Monday, 25 May 2015

Missing the Point

I logged into Facebook today, and noticed that someone posted a screenshot of a spam text message that included an image of an overweight, middle-aged woman in lingerie with a caption akin to "I don't know how this person got my number".  The following private message conversation ensued:

Carolyn Ursabia

Hey, you probably shouldn't circulate that photo without the express consent of the person in it, even if it was spam.

Anonymous FB Friend O'Mine
Hi Carolyn, I don't know if spammers have copyright protection, though I highly doubt it and I know of no legal precedent on the issue. Assuming spammers do have copyright protections, I believe this usage falls under the 'fair use'. Despite that while I don't agree with you, I decided to take down the post given that in hindsight I should have anticipated someone would have probably made fun of the woman displayed in the image which was not my intention and the random spamming was what the post was aimed at.

Carolyn Ursabia

It wasn't the copyright issue. It was that it seemed you didn't know the sender, and so you didn't know if that picture was actually permitted to be circulated. Suppose, just as an example, that that picture was an intimate photo shared between a couple that has since split up, and the spammer was circulating the photo because they were angry at them. When you don't know the sender, you don't know the source of the image. That was my only point. My personal message to you was more for your protection and I apologize if it was taken in any other way. Take care.

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*sigh*


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