Monday, 22 August 2011
Breaches of Copyright
I recently received an email from Henry Hyde of Battlegames magazine, who was clearly extremely cross that I had used two maps from his magazine on my blog without permission. The maps were originally featured in the posts 'Chance Encounter' (WW2 Poland) and 'Black Powder: The Minimalist Approach' (SYW).
This blog does not exist to genuinely offend anyone, and Henry was clearly genuinely offended. Therefore my first duty is to apologise. The maps have duly been removed.
However, I feel I have a right to justify my actions, and to say I feel a little offended in return. My personal view is that the images were correctly credited to Battlegames, were clearly used for no personal gain, and were likely to bring credit to the magazine and its editor. Maybe they would even result in extra sales.
I said in the SYW post "I hope I'm not going to get into trouble for scanning in the map and presenting it below". I guess I have egg on my face. But that tongue-in-cheek comment expressed the belief that if the copyright holders did see the post, they would realise that no harm or loss to them could possibly result. Naively, I also expected them to see that I was posting in an innocent spirit of sharing my sources of inspiration.
Of course, had I taken the trouble to contact Henry and ask his permission, he may well have given it, so not doing so was clearly a mistake. But I genuinely thought no offence could possibly occur considering the context.
As readers will note, numerous examples of images and text scanned in from various sources or dragged from the internet have been used throughout this blog. Three occur in the post preceding this one. This is done to show where I get my inspiration from, and to share with others the best that the hobby has to offer, in a spirit of genuine appreciation. I admit they help to bring a splash of colour to the blog, but they also represent free advertising for all the products and publications featured. I expect they all represent breaches of copyright. If I am to receive further irate emails from copyright holders it might be best just to give up.
The only thing I gain from this blog is the pleasure of sharing my activities, ideas and sources with other gamers. Legally it seems I am at fault but I feel no moral qualms. Perhaps readers (maybe even Henry himself) would like to put me straight. Be as brutal as you like.
Best wishes to all, Keith.