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?