|Aqseer. Meelaard mode.|
I shuddered as I recalled all the projects we do in school, involving massive fishing on the worldwide web. Guess that has cover under ‘fair use’. As for random images adorning Facebook pages, those colourful PowerPoint slides and one greeting card after another, not to mention banners and buntings…….the guiding principle is pretty much clear now. It is all there on Google, alongside the images! The popular perception, just the same, is that content fetching up on hitting the search button is all in the public domain. When the thumbnail is called forth, all that the executor is focused on is the “save image as” link. I looked more closely some hours ago, trying to trace it back to the origin. I also wondered at Google in this newly comprehended avatar of a spider scourer and exhibitor with no apparent accountability to the source or the end user, and no visible warning on the homepage of Google either that might say, “Use the contents at your own risk”. Google’s stated mission incidentally: organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. A case of reading the fine print.....it is just a search engine and hence absolved.
Without entering the principle of intellectual property law and its emerging nuances, some random, lay thoughts come knocking at me. Matt Haig in his “The Seven Stories that rule the world”, agrees with the principle that there are only seven original plots in the world, all else being derivatives. He says, “Every story has been told……the originality comes from style and voice and the imagination that brings language and characters and settings to life. Shakespeare, for instance, never bothered himself with inventing plots. The story of Hamlet had already been told, in more prosaic form several times before”.