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Mea culpa

22/03/2007 - par Mark Tungate

Iwas interested to read that Viacom - the owner of MTV - is taking legal action against Youtube over the fact that users of the web service are constantly posting copyrighted material, for free, on the site. To say nasty things about Youtube when you own a youth channel sounds like a dangerous move to me (perhaps Viacom is tired of everyone calling Youtube the new MTV).

But Viacom has a point. Every day, creative material is shuffled around the web without a penny going back to the person who made it. A few days ago, I would have applauded Viacom's decision and encouraged the company to sue Youtube for every penny it was worth. (In fact, Viacom has demanded one billion dollars in damages.)

That was until I started my blog (­www.brandedmale.­com). The blog is part of a wider project, a book about men and brands, but it still needs nourishing with words and images. The words are no problem - writing is what I do. But where do you get the images ? You do what all bloggers do : you do a Google image search and paste the most suitable result into your post. You rarely bother to find out in which context it was published, let alone who took the photograph.

Conscious of this, I've started citing the sources of the images I use. I figure everyone likes a bit of free publicity. But not too much. If somebody published an extract from one of my books on the web, I would be happy. But if they published the whole thing, for nothing, I would be furious.

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