Monday, May 25, 2015

My view on why web helps licensing

Have been enjoying photographs a lot lately on the web, which got me thinking more about how different things are today as they can zip all over the world easily. And I think that is a huge positive, while there have been problematic aspects.

For instance, some have concluded that information can flow so easily and perfectly now that it can be digitized that it must be free, which is I think at best naive, when it comes to human behavior, or worse, terribly cynical about humanity. Paying for things in my opinion isn't about ease of capture, or not stealing from the grocery store would be acceptable as long as they can't catch you. Or so would stealing from restaurants, if you could just dart off, and I actually watched a couple do so once. They just walked out of one without paying when the only staff had to go to the back for a reason.

So yes, there ARE people who want to take things from others without giving them anything in return, but they're called thieves. And that is not new information! Technological advance has NOTHING to do with it.

What can be confusing though is that money is NOT the only or even the primary way people tend to give back, unless with strangers. In community, you can have most interactions with a lot of sharing and caring where no money is involved at all. But even with community with no money involved, yes there can be thieves there as well who will take, take, take from others without wanting to give anything back in return.

Taking relentlessly and giving nothing back is as old as humanity.

If you believe that ease of acquisition is all that matters with human beings and buying things then I think it easy to charge you may very well be a thief. After all, such a belief could seem to justify a behavior to someone. And maybe thieves console themselves believing all people are morally bankrupt, but that's not true.

Money is about a social contract. It's about a way to give back in exchange for value received.

So money being paid for something versus it simply being taken really has nothing whatsoever to do with how easily something can be acquired without prosecution but is about two parties, which means yeah, people can and do actually pay for things they could instead steal.

That all human beings are NOT thieves is that great awakening of the turn to the modern web, and I think it funny to believe they all are, which says more about you than anyone else, if you think all human beings are basically evil and corrupt creatures with no morality.

But like I have some photographs and make NO money from them directly, which is ok with me. But let's say I found out some people somewhere in the world were making money from them, should I necessarily care? No, not necessarily.

Yes, those people are thieves. And would be getting unfair favors, but the web has a natural solution, which is transparency. Like I can note that I don't have anything licensed, which is ok with me. I don't know if there is demand and am not really a money focused person anyway.

So if you see any of my photographs out there in a selling situation you know thieves are connected.

And that's how the web will push web licensing, as legitimate companies will check for such information. And people who want ethical products will check for such information.

So people who provide creative works simply need to provide such information.

How that's best done. I'm not sure. But I'm sure the web will figure it out.

For me, it's easy. No one has licensed any of my photos. But I don't know of any cases where my photos are being used commercially, but even if I did, I wouldn't get too excited.

But I would want people to know the person who stole the work.

Eventually your reputation will be the most valuable thing you have, as the web makes it easier for people to keep up with what you're doing, and harder to hide what you've done.

James Harris
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