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Biggest Copyright Infringement in the World But Nobody Cares Enough

In an interesting news article on Yahoo News – Experts: Suit Raises Copyright Questions, a company in Philadelphia is suing for copyright infringement the non-profit, Internet Archive, developed to “preserve Web pages that will eventually be deleted or changed” for all time. They currently have more than 55 billion pages stored there. (I’d love to see their servers – wow!)

A comment at the end of the article really caught my attention.

An ongoing lawsuit between a company and a popular archive of Web pages raises questions about whether the archive unavoidably violates copyright laws while providing a valuable service, experts say…A health care company claims the archive didn’t do enough to protect copyright information that a competing firm accessed to defend itself in a lawsuit.

…”I think they’re a valuable public resource,” Christie said. “I just take issue with the way they perform their public service.”

Michael Shamos, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said archiving like that done by the Internet Archive is “the biggest copyright infringement in the world,” but said it is done in a way “that almost nobody cares about.”

I found a lot of comments on and about my recent articles series on What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content dealt with the issue of “if it’s on the Internet, it’s free for the taking” and “who cares anyway”. Pitiful apathy until I see comments like this above which just reinforces the apathy. Nobody cares.

The stereo was ripped out of my truck a couple months ago while parked, supposedly locked, at my “old” mechanics. And I mean ripped. And I say “old” because after hearing “so what” and “not responsible” enough from the owner, I have a new, much more caring mechanic. They will make thousands of dollars a year from us as we battle to keep this monster beast of a truck on the road dragging us out of the hurricane’s path.

I asked them if they reported it to the police. “Why bother?” I reported it to the police. They said, “Why bother?”

My mother hates medicines but has to take one recently for some pains in her legs. The doctor gave her a prescription for 2 pills a night before bed for three months. That’s 180 non-addictive, not life threatening pills. The insurance company will only cover 42 pills for 90 days. She complained to her pharmacist where they are on a first name basis, spending thousands of dollars a year on her husband’s diabetic medications and insulin. He said, “I just do what I’m told. You have to talk to the insurance company.” She called the insurance company who said that this is not their problem. The problem is with the doctor. The doctor says the problem is with the insurance company and that she has to call them back and tell them what her doctor said. The insurance company told her she has to get this in writing from the doctor. Then they will send it in writing or electronic form to the pharmacist, who has to confirm it with the doctor and the insurance company…no one wants responsibility. She takes only this one pill. Imagine if she had to take 25 different prescriptions. What kind of nightmare would that be?

Over and over I run into folks in stores and businesses who just “do their job” and nothing else. I’m so tired of “not my responsibility”, “who cares”, “not my job”, and “I just do what I’m told”. I spent 20 minutes once wandering around asking employees in a hardware store if they made duplicate keys before I finally found a customer who pointed me in the right direction to where they made keys. I had to wait another ten minutes before someone finally showed up who knew how to run the key machine. It wasn’t that big of a hardware store!

I know I’m on a soap box, but I want people to care. I want people to live their life with passion and enthusiasm. I want them to do what they do with joy. I want to be around people who want to help others because it’s their job not because they have to, barely doing enough to get through the day to whatever life waits for them away from their job. I’ve found that people who just “get by” in their day job, tend to just “get by” in their life outside of work, too. Sad.

I know I shouldn’t have to remind you, but you only get one life. No matter what your religious belief is, you get now. Why not live each minute as if it is your last, because – well, may I be totally honest here? – it is. So why not care about it before it’s gone. And the next, and the next, and the next.

You don’t have to care about protecting your copyrights. That’s your choice. It is the law, whether you think it should be or not.

If you do care one way or the other, let us know by posting a note on your blog that says “free-for-all-because-I-care-about-copyrights” or “free-for-all-because-I-don’t-care-about-copyrights” so we will know. If you care and want to reinforce your copyright protection, let the world know by putting a “not-free-for-all” sign on your blog. You can find all of these at Creative Commons.

Because whether you care or not, when you hit the PUBLISH button on your blogging program, your written word and photographs are protected by copyright law. What you do from there is up to you. That’s the caring part I’ve been talking about.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

9 Comments

  1. Posted April 19, 2006 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Insightful comments throughout – thanks Lorelle.

    I know I’m on a soap box, but I want people to care. I want people to live their life with passion and enthusiasm. I want them to do what they do with joy. I want to be around people who want to help others because it’s their job not because they have to, barely doing enough to get through the day to whatever life waits for them away from their job. I’ve found that people who just “get by” in their day job, tend to just “get by” in their life outside of work, too. Sad.

    Coincidentally, I was listening to a radio show on the way home and something they said links in with the above paragraph beautifully:
    the only people who enjoy their jobs are people who work in bubble wrap factories.

    Made me smile :)

  2. Maria
    Posted April 19, 2006 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    This is very opportune right on the day I’ve had to spend all my morning dealing with useless customer support operators, who consistently do ONLY what they need to do to get to the point where the problem is not theirs, but somebody else’s:

    “Sorry… The connection looks good to the modem… Must be your router”
    “Sorry… Our product should work with Mac browsers, but Mac browsers have many bugs which do not exist in windows versions” (this one actually made me LAUGH!)

    I fiercely care about copyright infringement. I’m constantly looking for ways to stop it with my work, and it only frustrates me to see how fruitless and limited all existing resources are. Publicly expressing this usually gets me some nasty online insults from people I can only imagine make a livinng out of intellectual propety theft.

    My thoughts on the Internet Archive are a little different, though. I suppose what they do is technically copyright infringement. However, unlike abominable offline browsing tools, the Internet Archive provides a clear, easy, and EFFECTIVE way to opt out (i.e. robots.txt).

    When I first got a hit from their bot, I banned them from indexing my pages, but a few years later decided to let them index the HTML, excluding all CSS and images. I figured their archives could come in handy if one day I need to provide evidence that somebody has ripped me off.

  3. Posted April 19, 2006 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    I sure wish you pitched in when the naysayers were blathering. It’s so frustrating, and yet a part of our “job”. Good for you. You are one of my heros for fighting the good fight! Thank you.

    How did you set up the robots.txt or .htaccess to allow them to get content but not css and images? I’d love to see that piece of code. I think I remember, but it has been so long. I’ll have to do more research on this.

    Thanks!

  4. Maria
    Posted April 19, 2006 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    On my robots.txt file I have this code:

    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /img/
    Disallow: /css/

    These 3 lines tell all robots not to index the files on my img and css folders. You can add as many disallow commands as you need, but of course all evil robots will ignore them.

    Haven’t gotten to excluding them in .htaccess – Although it’s an extra measure of security, it also fails with all the evil robots disguising their true identity.

  5. Posted April 21, 2006 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Apathy and mediocrity are rampant in our society. I see it everywhere. personally, I reserve all rights to my material and say so on my website. I allow fair use (no more than 200 words) of my content with attribution.

  6. Posted April 21, 2006 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I think we’ve battled the last month for the top spot in WordPress blogs-which to me is fun since our blogs offer completely different content. Unfortunately, when I joined a certain blogroll, my troubles began. I’ve been writing about stupid people from day one. It’s a peeve of mine. I even started a blogroll, Bloggers Against Stupid People-which no one joined. Then I found out why- a woman on the blogroll I had joined, decided she wanted to devote an entirely new blog to.. guess what? Stupid people. I know it’s petty, but, this was my idea and my writings for well over a year. I had to add a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License. It’s sad, really. No one even cares.

  7. Posted November 21, 2007 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    Well said Lorelle. Here is one of those retail dwelling shmoes, for the present, who does his job not because he is adequately paid, but instead recognizes the quiet need in people to be treated with genuine respect, even if they happen to be quite incensed about the poor quality of a product.

    Yours is the sort of respect that is encouraging – so thank you for not holding back, or letting your hands slip from the wheel even though fatigue may take hold. It is ever a constant fight, but as people have value, so does this.

    Yes, the name I chose is sarcastic.

  8. Jafabrit
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    I care, but yes you are right most don’t, including big companies. :( I have had one month of painful discovery that has undone and crumbled my art life as it was.


9 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] On the opposite side was the growing trend to consciously and unconsciously allow copyright infringement to be wide spread on the web. In “The Biggest Copyright Infringement in the World But Nobody Cares Enough”, I vented about the apathy regarding this and the growing apathy I see all over the country: I found a lot of comments on and about my recent articles series on What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content dealt with the issue of “if it’s on the Internet, it’s free for the taking” and “who cares anyway”. Pitiful apathy until I see comments like this above which just reinforces the apathy. Nobody cares. [...]

  2. [...] Biggest Copyright Infringement in the World But Nobody Cares Enough [...]

  3. [...] think “if it’s on the Internet, it’s free for the taking” and “who cares anyway”. (from http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2006/04/19/biggest-copyright-infringement-in-the-world-but-nobody-cares… ) Especially, from the article above, “in many countries, it is legal to share copied music (e.g. [...]

  4. [...] Biggest Copyright Infringement in the World But Nobody Cares Enough: This blogger writes about the apathy of copyright enforcement. [...]

  5. […] Biggest Copyright Infringement in the World But Nobody Cares Enough […]

  6. […] Biggest Copyright Infringement in the World But Nobody Cares Enough […]

  7. […] Biggest Copyright Infringement in the World But Nobody Cares Enough […]

  8. […] Biggest Copyright Infringement in the World But Nobody Cares Enough […]

  9. […] Biggest Copyright Infringement in the World But Nobody Cares Enough […]

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