Ownership in a Great Big Blog-O-Sphere

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When does content become yours?

If I write words, they are mine. If I draw a picture, it is mine. Arguably, if I photograph something, that creative act and resultant image is mine. Does scanning something make it yours? At the most basic level scanning and photographing are the same idea – recreating visual information through a physical interface. Of course if I scan a comic book and post it to the internet, claiming it to be mine, this is fraud and piracy. If I were to scan work in the public domain, or some one else’s work that was never copyrighted, or even simply reproduce something that was copyrighted, I would have no ethical claim to any of the content (there may be a legal claim to it, but that’s not really what I’m concerned with here).  And yet everyday I read bloggers complaining that xyz other blogger has stolen their scans or gifs. These are all images that they had no hand in the actual creation of, merely the digital reproduction and distribution. Works that they most likely had no permission or right to re-create in the first place; however the time spent stealing an artists real work justifies their claim to ownership (in their eyes).

Now I am all for common courtesy. If I enjoy a piece of content enough that I am inclined to share it, I will typically put forth some effort in order to credit whomever helped make it possible for me to see it. Courtesy is an awesome concept and if more people embraced it the world would be an awesome place. That said, I’d now like to address all the bloggers that lay claim to the creative process of others:

Get off your high horse, you lazy bastards, and go make your own damn content.

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