Q: On a lot of your drawings (sketch of the week) you type out the copy right symbol and your name. If someone wanted to “steal” it or “borrow” it, all they need to do is just PhotoShop it out, correct?? What’s the point of the copy right symbol??
You mean like this?:
You are 100% right in that it would be very easy for even the most novice of PhotoShop users to remove that copyright symbol/credit and steal this or any image thus marked. Despite that fact, I started doing this a few years ago for 3 reasons:
- The Orphan Works Act– I’ve endlessly blogged about this ridiculous legislation that keeps rearing it’s ugly head thanks to the lobbying efforts of people like Google and the championing of it by the misinformed and the just plain gullible, so I won’t bother to rehash that here. Read about it HERE if you want, or just skip to this one if you want to see the pro and con arguments broken down. Knowing this might eventually be coming down the pike, placing something like this makes an Orphan Works defense against unauthorized use a lot harder to stick.
- The “This lock only keeps the honest people out” concept– A guy who used to make cabinets for me for some of my theme park operations used that phrase for flimsy locks that could easily be broken off. The idea was that such a weak lock didn’t give you security against a real thief, but would keep out anyone who would not go so far as to break a lock to get into something. Same concept here. It’s one thing for someone to grab some image and pop it into their website or use it for some other purpose, and it’s another to have to physically remove a copyright credit to do it with impunity. There is something psychological about going to that length, as easy as it might be, that sets off the “I’m doing something I shouldn’t be doing” alarm in most people’s heads. Most people, given even that momentary pause, will think again and usually not do it. A kid might come by one of my booths and rattle a door, but if he finds it locked, even by an easily forced cabinet lock, he will move along. The addition of the credit forces people to make a conscious decision to violate my copyrights, and that is often enough of a deterrent to stop them.
- Education– This goes hand in hand with the previous reason. I’m trying to do my part to educate people about copyright and to respect it. Some people genuinely think if it’s on the internet, it’s free. If the simple addition of a copyright line get’s people to understand that ALL images on the internet are copyrighted and owned by somebody and that copyright should be respected, then it’s worth the time.
Thanks to Rick Wright for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me your questions and I’ll try and answer them here!
758 My cover art for the next issue of MAD, exclusive sneak peek from @entertainmentweekly website
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