Rather than catching up on my artworks, today was spent in the Federal Court listening to legal argument and expert opinions. The Honourable Judge knew of my interests and invited me to attend the hearing.
The case revolves around intellectual property rights, a hot issue also being debated in Sydney today, however, in Sydney it was all about the music industry.
The plaintiff and defendants had between them about a dozen highly paid barristers and solicitors – the cost must run into tens of thousands of dollars per day. Add the cost of expert witnesses and potential damages awarded, and we are talking serious monies in anybody’s language. People take their intellectual property rights very,very seriously!
And that’s the point! Using copyrighted image and sound bites harvested from the Internet is too easy. Watch out – the worm has turned! Getty Images, the world’s largest image library is currently trawling the Internet for illegal use of any of their images, films, videos and sound files. Rumours have it that their robot/spider is able to find the illegal use of an image even if it constitutes less than 1% of a collage. If illegal use of an image is spotted, an invoice is issued, and if not paid, court-action follows. These guys mean business!! My web sites have already had the Getty spider/robot visit more than once! How do I know? My ISP informed me and the AWSTAT for each site confirms their findings.
Remember Napster? The legal hullabaloo was back in 1999, but it changed the copyright debate forever. We have been warned!
If you happened to see me on the telly tonight outside the Supreme Court together with Mr Robert Farquharson, the association was purely coincidental. Honest.