"A good composer does not imitate; he steals," Igor Stravinsky supposedly said. Faulkner allegedly phrased it as "Immature artists copy, great artists steal." Steve Jobs put it most simply: "Good artists copy, great artists steal." The saying regularly inspires artists, thinkers and dorm-room poster designers. But in practical terms, what does it mean?
Tagged With copyright
This week, Village Roadshow co-CEO Graham Burke announced the company will start suing Australians who infringe on its copyright. This means anyone who has streamed or downloaded a movie via an illegal pirate site is potentially in its cross hairs.
But when will litigation begin? Who will be targeted? And how much money will you need to pay? We spoke directly to Burke to get some answers.
If you're a professional photographer who assumed that slapping an obtrusive watermark across your work would protect it from being misused online, Google has some bad news for you. A team of researchers from the company has found a way to automatically and perfectly erase the watermarks used by popular stock photography organisations.
At a for-profit editorial outlet like Lifehacker, when we need an image for our posts, we can't just do a Google image search and slap up the first result. We have to use properly licensed photos. Sometimes we use our own original photos, sometimes stock images that we pay for, sometimes the millions of Flickr photos licensed for free use through Creative Commons.
The current row about the certification of Manuka honey, and whether it is a distinctly New Zealand product, is just the latest dispute involving Geographical Indications (GIs). These are markers that products have special qualities due to their origins in a specific region, like Champagne.
There is a debate as to whether a registered GI system for food should be adopted in Australia. It might be good for our farmers – to more effectively protect King Island Beef, Bangalow pork or Tasmanian lobster against low quality imitations. But would it be in the best interest of Australian producers and consumers to simply capitulate to demands about New Zealand Manuka, or about GIs in general?
Last week, we brought you the news that Village Roadshow was seeking to add 40 more sites to Australia's anti-piracy block list. ISPs will now need to ban customers from accessing popular torrent and movie streaming sites that include ExtraTorrent, Demonoid, Torrent Downloads, TorrentProject, YTS, 123Movies, and Icefilms. Here is the full list of banned websites (and how to bypass the blocks).
Copyright holders certainly have legitimate grievances when it comes to piracy. People who turn to the BitTorrent channel to watch the latest blockbuster movies are stealing and it's delusional to tell yourself otherwise, no matter how justified you feel in your actions.
That said, it's hard to feel sorry for Australia's copyright police when they're so determined to shoot themselves in the foot at every opportunity.
In December last year, the Federal Court ordered Australian ISPS to block a number of popular torrent websites in a case brought on by Foxtel and Village Roadshow. The court gave ISPs 15 working days to implement site-blocking technology to prevent subscribers from accessing the torrent websites. Today is the deadline.
Dear Lifehacker, I have made many trips to Bali and now have over 100 cheap DVDs purchased from market stalls over there. I like to travel but carrying around 100 DVDs isn't very efficient. I was thinking about moving them onto my MacBook but don't want to get in trouble for breaking copyright. Am I allowed to transfer these DVDs to a MacBook or is this considered pirating?
It's easy to forget that GitHub can host any sort of content, not just source code and data for your personal or business projects. This means GitHub can unintentionally become a server of copyright-infringing material, a fact the company takes seriously -- it shut down over 8200 projects during 2015, with nearly 6000 closed in September alone.
The award-winning Australian author Jackie French is wrong. In her open letter, she blasts the Productivity Commission's report on intellectual property, released last month. The report, though, makes a number of sensible recommendations that will help modernise Australia's copyright laws for the 21st century. Economically, the report is rigorous and comprehensive.
Australian consumers should be allowed to use technologies like VPNs and proxies to defeat the efforts of companies like Netflix and HBO that stop them from accessing digital content libraries from other countries. That's the thrust of a Productivity Commission draft report into overhauling Australia's existing copyright laws that has just been released.
Consumer projectors, while not exactly mainstream, have gained some popularity and some people use them in backyards to host their own mini cinema screening of movies. But with all the high-profile copyright infringement cases flying around in recent years, it's worth looking at whether running your own backyard cinema is legal or not.
Over the past few weeks, Netflix has been cracking down on Australians that use virtual private networks (VPNs) to access the company's much larger US library. If you're one of the many customers who have been blocked, it's possible to build your own personal cloud VPN. Here are the steps you need to take, along with the legalities involved.