My favourite copyright issue of the moment is the legal case between Wikimedia and a photographer about a selfie taken by a crested black macaque monkey. Wikimedia says copyright resides with the maker, in this case the monkey, the professional photographer (who owned the camera). There’s a good legal discussion here. Ashleigh meanwhile notes that this is a big area, and (I’d add as several political candidates have just found out) what you say online stays, and if it isn’t nice it will come back to you. In tis case it is a football club sponsor – someone who once upon a time a club would bow to. Monique on having her stuff stolen online (so yes you might think it a hassle, but it protects you).
Seonaid learns that if you repeat something defamatory then thats defamation too. Yes, it is all about publication. Me saying something to you that is defamatory about Bill is not defamation, but as soon as someone else hears, reads, knows about it, and knows who we’re talking about, then the private conversation is no more. And as we all know, if you want a private conversation you don’t publish it anywhere online… Evelyn has a nice think-out-loud post about ideas, and how you can’t ‘own’ them. No you can’t, and in relation to legal stuff you can’t copyright an idea, you can legally protect how you do something (that is patent law), the things you make (copyright), but not the ideas themselves. Mia muses about the differences between copying and embedding. These are good questions as the difference between copying and embedding is important. When you embed the media is coming from where it lives, and if people let or allow embedding there is an implicit permission that you can. This is very different to making your own copy of the work and putting it somewhere else, and is one of the technical things of the Web that we no longer even notice.
Laura has a blog scenario. No, Bob isn’t in trouble. Research, criticism, opinion are all fine. Even posting something mildly offensive is ok online as you have to go and find it to see it. The issues about offensive behaviour I described are more to do with school, work, and so on, where you don’t have the opportunity to just not go and look at it.