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vincent213
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 1:07 pm    Post subject: morning improv desktop pic Reply with quote

was wondering, scott, (or whoever i suppose), why would someone pay for the desktop images when they can simply right click and set it as wall paper? playing a little of the devil's advocate i guess, but wondering nontheless what the thought process behind that was. i mean, it must have crossed your mind that people could just swipe them. or do you simply believe in the kindness of strangers?
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Fett101
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Um... you have to pay to get the high res ones, otherwise all you'll be able to see is blurs. (unless your running an insanely low resolution, that is)
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vincent213
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

um . . . no. i just tried it out and i get the images fine. and besides, my question was one more about piracy and illeagal use of images than it was about resolution.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may wish to provide Scott with the exact steps you took to do this (including OS and browser), via email or private message, so he can work on a solution. Please don't post the exact information here.

After reading your first posting, I looked at the page, but wasn't able to do what you seemed to have said. Still, if there's a problem, I'm sure Scott- and BitPass- would like to know as much as he can about it.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i honestly thought the capability to set wallpaper on pc's was common knowledge. i'm pretty sure it is. and besides, it's like making a mixed tape. as long as you aren't profiting off it, using it for re-broadcast, or whatever, it's all good. we all have mixed tapes. but i do understand where scott is coming from by charging such a minuscule (sp?) amount. i just don't know if it is realistic.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe we're talking cross-purposes, about two different things. Certainly, any image that can be viewed in a web browser can be saved to disk and set as wallpaper. Anyone who puts work on the web realizes this and 80% accept that there's nothing that can be done to prevent it (the other 20%- these percentages are made up, by the way- adopt various strategies to prevent this from happening, ranging from simple javascript to complex security software).

Scott isn't using either of these methods, rather, he shows a relatively small preview of the image and has a erected BitPass-enabled "wall" between that and the various high-resolution versions that he's offering for sale. Once you pay via BitPass to get to the page with the full-size image, you are free to download it.

After re-reading Vincent's previous posts, I'm not sure that the question he's asking is the same concern I thought he was raising. At first, I thought he was suggesting that there was a way for users to gain access to and save the images that are behind the BitPass "wall," in which case, my previous post stands (that point being, if anybody finds a bug in the BitPass system, they should address it specifically to BitPass and the vendor in question rather than make public any instructions on how to defeat the system- Not that Vincent did any such thing, to my knowledge). Now, I think Vincent may simply be asking if Scott minds that the small previews on the main wallpaper page may be saved by various users and what effect that may have on prospective sales, in which case, I think Fett101's reply is probably in the ballpark, but, again, this is a question that Scott's really the only one who can answer. (Or maybe he already has.)
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vincent213
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2004 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i did mean that any one could use it for their own potential commerical use, but what fett101 said isn't accurate because, again, i can easily get a full screen image to my desk top that i can see perfectly. [/quote]
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Connor Moran
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:

besides, it's like making a mixed tape. as long as you aren't profiting off it, using it for re-broadcast, or whatever, it's all good. we all have mixed tapes. but i do understand where scott is coming from by charging such a minuscule (sp?) amount. i just don't know if it is realistic.


If by "it's all good" you mean "it's legal" you are dead wrong. Whether or not you are broadcasting something, and whether or not you make money off of it, to copy or otherwise make use of a piece of copyrighted work without the permission of the copyright holder is to commit a crime. Period.

Now, when you're just burning cds or making tapes for yourself, it's pretty unlikely that the FBI is going to bust down your door and arrest you. And, really, that kind of trading or the act of putting up somebody's image on your wallpaper generally isn't hurting anybody. But in this case, Scott is trying to make money selling this stuff. A pretty reasonable amount of money, too. So, while I'll admit that for a while the "Walrus" cover graphic was my wallpaper for a few weeks, I would never do that again. And I went straight out and snagged one of the wallpapers (Somber Mood, to be exact) as soon as they were available.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Connor Moran wrote:
If by "it's all good" you mean "it's legal" you are dead wrong. Whether or not you are broadcasting something, and whether or not you make money off of it, to copy or otherwise make use of a piece of copyrighted work without the permission of the copyright holder is to commit a crime. Period.


No, there are provisions where people can copy copyrighted works. I'm referring specifically to US law, here, but international law is similar.

First is the doctrine of fair use, where portions of a work can be used in another work. A good place to get information on this is the Stanford Copyright & Fair Use site. The have a specific subsection for the web.

The second way that copying copyrighted works is legal is the concept of "time shifting" (which is what makes using a VCR legal) or "format shifting" (which is what makes copying a vinyl LP to CD for your own personal use legal). I'd love to provide a link, but the Electronic Frontier Foundation is the best place for that and I can't seem to make their site come up today.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If by "it's all good" you mean "it's legal" you are dead wrong.


thanks for the legal advice matlock, but i meant that you typically do not see law enforcement agents banging down the doors of everyone who buys a blank tape at the supermarket.
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Scott McCloud
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, a few issues here to respond to:

First of all, I have no problem whatsoever with people grabbing art from my free comics to make their own custom wallpapers for their personal use. Just yesterday, a reader sent me a copy of a "harmony monkey" wallpaper he made for himself. It was cute.

(Grabbing and *selling* it, would obviously be a no-no).

As for vincent's question, I think the technique he's referring to is just saving the close-up .jpgs available on pages like this
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Scott McCloud
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aggh! A bug devoured everything after that link and now I've got to run out the door.

I'll post the rest a bit later.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greg Stephens wrote:
Connor Moran wrote:
If by "it's all good" you mean "it's legal" you are dead wrong. Whether or not you are broadcasting something, and whether or not you make money off of it, to copy or otherwise make use of a piece of copyrighted work without the permission of the copyright holder is to commit a crime. Period.


No, there are provisions where people can copy copyrighted works. I'm referring specifically to US law, here, but international law is similar.

First is the doctrine of fair use, where portions of a work can be used in another work. A good place to get information on this is the Stanford Copyright & Fair Use site. The have a specific subsection for the web.

The second way that copying copyrighted works is legal is the concept of "time shifting" (which is what makes using a VCR legal) or "format shifting" (which is what makes copying a vinyl LP to CD for your own personal use legal). I'd love to provide a link, but the Electronic Frontier Foundation is the best place for that and I can't seem to make their site come up today.


Don't you still have to own (i.e. pay for) the original?
Like if you payed for one of the wallpapers and then printed it up and pinned it up onto your wall?
Of course, the whole point is that you've already paid the person who owns the copyright, and that you're using for yourself...

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"Staci"
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Staci wrote:
Don't you still have to own (i.e. pay for) the original?
Like if you payed for one of the wallpapers and then printed it up and pinned it up onto your wall?
Of course, the whole point is that you've already paid the person who owns the copyright, and that you're using for yourself...

Depends on the case.

For Fair Use? Not necessarily. You could, for example, borrow a book from a library, then reproduce portions of it in a book you publish.

For time-shifted/format-shifted material? Sometimes, but not always. You don't pay for broadcast television programs, but since the advertisers foot the bill, some say you shouldn't be allowed to not watch the commercials. For music purchased on CDs, currently, you do have the right to make a copy for your own use, but it's a stickier issue, posing a lot of questions.

Going back to the point about something that you've sourced from the internet, well, much of that is still up for debate (Note again: I'm unable to get to this site today, but generally that link should be good), though you may want to read points #2-4 at this site. I'm interested to read the rest of what Scott's post would have been, because he's got a more direct investment in the particulars of the issues (Note: I and others have had some posts get partially eaten, too, but I find that if you're making a long post, it's best to use the "preview" feature before you actually post. That way, you can see what the problem may be, but the entire post isn't lost. You can see it displaying incorrectly, but the entire text of what you've written generally shows in the post-entry window below that and you can correct it right then. In fact, I'm going to do that now...).
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Scott McCloud
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I'm back. What I was about to say after the link was:

As for vincent's question, I think the technique he's referring to is just saving the close-up .jpgs available on pages like this (see my truncated post above for the real link) and asking his OS to blow it up to full screen. I suppose this would look O.K. at small resolutions like 640 x 480, but the larger your monitor the more fuzzy the image is likely to get.

Anyway, you *can* do that, I suppose. Part of the social experiment we're conducting here is finding out whether it's worth a dime to some of you to get the sharp, full-screen images or not.

Oh, yeah. And of course you could just take the images as is and have them appear as a tiled desktop pattern also, but in most cases, I don't think the results would be as pleasing as the full screens.

I'm the son of a scientist, and I believe in the technique of suspended judgement?both intellectual and moral. I'm just gathering data right now.
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Connor Moran
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greg Stephens wrote:

No, there are provisions where people can copy copyrighted works. I'm referring specifically to US law, here, but international law is similar.


You're right and I know that, and I should have known better than putting it the way I did. I was in a big hurry this morning. But I meant to correct the common assumption that if you don't make money off of something, it's not a copyright violation. .

Fair use is defined as "use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research," (Title 17, chapter 1, sec 107 US Code, www.http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html

I don't think that downloading an image and slapping it on your desktop falls under any of these categories, but copyright law is complicated and there are a lot of new ideas, such as format-shifting, that have been thrown onto copyright.

Format-shifting is more complicated (I mean in this case, not in general. Fair use is EXTREMELY complicated.)

Part of the problem is that nobody really seems to know what's kosher and what's not in that area of the law, which is fairly cutting edge. Everything I've seen online does specifically mention that it is the shifting of content *you own* from one form to another (i.e. ripping a CD to your hard drive). However, one of the central decisions that gives the idea that this kind of shifting is ok is the Betamax decision, which stated that the primary usage of a Beta machine was noninfringing because there was no damage caused by somebody watching a TV show later than they otherwise would. This could be analogous. However, when somebody is trying to sell wallpaper images and others are taking them for free from the same site, I think you can make a pretty good case that some damage is being done.

Anonymous wrote:

thanks for the legal advice matlock, but i meant that you typically do not see law enforcement agents banging down the doors of everyone who buys a blank tape at the supermarket.


Incidentally, that's almost exactly what I said.

Now that Scott has gone and said that he has no problem with snagging a part of his site for a wallpaper, then I obviously have no problem with it. But as the copyright holder, I think that in this case it's probably totally his call, legally speaking.

Edit: I should have looked at Greg's most recent post a little closer before posting this, since he covers some of this stuff in a more thorough way than I did. Nevertheless, I think I'm going to leave the rest of my post as is.
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vincent213
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Part of the social experiment we're conducting here . . .


thats the answer i was looking for. i was wondering why sell images for ten cents when you can get free, albeit, more crappy, versions. sociology is so fascinating.
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DecafSilicon
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Joined: 29 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Intellectual property (IP) law is wonky on computer technology.

For instance, if I'm looking at a picture online, it's already been copied to my computer. I already have it in my internet cache. So to "copy" it or "download" it, I'd only have to move it from one place to another ON MY COMPUTER. I don't see how that's copying, but ah well. I suppose the bits are technically being rewritten when the file is moved, but that's still sketchy.

So the upshot is that copying is different on computers than in the real world. So is stealing, since stealing is always copying. Thus mp3 "theft" is really just plagiarism. Just copyright violation.

And I bought the wallpapers 'cuz I love Scott.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tangentally realated to this discussion, you may wish to read about the worst terms of service ever. Protections and copyrights- Yes. Taking the legalese too far? Please, no.
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