Tuesday, July 17, 2012

to whom do you belong?

I have thought about sending photos to silly blogs like LOLCats,  or Awkward Family Photos...or other places on teh interwebz....but I never have and here's why.
when you send pix to these kind of websites, you most often give up all rights to the picture. If you don't understand elementary copyright laws, you could permanently lose your family picture! A corporation could make thousands of dollars off your silly picture, and there would be nothing you could do to stop it....or get any of that nice money !
But, you can make your own cards, your own tote bags...etc. Spoonflower, prints your fabric designs and never takes your copyright.....or ..... FabricOnDemand, doesn't take your copyright either.
I think, you should set up your own store, and market your own pictures with a company like Zazzle. Got a fantastic picture? A cute cat pic? A funny picture of you during your gawky phase? Why not make coffee mugs, tote bags, Tshirts, etc etc etc yourself? And make the money off your efforts!
Zazzle does not take your copyright from you....but it reserves the right to use it forever to promote Zazzle. 


That's what I do, and will be doing it even more in the future. Will I make any money? Maybe. maybe not. But here's what I do know. I Own My Pictures. I'm Not Giving Away Something Fantastic to someone else so they can make the money off my efforts because I am an Artist.

 I had a ball sponsoring fully illegal, I'm sure, private parties at my downtown store. I gave it away. It was fun. Everyone had a good time.....and since the City of Tacoma wasn't doing a damn thing to help any of the business downtown while the city tore up our whole neighborhood, destroying several small business and causing heartache and bitterness.........I decided to make something fun while my store was ruined....
Sell, or Give it Away.......This is the same issue as pirated movies and stolen music. This is a different issue from an artist or musicians like Grateful Dead that encouraged tapes of shows to be traded among fans....this is different from those artists that give away art like Beautiful Angle, or musicians and business that give away good stuff as a strategy....
If you know exactly what you are doing, you can give your efforts away....and I do give a lot away...but there is a lot I put out there for sale. As I have time in the future, I'll do free tutorials and turn you on to free public domain artwork...
When you take from an artist, or take "content" or "materials" from someone and don't fairly pay for it, you are starving the artist!
That's no different for paying for a carpenter to remodel your kitchen, no different from paying for a meal  at your favorite cafe.
Artists work too!
For instance, Awkward Family Photos takes your "content" or "materials" and keeps them forever and makes money off your picture for ever. For..Ever. And you lose your family picture. For..Ever. AWF doesn't say they take your copyright....it sure looks like it though. ...since they give you very damn little (a book or a calender they send you as "payment"), a court will most likely rule you gave it up. Forever. LOLcats (ICanHazCheezburger), says they don't keep your copyright, and neither do many other companies. Be sure to always read the tiny print.....
FOREVER.Here's the Terms from Awkward Family Photos "

Terms of Use Agreement

By uploading any photographs, videos, and/or written materials including, without limitation, captions and stories (collectively, “My Materials”), I certify and acknowledge that I wholly own My Materials or have the sole and exclusive right to permit Awkward Family, LLC and its parents, members, managers, directors, shareholders, partners, representatives, subsidiaries, affiliates, sponsors, successors, assigns, heirs and licensees (collectively, “you” or “your”) to use, edit, publish and otherwise exploit My Materials and my name in connection with My Materials without obligation or liability to me or any other party whatsoever.
I hereby grant to you the non-exclusive, irrevocable and unconditional right to describe, relate, publish and/or exploit My Materials in such manner as you shall elect, in whole or in part, on your websites and in print and electronic form or in any other media now or hereafter known or devised (including without limitation, books), and in related products and services in connection with any exploitation thereof (including but not limited to clothing, bumper stickers, mugs, toys, posters and other printed materials, and any related promotion and advertising of such items), throughout the universe in perpetuity, and in any advertising, promotion and publicity related thereto.  I agree that you shall have the right to edit, change, add to, take from, rearrange, vary, embellish, alter, modify, revise, translate, reformat and/or reprocess My Materials in any manner you may in your sole discretion determine and to use them as you in your sole discretion may determine and to make derivative works of the same, in whole or in part, without notifying me and without obligation to me; and I waive any right to inspect or approve the final display or other exploitation of My Materials now or in the future, whether that use is known to me or unknown, and I waive any right to royalties or any other compensation arising from or related to the use of My Materials."