Piracy... It's a hot issue, but also a very much neglected one (I believe). There have been several threads on the forums throughout the time related to this, but I'm going to be a bit more challenging in my article towards you, myself, and whoever else comes along. :) So, if you're here for your morning coffee reading - be prepared! :)
Pitfall #1: Piracy Doesn't Affect ME!
First, why the lion? Ha! Well, I find it overwhelming - powerful, big, out of control! I chose to put it as an illustration of how most people I've met feel about piracy. It's true that the issue is of the magnitude of war but I think we can do better in "taming" it. Here's what we need to address in order to get there:
Yeah, right! It does affect you, it affects me, and it surely affects your teenage kids. Not to mention the probabilities for your grand-kids. Unless understood in personal aspect piracy will never be dealt with on any level of society.
It's as simple as that. Things would be different if every 10th stolen image was your own, or if you spend a whole week with little-to-none sleep in order to produce lyrics for a song that's being copied illegally at this very moment. Many people out there have this type of not-caring position. Should we just leave them as they are? I would say no. :) We can clarify, give examples, share from our own experience of "creators" of various products, etc.
Now, I hope you're not angry at me for using the second person pronoun instead of the trendy corporative "we". I'm establishing the ground for a new point of view - basically, trying to say that if you totally agree with me, I'm pretty sure there's people around you that totally don't. How do we communicate this important message we have to them? And this is where the issue hits hard - Am I giving my best to prevent piracy from expanding?
This could mean simply talking about it with people in my environment who have a differing opinion, or differing values. I'll leave you with this question like this, hoping to hear more from you.
Pitfall #2: It's So Big, I Can't Possibly Stop It!
Well, so is running water, but we give our best when it's coming over the doorstep. :) Do you know what your local laws against intellectual piracy are? Do you dare to apply them? What about noticing illegal use of images on-line? Being an image contributor - how does noticing such things affect you? Does it make you more strict in how you use resources or does it tend to draw you along with the flow?
Finally, to put it more in the context of our images-dealing out here - what do you do to protect your own, as well as other's images (say, if you're a designer)? Do you always credit the copyright-holder of the stock images you use? What techniques do you use to limit (notice - not prevent; that's nearly irrelevant on-line today) images from being stolen and used illegally?
If you're up for making a difference as I am - share your approach!
*NOTE: Although it may sound challenging, this article is not meant to offend any of its readers. My main goal with this writing is to bring the issue up in the light, so that it can be discussed openly.