The internet is a global medium utilized by both the public and business entities therefore the lines drawn by law sometimes get blurred. Businesses usually abide by their own sets of laws different and unique from the laws governing the general public and individuals. Ask any celebrity or public official and they’ll tell you, once something’s out there on the web there’s no controlling it. Sometimes publicity, wanted or unwanted, spirals out of control. A lot of people feel the internet as a whole is one big moral, ethical and legal question mark. “The internet is what it is,” Is the general attitude. “And, there are no clear cut rules of etiquette.” If you try to impose rules, a lot of people believe, you are just asking for the internet culture, full with hackers, mysterious gurus and e-geeks to revolt and purposely resist any and all restrictions. But, what if you are painstakingly taking photos that keep circulating around the web, popping up all over the place and everyone is enjoying your work for free! Don’t you deserve some green for your efforts? Don’t you deserve some say as to where and how your art is displayed, especially if no one’s paying you to display it? Yes, I’ve heard of starving artists but hey isn’t this super highway robbery?
On anewtale.com we publish photographers’ works that complement our creative writing, short stories, song lyrics and poetry. Most of our photographers have said sure we’d like to get a few bucks every time our work appears reproduced somewhere, we never authorized. But, that’s a losing battle. We’ve learned to accept the extra, sometimes viral publicity social networks are capable of as payment in kind. “The right photo released at the right time can turn an unknown photographer into a house hold name.” Explains Ralph Masselutto, a freelance photographer whose works have appeared on anewtale.com’s site. “Most photographers, like most artists, dream of being discovered. Social networks make that dream possible and easier to achieve than ever in history.”
What do you feel? Should social media sites like Pinterest have to pay royalties to photographers whose works they allow their members to pin (post) to their like boards? Should members have to get permission from the websites and photographers before they copy a photo from a website and pin or post it? What if there is damage to a photographer’s reputation because of photos pinned on Pinterest then shared on Facebook, then reposted from one social media website to another until they’re plastered all over the web? Who should be held responsible? Let us know your opinion by leaving a comment. Blog! Blog! Blog!
As always we welcome any comments about fiction, creative writing, literature, song writing, lyrics, rhyming poetry and photography on our blog. Feel free to start a discussion. Thanks, Editor