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Most Blatant Pro-ACTA Campaign So Far Is A Copyright Monopoly Violation

27

Copyright Monopoly

Copyright Monopoly

When the International Trade Committee in the European Parliament went to vote for or against ACTA, there was a huge poster on the door breaking about half the rules in the (very long) book, urging the committee to vote in favor of ACTA. That poster has now been discovered to be a copyright monopoly violation committed by the pro-ACTA camp.

The poster on the International Trade Committee’s door showed an image of a cargo ship cruising, saying “ACTA will protect and promote Europe’s… IP-intensive industries”, on the day of the vote. A lot of us activists were justifiably upset about this. Now, it turns out that the pro-ACTA lobbyists did indeed create a poster arguing for ACTA that is in itself a copyright monopoly violation, showing clearer than ever that the copyright monopoly is, well, bollocks. If the most fervent proponents and lawyers of the copyright monopoly can’t follow it in the most dire of circumstances, there is no further pretending that a teenager or Joe Plumber should be expected to. Accordingly, the harsher enforcement that ACTA would bring is, if possible, even more insane.

Pro-ACTA poster and copyright monopoly violation.

Jérémie Zimmermann found the origins of the cargo ship image as a publicity photo for the Hamburg Süd shipping group. The crux is, the photo may only be used under certain circumstances – specifically, crediting the Hamburg Süd group – and that very requirement of attribution was ignored.

The Aliança Santos. Photo: Hamburg Süd. (See, was that so hard?)

Ironically, the same poster goes on to say “get the facts at actafacts.com”, a site that the Internet community wasn’t sure whether it was “third-grade astroturfing or outright parody”. So let’s get this straight: lobbyists that claim to be experts on the subject of the copyright monopoly and its complex legislation were using an image in violation of that very monopoly in their most crucial lobbying material for harshened enforcement. You just couldn’t make it up. (By the way, Glyn Moody pulled down the pants of the ridiculous claims on the site pretty quickly.)

This episode shows clearer than ever that the copyright and patent monopolies are not intended to be protective of innovation or protective of the economy. They’re obviously too complex even for their strongest supporters and lobbyists to understand and adhere to. Rather, they are intended as legal clubs to be used by the now-rich incumbents against resource-strapped upstarts. The copyright and patent monopolies are only protective of the past, protective against the present and future of innovation, creativity, and economy.

The most fervent lobbyists for the copyright monopoly don’t care a bit about the monopoly as it applies to themselves, only as it applies to others. This is consistent with decades of artist screw-overs by record labels and movie studios. Let’s end this corporativism. Let’s cut back on these ridiculous monopolies.

Don’t forget to mail the MEPs urging them to reject ACTA.

Via Henrik Moltke via Jérémie Zimmermann.

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About The Author: Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and is a political evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about ideas of a sensible information policy. He has a tech entrepreneur background and loves whisky.

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27

  1. 1
    President

    I so want to Laugh Out Loud on this. But then I realize that it is Insane. It again shows that the rules and laws “should apply to others but not the lawmakers”… I’ll say we replace those guys, and take their jobs.

  2. 2
    Patrik

    You are, from what I can see, only allowed to use the photo with the attribution “Photo: Hamburg Süd”, not “Credit: Hamburg Süd”.
    Was that so hard? ;-P

    • 2.1

      I doubt it would be a legally relevant distinction, but fair enough, I changed it to an exact match rather than giving the normal credit I saw them ask for (which is their right to do). Thanks for your attention to detail.

      UPDATE: I also noted that the photo may only be used in an free editorial context, even with attribution, which it certainly wasn’t on the poster (it was commercially promotional, not editorial – here, however, the use is editorial as I comment on the poster and the use of the photo).

  3. 3

    Yes, funny indeed. However, while I do agree with you about how ironic this is, and that IP law needs to be reformed, I would say that it’s not proof that “the most fervent proponents and lawyers of the copyright monopoly can’t follow it in the most dire of circumstances”, generally speaking; rather, this one time they made a mistake. Of course, a mistake they could be punished for according to law. But it doesn’t show that copyright in general is extremely complex and hard to understand (although the finer points often are); it only shows that whatever PR group the copyright proponents used this time doesn’t know how to correctly cred people.

    • 3.1

      This was not “a mistake”; this was done in full conscience and bad faith. If you look closer at the poster, you will see that the name of the boat has been shopped out – both in the front and on the side, no less – in an attempt to make the image impossible to identify.

  4. 4
    eviljanitor

    Am i the only one who see’s that they photoshopped the logos off of the ship on the front and side of the poster.

  5. 5
    Carpe Jugulum

    So, I hope we are calling for the makers of that poster to be prosecuted to the maximum possible extent, and in the most public way? Time to shame those TERRORIST SCUMBAGS who STEAL THE POOR ARTISTS MONEY.
    Let them choke on their own rhetoric. I have no sympathy for them, and no pity. They claim to know the laws, which means they break them willfuly. That shows enormous arrogance in the face of the law, and I am sure the copyright tool “Nejtillpirater” agrees with me that only multi-year prison sentences and millions of euros in damages can rectify this.

  6. 6
    Erik Hultgren

    Have you checked that the ACTA-lobbyists haven’t asked/paid for permission to use it? Or is it just a guess?

    • 6.1

      Photos like these are practically never under dual licensing.

      • 6.1.1
        Mr T

        Which means that you haven’t checked? ;)
        From the site: “Any other use requires approval.” Maybe they have gotten approval?
        Until all facts are known we simply don’t know.

        • How could I? There is no sender on the poster, just the “we represent 120 million jobs”. Any poster in the European Parliament requires a responsible sender, but this was posted in a place where it absolutely is not allowed to be – so it had no sender, so nobody could be held accountable.

          Again, such a fuckton of bad faith.

      • 6.1.2
        Henrik Moltke

        I asked both the ICC and Hamburg Süd if this image had been cleared for ICCs use but neither responded.

    • 6.2

      Also, if you look closer at the poster, you will see that the name of the boat has been shopped out – both in the front and on the side, no less – in an attempt to make the image impossible to identify.

      That kind of revelation is usually spelled “bad faith”.

      • 6.2.1
        Sten

        Eh.
        The home page of the shipping company states “Any other use requires approval. We kindly request a voucher copy.”
        So at this moment Falkvinge do not know if the photograph is a violation, it is just something he claims.
        The shipping company might have stipulated “use the picture but remove the name of the boat”.

        Also, the photograph has been taken by a photographer. The photographer has the right to manipulate the photograph. The photographer can remove the name of the boat. The photographer can then sell the photograph or allow the photograph to be used by others, all depending on his original contract with the shipping company.

        • Occam’s Razor.

          If you have to invent a horribly convoluted and complex procedure and chain of events for how that photo ended up on the whipped-up-at-last-minute breaking-the-rules no-sender poster, you’ve gone beyond the “reasonable” in “reasonable doubt”.

          In comparison, an easy and plausible explanation would have been that the photo was also available as a cheap stock photo, like the ones used on this blog: grab one and you’re good to go. I searched for that on the common stock photo sites (it would have been dead easy to buy a similar enough image from Shutterstock, like this very similar one here, or iStockphoto, like this one. But no. No such image, no such ship.

          Actually, the erasing of the name confuses me. The logical thing would be for the lazy to just grab something in a this-will-do mindset; erasing the name means that effort is expended to hide tracks, and that effort would have been more cost-efficiently spent on just buying the damn thing.

          Cheers,
          Rick

        • Sten

          Well Rick
          “If you have to invent a horribly convoluted and complex procedure and chain of events for how that photo ended up on the whipped-up-at-last-minute breaking-the-rules no-sender poster, you’ve gone beyond the “reasonable” in “reasonable doubt”.”

          You are the one who have invented.
          Very much the same way you previously invented that you had “discovered” “leaked” information that however was publicly published and readily available.

          The most likely scenario is that they bought the right to use the photograph.

          I sell (in particular manipulated) images and footage and often keep the right to reuse the images in any way I like – unless the client – for the higher price tag – buy exclusivity. I would in all those cases however always remove brand names and logos before selling them again.

          “The logical thing would be for the lazy to just grab something in a this-will-do mindset; erasing the name means that effort is expended to hide tracks, ”
          No Rick, the logical thing would be for them to buy a photograph from the photographer.

        • Sten:

          You can’t possibly be suggesting that it would be any kind of logical, or even normal, to contact a photographer for a job like this. The poster needed any type of image symbolizing “industry” that went ok with a blue tone. I can find thousands of such images that are completely free to use for any purpose in under a minute.

          To hire a photographer to take a specific image or even contact a photographer directly about this would not just be stupid levels of cost-efficiency, it would be downright anachronistic.

          If you’re a photographer and claim this is the way it should be done, I’m afraid I can’t draw any other conclusion than you having a poor sense of the competitive landscape. It was a very long time since anybody actually hired or contacted a photographer for a generic ad job (the key word being generic).

          Therefore, I must be reading you wrong, misunderstanding what you’re writing, or missing out on some kind of context that you take for granted. As it stands, what you’re writing doesn’t make sense.

          Cheers,
          Rick

        • Sten

          “You can’t possibly be suggesting that it would be any kind of logical, or even normal, to contact a photographer for a job like this.”

          Rick, you buy the photograph from a photographer no matter if you buy the photograph from Istock, Shutterstock, Getty or Artbeats.

          The photographer will have removed the name of the ship before he uploads them to the service (do a search and you will see that virtually all names are removed from images of cargo ships and containers that are published). The photographer will have the permission to manipulate he image this way.

          Hamburg Süd use an exclusive way of handling their images. They use Fotoware.
          Fotoware is used by companies that handle huge amount of images. One can through Fotoware sell the images to agencies and users that the owner/photographer them self have approved to access the archive.
          One would for sure have removed all names and numbers from all ships and containers before uploading the images for sale.

      • 6.2.2
        Erik Hultgren

        I don’t see how erasing the name changes anything. In marketing that’s very common since you shouldn’t give the impression that, in this case, the specific boat company is behind the ad. It would be more strange if it was not removed. At least if it’s a serious advertising company behind it.

        And it would not be too hard to just mail and Hamburg Süd and ask if they have given permission. Now it seems other people have done that, but I’ll guess we have to wait until after the weekend for an answer.

        • Charlieboy

          There is no sender / place of printing of the poster so therefore I do not think that the masked image is used legally.

          Stop ACTA now!

  7. […] Da redação, com informações do portal de Rick Falkvinge Infopolicy. […]

  8. 7
    Annie

    Sue them!! I want to hear their response!

  9. […] Most Blatant Pro-ACTA Campaign So Far Is A Copyright Monopoly Violation – Falkvinge on Infopol…. […]

  10. […] Most Bla­tant EU Pro-ACTA Cam­paign So Far Is A Copy­right Monop­oly Vio­la­tion. […]

  11. […] most blatant lobby push to get ACTA through the INTA committee (which has failed). That is itself a copyright violation. Can you taste the delicious […]

  12. 8

    May I just say what a relief to discover somebody that truly
    understands what they’re talking about on the web. You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make
    it important. More people should read this and understand this side of your story.

    I was surprised that you’re not more popular given that you certainly possess the gift.

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About The Author

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and is a political evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about ideas of a sensible information policy. He has a tech entrepreneur background and loves whisky.

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