Ok, you’re a marketer, still trying to determine if Pinterest is right for you…


…and you heard a boogey man story about copyright problems. You’re asking,
Via http://marketingonpinterest.com

English: Red Pinterest logo
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is Using Pinterest Going To Get Me In Trouble?”

(Although I’m not a lawyer, and this should not be considered legal advice…)

Let’s review the facts, and then you can decide…

Let’s say we did violate someone’s copyright. What happens next? The copyright holder has 3 choices, according to a great Electronic Frontier Foundation article on this issue. The copyright owner can:

  1. Let is slide.
  2. Sue you.
  3. Submit a DMCA Take Down Notice.

We think Youtube is a good case study for this issue, so it’s helpful to know what the common practice has been there when copyrights appear to be violated. As a general rule, again, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation Article, a DMCA Take Down Notice is the most common response because it is 1) Fast and 2) Inexpensive.

So, could you be sued if you make a mistake? Yes. Does that happen in real life? The Electronic Frontier People said they don’t know of ANY cases except a couple rare one’s involving leaked movie trailers.

[If the Copyright owner is getting massive referral traffic & brand exposure via Pinterest would they even want to file one of these notices? No. But still, they could. Let’s think worst case.] Continuar leyendo «Ok, you’re a marketer, still trying to determine if Pinterest is right for you…»

¿Cómo medir la efectividad de Facebook para las empresas?


See on Scoop.itGabriel Catalano human being | #INperfeccion® a way to find new insight & perspectives

¿Cuáles son los indicadores o KPIs a valorar en Facebook?

Número de “Me gustas”
Número de recomendaciones
Número de “Me gustas” en comentarios
Número de comentarios
Número de impresiones
Número de visitas al Site desde la Fan Page
Estadísticas específicas de cada campaña Continuar leyendo «¿Cómo medir la efectividad de Facebook para las empresas?»

La actividad de los usuarios en Pinterest podría ser ilegal

Pinterest, el servicio social para compartir imágenes que tan de moda está en estos momentos, podría estar incurriendo en una violación de los derechos de autor. El abogado especializado en propiedad intelectual Itai Maytal ha expresado sus dudas respecto a la legalidad de la plataforma, dado que ésta permite exhibir en su totalidad los trabajos de otros.

Buscador de imágenes o plataforma social para encontrar y compartir contenido gráfico, Pinterest está ganando adeptos rápidamente. En un corto periodo de vida ya ha conseguido más de 10 millones de visitantes y es uno de los sitios donde más tiempo de media pasan los usuarios.

El abogado experto en temas relacionados con el copyright Itai Maytal ha señalado en una entrevista para BusinessInsider algunos puntos débiles de Pinterest. Por éstos el servicio podría ser acusado de infringir los derechos de autor de profesionales de la fotografía.


pinterest

Pinterest, el servicio social para compartir imágenes que tan de moda está en estos momentos, podría estar incurriendo en una violación de los derechos de autor. El abogado especializado en propiedad intelectual Itai Maytal ha expresado sus dudas respecto a la legalidad de la plataforma, dado que ésta permite exhibir en su totalidad los trabajos de otros.

Buscador de imágenes o plataforma social para encontrar y compartir contenido gráfico, Pinterest está ganando adeptos rápidamente. En un corto periodo de vida ya ha conseguido más de 10 millones de visitantes y es uno de los sitios donde más tiempo de media pasan los usuarios.

El abogado experto en temas relacionados con el copyright Itai Maytal ha señalado en una entrevista para BusinessInsider algunos puntos débiles de Pinterest. Por éstos el servicio podría ser acusado de infringir los derechos de autor de profesionales de la fotografía. Continuar leyendo «La actividad de los usuarios en Pinterest podría ser ilegal»

Moral dilemma: My company steals from other creatives

Fair usage

According to an entry on Wikipedia:

The fair use defense to copyright infringement was codified for the first time in section 107 of the 1976 Act. Fair use was not a novel proposition in 1976, however, as federal courts had been using a common law form of the doctrine since the 1840s (an English version of fair use appeared much earlier). The Act codified this common law doctrine with little modification. Under section 107, the fair use of a copyrighted work is not copyright infringement, even if such use technically violates section 106. While fair use explicitly applies to use of copyrighted work for criticism, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research purposes, the defense is not limited to these areas. The Act gives four factors to be considered to determine whether a particular use is a fair use:

The purpose and character of the use (commercial or educational, transformative or reproductive);

the nature of the copyrighted work (fictional or factual, the degree of creativity);
the amount and substantiality of the portion of the original work used; and
the effect of the use upon the market (or potential market) for the original work.
The Act was later amended to extend the fair use defense to unpublished works.

As any writer on this and other blogs know, or should know, is that under fair use, we can show copyrighted work as mentioned above. As a designer, does the use I outlined in the first part of this article fall under fair use (presentations within a company or to a client)? It does not.

What is a “derivative work?”

Vanilla Ice suffered the question of derivative work with his well-loved Ice, Ice Baby hit. Was it lifted, or “sampled” from David Bowie’s Under Pressure? Mr. Ice argued the beat was completely different and monkeys could fly out of his rear end.

Wikipedia defines the subject as such:

A “derivative work” is a work based upon one or more pre-existing works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work.”

The Wikipedia entry uses a piece by Marcel Duchamp of the Mona Lisa with a moustache and claims it is “often used by law professors to illustrate the legal concept of derivative work. Obviously da Vinci isn’t available to launch a suit for the use of his work but other works have been used in such a manner.


A friend of mine wrote me the other day and told me his company was stealing copyrighted work. He was very upset and said that his manager believes that anything on the internet is available to be put on a crappy T-shirt.

He asked my advice on what to do. He was a creative who felt righteous indignation about stealing from other creatives. I had to think about what to say in response.

The first time I was ordered to steal copyrighted material by my boss, I was horrified and felt I should protect the rights of others. It wasn’t so much for monetary gain but for a presentation and involved the work of several dozen illustrators. Nonetheless, it was something for which they should have received payment.

I pushed the point in a meeting on the project, pontificating on the copyright law in front of several executives and the president of the company. Later on, my supervisor informed me that the multi-sleazebag legal department had approved of the plan, claiming that if the copyright owners found out, it “wouldn’t cost more than a hundred dollars or so.”

Once again, I pointed out that the actual figure would be much more and the embarrassment to the corporation would be devastating. I was told not to worry about it and use the material. I did but made a copy of the presentation for my records, just in case. In a worst-case scenario, I didn’t want to be the art director who stole from other creatives. I knew of at least one other art director who took the fall for the company when the same thing happened. The project was discovered and the art director was fired, while every other art director and designer in the company sat mum, afraid to speak up and say that she had been handed the material and told to use it.

“Just do it and forget about it…it’s not your neck on the line. When your company is sued for thousands of dollars, you’ll be long gone,” I wrote to my friend. I hit send and felt I had given him the best advice available. Later I realized that he would take the blame when the company got caught. I regretted not telling him to nail the company doors shut with everyone inside and burn the place to the ground or poison the employee coffee pot because the penalty would be less than the damage to his professional reputation when he became the scapegoat for his company and their blatant disregard for the law.

The law!

Yes, it’s the law. Using copyrighted material without permission for any commercial usage, which includes presentations, T-shirts, promotional material, in-house posters, etc. is a breach of the copyright law. It does, however, happen every day in every part of the world. If Hello Kitty were a real person, she would die and spin in her grave from all of the illegal usage of her cute and profitable visage. Me-ouch!

YIKES! Obviously this is not a valid licensed product but what lawyer wants to bring the gun shop owner who manufactured this into court? Hello Kitty™ Sanrio

Every creative should know the copyright law, no matter in what country you reside (it’s a global economy!) not only to adhere to it for legal purposes but to protect your own rights as a creative of copyrighted works. There are many books and articles on the subject and I would suggest any source by legal guru Tad Crawford, who works with several arts organizations on artists’ rights.

Knowing the law and being able to intelligently put forth the problems a company could face by unfair usage could save a corporate entity or small business a crippling legal suit and devastating bad publicity—that is, if they listen to you!

As a freelancer, the copyright law not only protects your works but also your right to being paid by a client. The transfer of copyright can only be recognized by written consent to transfer such rights. When a client refuses to pay your invoice (which should be backed up with a contract laying out the transfer of copyright or other usage, contingent on payment), you can withdraw the copyright. After that, it’s no longer just a court case on non-payment but one of copyright violation with much stiffer financial penalties. Clients tend to change their minds on payment when it takes a turn for the very worst.

A very apt image for the copyright issue! ©2001 Steve Bell

I advise young designers who insist on doing free work for companies for “exposure” and the promise of future work (because they know more than I do and just won’t listen to my warnings about doing free work—ah, the passion and verve of youth!) to keep ownership of the copyright and just assign the usage to the company of creepy scammers, er…I mean the client, for a short period of a year so there IS a future in the free work. If the client reneges, don’t renew the assignment of the copyright! I’ve been thanked for that advice and heard more apologies from those who did the free work without a contract and never saw any of the client’s promises come to fruition.

Fair usage

According to an entry on Wikipedia:

The fair use defense to copyright infringement was codified for the first time in section 107 of the 1976 Act. Fair use was not a novel proposition in 1976, however, as federal courts had been using a common law form of the doctrine since the 1840s (an English version of fair use appeared much earlier). The Act codified this common law doctrine with little modification. Under section 107, the fair use of a copyrighted work is not copyright infringement, even if such use technically violates section 106. While fair use explicitly applies to use of copyrighted work for criticism, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research purposes, the defense is not limited to these areas. The Act gives four factors to be considered to determine whether a particular use is a fair use:

The purpose and character of the use (commercial or educational, transformative or reproductive);

  1. the nature of the copyrighted work (fictional or factual, the degree of creativity);
  2. the amount and substantiality of the portion of the original work used; and
  3. the effect of the use upon the market (or potential market) for the original work.

The Act was later amended to extend the fair use defense to unpublished works.

As any writer on this and other blogs know, or should know, is that under fair use, we can show copyrighted work as mentioned above. As a designer, does the use I outlined in the first part of this article fall under fair use (presentations within a company or to a client)? It does not.

What is a “derivative work?”

Vanilla Ice suffered the question of derivative work with his well-loved Ice, Ice Baby hit. Was it lifted, or “sampled” from David Bowie’s Under Pressure? Mr. Ice argued the beat was completely different and monkeys could fly out of his rear end.

Wikipedia defines the subject as such:

A “derivative work” is a work based upon one or more pre-existing works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work.”

The Wikipedia entry uses a piece by Marcel Duchamp of the Mona Lisa with a moustache and claims it is “often used by law professors to illustrate the legal concept of derivative work. Obviously da Vinci isn’t available to launch a suit for the use of his work but other works have been used in such a manner.

©Andy Warhol

Warhol’s Campbell’s soup can, for instance, bore a trademarked logo, but the Campbell’s Soup Company chose not to sue. Perhaps the free advertising involved persuaded them to not cause problems in the public eye. In this case it is worth noting that a critical piece of any lawsuit is proving damages. As with the problem my friend faces at work, using copyrighted works and logos, there is a commercial profit made from the images and that is another consideration in bringing suit. Collage artists, such as Richard Hamilton (know as the “father of pop art”), used other people’s images in his work, getting by with fair use. Continuar leyendo «Moral dilemma: My company steals from other creatives»

Understanding the Laws of the Digital Jungle

Figure 1: The Internet isn’t free from the law, so beware if you break it!

Below we shall cover very briefly the types of laws that can affect you and the reasons why you need to know about it. Because law is a complicated subject you’re going to need to research the subject further and if you feel confused or worried about anything, get some proper advice from someone who’s well versed in Internet law. Hopefully the recognition of the below will give you the knowledge you need to get started and perhaps save you a lot of potential hassle in the future!
Intellectual Property

Of the many areas of law which affect the field of web design and development, arguably the most prominent is intellectual property. In essence, this covers things like copyright, trademarks, patents, cyber squatting (domain disputes) and to a lesser extent, issues such as plagiarism. As a designer or developer, you need to be aware of intellectual property because it governs what you are legally allowed to use in terms of other peoples content and even what denotes fair use in your work.


http://www.onextrapixel.com/2010/12/09/understanding-the-laws-of-the-digital-jungle/

While the subjects of design and development are things we regularly enjoy talking about, the issue of how law affects us as professionals doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it should do. While the web may be a place of free speech, diversity and competition there are a few constant issues which designers and developers alike need to be aware of if only to not do anything which might put them into a dispute. The aim of this article is to simply highlight the issues you may encounter.

Understanding the Laws of the Digital Jungle
Image credit: Maciek Lesniak

Note: For the point of this piece it’s essential that I provide a disclaimer saying that I am not a lawyer or legal professional. I am simply a freelancer offering their insights and nothing I say is to be taken “as-is”. If you do have an issue, I urge you to seek assistance from a qualified legal professional. Continuar leyendo «Understanding the Laws of the Digital Jungle»

5 Biggest Copyright Pitfalls for Web Designers

3. Platform Licensing

The days of static websites went out nearly a decade ago. Most sites today are built on top of a platform of some variety or another, be it WordPress, Joomla, Presta Shop or some other software. However, many of these tools have strict and/or unusual licensing requirements and it is easy for designers to run afoul of their terms when setting up a new site.

The most common mistake is installing a purchased application on too many sites; for example, by buying a one-domain license on ThemeForest for an application, but using it with multiple clients.

However, even open source applications carry risks as many designers, in an attempt to keep the site clean, remove attribution lines in the code and files on the server that are required as part of the license.

When using any software to build a site, take a moment to read thorough the license and understand what it means. Follow those terms closely. Developers are constantly becoming more savvy about tracking down those who violate their licenses and even authors that license under the GPL are becoming more aggressive about enforcing their terms.
4. Open Source Blunders

A related mistake comes when web designers use and publish works based on open source code, particularly GPLed code (which includes many WordPress themes) and forget to either retain the license information and/or fail to donate their modified code back to the GPL.

If you create a derivative work of a GPL-licensed one, such as making a GPL WordPress theme a different color, the new theme has to be licensed under the GPL.

If you are unsure of whether your new work meets the requirement for GPL “inheritance”, this 2001 article by Lawrence Rosen (http://www.sitepoint.com/article/public-license-explained/) explains it quite nicely.


5 Biggest Copyright Pitfalls for Web Designers

When it comes to design, copyright is often a very muddled gray area. Just as the lines between plagiarism and homage are often confusing, so too is the line between infringing and non-infringing use of copyrighted material. Since it is natural and even expected of Web designers to incorporate elements from other sites and other creations, it is important to understand the risks and hazards when it comes to copyright in Web design. As such, here are five of the most common copyright pitfalls Web designers face and how to best avoid them. Continuar leyendo «5 Biggest Copyright Pitfalls for Web Designers»

From Open Business Models To An Economy Of The Commons

What does it take for open business models to become an economy of the Commons? What are the pros and cons of a system based on peer production? How do open business models compare with the traditional economic system based on intellectual property and copyright?

open_business_models_economy_commons_michelbauwens_size485.jpg
Photo credit: GPRC, remixed by Robin Good

I have recently shot a small number of very interesting videos with Michel Bauwens, the peer-to-peer movement evangelist and founder / publisher of the P2PFoundation and in one of these I asked Michel to share his vision of such economic system.

How does he picture a system based on cooperation and collaborative approaches where individuals create and distribute value to their peers?

As he suggests, the key strategy which allows open business models to gradually migrate to a successful economy of the Commons (which are immaterial goods that are everyone’s property like knowledge, code and design) is the emergence of companies that make use of the Commons and then sell the extra value they add to Commons in the marketplace.

Such business approach does not work by leveraging the same approaches of our present system such as classical job employment, wages and copyright. Instead, the new economy of the Commons grounds itself on three new components:

1. Distributed communities of passionate individuals working together spontaneously on
2. collaborative platform and Internet technologies and by
3. the foundations, for-benefit institutions that make their know-how available for free.


What does it take for open business models to become an economy of the Commons? What are the pros and cons of a system based on peer production? How do open business models compare with the traditional economic system based on intellectual property and copyright?

I have recently shot a small number of very interesting videos with  Michel Bauwens, the peer-to-peer movement evangelist and founder / publisher of the P2PFoundation and in one of these I asked Michel to share his vision of such economic system.

How does he picture a system based on cooperation and collaborative approaches where individuals create and distribute value to their peers?

As he suggests, the key strategy which allows open business models to gradually migrate to a successful economy of the Commons (which are immaterial goods that are everyone’s property like knowledge, code and design) is the emergence of companies that make use of the Commons and then sell the extra value they add to Commons in the marketplace.

Such business approach does not work by leveraging the same approaches of our present system such as classical job employment, wages and copyright. Instead, the new economy of the Commons grounds itself on three new components:

  1. Distributed communities of passionate individuals working together spontaneously on
  2. collaborative platform and Internet technologies and by
  3. the foundations, for-benefit institutions that make their know-how available for free.
Open Business Models: The Importance of Peer Production – Michel Bauwens Continuar leyendo «From Open Business Models To An Economy Of The Commons»

8 Essential Steps of Handling Web Design Projects

So, you have a shiny new client. Time to start a new project with them. What to do? What are the first steps? Do you jump right into the job after an OK email – does that have the legal weight as a contract? There are many things you must do to get the project rolling until you get paid: From a services contract to the final payment.

In this article, I take you through the steps to do so. One friendly reminder, you can add your own steps here, these are the steps I usually follow and have been doing so for the last few years as a freelancer.


So, you have a shiny new client. Time to start a new project with them. What to do? What are the first steps? Do you jump right into the job after an OK email – does that have the legal weight as a contract? There are many things you must do to get the project rolling until you get paid: From a services contract to the final payment.

In this article, I take you through the steps to do so. One friendly reminder, you can add your own steps here, these are the steps I usually follow and have been doing so for the last few years as a freelancer.

8 Essential Steps of Handling Web Design Projects Continuar leyendo «8 Essential Steps of Handling Web Design Projects»

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