Intellectual Property

  • Saturday morning I discovered that a certain Web services company had integrally copied on their own website, without even proper attribution, most of the articles I have written for a magazine. Do they believethe biggest lie on the Internet? Even if that’s the case, no problem. I just did what I routinely do in such. Saturday morning I wrote them this email: Greetings, It looks like you integrally copied without authorization some tens of articles of mine from , as everybody may see by searching my name in your website with Google.
  • is that ridiculous disclaimer plastered over too many clueless websites: All images on are readily available in various places on the Internet and believed to be in public domain This is crap, guys. Now, if you believe that everything online should be in the public domain, that’s an entirely different matter. We may even discuss it some other time. But stuff readily available online is NOT by default in the public domain.
  • In the afternoon of July 4th, 2012, I found in my RSS reader the link to a photographic gallery on the website of “La Repubblica”, one of the biggest italian newspapers, titled Angola: la città fantasma “made in china” (Angola, the “Made in China” ghost town): five blurry pictures, without any attribution, and a caption explaining that: Nova Cidade de Kilamba, outside Luanda, boasts 750 apartment buildings, a dozen schools, more than one hundred shops, parking lots and sport facilities.
  • (this is an account, written in June 2006 and found in one of my archives tonight, of something that really happened to me, exactly as described below, in the spring of 1997. I’m publishing it because I believe that this rambling about the “future”, while not being very original anymore, complements well something else I posted about the future earlier today: Never mind the debt! What matters is EROI) Once upon a time, we produced the material goods we use.
  • Yesterday, by pure chance, I discovered an absurd story. Nadia Plesner is a Dutch Danish painter. Her last work is Darfurnica, a modern version of Picasso’s Guernica that you can see in the thumbnail here. For reasons explained on her website, Plesner mixed in the painting stories about Darfur with Hollywood gossip. Here’s the problem: the kid in the center of that painting is carrying a bag. Not a generic bag, mind you: it turns out that that kid is carrying something very similar to a Louis Vuitton Audra bag.
  • (this page is just one part of my “Dangerous Copyright Myths” piece. Please also read the introduction and index for more context) Myth 6: Copyright is not necessary because humankind and artists did perfectly well without it for centuries This is the “Mozart was great without copyright, nor did he care about it” school of so-called thought: copyright would be dangerous or at least useless because it is a very recent thing.
  • (this page is just one part of my “Dangerous Copyright Myths” piece. Please also read the introduction and index for more context) Oh, yeah, work on commission. Absolutely nothing wrong with it… as long as you don’t base the whole system on it. Proposing a switch to work on commissions comes from the fact that even those who believe myth number 1 cannot deny that skilled labor has a lot of value, much more than the cost of one copy of a work.
  • (this page is just one part of my “Dangerous Copyright Myths” piece. Please also read the introduction and index for more context) Myth 3: All creative activities give equal opportunities to make a comfortable living even without copyright This belief that any kind of author has so many alternatives to make a living from his or her creative talent alone is very strong, because it’s a very convenient one: “it’s not my fault if he’s lazy”.