The eyes of a Wolf always see straight into your soul ...

...You can't hide the truth from them


Please visit the main site - www.wolf-photography.com


Friday, 20 January 2012

Copyright across the Atlantic ...

What interesting times we live in as creative people.  Here in the UK the government are trying to reduce the effectiveness of copyright by trying to introduce less effective legislation and methods of licensing that don't look after the interests of creative professionals (pause for breath  - those of you needing an inhaler, please use now) while over the side of the pond we have a media battle over the implications of PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) and SOPA Stop Online Piracy Act).

I like the idea of what PIPA and SOPA are trying to do but it seems to have gotten lost in the political spin.  Basically they want to protect Intellectual Property ... but I feel that it's important to know that the money pushing this forward has come mainly from the music and film industry.  I haven't seen much hype about the abuse of photography, paintings or the written word.

The waters surrounding the issue have been muddied to the degree that the bills may well fail as politicians seem to be worrying more about staying in power rather than doing the right thing.  One of the issues being raised is that the bills will affect the citizens' freedom of speech over the internet.  I fail to see how these acts could do that as you can still say what you want to say about anything you want (as long as you don't breach libel laws) but you just don't put links to any pirated media alongside the article.

Here in the UK, the reason for changing the copyright legislation is clear.  Big business and educational establishments want to be able to use intellectual property without having to pay for it or without having to pay an appropriate price for using it.

There have been comments stating that the copyright laws are too tight.  Copyright is copyright - it is automatic and it is there to serve a purpose: to stop creative works being abused.  As such it achieves its aims. 

I haven't seen any form of analysis to estimate how much is lost annually in earnings by creative people (musicians, poets, writers, photographers, artists, film makers etc).  What the UK legal system DOES need is a quicker, cost effective way of bringing copyright cases to the courts.

The copyright legislation as such in the UK is fine but it does need to start taking account of 'moral rights' that are granted us by both International & Europrean Human Rights legislation:

United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 27 (2) states:

1.  Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

2.  Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Note also that a recent UK court ruling (20thC Fox vs 'Newsbin2') established that -

Copyrights are property rights protected by Article 1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights, as also expressed in Article 1 of the First Protocol of the Human Rights Act 1998;

piracy of copyright work is a breach of the copyright holder's human rights;

the copyright holder is therefore entitled to legal redress;

and, because 'so far as possible, primary legislation and subordinate legislation must be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with human rights', legislation drafted and enacted subsequent to the enactment of the Human Rights Act 1998 must also be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with human rights.
I have no doubt in my mind that Hargreaves was hired to present a particular point of view rather than a balanced review of the UK's copyright laws.
So what's the common donimator in both of these big scale efforts accross the pond?  Money!  Both of these nations are trying to achieve opposite aims, the politicans are are treading carefully around the voters and the creative communities are sat waiting wondering what's going to happen next.
Somewhere in Eutopia someone's sat there thinking, 'Imagine what they could have done globally if they'd pooled their resources and involved other countries and came up with a set of global legislation to protect artists' rights?'  Let's face it - it could be done with the amount of money that's probably changed hands in the corridors of power.
In the mean time...
All creative people that use the internet MUST take steps to protect their intellectual property.  You'll find free help on the basics on RespectIP and Creativity Resources brought to you by Wolf Photography ;)
All the best

David Eddings via Tony Jackson...

I can't remember what happnened to prompt the action but I'll always be gratefull to Tony Jackson for lending me a set of books to read.  We were serving in Northern Ireland and I guess he'd been using these books as a way to wind the mind down after a 12 hour shift when you're safety and/or survival is reliant upon being hyper vigilant.  I remember Tony as a quiet bloke with a good sense of humour.  I'm pretty sure he got posted out of the Province before I finishsed my tour there.

The books he leant me are collectively known as 'The Belgariad' by David Eddings.  A set of 5 titles that follow the journey of an orphan named 'Garion' through the trials of childhood and beyond as he discovers himself and forms friendships with various characters along the way.  It's a book full of warmth and humour as well the usual fight between good and bad but at the core is the love and devotion that began eons ago with a snowy owl and an old wolf.

The 5 books in the set are entitled:
Pawn of Prophecy
Queen of Sorcery
Magician's Gambit
Catle of Wizardry
Enchanter's End Game

They should be available at all good book stores.  If you enjoy reading them, look up the set of 5 that came next, 'The Malloreon'.

If you missed out on family life when you were younger, read these books and start filling that void.


Monday, 9 January 2012

Thoughts for 2012 ...

It's got to be said that I don't fit into the category of 'normal'.  There's not much about me that is.  My work ethic is straight down the line, I'm not into materialism or power - so corruption has never interested me ... and I tend to tell the truth about things when asked.

When I look back over 2011, I see the lessons that I should have learned and the mistakes that I have repeated.  One of those lessons goes against 'telling the truth when asked' - I should keep my experiences to myself.  Information is a weapon and if you tell people about yourself they may either choose to use the information against you in some way and subject you to stigma or choose to break all contact with you.

There will always be those that will try to look down upon you or misconstrue what you say or do.  There will always be cliques in groups ... and you may find yourself as their subject for gossip ... nothing flattering though, usually negative chat.

All I can do is continue to live the way I live and 'disassociate' more.  Times have changed and groups that respected honour above all else  have also allowed their standards to be lowered.  There will always be those that hold to the old ways and walk an honourable path that don't redicule or belittle those who are less fortunate themselves; they are the people I would like to meet and spend time with in 2012.

I have made some good friends in 2011.  Sadly they, like my other good friends, don't live nearby.  I hope to have more contact with them.  I am open to good experiences and a lot more travelling this year, dependent on funds.  There are so many targets on my wish list ... I'll be happy if I can get to at least three of them this year.

The background work for the planning of the exhibition continues.  I hope to get my feet wet in the first quarter of this year by delivering an awareness session on PTSD, possibly to families of veterans.  The awareness talks will all be free.  If a group would like to request a talk, please contact me.  The details are on my website.

Educating people, particlarly students and veterans, about Intellectual Property (IP) - mainly 'copyright' - seems to have become a natural aim of my work.  It started through writing up helpful stuff on the 'Creativity Resources' section of 'Wolf Photography' - my main site; it then seemed sensible to setup another section to enable photographers to learn a little about copyright and the tools needed to ensure that they have covered their backs with regards to model release forms etc.

I will be drawing up a contract for printers soon.  This is to ensure that the printer you use respects IP law and won't abuse your art or your rights.  This will be made live on the site for your use as soon as I have it finalised.  I will also be drawing up lists of those that follow good practice as associated companies and those that have abused it.  It will act as a guide as to who you can do business with ... but it will only be my opinion.  It'll be up to you to read the guide and make up your own mind.

I have helped out various people and projects in the past with free webspace on my server.  Please be aware that that will come to an end in February 2012 - simply because I will be moving my website to a different provider.  You can still use the designs and graphics etc that I have provided you on your new web space but you must continue to provide a credit to 'Wolf Photography' for the free work and link to the website http://www.wolf-photography.com/.

I guess that's it for now.

All the best


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