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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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Well... if you thought you didn't get enough shit in the grrrl comp. zine thread... be prepared to now. There is NO reason at all you should take ANY writing from someone without explicit permission from the author. It's one thing to take some old images from a 1970s National Geographic... it's another thing to take other zinesters writing from a messageboard.

With the attitude that you can take and reprint any writing you want, just be prepared to be extremely bombarded with people telling you that is a completely fucked thing to do.

Zacery said:
Given my response in another thread, you can probably guess what I'm going to say...

I don't care. If something exists, I can use it. Obviously I wouldn't reprint someone else's entire work (other than images, maybe) because that's pointless - but "snippets" is fair game as far as I'm concerned.

But I don't claim them as my own, in my latest zine I explained that I'm not good at drawing so I flat out used images from some comics I cut to shreds.
Yeah, Zac. It's one thing to steal from the National Geographic (I mean, who are they anyway?), but stealing from internet forums... well, that's just wrong!

You guys crack me up.

NicoleIntrovert said:
Well... if you thought you didn't get enough shit in the grrrl comp. zine thread... be prepared to now. There is NO reason at all you should take ANY writing from someone without explicit permission from the author. It's one thing to take some old images from a 1970s National Geographic... it's another thing to take other zinesters writing from a messageboard.

With the attitude that you can take and reprint any writing you want, just be prepared to be extremely bombarded with people telling you that is a completely fucked thing to do.
this is very debatable... i eamn i take images from everywhere all the time, although i change them somehow (i.e. alter the drawins, make the dude int a girl, or integrate different things into it...) never really just out right pasting the original material in there...

then the issue about taking others' literary works, articles, or some other written work... well, Since gradeschool, my lit and grammar teachers have always emphasized how these two things: A. plaigiarism(sp?); and intellectual dishonesty are so much of a big deal... so I never really just take anyone's idea or work or concept without at least a citation.

but then sometimes it get's shady, because what if you use exerpts from different places/articles to come up with something totally original? like found poetry? see, literature, grammar, etc is ever changing and evolving...so it get's difficult to really outright say, that's right, that's wrong, you're not supposed to do that, etc.

come to think about it, there can only be a few concepts/ideas. id i rephrase it, it's mine. if i use your words but twist them a bit, are they still yours? if i echo exactly what you say in a way that reflects me, is it now my own? i'm not sureif any of that made sense, but all I guess it all boils down to this:

when you put somethign out there, to be read or shared to others, you run the risk of imparting that to others, and that maybe it ends up being copied, quoted without your knowledge, etc. i think it's just a matter fo respect for the author. id someone uses my work without telling me but makes it their own or atleast integrates themselves in it, i wouldn't mind. heck, i quote books all the time... and the authors will never know... i have a bunch of found poetry directly lifted from my chemistry and physics book.
Personally I claim all issues of National Geographic as my own work once they're more than a few years old.
I actually agree with everything you have said here, but the way Nicole worded her post was amusing to me. I have certainly used old photographs and artwork in my zines without asking permission because, as you say, who is going to notice or care? However, I do think that when something is posted on the internet for everyone to see, you have to be prepared for the possibility that someone might copy and paste your words and use them elsewhere. Depending on how foolish I was on any given day, I probably wouldn't even want to be credited for my words! I'm not going to post any of my creative work on a forum, so anything I post on here isn't going to be so near and dear to my heart that it would hurt me terribly for someone to copy and paste it without my permission. It would bother me more if someone took apart one of my zines, published my work in their own zine, and claimed it as their own work. And I don't think that Zac is remotely interested in doing such a thing.



Sarah said:
There's a slight difference. NG is not likely going to notice someone's tiny zine. I've seen several zines basically take entire chapters of books and reprint them. Stupid? Yes. Lazy & kind of a waste of space? Hell yes. But is it going to be noticed? Probably not.
While I think quote snippets are fine as long as they're properly attributed (whether credited or anonymously, the person who is being quoted's [not writer's] choice), I want to know the point of quoting Erin, Amy, and Ciara for Zacery's little feminism zine, especially when Amy has already said she doesn't want to be quoted. This isn't going to be a piece of journalism or academic writing. What's the point? Why waste the paper to quote people who obviously aren't fully into what you're doing, especially for what, a 4 page minizine? Couldn't it be better used to write about what you're learning or have learned?
Lotte Rubbish said:
Yeah, Zac. It's one thing to steal from the National Geographic (I mean, who are they anyway?), but stealing from internet forums... well, that's just wrong!

You guys crack me up. NicoleIntrovert said:
Well... if you thought you didn't get enough shit in the grrrl comp. zine thread... be prepared to now. There is NO reason at all you should take ANY writing from someone without explicit permission from the author. It's one thing to take some old images from a 1970s National Geographic... it's another thing to take other zinesters writing from a messageboard.

With the attitude that you can take and reprint any writing you want, just be prepared to be extremely bombarded with people telling you that is a completely fucked thing to do.
i mostly do my own illustrations, in part to avoid issues of copyright. though i have to say for me it comes down to a basic respect for other people. when i do use other images, i attribute it or i use something readily identifiable for anyone who went looking--stills from movies and such.

with text, i always try to attribute. i say "try" because i do have one zine where i drew robots reciting classical and courtly poetry. in the heat of pasting up for a show, i forgot to put citations in the back. i did put citations in the next issue and will fix it in the next reprint. but i don't think anyone would confuse bassho or sappho's poetry for my work. any other time i've integrated or quoted anything, cite cite cite. people did the work. they deserve the basic respect and common courtesy of getting credit for it.

and just cause the OP asked, i have a vague memory of some basic differences between american and canadian copyright law. fair use is much more expansive in american copyright law. and, if i recall correctly from my contact with the publishing industry, people and companies have much more control over their words and published material under canadian law. from what i understand it trumps fair use, so it would be enough for aMy to say she doesn't want to be published.
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).
Crediting makes a big difference, if you're just quoting someone and make it clear that's what's happening; then that's a reasonable use.
There's a site where you can check if your words have been reproduced in other forms across the web. Several of my projects have, and on top of that several domains I owned got bought up by spammers once I dropped them. It's all weird. I'll see if I can find that site.

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).
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.
Actually, just to point this out, as soon as a writer puts words to paper they are under copyright. This is American Copyright Law. You don't have to register your work in order for it to be under copyright.

Basically if you steal my work, and I can prove that you plagiarized, I can take you to court. Technically. Just an FYI.

And in the idea of stealing peoples' work and zines: it'd be nice if there was just some general respect throughout the community. As in, people get credit for their work. I mean, how would you feel if a corporation like Starbucks or someone stole art from your zine and used it in their ads without permission or crediting you? It's been known to happen.

Zacery said:
I just said in the other forum that if I wanted to, I could - and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it!
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.

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