Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Warnings. I think we see this word so much we are immune to it. It's supposed to remind us of danger, of an imminent possible consequence and yet since we see it all the time with little or no consequences, we ignore it. It's lost it's impact. It seems that legally people and companies have to communicate the bad things so we hear these warnings all the time: side effects, imprisonment, fines, health risks, etc.

I tend to be a rule follower but it's hard when there are so many rules; so many warnings. Which ones to heed? Which ones can I not listen to? How many of us have taken more advil than is stated on the bottle? And been just fine?

I think the lines have been a bit blurred and I don't think we realize what is wrong. Is it okay to put music to a slideshow without paying royalties? Is it okay to put music on your website without asking the artist's permission? Is it okay to put a clip on you tube that one altered the words to or added a slideshow or made a video with someone's song without permission? I'm sure there are warnings out there but "everyone does it" with little or no consequences. Plus, it's just exposure for the artist, right? I can think of lots of reasons to justify my actions and choices.

We live in a world of warnings, licensing agreements and a bunch of other stuff we don't even bother to read but agree to, and if we go by the actions of others then it seems that actually everything seems permissible. Everyone clicks on a photo to copy it without the owner's permission. Everyone copies music or puts music to their slideshows. If it's personal use it seemingly doesn't matter, but does it? Does it really matter?

So, what are the warnings you don't heed? Do you copy a CD? Do you use music for a personal slideshow? On your blog? Do you copy photos? Do you think it's okay to do so and that these warnings are designed for a different purpose? Does our actions hurt anyone else? I'd love to know your thoughts because I really wonder about all this stuff. Technically, there's a warning in the opening pages about copyright infringement and I do ponder why it would be wrong to quote a book, author or song. I'm hoping there's another law I'm not aware of that makes it permissible to do so! That is definitely one area I don't heed. What about you?

Achtung, baby!


  1. I believe quoting from a book does not void copyright law as long as it is not a significant portion of the book, and of course must be documented. copy right law for photo's is a big deal, you are supposed to try and contact the photographer to get permission. Worst case you provide a very clear acknowledgement of who made the photo and where it came from. apparently newspapers are really sticky about this. I think there is a website called blogging 101 that goes over these rules. Me I have a friend who is a lawyer and tells me about them. So yes there are laws about this stuff, that provide you permission rather than us taking license to use them. I must say, sometimes I just love the law...and sometimes I just hate it. But such is life. Oh yes, taking too much advil over a long period of time can be damaging, and eat up your stomach. Too much Tylenol is worse, and can happen in a days will destroy your liver...I think....and then if you live, meaning your liver regenerates you can never ever ever take tylenol again...upon certain death...I think...

  2. Thanks for your input Maxine! I am not to concerned about the quotes, though technically most books state that they cannot be reproduced in any manner in any part. I know that certain book, like the ESV version BIble gives one permission to use their translation in part but if one is going to use the whole book (i.e. Galatians) they need to ask permission.

    As for other things like photos and music, I'm actually quite a stickler for copyright. I have many professional photographer friends and I agree; copying photos be it from a professional photographer, Sears or Picture People is a big deal. (Don't do it!) It's also not cool to steal ANYONE'S photos; for use on Ebay or any other site. (and this happens often!) Since I respect my artist friends in photography, I also respect and think it's a big deal to copy songs on a disk for others and it still even bugs me a bit putting music to my personal slide shows and yet I'd probably do that.
    Just so you know; I hardly take any advil ever. :-)