March 23, 2009

What Milli Vanilli have anything to do with blogging and law

One of the main argument in the blogging and law event which was held on 14.3.09 was about giving credit where credit is due. It is just that a few of the people in that hall may have misunderstood the whole issue. Remember Milli Vanilli? That group which had a few hit songs like Blame It on the Rain and Don't Forget My Number to quote a few. You remember what they did? Claiming to sing their own songs while in reality someone else was actually singing it for them. The fake one never really give credit to the real singers. They were stripped of their career and even have to return the Grammy Awards that they won. Shameful right? What have all of this got to do with the seminar of Blogging and Law?

The first presenter in the seminar, Foong from has presented through his slide the issue of asking permission and giving credit to someone or some organisation when you take whatever is theirs, either its a picture, a quote, an image, a writing or even some art which they have drawn or make. There are a lot of other things, even a program which you can apply this rule. Once you post something on the internet and share it with the whole world, there are a lot of ways where people can basically steal your work and claim it as theirs. They can give credit to you but that does not allow them to do it without asking for your permission. Same as Milli Vanilli. Just because they have given credits to the Real Milli Vanilli, it didn't mean they don't need to pay them.

Here's the rule of the thumb. Remember that anything that comes from your head if written down or done through your skill is yours. Pictures, images, music, songs and arts which are done through your effort, they are yours. Publishers own the things they publish. In Malaysia, the rule of the thumb, whoever pays for the effort are usually the owner. Not necessarily, but its the rule of the thumb. For others to use it, permission must be given. You can deny it without having to give any reason. Even if you know someone has used your effort while crediting it to you, you can still ask for compensation or ask for it to be removed. If you go and see some of the movies trailer which is not given permission to be displayed and when you click on it and nothing come on except the message, The Content Have Been Removed by ...., then you have just seen this rule being enforced. The bigger your company, the more resources you have and that is where you must watch out. 

One question from the audience is on whether it is worth the effort to go against someone who have taken your picture, program or image. Or those who have basically stolen whatever is yours. The presenters in that event have said, as a lawyer they will advice you to do it but as a friend, it wouldn't worth the effort. Remember that the litigation road is long and winding and most importantly, costly. You will need the preseverance to follow it up. As for me, before you go down that road, ask yourself the question : Are you worth anything and will you be able to cover the cost that you have spend to take the guy or girl to court? If the answer is yes, go ahead. If not, try to do the next best thing. Send them an email and ask them nicely. If not, just warn others about them.

So, just crediting someone of their work is not enough, you must still ask permission. Among friends, it may be okay but if you deal with corporations, be forewarned.


Clarisse Teagen said...

Thanks for the heads up.
Will keep note of it.

*lynne* said...

Yup, as you might remember from a previous post, I make it a point to use Creative Commons licensed images that have been okayed for commercial use when wanting to liven up my a malaysian abroad posts.

Sometimes, however, I've run into the situation where I can't find an image via CC... so then I turn to emailing the copyright owner (usually via FlickrMail since that's my main source of images) asking permission. So far two have said "no problem, just please credit me", while I have two pending requests with no response - dunno if they check their flickr regularly or not, LoL!

Don't want to think about my older blog's old old old posts tho... masa tu tak reti about copyright, I probably just linked back assuming it was all I needed to do. Hopefully it's okay...!

julian said...

There is also the 'fair use'/'fair dealing' option - though I don't know the limits of that. I guess that someone doing a review of a film could well argue that their are doing a 'criticism' and therefore fall under this category...

kruel74 said...

Clarisse - Your welcome

*lynne* - just to be safe, I think at least you have informed them

julian - I'm posting something on it later but doing some research first

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