2012 Election: Red, White and Black and Blue
There is now less than 100 days until the 2012 presidential election and that means you need to hurry up and start losing friends by posting articles and insults of certain candidates to your Facebook page. Yes, it’s been a divisive four years since the last election and the heated political discussions, blame, finger pointing and outrageous lies haven’t let up. At least Sarah Palin and family were around for comic relief!
Seriously, the election brings not only laughs and tears and high emotions, it also brings huge copyright violations. Yes, that picture of Obama or Romney your boss or client wants you to use in your design is probably owned by the Associated Press and they like to get paid when people use their property. Go figure!
As pointed out in a past article, using copyrighted material is illegal. Sure, the boss says that he/she heard that anything you find on the internet is free to use or the copyright owner will never find out but neither statement is true. It’s funny how we celebrate our rights to vote while stealing the rights to own one’s own work from someone else. The law allows us to vote and the law protects images. If you think you won’t be discovered using copyrighted material, just do a Google search of your name and you’ll find a section of images tied to your name. There is no hiding anymore where the web is concerned.
What’s the solution? Buy the rights to use the image! Yes, AP images can be costly but so can copyright infringement penalties. So, just use something generic or photos of political-type models that start at $1.00.
This isn’t to say that you can’t place a photo of a candidate’s head on a stock photo body. Derivative work can get you around a copyright. The political figures, being public entities, are open to certain loopholes in the copyright law. Do you know the loop holes and how far you need to go to create a truly derivative piece? Maybe you just better stick with a stock body and the photo head.
Perhaps you want to get in on the action yourself by designing posters, bumper stickers or T-shirts you can sell on Zazzle or Cafepress? Hey! Making money off politics and other suffering is the American way. Simply design something funny or completely offensive and upload it (make sure you’ve purchased the correct rights for any stock image you use) and watch the money roll in… and then put it in an off-shore bank so the government can’t touch or tax it!
Part of the election fun is the small side issues of financial crisis, militarism, achievements, alternative energy, working together, gun control, the ever-popular good vs. evil issues and the rest of the political circus. With all of this action over the next two months, you’ll need plenty of material for the web and print and maybe, just maybe, for your own blog, web site or Facebook page so you can thin out followers and friends whose politics may not be in line with your own values. It’s easier than ramming your car into another vehicle with a political bumper sticker of the candidate you don’t like… and then backing up and ramming into them again, over and over until the car burst into flames!
Remember to vote on November 6th. Vote early and vote often!