I didn't see your message as the "Voice of Dissent;" rather, I think you provided more reasons that people should write letters to the Copyright Office. :)
In addition to comments about Orphan Works, the Copyright Office was seeking comments from creators about difficulties in enforcing their copyrights.

I have been trying to follow your example of calling out people on Twitter who don't cite image creators. Keep up the good work! I agree, strength in numbers.

I'm not sure what point you were making with regards to Alex Wild's work in the Ant Man movie; he said he got paid for it.

Emily S. Damstra
natural science illustration
Guelph, Ontario
(519) 616-3654
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Twitter: @EmilyDamstra

On Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 1:35 PM, Glendon Mellow <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hi everyone, Unwelcome-Voice-of-Some-Dissent here, 

We already live in a post-"Orphan Works legislation"-style world. Yes, the shape of American law matters. Yes, write letters if you are moved to. But in practice artists are already treated as though everyone assumes the work is orphaned. 

Consider the case of cartoonist Mathew Inman of the popular site The Oatmeal. He was sued by a website that has copies of every one of his cartoons *with his name cropped off* posted there by the site's users - they sued him for publicly asking him to remove the art and mocking them when they didn't. (The suit was later dropped when his fans mobilized and donated money to him which he then donated to charities.) If artists can be *sued* for asking their work to be removed, we are already at rock bottom. 

This past weekend, entomologist/photographer/Scientific American blogger Alex Wild saw one of his ant photos in the Ant-Man movie, and Wild is regularly vocal on social media about how many DMCA notices he has to send out on a regular basis. 

In addition to writing emails to change potential legislation, there are two things I hope to see happen that will help artists make a living in the next few years:

  1. Technology: Between Google Reverse Image Search and, reverse image searching is a tool every art student should graduate knowing how to use to protect their art, name, and use. There's a Chrome plugin for it now too. In a different experiment, Getty, Twitter and Instagram images can be embedded on sites in viewers similar to the way YouTube is shared, with links to the source. I think we're approaching a stage when any image on the internet will be identifiable through some sort of search-and-tagging tech we don't quite have yet. 
  2. Get on social media: In addition to writing emails, get on social media and defend artists rights - not just your own, but other people's. This is a big listserv and it would be extremely helpful if we had greater numbers calling out journalists, science communicators and large site accounts for abusing image use. Support accounts like @PicPedant, @Hoaxeye and @FakeAstroPix. I call out lack of image credit as much as I can, but there's strength in numbers. Over the past several years of blogging, I've heard from a number of popular science journalists that they've been made sensitive to the issue from my own efforts. For a big cultural change to happen, it needs to be more than a handful of people. 
Legislation lags *years* behind culture, and the science communication culture could really use more artists being vocal instead of resorting only to enforcement by law. And I bet the louder creators are about being recognized for their work, the faster we'll see the tech catch up.


Glendon Mellow
Art in Awe of Science

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