Category Archives: Media

Digital copyrights

This morning I read an interesting post by my friend Miljenko Williams called My wife’s no copyright infringer – but if this was digital, a crime would’ve been committed in which he talks about a subject that should probably worry me but I refuse to let it.

I put it that way because a lot of my work is in the public domain and I should be very worried that people are stealing it. Actually I took the basic decision some time ago that if they did – they did. It was not going to cost me anything although I accept that I might have earned more than I have had I been more careful. I could, for example, have put a watermark on all the photographs and videos on the blogs and web sites – but that is tiime consuming and a bore and then you have to have a system of selling them without the watermarks – and that, of course, assumes that someone wants to buy them.

Some of my video work is rather more commercial but this is sent to Newsflare who handle it for me and their watermark appears unless the clips are sold. Meanwhile, if I am commissioned to take photographs I get paid for what I supply. The rest? Well, I like to feel that they bring a bit of pleasure to a few.

Sadly this attitude is unusual and I can understand why that is so. It’s quite hard enough to make a living as a freelance without people stealing your output. However, some of the methods now in place to crack down on the sharing of music, videos and images etc. has become draconian and is probably catching the innocent and the minnows. None of which is to suggest I have the answers. I am, of course, grateful that most of our income continues to come from normally published works (both printed and as ebooks) which probably means I can afford to be a bit careless when there are others who can’t.

Citizen Media

My good friend Milkenko Williams recently attended a colloquium at Manchester University (as an observer, I believe) and has written a number of blogs on the position of the citizens media in the scheme of things. The fact that all have the ability, through mobile phones, Twitter and so on to send news around the world raises certain questions. 

I do not wish to add too much to what he says and would strongly suggest you start at the beginning – the first of the series is titled, “Citizen Media: very academic thoughts mediated by a very non-academic” – and work your way through what he has to say. 

It is of special interest to me because I wear two hats being both a hack (some might be kind and describe me as a journalist but one who has always worked freelance and has never drawn a salary) and a political blogger. I try very hard when wearing my hack hat to avoid allowing my opinions to creep into what I am reporting and try just as hard when blogging to base my opinions on the facts as I understand them. Whether I succeed or not is for others to judge. Clearly most who contribute to Citizen Media tend not to feel those constraints. Anyway, enough from me – go and read what Mil says on this subject it is well worth the effort. Here is the link to the first of the series.