[Only a short post today as I'm up a mountain and it's about to start hailing again]
On Flickr there has been a big hoo ha about a comment that got deleted. A photographer whose photos had been up on Flickr had had her pictures stolen by a graphics firm which had turned them into photos for sale in frames on tea towels etc. She was very upset and posted the details of the company. The company started receiving death threats and so on. It all got a bit out of hand and Flickr decided to pull the post.
The interesting thing to me is not the rights and wrong of removing the post – which seems to interest everyone else. But the interesting point here is one of copyright protection.
This story was brought to my attention on digg.com and basically everyone on there was sympathising with the photographer who had had their photos stolen. But the usual fare on digg is quite different usually there are vast acres of articles about how to circumvent copyright, about how copyright is evil and about how DRM must die.
What struck me was how do these things square together? People know injustice when they see it. They can see that it's wrong for an organisation to steel from this girl. But they don't see the same injustice when they steel from a record company. Is it because each time they are fighting for the little man? Or is it just cognitive disonance?
When people steal music you might well be stealing from the little people. Sure the studio execs are rich. Sure Bono and Robbie Williams don't need any more of our money. But what about the people who will be laid off? You are stealing from them aren't you? And who gave you the right to decide?
Anyway I just thought it showed the true feelings of the digg users more clearly than they might even know themselves. And also it suggests a better tack for educating people about why copyright theft is wrong. Perhaps the authorities should do that rather than simply going around accusing people of being thieves? Educate people until they feel guilty enough that the majority won't do it.