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COPYRIGHT: A COLORFUL SUBJECTAdvance Notes: Progress usually comes about when inventive thinkers are allowed to tinker with an existing product. Airplane, software, even photos – they can all be “improved.”
Yes, Copyright is a colorful subject. It’s also controversial, especially when you are involving artists, photographers, writers -- the whole intellectual properties community, in the discussion arena.
Here at Photosource International, we take a place at the table not on one side or the other (researchers, art directors vs. photographers) but in the middle. We encourage a level playing field where photo suppliers can meet with photobuyers. One day we might talk about infringers on the Internet, the next day it might be “the sharing of ideas to contribute toward progress for us all.”
The latter is the theme today, and I use Open Source software as my example.
Remember the days when the phone company, AT&T was the only game in town? We were impressed with its telephonic innovations, but not until diversification of the telephone giant, did we realize what we had been missing out on in the way of telephone service, lower fees, and innovations.
Likewise, today, not everyone agrees that Microsoft’s Operating System is the all-out best system. You’ve probably heard of one of the rivals to MS, Linux. The founder, Linus Torvalds, of Finland, had the idea he could build a better operating system than what was currently available. Some say he did. But more importantly, in the spirit of sharing, he opened up his source code to the community of programmers and would-be software designer wannabes. The “open source code development” movement was born. Open Source affords anyone, anywhere, the ability to contribute to a development project or to download and use an application or source code free of charge.
Many a software company lost a fortune due to the open source movement, and scores more individuals have benefited from it. It's quite a controversial subject among software firms and developers alike, even today. However, in the spirit of sharing, without “copying,” Linus Torvalds has been able to take the Internet to the next stage.
But who knows, in this spirit of “uncopyright,” we may see even better operating systems emerge, born from the energy of newcomer software designers.
Rohn Engh, veteran stock photographer and best-selling author of “Sell & ReSell Your Photos” and “sellphotos.com,” has helped scores of photographers to sell photos. For access to great information on making money from pictures you like to take, and to receive this free report: “8 Steps to Becoming a Published Photographer,” visit PhotoSource International or call 800 624-0266.