Opinion

OPINION: What is the price of the internet's free-for-all?

Warren Lynam

IT never ceases to amaze how people think it is OK to steal other's work and claim it as their own.

With so many people trying to sell their works - music, art, blogs, craft items, etc - online these days, there are more and more cases of copyright infringements being discussed by victims.

The most recent case I came across was one about an eBay account set up in the UK claiming to be an artist with about 100 pieces for sale, most asking over $1 million Australian.

The problem is the works were not their originals.

One Australian artist discovered their works 'for sale' through this eBay account. No mention of that she was in fact the original artist.

This artist brought the account to the attention of others and it was soon discovered that there were works for sale that were originals by about six high profile artists across the globe, all being claimed to be originals of the eBay account holder.

But it is not just paintings that are being 'stolen' by online fraudsters (I say fraudster because I doubt this account holder actually has all of those original works in their possession).

Elizabeth Peru, an Australian astrologer and blogger, used to publish part of her blogs on her Facebook account and then point to the full blog on her website.

However, she discovered others were copying and pasting her blogs and posting them online, claiming they were the owners of the written works.

The copyright infringements continued despite Elizabeth setting her page up so that users had to pay to read her blogs.

So much to the point that she now only posts one or two sentences about the topic of the blog on Facebook and links back to her site.

Robin Thicke and Pharrell were ordered by courts to cough up a lot of money for copying Marvin Gaye when producing Blurred Lines. Gaye's family were awarded $5.3 million and 50% of the song's royalties for copyright infringement.

Richard Prince, a New York-based artist whose work often involves appropriating that of others, has been sued for copyright infringement by Donald Graham, a photographer who claims Prince knowingly reproduced his photo Rastafarian Smoking a Joint without seeking permission.

Activewear fashion label Lorna Jane is under fire for allegedly breaching copyright laws with an Instagram user in Brisbane claiming a photo of her was used on the brand's T-shirt range without permission.

Even news outlets are subjected to copyright infringements as readers copy and paste news stories and post on Facebook without permission from the news outlet, as opposed to sharing links of news stories on the social media site.

Are we really 'building up our profiles' by publishing our works -blogs, stories, photographs, artworks - online?

Or are we doing ourselves more damage by having our intellectual property blatantly abused by those who either don't know the copyright laws, or don't care and are out to make a quick dollar?

Topics:  copyright, opinion




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

'I apologise every day that I am not the person he married'

My battle with postnatal depression...

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Veteran: 'I would have killed myself if not for my dog'

A man and his dog on the road for PTSD

Farmers rally in Rocky to protest again land clearing laws

Mark Collins at a protest held Kershaw Gardens by farmers across the Central Queensland region in response to State Government vegetation clearing laws. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

Farmers gather at Kershaw Gardens in Rockhampton in protest.

Breaking: Ninth case of black lung is confirmed

Section of a coal worker's lung showing black lung disease with progressive massive fibrosis.Contributed

A 62-year-old underground miner has been diagnosed with black lung.

Latest deals and offers

Stockland Terrace - oficial opening

Stockland Commercial Property CEO, John Schroder talks at the official opening of...

Farmers protest land clearing laws

Farmers from across Central Queensland gathered in Rockhampton to express their...

Clive Palmer to re-open refinery

Clive Palmer on ABC radio.

Clive Palmer talks about his achievements, election chances and re-opening the...

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward