Journo, racer, pur­veyor of fine facts and tom­fool­ery on­line

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Ever since the ad­vent of so­cial me­dia, there’s been a fresh 21st cen­tury first-world ir­ri­ta­tion reg­u­larly boil­ing my blood: the mind­less theft of pho­tos and other in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty which are the in­tan­gi­ble cre­ations of the hu­man in­tel­lect. Ex­cept, of course, they are tan­gi­ble. This nar­ra­tive trick­les over to ev­ery other in­dus­try but, be­ing a hard­work­ing free­lancer who deals with this on an ev­ery­day ba­sis, it’s a par­tic­u­larly per­sonal and poignant mat­ter in the mo­tor­cy­cle sec­tor.

When you work your balls off, slav­ing over creative con­tent and putting ev­ery fi­bre of your be­ing into pub­lish­ing in­for­ma­tive, and hope­fully en­ter­tain­ing, sub­stance to the world, only for other web­sites, Face­book pages and In­sta­gram ac­counts to steal said con­tent; it’s a far big­ger deal to those on this side of the fence. Whether it’s MCN or a blog­ging site, it doesn’t mat­ter; the ef­fect is the same.

“Oh, but it’s only a photo.” Oh, that’s ok then. When you con­sider pho­tog­ra­phers’ day rates start at £250 and go as far north as £750, and then you in­clude the ef­fort and cost of ar­rang­ing the bikes, lo­ca­tions, rid­ers and fre­quent Mcdon­alds stops, not to men­tion the blood, sweat and tears that go into post­pro­duc­tion; it’s a royal pin in the botty.

And I don’t care if it’s only lit­tle Nathan stuck in a bed­room in Cardiff, in­no­cently steal­ing wheelie pics. The fact that lit­tle Nathan is build­ing a fol­low­ing out of steal­ing over peo­ples’ work by gain­ing likes, clicks and shares and con­se­quently sell­ing a prod­uct, means he’s di­rectly prof­it­ing from my hard work. Theft of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty should be treated the same as bur­glary. Crime isn’t sup­posed to pay, re­mem­ber?

And then there’s video, which has even more value. To be fair to Youtube, they’ve worked hard on ve­to­ing soft­ware that al­lows em­bez­zle­ment of con­tent, although that dwin­dles into in­signif­i­cance when you re­alise some­one could re­motely shut down a city by press­ing a few but­tons.

On the one hand, you could ar­gue that ‘pub­lish­ing’ con­tent on the in­ter­web in­vites any Tom, Dick or Harry to right click and save any pic they’d like, but that’s not how things should work. The in­ter­net is al­most im­pos­si­ble to po­lice, although ed­u­ca­tion should be just as im­por­tant as pun­ish­ment, as some of to­day’s so­ci­ety is gen­uinely un­aware of cor­rect pro­to­col


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