Why I care about copyright

I know what you're thinking. This guy doesn't even make any money out of these photos. What right does he have to assert copyright over them?

To start off with, I'd like to share a quote I found in Silicon Snake Oil by Clifford Stoll. This book might be widely hated on the internet, but I'm pretty promiscuous about where I get my ideas from. A lot of the book I felt was poorly structured and many of his arguments have not aged gracefully (the book is copyright 1995). But he does have some interesting ideas and valid points in there, especially in his chapter on libraries. Anyway, here's the quote:

These hypertext documents lack unity: one page may be dense with information, another may be a vacuum. Its advocates speak of nonlinear text--you don't read a straight line of text, but can jump around as you wish. As a result, the author's logic, structure, and reasoning disappear. You get random facts.

When I read that, I thought: "My God! That's what I've done here. I've reduced my knowledge about kangaroos into random facts for your internet convenience." And this is the part that really scares me and makes me despair for the future of the human race: I'm fighting to protect even that bare minimum level of knowledge.

It's true that part of the reason I want this site to be credited as the source of these photos is as an ego kick: I get a thrill from watching the web counter tick over. But a larger reason is that I don't want these photos placed out of context. The photos come with commentary for a reason: I want to educate rather than just spread pretty pictures over the internet.

Putting something on the internet does not make it public domain, and I'd like to see my faith in human nature restored to the point where I can believe the rest of you think it so as well.


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