We are all cheats and thiefs - Anna Rosenblum Palmer
Talking with some developers the other day I gave them shit for choosing not to pay for apps that they liked and used. In my reasoning they, more than anyone else, could understand that software is not fee. It takes time, sometimes lots, racks up hosting fees, and often has the legal, accounting, and design work associated with four square wall businesses. I wondered about the double standard. To these two there was no double standard at all. If we build something that has a back door, or a way for someone to steal it we absolutely expect they will steal it. What is there for the taking is there for the taking. This work around, resetting phone clocks to unlock timed upgrades, or slipping through cracks in the code seems to be part of their lexicon. Hacking is expected if not encouraged. I have not agreed with them. My objection is to the marketplace we have created around apps, there is an expectations that they should be unsustainably cheap or free. I pay my .99 with glee. As if that supports the above expenses. But the app developers are part of the problem, at least the independent ones set their prices in line with the market place. We have all read and thought about music and movie piracy, and I pretty much always pay when I can. Its possible that I taped things off of TV back when gerbils ran the VCR, but for now lets set that aside. I have spent more time than most thinking about copyright law in art. My father bought a scanner and the very first photoshop program and set up with an iris ink jet printer the size of a small car and went to work tearing pages out of national geographic. Before his cancer he would take entire trees and their root system and spend several years shaping them into human form. Carefully carefully covering his tracks so it looked as if they grew that way. What was artistry with roots bordered on illegality with the magazine images. It was his way to continue to reshape nature, mountains into breasts, the galaxy into an enormous tidal pool. The letter of the law required “significant change.” As those of you who have studied art history and Warhol’d famous soup can, context can provide just as much relevance in interpretation as each brushstroke, or pixel change. I remember a friend from college walking though my dad’s basketball court sized studio, plucking a small piece off of the wall, holding it upside down and declaring it “significant change.” So despite knowing about copyright infringement, and finding paying for movies, music and apps a not so secretly strongly held belief I seem to have a double standard for images. I cut and paste screenshots for my blog regularly. I dont know what I really tell myself, that these things are commercial and people have already been paid? Or nothing at all…but I steal images at least ...
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