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In a separate thread, the issue of copyright came up.

I'm slightly familiar with the American copyright system, but I'm not familiar with other countries'. If you live outside America, what kind of copyright law is there in your country?

The cut-up culture is a large part of zines. Have you ever used an image in your zine that was not in the public domain?

Do you think adhering to copyright law is important in zine making?

If so, how strictly do you think the law should be followed?

Tags: copyright, law

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did you actually receive the spam as well? it's sucky enough to have your work incorporated into the spam-body. i have my website on moveable type and my host is no media kings. so far i haven't had much trouble with spambots. i have had trouble with actual people promoting their work as if they were spambots. and i get a lot of russian and turkish emails. for some reason we also get a lot of "laboratory glass" catalog emails. kinda like those.

also, thanks to both you guys for the links. i'll go have a looksee. without mentioning the nameless actress.

Sarah said:
Yeah. It happened twice in a period of 3 days earlier this summer. One was a Danish spam blog about Angelina Jolie (supposedly, as far as my Google Translator could tell), the other was another European spam blog that took the same post. During this same time, I was getting dozens of Russian spam as comments everyday. Wordpress was being no help and all their spam-catching functions were failing me, as were were the sites that these blogs were hosted at (although the European blog was gone the day after I found it). So this is one of the reasons why I haven't posted in 2 months.

I used Copyscape after this on top of Creative Commons, which had been in place since November after some weird Canadian blog took the first 5 posts off of my blog (including one about the Richmond Zine Fest). Copyscape can tell you who has linked you or has quoted/used your posts, so can a good website traffic tracker thing. I don't know if Copyscape is the same site that betrayedzine was mentioning. If I end up posting more academic-ish writing after I relaunch in a month or two, I may just get my new site copyrighted. I've already found a code to prevent people from cutting & pasting text.

Moral of the story: do not mention Angelina Jolie in any context. Mine was referring to her brother has "Angelina Jolie's brother."

una crow said:
hey, wait, sarah, has your work shown up as "content" in spam?

Sarah said:
I've had both my zine writing and online writing misquoted, misrepresented, stolen and used without my permission. And this is with usually having notes in my zines or blog that state that my writing cannot be used without my permission. Considering I tend to put more than 5 minutes into just about everything I write and put out for the public, yeah, I'm going to get pissed at some lazy asshole who steals it and/or lacks the reading comprehension skills to see any notices about not using my writing without permission, especially if they are trying to make money from it (mostly a spam/online issue instead of a zine issue, but still).
what she said.

Sarah said:
I like you. You're smart.

What I've been telling people lately is that "just because it's diy/punk doesn't mean it or you can't be professional."


betrayedzine said:
Yeah, goes along with my belief that anarchy and chaos is all well and good until actual people are involved. Then the mass death begins!

A good check I've used is "if someone did this to me, how would I feel?" and failing that, just gauging peoples' reactions.
Thanks!

Sarah said:
I like you. You're smart.

What I've been telling people lately is that "just because it's diy/punk doesn't mean it or you can't be professional."


betrayedzine said:
Yeah, goes along with my belief that anarchy and chaos is all well and good until actual people are involved. Then the mass death begins!

A good check I've used is "if someone did this to me, how would I feel?" and failing that, just gauging peoples' reactions.

Sarah said:
Uh, and someone just mentioned that there might be something that can be done if you did quote someone without their permission.

You don't know Nicole very well, do you? And this is no slight on her at all, cos she'll probably be the first to admit it, but out of all 6 Richmond Zine Fest organizers, I'm the most calm one. I'm the one who can tell people to fuck off without actually saying "fuck off" and you're being an idiot without actually saying "you're being an idiot". I've done it with a car company that wanted to sponsor us last year, and I've done it with venue owners. The other women in our group will actually tell a person to fuck off and that they're an idiot.

Zacery said:
Can I just point out that I am NOT quoting anyone here in my minizine, why would I even waste space? I just said in the other forum that if I wanted to, I could - and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it! In my other zine I quoted two forum quotes from another messageboard where we talked about "old movies VS new movies", I didn't ask to quote them but what they said illustrated what I meant perfectly....big deal! And on that subject, I'm now thinking I'm not going to make the minizine because I feel as though I have to as preferred to wanting to. We'll see.

I could steal writing, but I don't, I write zines with my stuff - I don't, like, reprint writing from books or anything. I once got this zine about pirates where for six pages they just reprinted a really long, boring story in tiny print. That annoyed me, I'd never do anything like that.

Jeez, you're all so jumpy - I'm especially surprised at Nicole.
I think the same rules apply to images and text despite the differences in media. We both enjoy taking things that are already written and rearranging them in a way that turns the document into something entirely different, even though the words might be exactly the same. For example, I took an artistic collective's written manifesto and made it into something entirely different without adding or removing any words: The Safe Dentist Manifesto. This is the computer copy-and-paste version of the cut-up method, a sort of textual collage, and I didn't (and still don't) feel the need to credit the original source. Images are trickier for me, particularly because I do not have as much skill in visual arts as I do with words, so I feel more of a duty to credit those whose images I have used out of respect for a talent that eludes me. This is why I almost exclusively use only my own photographs, or images in the public domain. If I use a well-known image, I might not give credit simply because the title and artist would be obvious to anyone looking at it. Like you say, I'm more likely to give credit to those whose work is relatively unknown. Da Vinci et al don't need any more money or publicity, but it feels good to bring new readers to someone like you whose work you appreciate enough to incorporate into your own. Anything less is just plain rude.



betrayedzine said:
One thing I would like to discuss more is the difference between images and text in appropriation.
Using both, I try to give credit where it is due. But sometimes, like when I did collages with old computer magazines, I get so into it and the mags are so old that I just forget.
It seems to me that the closer a piece of work is to my own world, ie zine distribution and internet distribution and independent artists, the more likely I am to take the time to give credit. This seems reasonable - it's difficult to be "perfect" in these matters.
"If I wanted to I could and there's nothign anyone could do about it." Christ almighty, that sounds like something a spoiled 5 year old would say. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you're not an asshole for doing it. Legally I don't really give it shit, it's just common courtesy to ask someone if you can use their quote before you use it. And if they say "no" you shouldn't use it. What you can do and what you should do are 2 totally different things.
eric summed up my opinion perfectly!

generally speaking, if you want to quote something that someone has said on an internet forum, an e-mail, a conversation in your kitchen, whatever, it's generally smart to get their permission & maybe get them to look over the quote you are attributing to them. remember all that ridiculousness a few months ago when hannah neurotica "quoted" another poster on this site & excised words from what he'd originally said in order to radically change the context & meaning of his statement? & then insisted that she was just "quoting" him & that he'd really said & meant what she claimed? yeah, things can get twisted around. context matters. when i made my last zine, i transcribed conversations i'd had with my boyfriend, & he asked me to change some stuff during editing because i'd been misinterpreting his words. this served to make him more comfortable with being quoted in my zine, & it helped me better understand his perspective on some stuff. plus, it's just the polite thing to do.
PS--i would not be comfortable being quoted without permission in anyone's zine. especially zacery's. just sayin'.
He can't even handle someone (ME) making a forum thread with the same TITLE as one of his! I can't even imagine what he would do if I re-used his QUOTES for humorous purposes. His head might explode.

Sarah said:
You know, by Zacery's mode of logic, anyone can make an entire zine of his quotes from this forum without his permission, and he can't do anything about it.
Ericfishlegs said:
"If I wanted to I could and there's nothign anyone could do about it." Christ almighty, that sounds like something a spoiled 5 year old would say. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you're not an asshole for doing it. Legally I don't really give it shit, it's just common courtesy to ask someone if you can use their quote before you use it. And if they say "no" you shouldn't use it. What you can do and what you should do are 2 totally different things.
i expect zacery'll be back. i don't think he can stop himself. though he might be using this forum to accelerate his 2 year plan.
i'm certainly less conscientious with older mass market material--McCall's from the sixties, stuff like that--especially ones that i'm using for collage, radically altering or using as a background. i'm much more meticulous about getting permission for and citing images made by people i'm closer to or by people more vulnerable to having their work appropriated or stolen.

at the same time, i have given citations to things like an old Life magazine, drawings from Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body and this old book with hand drawn sewer maps. some of it is habit around citation. some of it is that it's just fun to share these things. i've had some nice conversations around old resource material.

betrayedzine said:
One thing I would like to discuss more is the difference between images and text in appropriation.
Using both, I try to give credit where it is due. But sometimes, like when I did collages with old computer magazines, I get so into it and the mags are so old that I just forget. It seems to me that the closer a piece of work is to my own world, ie zine distribution and internet distribution and independent artists, the more likely I am to take the time to give credit. This seems reasonable - it's difficult to be "perfect" in these matters.
i never had any trouble with blogger. my one gripe about moveable type is that the comments form is a kind of onerous. i'm pretty sure people have decided not to comment because of it. on the other hand, there aren't any spam comments, so. i have actually used some spam disguised as comments as alien dialog in one of my zines. but they weren't aggravating me in my own comments section.

Sarah said:
No. The spam blogs that stole my posts just popped up in Wordpress' blog stats function, which is seriously wonky, but occasionally worthwhile. If the Russian spam that I was receiving as comments was trying to quote back my posts, I couldn't tell.

I would also get spam comments in English disguised as semi-real comments, although they were very generic and the link did not concern anything having to do with my blog.

I didn't have much problems with spam and whatnot when I was at blogger, so I'm probably going back over there.
Very confused by a lot of people's comments about quoting - you're saying that everytime somebody quotes someone else they need to seek their permission? I don't understand that. I do agree that it's bad to mislead by quoting people out of context, though, of course.

Maybe I'm not as aware of this because people are unlikely to use quotes in my own zines. We do sometimes have modified texts though.

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