Working Together

"We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again..."

Excerpt from "Working Together" © David Whyte
in The House of Belonging

Many Rivers Press

Monday, February 3, 2014

What's New Copycat?

I have some grousing to do. I'm being hounded by the images issue that surfaced in my last blog post. I made a new post yesterday and I went through my usual creative process in getting my thoughts down and I realized that I wanted an image. What happens when I want an image is I do a word search in Google images until the one I want finds me - the one that underscores and enhances my post in some way.  I did not put an image in my last post and I missed it.  I WANT the image. For me its a meditation of sorts...the FUN part of writing a post is swimming through a vast array of images and finding the one that wants to go with it.

Well, here's the rub.  I want to be responsible and credit the appropriate people, of course. So I find the image I want and laugh out loud because it is so funny to me (though I doubt anyone would "get it" in quite the same way I do - which made it somehow even MORE perfect).  I inserted the un-captioned  cartoon that I found and looked to where the original came from and it was from B. Kliban Cats a well known comic illustrator.  On the Kliban site I found an ENTIRE page devoted to lawyer-speak regarding the copyright of B. Kliban cat images and what-not.  Seriously.  I read it over and over and could not for the life of me understand how it pertained to my using an image on my blog.  Mostly it seemed to shout "NO! NO! NO!".  So I thought to myself, "Really?  I have, like, three people who read my blog. How is my posting this cartoon going to threaten this artist's livelihood?"  Of course, I know there are probably several reasons that I do not consider as I'm not trying to make my living as an artist.  I realize copyright is a huge issue. So there was a "contact" link and I thought, "I'll ask!". I filled out the message portion of the contact page explaining my dilemma and I requested a response.  I asked for the use of the image. I filled everything in, pressed enter and was immediately bounced to a page that stated: Thank you for becoming a fan of Kliban Cats! I was surprised. I sort of felt as though they should have bought me dinner first before we entered the fan stage of our relationship. Will anyone ever read my request? Meanwhile my blog post is mouldering in the queue...

Over coffee this morning, thinking about this images issue, I realized that I became spoiled by running madly through the interwebs when Whole Wheat Radio was young in 2004.  I took any and everything I wanted from what I found in Cyber Space.  Everything was up for grabs in those days.  It probably shouldn't have been but there you have it.  I was like a kid with her first box of 64 virtual Crayons allowing me a fantastic portal to anything I wanted in terms of creating things.  Because the WWR site was interactive, I had access to people who, including myself, shared things. I just used whatever I found as if it was all public domain. (Creative Commons was a term that was not even used back then.) We all had bucket loads of fun. I lived in a freebee world and I dug in and blossomed.  Now I'm having all kinds of fits because someone commandeered  my box of crayons and I have to go through a whole different process of creating things and ask for each color when I want it.  My first thought is to blow off my creative impulses and grow bitter (that will show them!).  Then I thought that I might just go ahead and post the cartoon anyway, devil take the hindmost.  It was then that I realized
that the picture actually depicted a cat behind bars. That does not portend well for me and it would make it even more embarrassing should something come of it. No. No forging ahead.

My final thought on the matter was this:  I will wait a few more days to hear from Kliban and if I don't hear back I will draw my own bloody cartoon that will be inspired by the one I found on Google done by Kliban.  I do, after all, have a box of REAL crayons and a scanner and I know how to use them! 

Thanks to fun2fantastic for the use of the video.


Triple-S said...

Use the picture and post a credit link. You aren't making money off of it. You may even drive a couple of viwers to the originating website. This is the internet. It's not a museum. Once something is posted out there, there should be no expectation that it won't travel. It's not like there is one copy of something. This may not be the legal view, but it's the common sense view. If you aren't claiming it as your own, you are crediting the originator, and you aren't making money from it, I would consider it fair use. Maybe that's my WWR experience talking, but I just think that's the way new media works.

cile said...

Thanks for commenting, Seth. I had some interesting responses on Facebook when I linked this post there the other day. I was told about a filter I can use on Google and also some startling information on the kinds of trouble I can get into. Also, not surprisingly, I never heard from the Kliban folks...but I'm listed as "a fan"!

cile said...

So I heard back from the Kliban folks and, not surprisingly they said sorry: "Hi cile,
thank you for your inquiry. We are not set up to give individual permissions, as doing so may interefere with existing licensing contracts.
Sorry to disappoint you.
Love to eat them mousies...
B Kliban Cats"
I replied: "It is okay. I am drawing my own picture. I am finding it interesting that in doing the "right thing" by giving credit to an artist it also makes one more liable to be found out as using the item. I've inquired to others who use images on the internet without crediting the artist (on Facebook and on blogs) and they do not bother with the credit. This why they do not: Why invite trouble? It is on the readers radar for maybe 10 seconds, then gone. More like an advertisement than an act of larceny. There will be much more discussion on this murky issue, no doubt, in the future, as everyone I talked to is confused about the policing of such things. Thank you anyway for your consideration of my request. In a just world I would become a great cartoonist and a result of this incident! (Not going to happen!) Ha Ha! But I have a lively line drawing that I may or may not use in the end. Now if I could only remember the original premise of my blog post!