I barely read F7U12 any more as frankly it just isn’t as funny as it once was. I do occasionally glance in though and I recently encountered this comic:

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Do you see a problem with this?

You probably do but just in case I’m going to over-explain it. Our plucky protagonist works as a graphic designer and when given a job uses images he doesn’t have the right to.

In the comments this was pointed out but the comic’s author chimed in with:

I am surprised.. Remember the whole SOPA, Copyright, Free Internet thing few months ago? Reddit was on the front line, fighting it with all they had. And I loved you guys for it :)

Besides.. When I make a beautiful picture and upload it to the internet without watermarking it.. I know for a fact that it's gonna be used by someone else.. And that's OK. Humanity never could have come this far without wanting to improve everything we see. Imagine we would still have to fly to Hawaii on the plane of the wright brothers.

Others were also puzzled as they seemed to believe that images on the internet are “free”. I’m not trying to take an anti-piracy stance here because that’s not my point here. People are going to infringe copyright for themselves if they can, assuming there isn’t a better deal available.

However there’s a big difference between personal use and for-profit. Both require a license but business use is where it’s a big deal. When setting up Fox Box I had to hunt through a lot of textures before I found some with a compatible license. Images aren’t free just because no one charged you to download them.

The point of this post is not to try to explain the issue, it should be clear enough as it is, but simply to question why so few people understand the difference between price and usage rights. Perhaps the current generation just lack the background to associate worth with intangible goods for some types of products. I don’t know.

It certainly doesn’t help that our copyright laws are a byzantine mess and the only people pushing reform are industry lobbyists wanting to limit everything.

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