Print Story PIDFC 2
By spacejack (Thu May 15, 2008 at 01:46:08 PM EST) PIDFC (all tags)
Yes, it's that time again: Plant IDentification Fun Challenge #2 has arrived!

Also, WTF, I wrote a long-winded essay on proposed copyright legislation in the US that, as a Canuck, I don't really have any say in.

And hooray, Husi isn't dying after all!


I wasn't sure if I captured the overall shape and attitude of the trunk & branches in this tree, so included is a close-up of some leaves. The tree itself isn't all that tall, maybe only about 3 metres or so. If you're a flora expert but still can't recognize it, then just chalk it up to my poor tree drawing skills. And besides, I don't know what it is myself so it's not like I can judge you.

Orphan Works Act

So there's some proposed new copyright legislation brewing in the US. It doesn't really sound like a very good thing to me.

The basic idea behind the Orphaned Works Act seems to be that works found without attribution may be scooped up by commercial entities and re-used, re-sold and so on. i.e., works that aren't properly registered automatically fall into the public domain. It seems a bit hazy on what would constitute an "official copyright registration database", but basically, they're trying to remove the automatic legal protection an artist gets as soon as they produce something.

This doesn't seem to be something that will benefit the independent artist. Large intellectual property factories like Disney et al., will of course have the resources to ensure everything they produce is watermarked, copyrighted, registered (and DRM'ed etc.)

Stock image companies stand to benefit by scraping the net for unattributed works, or works that have had their copyright notices erased. The cost of stock art will go down even more, and artists producing commissioned work will be squeezed to cut prices even more. Registration services will glady take protection money from content creators, introducing yet another cost for the aspiring artist.

Reduce the length of copyright by half? Sounds fine to me. Reduce the criminal charges and fines for personal file-sharing? Sure, it's not like rape or murder.

But this new system will only result in much of the art you see online being heavily watermarked (have a look at a stock image company website for example) so it can't easily be removed, and/or low-quality so it can't be reprinted or re-sold without the artist's participation. Worst case, artists will be dissuaded from putting their work online at all. If all you get for your trouble is ripped off by some opportunist stock image company, publisher or advertiser, why bother?

I think the main reason that sites like Flickr, DeviantArt, creative writing sites and even Scoop sites have been successful and have attracted so many creative people to put high quality work online to be seen freely by all, is because of the automatic protection from exploitation that current copyright laws provide. Contrary to what copyleftists thought 8-10 years ago, the younger generation of creators has a very strong sense of ownership of their work. Sites like DA and Flickr are self-policed more than they are by staff (and with the number of people using them, it couldn't work otherwise.)

I'm pretty sure this proposed new act would only benefit the companies that exploit artists, rather than artists themselves, and will serve to diminish the quality and quantity of non-commercial creative works put online. At the same time, it will push artists toward corporations with the resources to provide legal protection, and away from pursuing an independent creative vision. I hope it goes nowhere and dies a quick death.

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PIDFC 2 | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Tulip! (nt) by Driusan (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu May 15, 2008 at 01:48:51 PM EST

Vive le Montréal libre.
The tulip tree? by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu May 15, 2008 at 01:50:15 PM EST
Thanks, I hadn't heard of those!

[ Parent ]
definately not liriodendron tulipifera. by misslake (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu May 15, 2008 at 06:06:16 PM EST
not even close.

maybe an ash?

[ Parent ]
holy cow its not. by garlic (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu May 15, 2008 at 07:17:21 PM EST
tulip tree leaves look kinda like cat heads.

[ Parent ]
We always have to look south by MostlyHarmless (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu May 15, 2008 at 02:14:48 PM EST
because it tells us what we'll be fighting here eventually...

And yeah, I generally agree with your thesis. It seems like a codification of the attitude "if it's not explicitly someone else's, it's mine!" that permeates a selfish society, vs the "If it's not explicitly mine, it's someone else's" of a more selfless one.

I've got my opinions on what makes for a healthier society...

[Mostly Harmless]

Alder? Birch? by marvin (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu May 15, 2008 at 04:31:26 PM EST
Where do you live? When did it leaf out? Any flowers, buds, seed pods, etc. on the plant?

With a few photos (full frame of the tree, along with full frame of a branch and leaves), I'd have a decent chance at an ID. For drawings, you need to capture the following:

Height isn't all that useful unless you are certain that it is fully grown, and even then, a grafted weeping birch will be 3m, whereas a white birch can be over 20m. You have drawn some of the branches as pendular (weeping), and others not.

I liked your drawing, but I'm not good enough at plant identification anymore to narrow it down based on your drawing (it's been over a decade since I last worked at a nursery).

Toronto by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu May 15, 2008 at 06:24:48 PM EST
Everything's just about in full bloom now here, or close to it. Somehow I don't think it's Ash, from the photos I found online. Almost positive it's not birch, unless it's a very different looking type than I know of. The leaves have serrated edges, and are a bit more round than the photos of Ash leaves. The bark is grey, and very rough. I'll try to remember to take a photo of it.

[ Parent ]
Kind of ash I thought . . . by slozo (4.00 / 1) #8 Fri May 16, 2008 at 03:56:03 AM EST
. . . after searching, I think it's this Maple Ash

PIDFC 2 | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback