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Re: filmscanners: OT: copyrights

on 3/31/01 4:35 PM, Lynn Allen at lalle@email.com wrote:

> If anyone's interested or piqued by the question, I'll sit back and read
> your answers. Off-line would probably be more acceptable to Tony--we've
> given him enough "stuff" in the last two weeks to last a less-patient man
> half a lifetime! :-)
My background is journalism, just to qualify my opinion. Although there are
sometimes black and white issues in copyright laws, the area really is a
solid set of shades of gray. To me, once you take something as an "idea" and
build something from it, it is yours. To blow up a photograph of someone's
photograph and call it your own falls on the other side of the gray for me.
Reproducing it in a different medium is fine to me, and is actually a
compliment. My first example is from an earlier comment of blowing up a
famous artist's image so that each halftoned dot was visible and calling it
original art.

If someone conceives of an idea, and someone else publishes it, history
calls this fair game. Examples include Einstein's Theory of Relativity,
Alexander Graham Bell's telephone, and Charles Lindburgh's crossing of the
Atlantic. In each case, the 'pirated' actions became labeled as their own,
but no one would argue that somebody thinking of building the telephone or
crossing the Atlantic would 'own' the action.

Many people have copied famous artists, and as long as they call them
copies, I have no problem. I do have a problem with Microsoft copying the
Macintosh interface and denying that it is a copy. Apple copied the ideas
for a mouse, the GUI interface, and more, but there was no denial of where
the ideas came from (somehow better). All shades of gray...

Jim Snyder


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