walk down the street, and use your face to sell A$$ cream. It's not this law that's the problem (in this case).

Re:So my image may be sold because... (2)

magic maverick (2615475) | about a year ago | (#43584645)

Actually, in this case you can. Because in the majority of places (including, afaik, the UK), there are things called artist rights. Your image can't be used to sell or promote something without your permission. (Make sure to never sign a model release allowing the photographer to use the image for any purpose.)

Well, when I say you can stop it, you can't. But after the fact you can spend loads of money to sue the corporation (and in the UK, if you win, you might even get all that money back!).

Re:So my image may be sold because... (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#43584773)

Or, worse, I post an image online. Someone grabs it, posts it to their Facebook account without attribution (no link back and perhaps any watermark cropped). Maybe they add some funny text to the image as well. Now, Person #2 likes that and reposts it to THEIR account with the "attribution" of "saw this online somewhere."

Company X sees this image and decides it'll be perfect for their ad campaign. They do a "search" for the author of the image. (Where "search" = "does ti say on the web page where it's from? No? Ok, we're good to go.") Then they use the image. I see the ad with my image, but am SOL because some other folks copied my image over and over to the point that any link back to me was destroyed. Thanks to this act, I have no grounds to sue.

Not being able to find the author of an image to ask for permission *IS* a valid problem online. The solution isn't to just declare those images "free for the taking" so long as you do a "search".

Also, since the act "fails to prohibit sub-licensing", Company X can - instead of using my image for an ad - sell MY image to Companies Y, Z, and Q for use in THEIR ads. Company X profits and I'm given zip.

However, use any of Company X's Intellectual Property without asking permission....

But. . . But. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584395)

They're only electronic bits. Just a collection of 1's and 0's. So, it really shouldn't be a big deal if a corporation borrows it from you, right? They didn't actually steal anything, because you can still use it. . . . . .

Re:But. . . But. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584665)

The difference is that I would be irritated if somebody took a photo of me without my permission. Normally this would probably be some kind of crime, but I wouldn't bother prosecuting because it's irritating, not worth my time, and would almost certainly be quickly lost to time.

The analogy would be better made as if I were William Randolph Hearst and Orson Welles made an indie flick about my life that got shown in three or four arthouses. That would be irritating, but not as much as if RKO then picked up the 'orphaned' film with the credits filed off and turned it into a blockbuster. It's not my work I'm complaining about, it's the works in which I am an unwilling subject.

Not just photos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584429)

Create an image representing some binary information. Repeat this process a billion times. Load these images into a program, compress them and call the resulting file .mp3.

All binary data could be 'orphaned' this way.

Open goal for pirates? (1)

mutube (981006) | about a year ago | (#43584559)

So, I download the latest Hollywood blockbuster, re-title it giving it an absurd name, removing credits/publisher marks and maybe blurring/replacing the lead's face. Then I re-upload 'Deep Groat: Sub-Prime Deposit' (a.k.a Catwoman -it's a modern classic) on the Pirate Bay.

Our good UK subject comes along, downloads it and thinks 'Never heard of this!?' No idea who made it, no way of finding out.

That 'film' is now in the public domain?

Killing open source in 3....2.... (2)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43584569)

Since locating the authors of any particular open source project is not always easy, one could claim very plausibly that they had attempted to track down the original copyright holder, and failed.

On the plus side, it also probably means that abandonware effectively automatically becomes public domain. Whether or not the original entity still controls it.

Everything for "big boys" (1)

Pecisk (688001) | about a year ago | (#43584583)

So......when Google tries to publish orphaned works for everyone to read, copyright owners cry bloody river, but when user who doesn't know nothing about copyright law or how properly add copyright clauses adds a beautiful picture to social network, it's suddenly very legitimate for corporation to exploit this work.

Ok, this will bring socialism faster than any previous attempts. It's amazing how greed makes so much people plainly stupid.

One sided rule (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43584585)

In other words, copyright law applies to their shit, but not ours...

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