Wednesday, August 29, 2007

When the big boys use your work without permission

What do you do when a big company uses your work without your permission and introduces it to a very large audience, I'd probably be happy and want to share what the big boys had to say about it with anyone who cared to listen.

This is what happened to Christopher Knight of The Knight Shift, he had a video up on youtube that he produced and payed for himself, his clip then appeared on VH1s Web Junk 2.0, from what he wrote he didn't seem to mind. He uploaded the VH1 segment onto youtube, but it was latter taken down at the request of Viacom claiming that the material was infringing.

I don't really get how they can do this, they used his work without permission and then slap him in the face for wanting to share what they made from it.

My thoughts are that they know what they're doing and don't give two hoots about the little guys, sure I can see that it's some kind of commentary on Web Junk 2.0s part, which kind of makes it journalistic, which could kind of protect them from copyright infringement, but to treat the original creator like this is just rude.

So what could you do to protect yourselves from such a situation, all I know and it's not much, is that if you made it then you own copyright, it's yours no mater where it goes, though there are things such as parody, satire, fair use to think about, these could be held up as reasons by others using your work.

My thoughts are that if you don't let people know how you would like your work to be used, if at all then people could act dumb I guess. So what's a solution to this, my solution would be to point to a creative commons license, it's as simple as making it clear and linking to the license you want used for any of your work, for example

EDIT: just reading some youtube TOS action, you sell your soul when you upload to youtube

in the description field of your youtube videos write a little disclaimer about the licence and link to a CC license you want to use.

The most lenient of which lets others use your work with pretty much no restraints apart from crediting you as the source, which could include mentioning your website your name or whatever, on the opposite end you can can make things very restrictive to what people can do with your work. CC is just a way to let others know how they can use your work, I have no idea if it holds up in court.

All in all I think it would be good to get noticed by the big boys, but even better would be to be appreciated by them as well.

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