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Hogarth and You-Tube

cr_hogarth_chairing_MP.jpg

Hogarth’s Chairing the Member
One senses that Hogarth hopes the MP will be unceremoniously upended,
a wish many of us share about MPs today.

The artist or scientist who cannot protect his intellectual property is neither free nor prosperous. Hogarth fought fiercely for a copyright law that would protect designers and engravers, as we describe here. In 1735 he succeeded. Parliament passed Hogarth's Act.

Protecting intellectual property is not only fair, it ensures that people are going to create, confident that their time and efforts will be protected. The copyright holder, not the government, is the person responsible for responding when his creative castle is attacked. If it is, he or she demands the infringer desist, and if necessary, takes the infringer to court, where copyright claims will be established and protected by law.

Today the copyright battles are often online, and surround the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the concept of fair use when posting copyrighted material online. As you know, You-Tube is an online community that shares videos. Following the principles established by Brits in the 18th century, a copyright-holder who has a copyright issue with a posting on a service provider such as You-Tube is responsible for notifying the provider. If the service provider removes the infringing content, it is free of liability. In the meantime, many copyright holders enjoy free publicity on You-Tube, which encourages creative ferment, and sales. Hogarth would be pleased.

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