On the BBC News site today, I saw this headline in the five most shared stories:
“Getty lifts copyright on 35m photos”
That’s pretty exciting.
Except they aren’t lifting the copyright on 35 million photos.
No wonder lots of people misunderstand copyright law: journalists—who should fucking know about copyright law—conflate a revokable license to use an image in some very limited circumstances with the copyright on that image. Don’t bother explaining the gratis vs. libre distinction because that’s hard work.
If journalists can’t write and think about these issues clearly, that will saturate into the consciousness of lawmakers and judges who will make stupid and uninformed decisions about copyright. Which they aren’t doing now, obviously.